If Sylvain Pataille were making Vosne-Romanee or Chambolle-Musigny he'd have achieved rockstar status pretty much with his first vintage back in 1999. That's one of the disadvantages of living on the edge of Burgundy, practically suburban Dijon to be precise. As it is, he's become the go to address in Marsannay whose wines have been terminally under appreciated for centuries but are now starting to gain lots of attention and it's mainly due to Sylvain. These are the best values in Burgundy bar none, something that almost everyone in know in the trade, myself included would've said about Volnay 15 years ago before the wines tripled in price.
Sylvain started his own domaine with just a single hectare of vines some 15 years ago and he's now farming a respectable 15 hectares (just under 40 acres) in Marsannay. He started in Burgundy without the usual family property but as an oenologist to some very high profile domaines, something he still does with around 20 clients. This is Sylvain's home and terroir and rather than trying to buy land and get established somewhere like neighboring Gevrey-Chambertin with it's glitzy reputation (and insane current prices), he's stayed put in Marsannay is now easily the best source of wines in this village.
Great Burgundy starts with great farming which is as natural as possible here; certified organic using some biodynamic techniques, hand picking and sorting of fruit, native yeast fermentations, minimal sulfur and then only at bottling starting with the last few vintages and sparing use of new oak. Sylvain makes a bit of everything from Pinot Beurot to his numerous and fantastic Aligoté bottlings but Marsannay is really red wine territory and his are just fantastic.
Sylvains's Bourgogne Rouge bottling, the first time I've seen this in the US, comes from one hectare of 60+ year old vines. Made just like the bigger Marsannays with little to no new oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered with a tiny amount of sulfur at bottling.
The 2016 vintage was particularly hard hit by hail and yields are the smallest we've seen in many years but as usual, the quality was only enhanced by the stress. This is really about as good as red Burgundy gets at this price point with astonishing refinement, purity and detail for an entry level wine. Vibrant red fruit on the nose and palate with telltale notes of mint and morello cherry with a hint of damp earth. Elegant red fruit and mineral flavors, long intense finish. Not much of the made it to California but I managed to get the lion's share so decent availability for now though I expect it to go quickly.