Pure Pinot: Six questions for Burgundy merchant Adam Argeband

By Rebecca Gibb on January 13, 2017
Adam Argeband says watch out for the premiers crus of Morey-Saint-DenisPhoto courtesy of Adam Argeband

London-based Baron Wines is a merchant and broker of top Burgundies, run by brothers Adam and Daniel Argeband. Adam talks to Rebecca Gibb about mystical Pinots, shrewd buys gone mainstream, and what makes a restaurant great for wine.

What’s hottest among your customers?
Mature Burgundy, especially vintages that used to be overlooked but are drinking exceptionally well now, such as the 1979, ’80, ’91 and ’93. Once it was only the astute collector who went after these, but they are no longer a secret. The mature wines of [Domaine] Armand Rousseau are particularly hard to find, but when we do, they sell quicker than water in the desert.

You’re introduced to a billionaire collector about whom you know nothing. What wine do you serve at lunch?
I’d serve two wines. First, Leroy Domaine d’Auvenay Meursault Les Narvaux 2001, an outrageously brilliant wine. I won’t forget the first time I tried this, and am sure the collector wouldn’t either. Then, Armand Rousseau Chambertin 2000 – chances are high that the collector would like Rousseau, and it’s a good excuse for me to drink a bottle!

Complete this sentence: In five years’ time, everyone will be after …
… the premiers crus of Morey-Saint-Denis – Les Chaffots, Les Ruchots and Les Blanchards. The earthy, sensual, red-berried character of the wines is pure Pinot, and the mystical heart of Burgundy.

How worrying are fake wines?
It’s a constant concern, and you have to be so, so careful about where you buy and what you buy.

What’s the best restaurant for wine?
I really enjoy Hostellerie de Levernois in Beaune [Burgundy]. It has a deep cellar and always has a few random gems on the menu. The last time I was there, we had excellent wines from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s – not from famous producers, but it stores the bottles so well that they’re drinking really nicely.

You can have a case of anything you like, for drinking, not trading. What would it be?
Can it be a mixed case? It would have to be 2007 Burgundy – the wines are showing so well now, and it’s my favourite recent vintage where the prices are still smiling on the drinker. I’d choose three magnums of Domaine Roulot [Meursault] Les Luchets, three bottles of Armand Rousseau [Gevrey-Chambertin] Clos Saint-Jacques, and three bottles of Domaine Arlaud Bonnes Mares.

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