With all the hype attributed to Bordeaux, Burgundy still remains the most complex and intellectual of France's dreamland of wine-making. What is lacked in varietal blending, as only two grapes are used - Pinot and Chardonnay, is made up for by the 'terroir' - the expression of geological and climatic conditions, which can vary so dramatically over as little as ten or twenty yards within a single vineyard.
We were surprised at our preference for the non Premier Cru cuvee Les Guignottes in 2011, the balance and poise were noticeable, of course as Arlette pointed out the 1er cru was probably just in its shell, either way this is a fine Chardonnay, steely and pure.
High quality wine has been produced on this small plot for hundreds of years, but the vineyards origins have been lost to the fog of history; the first known reference of this Grand Cru is from 1508. This wine has a rich savoury nose with layers of spice, fruit and wood followed by gentle attack on the palate with velvet tannins, elegant structure and remarkable length.
The Premier Cru of Les Folatieres is one of the more prestigious sites in the Alain Chavy portfolio, known for creating rich Puligny-Montrachet wines with distinct minerality and crisp acidity.
The slightly cooler 2014 is proving to be a very elegant vintage with terroir definition. This shows up in the style of Nicolas Potel's Nuits Saint Georges, which is beginning to show a little expanse, though still a relatively youthful Pinot Noir. You can go ahead and drink now, or keep it another year or two and you will have a rounder example with a more teriary profile.
2013 was a tough year for Cote de Beaune since hail devestated the yields in many vineyards. Volnay in particular was very badly affected. Clos des Chenes produced only two-and-a-half barrels; 304 bottles in total. The wine was, nonetheless, fantastic quality and its rarity gives romantic charm.
This is a tiny parcel of Premier Cru vineyard; less than one acre of limestone soil, perfect for growing Chardonnay vines. Cool evenings engender retention of acidity, giving these wines room to grow in the bottle. On the cusp of maturity, this wine easily has ten years of life left!
Area under vine: 1,45 hectare. Sun exposure: East. Soil: Clay-limestone. Grape varieties: 100% Pinot Noir. Winemaking: The grapes are handpicked, then sorted in the cellar and completely destemmed. They are then cold-macerated for 7 days and fermented under temperature-controlled conditions. The cap is punched twice a day, and the wine stays on the skins for a total of 21 days.…