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Chateau de Santenay Mercurey 1er Cru Les Puillets 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Category (Red Cote de Beaune over £15) at the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2016 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Chateau de Santenay Les Puilllets 1er Cru 2014 - August 2016 Decanter review

This magnificent property, which dates back to the 9th century, is also known as Château Philippe le Hardi, as it was once owned by the first Duc of Burgundy. Philippe le Hardi is famous as the person who banned the cultivation of Gamay in the Côte d'Or, saying in his edict of 1395 that only Pinot Noir could be used in the production of red wines from the already fabled slopes. Despite its long history, the property had fallen on hard times until it was taken over by the French bank Crédit Agricole in recent years. They have invested heavily, bringing in a new team to support the general manager, Gérard Fagnoni, and putting the emphasis on quality. The property has 98 hectares of vineyard, 72 of which are in Mercurey. These are remarkably well made and good value wines from the Côte d'Or and Côte Chalonnaise.

The eight hectare 'Les Puillets' vineyard is located on the south-south west facing hillslide slopes in the appellation of Mercurey. The average age of the vines is 30 years. The soils here are rich in clay, but the limestone is still very present as well as some areas of marl. These characteristics give the red wines of Mercurey power and a beautiful structure.

Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were cold soaked for seven days at 8°C to extract colour and flavour from the skins. Temperature-controlled fermentation lasted 12 to 14 days with daily pumping over, finishing with a rack and return, or 'délestage', to impart the grainy tannins that give the wines a lovely structure and length. The wine was then aged in oak barrels for 13 months, of which 20% were new, before bottling.

100% Pinot Noir.

A medium colour. The nose is focused on woody notes and kirsch. Full and rich, the palate shows red cherry and redcurrant flavours with mouthwatering freshness and pleasant tannins on the finish. Though drinking well now, it will reward some time in the cellar.

ABV = 13.0%.

£25.75

Chateau de Santenay Mercurey Rouge (Vielles Vignes) 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 edition tasting of Best Buy Red Burgundy (see blue link below).

Chateau De Santenay Mercurey Rouge (Vielles Vignes) 2016 - Nov 2018 Decanter review

This magnificent property, which dates back to the 9th century, is also known as Château Philippe le Hardi, as it was once owned by the first Duc of Burgundy. Philippe le Hardi is famous as the person who banned the cultivation of Gamay in the Côte d'Or, saying in his edict of 1395 that only Pinot Noir could be used in the production of red wines from the already fabled slopes. Despite its long history, the property had fallen on hard times until it was taken over by the French bank Crédit Agricole in recent years. They have invested heavily, bringing in a new team to support the general manager, Gérard Fagnoni, and putting the emphasis on quality. The property has 98 hectares of vineyard, 72 of which are in Mercurey. These are remarkably well made and good value wines from the Côte d'Or and Côte Chalonnaise.

The fruit for the Mercurey Rouge comes from Chateau de Santenay's 72 hectares of vines planted across the Mercurey appellation. The soils are rich in clay, but the limestone is still very present as well as some areas of marl. These characteristics give the red wines of Mercurey finesse and structure.

What had promised to be a very generous vintage, turned out to be an extremely difficult year for Burgundy, with terrible bouts of hail, frost and mildew. Yields were very low due to the complicated weather patterns throughout the year. The harvest ended on a high note with a warm, dry and sunny July through to October. This spell of consistently good weather salvaged the vintage.

Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were cold soaked for seven days at 8°C to extract colour and flavour from the skins. Temperature-controlled fermentation lasted 12 to 14 days with daily pumping over, finishing with a rack and return, or 'délestage', to impart the grainy tannins that give the wines a lovely structure and length. The wine was then aged in oak barrels for 13 months, of which 20% were new.

100% Pinot Noir.

This wine is dark ruby in colour, it is bright and lifted with excellent concentration. the nose is elegant with aromas of ripe red fruit including cherries, and a touch of oak. The palate is full with great structure and an attractive chewy and grainy character. The finish is long and fresh.

ABV = 13.0%.

** See also Chateau de Santenay's excellent Premier Cru Mercurey - the 2014 vintage was rated as a DWWA 2017 Best in Category Wine **

£22.65

Chateau de Santenay Mercurey Rouge (Vielles Vignes) 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 edition tasting of Best Buy Red Burgundy (see blue link below).

Chateau De Santenay Mercurey Rouge (Vielles Vignes) 2016 - Nov 2018 Decanter review

This magnificent property, which dates back to the 9th century, is also known as Château Philippe le Hardi, as it was once owned by the first Duc of Burgundy. Philippe le Hardi is famous as the person who banned the cultivation of Gamay in the Côte d'Or, saying in his edict of 1395 that only Pinot Noir could be used in the production of red wines from the already fabled slopes. Despite its long history, the property had fallen on hard times until it was taken over by the French bank Crédit Agricole in recent years. They have invested heavily, bringing in a new team to support the general manager, Gérard Fagnoni, and putting the emphasis on quality. The property has 98 hectares of vineyard, 72 of which are in Mercurey. These are remarkably well made and good value wines from the Côte d'Or and Côte Chalonnaise.

The fruit for the Mercurey Rouge comes from Chateau de Santenay's 72 hectares of vines planted across the Mercurey appellation. The soils are rich in clay, but the limestone is still very present as well as some areas of marl. These characteristics give the red wines of Mercurey finesse and structure.

Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were cold soaked for seven days at 8°C to extract colour and flavour from the skins. Temperature-controlled fermentation lasted 12 to 14 days with daily pumping over, finishing with a rack and return, or 'délestage', to impart the grainy tannins that give the wines a lovely structure and length. The wine was then aged in oak barrels for 13 months, of which 20% were new.

100% Pinot Noir.

This wine is dark ruby in colour, it is bright and lifted with excellent concentration. the nose is elegant with aromas of ripe red fruit including cherries, and a touch of oak. The palate is full with great structure and an attractive chewy and grainy character. The finish is long and fresh.

ABV = 13.0%.

** See also Chateau de Santenay's excellent Premier Cru Mercurey - the 2014 vintage was rated as a DWWA 2017 Best in Category Wine **

£22.65

Domaine Antoine Olivier, Pommard 2016 (1x 75cl)

Antoine Olivier was founded at the end of the 1960s, from a few vineyards left by Antoine Chevalier Moreau to his grandson, Hervé Olivier. Hervé began extending the estate by purchasing historic, old vineyards across Santenay, some of which had not been used for a century, paying particular attention to famous white wine vineyards. The quality of these soils is now recognised in a series of brilliant wines, in particular the exceptional white Santenay, something of a rarity in what is predominantly a red wine growing area. Today, Hervé’s grandson Antoine Olivier and his sister Rachel manage the estate. They are dedicated growers and follow organic practices in the vineyard. Their philosophy is to combine modernity with respect for the Burgundian soils and this stunning collection wines really showcases this.

The appellation of Pommard sits between Beaune and Volnay. The grapes for this cuvée come from Noizons terroir, which is situated on the eastern side of the Pommard appellation. The vineyard is managed with respect for the unique attributes of each site’s terroir and is farmed sustainably and organically, although it is not certified. Some biodynamic philosophies are also followed. The grapes are hand-picked and carefully sorted prior to vinification.

Traditional Burgundian vinification took place with minimal intervention. The grapes were vinified as whole clusters. Fermentation took place with natural yeasts and without any ‘pigeage’ or punching down of the cap. The wine was 100% barrel aged for 12 months: 50% was aged in new oak, 50% in one year old oak. The wine then rested for a further six months in tank, prior to being bottled, without fining or filtration.

A full-bodied and textured Pommard, showing a lovely purity of fruit, complemented by a touch of aromatic spice from oak ageing. Serve with game and red meats.

£48.25

Domaine Antoine Olivier, Santenay1er Cru Beaurepaire 2016 (1x 75cl)

Antoine Olivier was founded at the end of the 1960s, from a few vineyards left by Antoine Chevalier Moreau to his grandson, Hervé Olivier. Hervé began extending the estate by purchasing historic, old vineyards across Santenay, some of which had not been used for a century, paying particular attention to famous white wine vineyards. The quality of these soils is now recognised in a series of brilliant wines, in particular the exceptional white Santenay, something of a rarity in what is predominantly a red wine growing area. Today, Hervé’s grandson Antoine Olivier and his sister Rachel manage the estate. They are dedicated growers and follow organic practices in the vineyard. Their philosophy is to combine modernity with respect for the Burgundian soils and this stunning collection wines really showcases this.

The grapes come from the single vineyard plot of ‘Beaurepaire’, which is situated at the highest elevation of all the Premier Crus in Santenay. This east facing site has a unique microclimate and it produces a very elegant style of wine from limestone and clay soils. The vineyard is managed with respect for the unique attributes of each site’s terroir and is farmed sustainably and organically, although it is not certified. Some biodynamic philosophies are also followed. The grapes are hand-picked and carefully sorted prior to vinification.

Traditional Burgundian vinification took place with minimal intervention. 70% of the grapes were vinified as whole clusters. Fermentation took place with natural yeasts and without any ‘pigeage’ or punching down of the cap. The wine was 100% barrel aged for 12 months, in a combination of oak barrels. One third was aged in new oak, one third in one year old oak and one third in two year old oak. The wine then rested for a further six months in tank, prior to being bottled, without fining or filtration.

Classic red Burgundy. This is a beautifully perfumed and delicate Pinot Noir, with fine red fruit tones and a fleshy texture. Long and elegant on the finish. Serve with Sunday roast and all the trimmings.

For the other excellent Burgundies - white and red - produced by Domaine Antoine Olivier, click here.

£31.90

Domaine Catherine & Dominique Derain Mercurey Rouge, La Plante Chassey 2013 (1x75cl)

Catherine & Dominique Derain are biodynamic producers in Burgundy with vines in a number of different Burgundian appellations. Dominique Derain started his career making wine barrels but decided, instead, to study wine making in Beaune where he met Catherine, his wife. In 1988 he and Catherine purchased 5.5 hectares of vineyards in Saint Aubin just south of Beaune and began tending the vines biodynamically and making their wines in a very non-interventionist way.

The Derains always adopt a minimalist approach. They farm biodynamically, hand harvest, do not chaptalize or acidify and use the barest amount of sulphur in their winemaking approach. All the fruit is hand-picked and they destem 90% of their red grapes before fermentation, which occurs in wooden vats. After fermentation the wine is aged in old oak casks for 12-18 months. The couple never use SO2 during the winemaking process, adding only a small amount at bottling for stabilization.

Their thrilling Mercurey from old biodynamically-tended vines (100 years old) reaches an altogether different level. It is a blend of 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Beurrot (related to the Pinot Gris).

There is a silky nature to this Mercurey giving it a supple mouthfeel and a detailed range of raspberry and cherry fruit with a touch of pomegranate. It has lovely spice notes and touch of lavender on the nose. Striking elegance, complexity and length.

ABV = 12.0%.

£37.85

Domaine Catherine & Dominique Derain Mercurey Rouge, La Plante Chassey 2017 (1x75cl)

Catherine & Dominique Derain are biodynamic producers in Burgundy with vines in a number of different Burgundian appellations. Dominique Derain started his career making wine barrels but decided, instead, to study wine making in Beaune where he met Catherine, his wife. In 1988 he and Catherine purchased 5.5 hectares of vineyards in Saint Aubin just south of Beaune and began tending the vines biodynamically and making their wines in a very non-interventionist way.

The Derains always adopt a minimalist approach. They farm biodynamically, hand harvest, do not chaptalize or acidify and use the barest amount of sulphur in their winemaking approach. All the fruit is hand-picked and they destem 90% of their red grapes before fermentation, which occurs in wooden vats. After fermentation the wine is aged in old oak casks for 12-18 months. The couple never use SO2 during the winemaking process, adding only a small amount at bottling for stabilization.

Their thrilling Mercurey from old biodynamically-tended vines (100 years old) reaches an altogether different level. It is a blend of 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Beurrot (related to the Pinot Gris).

There is a silky nature to this Mercurey giving it a supple mouthfeel and a detailed range of raspberry and cherry fruit with a touch of pomegranate. It has lovely spice notes and touch of lavender on the nose. Striking elegance, complexity and length.

£44.10

Domaine Chevalier Ladoix Rouge 2016 (1x 75cl)

The 2015 was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of 2015 Côte de Beaune reds (see blue link below).

Domaine Chevalier Ladoix 2015 - December 2017 Decanter review

Domaine Chevalier is a 15-hectare, family domaine situated in Ladoix, in the north of the Côte de Beaune. Established in 1850, it is now run by Claude Chevalier and his daughters, Julie and Chloé. Claude's whites have the mealy and mineral quality that typifies great Burgundy, at a relatively modest price. The style combines the taut, steely feel of Chablis but with the fruit intensity, finesse and hints of riper stone fruit of the Côte de Beaune. His red wines have incredible purity and elegance.

Ladoix is in the northern Cote de Beaune, adjoining the Côte de Nuits vineyards. The village lies at the foot of the Mont de Corton where the soils are chalky marl.

After a mild winter, spring brought a devastating spell of cold weather which hits a record area of vines with an historic late frost at the end of April. Episodes of hail that followed on the Mâconnais and the northern parts of the Bourgogne ensured that this would be one of the smallest vintages of the last two decades. The vines subsequently began their growth cycle later than usual but hot sunny weather from June enabled the vines to catch up, with flowering, budburst, and ripening happened undisturbed, with the weather remaining fine and settled through the rest of the season. Harvesting began on 20th September and continued through to mid-October.

Vinification was done in the traditional way, with fermentation taking place in vat. The wine was aged in oak barrels, with no new wood for 12 months. It was rested and bottled in January.

100% Pinot Noir.

The Domaine Chevalier Ladoix Rouge is a lovely ruby garnet in colour, characteristic of Pinot Noir, with soft red fruit perfumes of rasperries and red cherries and excellent depth of flavour. Fine, ripe tannins and a long, delicately perfumed finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£31.25

Domaine de Monterrain, Macon-Serrieres 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 edition tasting of Best Buy Red Burgundy (see blue link below).

Domaine De Monterrain, Macon-Serrieres 2015 - Nov 2018 Decanter review

Domaine de Monterrain is a small domaine owned by the Ferret family. This domaine has been passed down from father to son for over 5 generations. Patrick and Martine Ferret are the current owners and take great pride in tending their 10 hectares of hillside vineyards situated around the village of Serrières in the Saône et Loire. 9 hectares of vines are planted with Gamay and, as a new venture, 1 hectare was planted in 2003 with Chardonnay grapes. Harvesting is carried out manually. The Ferret family takes great pride in its Mâcon Serrières which is produced in an easy drinking style typical of the area.

The vines are grown in granitic soil, which warms up quickly and retains the heat well. The soil's high levels of acidity works to minimise the acid levels in the grapes, which works well with acidic varieties like Gamay.

The grapes were harvested at optimum maturity levels. Fermentation took place in temperature controlled vats, preserving the integrity of the primary aromas and the nuances of the terroir from which it hails. Following the fermentation, the wine was then left to mature in tank for a minimum of six months prior to being bottled.

An easy drinking style of wine made from the Gamay grape. Light bodied and fresh, with notes of spice and minerality leading to a dry finish. A great match with cold meats, garlicky stuffed mushrooms, roasts and mild cheeses such as Brie and Pont l'Evêque.

£12.85

Domaine Jean Chauvenet Nuits St Georges 2017 (1x75cl)

This small, family-owned estate has been managed since 1994 by Christine and Christophe Drag, after the retirement of Jean Chauvenet, who founded the business in 1964. They work only with Pinot Noir and their wines are of incomparable texture, delicate and silky. 

The domaine is run by them and they work to a single golden rule; respect for the expression of each terroir to yield a range of different wines. Since 1994 the domaine has turned to low-input cultivation which aims to minimise the use of chemical treatments, and they are working towards organic certification.

Christophe’s wines differ in temperament according to whether they come from the north or south of the Nuits-St-Georges commune. All have black fruit and complexity. Only about 33% new oak is used and the wines are bottled without filtration or fining.

This 100% Pinot Noir wine has a mid-crimson colour. It is deliciously fragrant with red fruit and almost a touch floral. Light and juicy on the palate and then with decent persistence. Scented on the palate as much as on the nose. Dry, chalky texture well suited to the fragrance. No need to wait too long to enjoy this.

£34.70

Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Classique 2017 - no added sulphur (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 87 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2017 edition review of Beaujolais Crus (see blue link below).

Foillard Morgon Classique 2015 - Sept 2017 Decanter review

Jean Foillard and is universally recognised as one of the very best Beaujolais producers and is one of the band of 4 of Morgon with Guy Breton, Jean-Paul Thevenet and Marcel Lapierre, who are all adepts of the works of Jules Chauvet on non sulphured vinification.  Jean met Jules Chauvet early in his career and became an un-official member of “La Bande a Marcel”.  Chauvet’s mantra was that winemaking should be a natural process.  He felt that great winemaking started in the vineyard with vigorous canopy management, absolutely no use of chemicals on the vines, low or no use of sulphur etc.  To Jean, this all made sense and he’s remained true to these philosophies ever since. 

Foillard now uses minimal interventionist viticulture, but his wines are neither officially organic nor biodynamic even though he actually applies many of the rules. What’s in a name? What is more important for him, he says, is the result in the bottle, and the certifications on the labels are not his first concern.

This Morgon is fabulously pure, an unfiltered, unfined, unsulphured Gamay. Its colour is on the dark side of cloudy ruby red, whilst aromas boom happily out of the glass, notably kirsch, rhubarb and sweet blackberries; there’s a more fugitive bouquet of warm earth, stones and dried spice evolving into dark chocolate and cinnamon.  It is extremely refreshing, bright sweet fruit is complemented by a smooth, silky tannic structure, somehow immediate and pleasing yet subtle and complex.

£20.05

Domaine Jean-Claude Lapalu Brouilly Vieilles Vignes 2018 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their March 2019 edition article: Older vines, better wines? (see blue link below).

Domaine Jean-Claude Lapalu Brouilly Vieilles Vignes - March 2019 Decanter review

The 2015 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2017 edition review of "Everyday Wines" (under £25) (see blue link below).

Jean-Claude Lapalu, Brouilly 2015 - June 2017 Decanter review

Jean-Claude Lapalu assumed control of just under 30 acres of Gamay from his father in 1996, and made his first commercial wines in 2000. His eight parcels of east and southeast facing vines are scattered from Mont Brouilly south through the rolling hills of Odenas and his hometown of Saint-Etienne-la-Varenne.

Jean-Claude’s most significant early influence came from the writings of Jules Chauvet, France’s Father of Natural Winemaking. He is committed to a strict organic regimen and employs several tenets of biodynamic viticulture. The domaine received its organic certification from Ecocert with the 2010 vintage but he has no interest in seeking any further bureaucratic validation.

The wine is made using whole cluster fermentation (without crushing). Carbonic maceration is used for the Brouilly Vieilles Vignes. It is fermented in stainless steel tanks. Bottling happens in early April after a brief six-month élevage. Jean-Claude only uses indigenous yeasts and doesn’t use any sulphur during vinification (some is added at bottling in very small quantities: 2gr/hl)

Very fragrant and expressive, it displays aromas of violet and juicy red berry. Fresh and very much alive on the palate, it has depth and plenty of dark berry and spice character.

£21.50

Domaine Lucien Boillot Gevrey-Chambertin 2017 (1x75cl)

Pierre Boillot is a rare master of both the Côtes de Beaune and the Côtes de Nuits–not only does he have the vineyards but also the savoir-faire and skill. Pierre inherited this domaine from his father Lucien, whose name it still carries. Pierre worked together with his brother Louis for years, but a few years ago they parted ways and split up the family holdings. Pierre’s talent has become much more evident as he has had full control over this domaine, and in addition to retaining the original cellars in Gevrey-Chambertin, Pierre has instituted a rigorous revitalizing of the soils and vines in all of his vineyards. Pierre inherited very old vines from his father in the Côtes de Nuits and from his great-grandfather Henri Boillot, who was originally from Volnay, in the Côtes de Beaune.

Many of his vineyards are under-appreciated treasures: Volnay Les Angles, which was originally classified as one of the top premier cru sites in Volnay in the 19th century, Pommard Croix Noires right below Rugiens, Gevrey Cherbaudes right next to Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru and Gevrey Corbeaux right next to MazisChambertin Grand Cru. Every wine is a classic representation of its appellation–from Volnay and Pommard to Gevrey and Nuits-Saint-Georges, as Pierre’s work in the cellars is geared towards transparent, terroir-driven wines of purity and finesse. He is not, however, against a rich, plump, lusciousness in his reds.

This wine is medium to full-bodied, exceptionally complex with aromas of bacon, black cherries, liquorice, pencil lead, raspberry jam, a smokiness and dry toast. On the palate one can find a balanced acidity, integrated oak, modest tannins and cocoa powder, coffee, mushroom, peat moss, plum flavours jam, smoky.

ABV = 13.5%.

£40.25

Domaine Maillard Pere Et Fils Aloxe-Corton 2016 (1x75cl)

Domaine Maillard was founded in 1952 by Daniel Maillard, whose family have been viticulturists in Burgundy since 1766. Domaine Maillard now covers 19 hectares. His two sons, Alain and Pascal ensure the future of the estate and continue to respect the culture of the vineyard.

This Aloxe-Corton is drawn from vines averaging 40 years in age. Grapes are picked by hand to ensure that only the best grapes are used. Fermentation lasts some 12 to 15 days with 1-2 punch-downs per day. It is aged for 18 months in 228-litre French oak barrels (Burgundian pièces), of which some 25% are new. It is then bottled after only a light filtration to preserve the full integrity of the wine.

100% Pinot Noir.

An opulent and ripe, red wine with flavours of strawberry fruit. Wonderfully expressive and powerful in the mouth it finishes with soft silky tannins and an animal richness so typical of Pinot Noir.

Only 4,000 bottles made each year!

ABV = 13.0%.

£32.80

Domaine Maillard Pere Et Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2018 (1x 75cl)

Domaine Maillard was founded in 1952 by Daniel Maillard, whose family have been viticulturists in Burgundy since 1766. Domaine Maillard now covers 19 hectares. His two sons, Alain and Pascal ensure the future of the estate and continue to respect the culture of the vineyard.

After a manual harvest, the best bunches are selected and sorted. Clusters that lack maturity or are damaged are systematically separated and destroyed. This means that only the best clusters are put in vats for vinification. This lasts for 12 to 15 days at controlled temperature with 1 to 2 pigeage per day. When the vinification is finished, the wine is put in vats to rest for a few days.

The wine is then aged in 228-litre barrels (Burgundian pieces) for 12 months. Bottling is carried out after a light filtration. This allows the retention of all its character, perfume and flavour.

100% Pinot Noir.

This wine is ruby in colour with a purple rim. The aromas are of red berries leading to a supple and pleasant flavour. While this is a wine to be enjoyed in its youth, it can be cellared for between 4 and 6 years.

£16.60
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