Awarded 95 points and a rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards Rhone Section (see blue link below).
Chateau de Santenay Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2014- 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards
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.
Château de Santenay owns 25 hectares of vineyards in the Côte d'Or. The soils here are free-draining with a mixture of clay and sand, and a subsoil which has a high limestone content. This forces the roots of the vine to dig deep to find the vital nutrients and water they need, which in turn results in a high concentration of flavour within the fruit.
2014 was a demanding vintage, requiring a lot of effort and care, which was eventually rewarded with success. The wines show a real aromatic purity, great balance and are unexpectedly deep in colour.
On 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.
A rich, dark garnet in colour, the 2014 Clos de Vougeot offers powerful and concentrated black fruit aromas with an elegant touch of oak. On the palate, flavours of black cherry and black berry fruits are complimented by a subtle spiciness with a long finish.