Another success for this over-delivering cuvée, which this year is made up of Santenay 1er Cru Commes, Beaune 1er Cru Les Cent-Vignes, Monthelie (villages and 1er Cru), Saint-Romain, Hautes-Côtes de Nuits and a little (25%) Estate Bourgogne from Pommard. This cuvée is now being raised in a 50-hectolitre Grenier cask, a vessel so large that it had to be assembled in the cellar. There is no new oak and the grapes for the 2016 were entirely destemmed (although with lots of whole berries). A lovely wine that has way too much class for the level. It’s loaded with raspberry and iodine and spice and has terrific flesh and balance.
Pair with duck breast and cherry sauce or rack of lamb.
Varietal / Blend: Pinot Noir
Closure: Screw cap
Farming Practices: Practising Organics
Benjamin Leroux, the gifted manager/winemaker of Domaine Comte Armand launched his own label with the 2007 vintage. Leroux works with vineyards he manages, vineyards he owns and also buys fruit (never juice or wine) from growers with who he can work closely; growers that produce the quality of fruit to match Leroux’s exacting standards. Half of the vineyards that Leroux works with are currently organic or biodynamic (this percentage is growing) and 100% of the sites are ploughed with no herbicides or pesticides used at all in any of the sites.
Leroux’s knowledge of the Côte is encyclopedic and he has been able to unearth some very interesting, previously hardly known sources for his portfolio. It’s important not to underestimate how close Leroux works these growers as that is one of the keys to his ability to coax the finest fruit quality from the vineyards. It goes without saying that he never buys juice or finished wine, only fruit, and that he nominates the harvest dates and will pick himself if necessary.