2017 Domaine Rougeot Volnay-Santenots Premier Cru

$125

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Volnay “Les Santenots” is technically located in the village of Meursault, though vignerons discovered long ago that there is a larger demand for Volnay than Meursault Rouge, and wisely arranged to label reds from their northernmost vineyards as Volnay. Hand-harvested and the grapes are sorted in the vineyard on the vine. When the grapes arrive at the winery they all go on the sorting table to refine the sorting. The grapes are then brought gently into the stainless steel vat with 90% of whole cluster for alcoholic fermentation. There is 1 or 2 cap punching during the vatting period and the extraction of the tannins, colors and flavors happens within the three weeks of the vatting period and some pumping overs. After the wine is pumped into oak barrels (35% new oak barrels used), the wine undergoes an 18-month maturation before bottling.

Organic Farming Practices. 

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Domaine Rougeot
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Domaine Rougeot | Burgundy, France

In the center of Meursault village, in Burgundy, Pierre-Henri Rougeot has been quietly producing impeccable minimal intervention, low-sulfur wines since he returned to the family domaine in 2010. The 18th century stone cellar was originally built for the Hospices de Beaune to press the fruit from the adjacent orchards, and was purchased Pierre-Henri’s great-great-grandfather in the 19th century. Today the orchards have been transformed into an elegant garden and stamp-sized monopole vineyard, and the cellar has been renovated to comfortably hold two vintages from Rougeot’s 13 hectares of vines in and around Meursault.

Pierre-Henri’s experience travelling throughout France gives him a unique vision that hews strongly to Burgundian tradition with a soft touch inspired by the vins natures made by his friends in Saumur, Cahors, and beyond. Today, the Rougeot vineyards are farmed organically, and Pierre-Henri’s no sulfur vinification effortlessly balances a natural wine approach with traditional Burgundian technique to create wines with energy and balance. Each terroir from Aligoté and Passetoutgrain through Premier Crus is bottled as a single-vineyard designate. The wines are energetic, precise, and delicious. It’s simply astounding that the domaine has maintained a quiet profile while producing such compelling wines. It will be even more astounding if that continues.

Pinot Noir

This elusive and delicate light-bodied grape is a winegrowers dream, but can be difficult to achieve. Stubborn, yet flirtatious, Pinot Noir is tantalizing creating a beautiful dance between the grape and the winemaker. The resulting light red wine can be nothing short of spectacular. Loved for its red fruit and spicy characteristics, its also a great food partner.

Look for notable regions including Burgundy, France, Central Coast or Sonoma in CA, Willamette Valley in Oregon, and Pfalz or Baden in Germany as well as many other regions around the world in New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and Argentina.

Burgundy, France

Burgundy, AKA “Bourgogne,” is a small, historical region in east-central France that covers a wide area with ranging climates. The large number of producers and appellations within Burgundy can make the region seem complicated even to a seasoned wine pro, but fear not – the region need only be as complicated as you want it to be. At it’s essence, Burgundy can be quite simple. This is the home for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and these wines are second-to-none around the world with an influence that is huge in the world of vino. Burgundy winemakers were the pioneers for premium Chardonnay production and continue to provide a benchmark of excellence in viticulture and winemaking for all of their varieties. 

A vineyard’s location is extremely important here. The location will determine their quality level within the Burgundy appellation hierarchy. The highest-quality vineyards will generally have a south or east facing exposure providing the most access to sunlight and offering protection from westerly winds. These wines may be listed as premier cru or grand cru on the bottle label. Soils in Burgundy can vary depending on the area, but you’ll find many of them are rich in limestone. Pinot Noir is grown throughout the entire region and accounts for a third of the total vineyard area. Although a wide range of winemaking techniques are used varying by producer, a classic “Burgundian” Pinot Noir has red fruit flavors in youth that evolve into earth, game, and mushroom as the wine matures. These wines, as well as Chardonnay, can age for many years if stored properly. Other grape varieties include the red grape Gamay, famous to the Beaujolais region, and the white grape Aligoté. 

There are many smaller appellations within Burgundy, just like Bordeaux and other regions in France. These appellations include Chablis, the Côte d’Or, the Côte Chalonnaise, and Mâconnais. Each of these areas house many respected and highly-regarded villages and vineyards. 

 

 

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