2019 Domaine Rougeot Bourgogne Passetoutgrain ‘Les Verchères’ Sans Sulfite Ajouté

$38

70% Gamay + 30% Pinot Noir

Both grapes are sourced from “Les Vercheres” harvested at the same time and co-fermented to produce this Passetoutgrain. The vines range from 40 to 70-year-old (planted in 1950s and 1980s) and grown on clay-limestone soils. Hand-harvested and vinified 100& whole cluster with natural yeast and no sulfur during vinification or elevage. Fermentation occurs in concrete tanks with 15-18 days maceration and 1-2 pump overs per day. Aging in oak barrels for 12 months on the fine lees.

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Gamay

The main variety planted, almost exclusively, in Beaujolais, France. Fruity, floral and uncomplicated this light-bodied red is a sure pleaser for the masses. Notably higher acid, low tannin, and aromatic, Gamay is a good pair with just about any manner or style of dishes. Drinkable young, affordable, and delicious, what’s not to like?

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. 

In the center of Meursault village, 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 by 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.

 

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