Tasted in Irancy with Benoît Cantin, 11 June, 2014.
Domaine Benoît Cantin
35 chemin des Fossés
Tel. +33 3 86 42 21 96
This 14 hectare domaine is not ‘bio’ but Benoît describes his approach as “As natural as possible, respecting not just the terroir, but the season too. We, of-course, work the soil.” That goes for in the cuverie too – Benoît collects rainwater which is treated before being used for in-house operations “it’s much better than mains water” he says.
It is a hand-harvest here, the triage being done at the vines. The grapes are destemmed, and contain as much as 10% cesar in their section of Palotte. Fermentation is in open-top vessels – some wood, some stainless-steel and all temperature controlled.
There are four Irancy cuvées here; a Palotte, a Grands Côtes, a ‘straight’ Irancy and an Irancy cuvée based on barrel selections. All these have barrel elevage, and the oak comes from a family owned (by Benoît’s grandfather) forest in Bertanges, only 30km away – parts of the recent expansion of the cuverie also showcase oak from the forest.
The assemblage is in stainless-steel before bottling.
Fresh, pretty red fruit – less dark than most. There’s a super ebullience in the mouth – lovely energy and transparency. It’s quite long too. Fresh and yum!
A selection from tasting the barrels – the mix changes every year.
The nose has a faint herbaceous note but with roundness and depth too – it’s rather nice, despite a bit of oak support. Round, with good concentration for a 2011 and a fine extra dimension of flavour in the mid-palate and into the finish. For the vintage, this is excellent.
2006 Irancy Palotte
This is starting to show a little sous-bois to add to the sweet, dark fruit at the core. Good texture with plenty of tannin, still. This is still a baby, with a lovely, classic dark flavour. Lovely stuff!
2008 Irancy Palotte
Here the nose is rounder, with a hint of both oak and reduction (maybe just reduction!). Round, less structured than the 2006 but still with plenty of heft. Faintly salty and lovely flavour. Easier to drink today than the 2006 – very tasty wine.