Tasted in Santenay with William Waterkeyn and Megan McClune, 07 November 2017.
10 Rue de la Gare
Tel: +33 3 80 20 60 03
The renaissance of Santenay wine began a little over 25 years ago, and if you can point the finger at anyone, then it was the domaine of Denis Clair that kicked it off. Before that you could find occasional great Santenays, but only from producers outside of Santenay – the Pousse d’Or wines of Gérard Potel in Volnay is, perhaps, the greatest example of that. But it was Denis Clair (the domaine today called Françoise et Denis Clair) who was the first to convince Michel Bettane that it was worth his time to visit a producer in Santenay.
You really had to wait for the Muzard brothers for the next good address to visit – who I’d say for a little more than a dozen years now have been making great wine. But today they are not alone; now you have a number of great addresses, first and foremost, perhaps that of Anne-Marie & Jean-Marc Vincent, but you also have David Moreau and Antone Olivier. Today I’d add the name of Jessiaume to that, still modest, but growing list.
William on 2017:
A lovely vintage, we’re really happy. We have no questions about the quality of the grapes and the volume wasn’t exceptional here – 30-35 hectolitres per hectare. The weather was pretty much perfect, just a hint of frost in our whites in Auxey, but there was none in the pinots. We suffered a late attack of mildew in this vintage, bit nothing catastrophic.
William on 2016:
I’m really happy with what we did, considering the pressure from the rain and the maladies that we had in the first half of the vintage. But the vintage found itself in the second half of the year producing, to my opinion, better things than we had in 2015. Of-course it wasn’t the easiest first vintage to start in Bio and in the end we felt that we had to resort to a single synthetic treatment during flowering.
The whole range here in 2016 is on a very high level – the domaine have produced wines with a reasonable amount of backbone that indicates a year or two of patience will be required for most of the cuvées – but patience that will be rewarded – as the depth and quality of the flavours are on a high level – well-done!
2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
All the fruit from within the Côte de Beaune, a large part of which is bought – some from the commune of Volnay and Côtes Couchios.
A round and very attractive, forward cherry nose. Supple, layered, this is excellent. A nice bright lump of finishing flavour too – delicious…
2016 Santenay, Clos du Clos Genet
‘Definitely a clos within the clos,’ the vines almost in the village.
A little reduction, slightly stubborn aromas but with a nice weight. Plenty of intensity here, the reduction more modest on the palate – a little salty tannin and a good width. Young, structured, but with a tasty fruit, almost a suggestion of flowers in the finish.
Ooh, that’s a lovely fruit, almost too conserve in style but so clean at the same time. Bright, very modest tannin – very fine – juicy mouth-watering finish. Fresh. super wine. Bravo – I don’t often say that about Comme!
2016 Santenay 1er Gravieres
A little deeper colour – a deeper nose too, almost black cherry in style. Wider, fresher, a slight astringence, but really a bubblingly fine mouth-watering fruit that says ‘wait!’ Good wine but more patience required. Really a saline, almost a spice in the finish.
2016 Auxey-Duresses 1er Les Ecussaux
The domaine has a mix of 1er and villages – some white too. The villages is the lower section of the vineyard., but this vintage it was frosted 90% – only the 1er cru this year.
Ooh – that has some very attractive aromatic depth – but not just that, there’s a pretty floral top note too – it’s super inviting. A little gas and such a sleek wine too, but the astringence is on a very low-level and the mouth-watering fruit is absolutely delicious. This is a super wine for modest patience – a year or two. Lovely!
Near Brouillards plus a little négoce as the volume was so low.
Ooh – lovely, pure inviting almost candied fruit. Cool on the palate with very fine tannin. Slowly lingering with some salinity . Lovely, but like most here to wait for.
2016 Volnay 1er Brouillards
Deeper colour. More depth, facilitated by a little reduction – maybe a hint of whole cluster too – there’s almost 30% in here. Lots of gas. Wait and there’s delicious dark, pure almost crystalline fruit, wrapped with a little fine-grained tannin – accented with astringence but really a little beauty – to wait for – that’s the style here – but all good!
2016 Beaune 1er Cent Vignes
About 25% of a normal vintage.
Good depth of colour – and likewise the aromas too – again with dark fruit. Lots of volume here – really filling the mouth. The house style of very fine, moderately astringent fruit – but it’s also juicy, delicious fruit. Again to wait for but with plenty to wait for…
2016 Bourgogne blanc
A parcel in Santenay plus other wines purchased to increase the volume.
A deep nose with higher, almost pineapple, notes and just a touch of reduction. Good volume a little structure here, if the edges were finer I would guess a much higher appellation, but this is very good, tasty wine. Yum even with a touch of tannin in the finish!
2016 Santenay 1er Gravières Blanc
From two parcels, one lower, one higher. Normally there is auxey blanc too, but not this year.
Deeper, rounder a little oak in the framing of the aromas. Really this is much more linear and mineral than the nose suggests – not much oak to be seen here. This is super and very tasty wine too. Well done!