Tasted in Pommard with Catharina Sadde, 24 September 2020
9 rue de Charmot
Instagram.com – Les Horées
2019 was the first personal vintage for Catharina Sadde – I say ‘personal‘ because after arriving as a chef from her native Germany she has worked with a who’s who of interesting domaines in Burgundy, starting with Chevrot in 2014 – “And I decided that if it worked well, I would then I would stay and study.” There also followed work experience at DRC, de Vogüé, Tremblay and d’Angerville and with a commercial perspective, at Becky Wasserman’s Le Serbet.
And the name of the domaine? Catharina explains “Die Horen, originally in German, is the French equivalent of Les Horées – and I slightly preferred the sound and spelling in French – and Les Horées are the festivities, or parties, associated with changing of the seasons.”
With such a tender age, it’s no surprise that Les Horées is described as a Domaine/Négoce but note that there are already 1.3 hectares of vines owned here; 6 cuvées in 2019 plus 2 more in 2020. Not surprisingly, it is much harder to source contracted grapes that are organic or biodynamic; “Yes we own 1.3 hectares, and no question, it’s organic and biodynamic, the treatments dynamised by my own hand, with some of the organic treatments done by a contractor. It was while working with d’Angerville that I really improved my understanding of biodynamics.”
The cuverie in Pommard is rented while the family live in Beaune, and while it’s a nice space in Pommard, Catharina prefers to do all her triage at the vines – so the grapes can go straight into the tanks when we get them to the cuverie. “But we pick all the contracted plots and are responsible for the timing of the püicking too.”
Catharina on her 2019s:
“All the 2019 vineyards had a little frost damage. Not burnt but I could see the reduction of yield. You have to go with it, I don’t want to be overly interventionist. Nothing has been bottled just yet. I’m planning to start in another two weeks, but I’m waiting for the customs to validate the storage location that I have in Beaune. The aligoté and Passetoutgrains have already been racked, though. I knew that as a ‘young producer’ I would have to sell my early vintages relatively quickly but as things develop I’m hoping to have chance to begin extending the elevage a little…”
There will be about 6,000 bottles of the 2019s, more in 2020…
Maybe it’s my age, but I’m no-longer interested in the ‘biggest of this’ or the ‘most impressive of that.’ What I’m looking for is character, interest, plenty of energy too but in a balanced ‘whole’ – let’s call that combination ‘personality.’ That’s exactly what I found when I tasted today. I ordered a mixed case on the spot…
Owned vineyard, in the commune of Volnay in which were a couple of rows of old aligoté vines. Catherina has already made a massale selection from them. One-third with skin contact, one-third pressed directly.
Thats a nicely airy nose, faintly steely too. Full, wide, but still with lovely line (direction) to the flavour. And with impressive intensity too. Ooh, I like this combination of structural and mouth-watering wine – great texture too – bravo!
2019 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Vieux Sage
An early ripening plot – actually picked 18 August in 2020! It could take the label of Bourgogne Côte d’Or. Some whole-bunch used here, sulfured only after the malo.
Lots of colour. A deep nose, faintly menthol. This is texturally excellent, wide, layered and just showing a little oak today – but its tasty oak. I find a high level of acheivement here for a ‘Bourgogne.’ The last drops in the glass showing a beautiful aroma of acid cherry.
2019 Beaune Les Prévolles
I love the textural side to this nose, coupled with roses from the whole clusters. Not the same depth of colour as the Bourgogne, but there is a vibrancy to the flavour here. Slightly more direct and structural versus the Bourgogne. That’s super! “If I had to define my approach with one wine, it would be this one!”
2019 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Les Fichots Rouge
More floral, faintly herbed too – the nose going in the direction of minty – I keep coming back to it with such pleasure. More mineral with an impressive width of flavour at the base. Gorgeously mouth-watering, clearly a wine where you should show a little patience, but with much to look forward to – excellent…
A tiny touch of oak and sweet red fruits – the easiest aromatic so far. In the mouth, this shows more character – open, faintly accented by the tannin but there’s no grain here, delivered with a fine intensity. The oak is modestly ‘present’ but shows less the Bourgogne today. Long. Very satisfying – a wine that gets better and better the longer that you spend time with it. The last drops a hint floral – “It needs a racking,” says Catharina
Gamay from the climat of Montpoulin in the commune of Pommard, 40%, with the pinot coming from the ‘mountain’ of Beaune.
What a lovely depth of aroma; graphite minerality with a faintlöy floral accent. Vibrant – I love the combination of energy and intensity. Top – a great PTG – bravo!