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2011 Reuilly Rouge, Les Pierres Plates, Denis Jamain
Scores and Reviews
Denis Jamain owns 15ha of vineyards in the Loire wine appellation of Reuilly, about 10% of the entire appellation. The vines are planted on gentle slopes of limestone and clay.
The estate applies the principles of la lutte raisonée. Denis works with the three permitted varieties of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
The domaine‘s wines are vinified in a very modern, temperature-controlled winery which is equipped with thermo-regulated stainless steel vats. Each vineyard parcel is vinified separately with full traceability.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
Compared with its neighbour Quincy, the richer clay soils of Reuilly seem to deliver a fuller, weightier Sauvignon Blanc, if without the minerally verve of Sancerre. Domaine Jean-Michel Sorbe is a good address here.