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2012 Bourgogne, Irancy, Domaine la Croix Montjoie
The estate has ten acres of vineyards overlooking the basilica and the foothills of the Morvan. Chardonnay is grown here, with an ideal location of a south/south-east facing hillside and stony clay and limestone rich soil. The grapes are cultivated to make the most of the naturally occurring seasons, including the harsh winters and cool summer nights.
Pinot Black Irancy is also grown, slightly further north of Vezelay.The vineyards and building management are family run, with the help of close friends, and all are involved in the ongoing development of the business.
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.
Crémant de Bourgogne is the appellation used to describe the sparkling wines produced in Burgundy, which can be either white or rosé but not red, as these are known as Bourgogne Mousseux. It is made using the same ‘Méthode Traditionelle’ that is used to create the more famous Champagne, however due to the lack of the Champagne brand, Crémant de Bourgogne wines are much cheaper than their A-list cousins, resulting in wines that are comparable in quality to Champagne but far easier on the bank balance. Crémant de Bourgogne wines fall under 4 categories inside the AOC itself, which are as follows:
Le crémant de Bourgogne blanc – this consists of at least 30% Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.
Le crémant de Bourgogne blanc de blancs – this is made from just Chardonnay and is generally described as a very light and lively wine.
Le crémant de Bourgogne blanc de noirs – this is made predominantly from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or both together, and tends to be a little richer and with a bit more body.
Le crémant de Bourgogne rosé – the rosé wine is made almost entirely from Pinot Noir, occasionally with auxiliary Gamay.
The acidic grape variety Aligoté is often used to increase the effervescence of the wine to give it a little more sparkle. Crémant de Bourgogne production takes place chiefly in the regions of Auxerre and the Côte Chalonnaise.