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2010 Nuits-St Georges, Les Lavières, Domaine J. Chauvenet
Jean Chauvenet's wines are described by many as some of the most elegant and stylish in the whole Nuits- St Georges area. While Jean concentrated on extending holdings and domaine bottling Premier Cru, his son-in-law, Christophe Drag, a relative newcomer to the family firm, has been tending the vins de terroir.
Educated at Lycée Viticole in Beaune and the University of Dijon, Christophe Drag has brought a modern and energetic touch to this family firm. He distinguishes between the north and south Premiers Crus, deeming those of the north to be more delicate and those of the south the more structured. His village holdings in Nuits-St.Georges and Vosne-Romanée are also held in high esteem with les Vaucrains standing out.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
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.
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