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2010 Vosne-Romanee, Les Malconsorts 1er, Clos Frantin, Domaine Albert Bichet
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The company was established in Beaune in 1831 by Bernard Bichot, grandfather of the first of a line of Albert Bichots. The current managing director is Alberic Bichot (born 1964) who has revitalised the business which is now based around a series of domaines: Long-Depaquit in Chablis, Clos Frantin for the Côte de Nuits, du Pavillon for the Côte de Beaune and Domaine d’Adélie for Mercurey. Wines with one or other of these denominations will be from their own vineyards, while wines just bearing the name Albert Bichot will be from purchased grapes.
The company has separate vinification centres in Chablis, Pommard, Nuits-St-Georges and Beaune itself. Lupé-Cholet is an associated marque. Christophe Chavel has been looking after the vineyards since 2000, ensuring that they are all ploughed and no fertilisers are used. Alain Serveau, originally from a domaine in Morey-St-Denis, is technical director. Fermentation takes place in wooden vats of varying sizes depending on the specific plot of vines in question, using natural yeasts. Maturation is in oak barrels without too much new wood: 20 to 30 per cent for village wines, from 50 to 100 per cent for grands crus.
Bichot is now a serious player with some excellent red wines which avoid showing too much of a house style, and some fine whites.
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.
The wines of Savigny are often as good as those of Beaune itself, a local motto describing them as ‘Théologiques, Nourissants et Morbifuges’. They are usually good to drink at three to five years old. A small amount of white wine is also made.
- 239 hectares of village Savigny-lès-Beaune.
- 144 hectares of premier cru vineyards (22 in all). Best vineyards include Les Lavières, La Dominode, Les Vergelesses
- Recommended Producers: Bize, Pavelot
- Recommended Restaurant : Le Vieux Moulin (at Bouilland, beyond Savigny. * Michelin)