Red, Ready, but will improve

2005 Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Saint Juliens Maison Champy

2005 Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Saint Juliens Maison Champy

Red | Ready, but will improve | Maison Champy | Code: 901263 | 2005 | Pinot Noir | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

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The Producer

Maison Champy

Maison Champy

Champy lays claim to being the oldest négociant house in Burgundy, having been founded by Maitre Tonnelier Edmé Champy in 1720. The business finally foundered in the late 20th century, Jadot buying the vineyards in 1989 while Henri and Pierre Meurgey took over the business and the buildings the following year.

Over the past 20 years some vineyard holdings have been purchased or rented; the total is currently 17 hectares and all are in the process of biodynamic certification. The wines are made on the road out to Pommard before returning to central Beaune for maturation. Winemaking has been in the capable hands of Dmitri Bazas since 1999.

The whites are whole-bunch pressed and the lees are stirred once a week (in leaner vintages like 2004 and 2007, or once a fortnight in richer years such as 2005 and 2006). Wood from the Allier and Vosges forests are preferred for white wines. Red-wine fermentation begins with a cool pre-maceration and finishes with a few days at 32ºC/ºF before the wines go to barrel, with Allier and Tronçais for reds.

Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.

The Grape

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

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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