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Sylvain Cathiard’s grandfather, a foundling from Savoie, came to Burgundy and found work with Domaine de la Romanée Conti (DRC) and Lamarche, subsequently buying a few parcels of vineyards for himself. His son André Cathiard began to bottle some of the crop. In due course Sylvain began work with his father but then separated to start his own small domaine, until on his father’s retirement in 1995, Sylvain could take back the family vineyards on a renting agreement. He has now been joined by his son Sébastien, and a spacious new cellar is currently under construction. The Cathiards have 5.5 hectares of vineyards in Vosne-Romanée, Nuits-St-Georges and Chambolle-Musigny, including tiny holdings in Clos de Vougeot and Romanée-St-Vivant. A recent addition (from 2006) to the range is the Nuits-St-Georges Aux Thorey. This is not a complicated domaine: the vines are looked after meticulously with the fruit being sorted on a table de tri and destalked. After fermentation the wines go into barrel, with 50 per cent new oak for the village wines and 100 per cent for premier cru and above. Most of the barrels come from one cooper, Rémond, albeit with the wood sourced from different forests. The wines in their youth have an exceptional energy and purity of fruit. Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
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Bottle 6 x 75cl
Sébastien Cathiard began his second vintage in charge on 22nd September. He has made approximately the same volume of wine in 2012 as 2011, except in the Nuits-St Georges vineyards, but, alas, 2013 will be even less. There are no significant changes to his father’s style, except some progress towards organic viticulture. Sébastien currently uses 2/3 new wood for village wines and 100% for most Premiers Crus. The grapes are entirely de-stemmed before vinification. Note how many cuvées have the benefit of old vines. but fabulous quality.
Bottle 6 x 75cl
Bottle 12 x 75cl
2010 is the first vintage to be made in the new cuvrie at this domaine, but it will be the last that is vinified by Sylvain Cathiard himself, he is handing over responsibility to his son Sbastien in 2011. The harvest began on 25th September with volumes just a little down compared to previous years, but as ever, Sylvain and his son have produced a most seductive range of wines.
Sylvain considers 2013 to be a very classic Burgundy vintage, with good acidity similar to 2010. This delivers very good terroir definition and the classification levels are well marked out. Pure and precise wines, but unfortunately volumes are a further 20% below 2012 because of bad flowering and the need to sort the grapes. Contrary to many Sébastien favoured a bit more extraction, with longer maceration both before and after fermentation, and a bit more punching down during. Very interesting results as you will see. He has also cut back on the new oak.