White, Ready, but will keep

2011 St Romain Blanc, Sous le Château, Domaine Sébastien Magnien

2011 St Romain Blanc, Sous le Château, Domaine Sébastien Magnien

White | Ready, but will keep | Sebastien Magnien | Code:  16238 | 2011 | France > Burgundy > Cote de Beaune > St Romain | Chardonnay | Medium Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol

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The Producer

Sebastien Magnien

Sebastien Magnien

No relation to the Côte de Nuits Magniens, young Sébastien comes instead from Meloisey in the Hautes Cotes de Beaune – a village whose wines were as well thought of as those of Volnay in the 14th century, and were served at the coronation of King Philip II Augustus in 1180.

However to be in the thick of things Sébastien has transferred headquarters to revamped cellars in the middle of Meursault. White wines come from the Hautes Côtes, St Romain and Meursault, the red wines from Volnay, Pommard and the Hautes Côtes including an excellent Clos des Perrières from Meloisey.

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

The Grape

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

The Region

St Romain

St Romain

Until 1947 St Romain was part of the Hautes Côtes de Beaune, the vineyards being set back from the main Côte and mostly at higher elevation (around 300 to 400 metres above sea-level). But there is enough class in the mineral white wines (which make up two-thirds of production), and charm in the lightish reds in a warm year that the village is worthy of its own appellation, covering just 98 hectares. The best wines offer remarkable value.
Recommended producer: Alain Gras

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