About this WINE
Domaine Christian Serafin
This domaine was originally put on the map by Christian Sérafin’s father, Stanilaus Serafin, a Polish émigré, who settled in Burgundy before the war and espoused 50 per cent whole-bunch fermentation and not too much new oak. He initially worked as a mason, before, in 1947, purchasing some land and establishing himself as a vigneron. His son Christian inherited the domaine in 1988, though he had been making the wine for the previous twenty years.
Christian Serafin has made great advances in recent years and has a keen following in the United States. Like so many of the best producers in Burgundy, the twin peaks of Serafin's philosophy are old vines and low yields. The grapes are fermented at highish temperatures ensuring good depth of colour and fruit. Crucially Christian Serafin's wines are not filtered and recently the levels of new oak have been on the increase, with even the Gevrey village being matured in 50% new oak. These are rich, concentrated, oaky wines which age well.
On Christian’s watch the grapes have been completely destemmed and, except the lowliest cuvées, matured in entirely new wood. Much thought goes into matching a particular tonnelier and forest with the character of a given vineyard. He likes the elegance of Taransaud for some and the power of François Frères for others.
This makes for powerful wines with noticeable tannins, which do however emerge with fruit and terroir intact after a decade or more of bottle age. The key is in the vineyard work with strict pruning and de-budding, followed by a green harvest and deleafing on both sides. Christian Sérafin is now past retirement age, but with a niece in the vineyards and a daughter in the cellar and office, continuity is in place.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
Chambolle produces the most elegant wines in the Côte de Nuits, having more active chalk and less clay in the soil than the other villages. The wines may be a little lighter in colour and less tannic than Gevrey-Chambertin but they have a sublime concentration of fruit. Village Chambolle-Musigny usually provides excellent value.
Le Musigny is one of the top half-dozen vineyards in Burgundy, producing wines of extraordinary intensity and yet with a magical velvety character. Les Amoureuses is immediately appealing, a wonderfully sensual wine which deserves Grand Cru status. Bonnes Mares tends to have a firmer structure and ages very well
- 94 hectares of village Chambolle-Musigny.
- 61 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (24 in all). The finest vineyards include Les Amoureuses, Les Charmes, Les Fuées, Les Baudes and Sentiers.
- 24 hectares of Grand Cru vineyard - Bonnes Mares and Le Musigny.
- Recommended producers: de Vogüé, Mugnier, Roumier, Barthod.
- Recommended restaurant: Le Chambolle
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.