Allen Meadows - burghound.com - Jan 2015
About this WINE
Domaine Georges Roumier
The domaine was founded in 1924 by Georges Roumier, who began domaine bottling in 1945. He was succeeded in 1957 by his son Jean-Marie and now grandson Christophe, who joined his father in 1982 and took over completely in 1992. Most of the wines are rented (en fermage) from family members although Ruchottes Chambertin is held on a share cropping deal with an external proprietor, Michel Bonnefond. The wines are seductively fruity in their youth yet with excellent ageing potential.
The grapes are sorted in the vineyard, with a table de tri at the winery since 2003. They are mostly destemmed, albeit depending on vineyard and vintage, with a few more stems being used recently – then placed in wooden fermenters. The juice is given a cool soak at 15° then allowed to start naturally. The juice is punched down twice a day and temperature controlled so as not to exceed 32°C.
There is no great reliance on new wood in the maturation cellar, with 15-25% being used for village wines, 25-40% for premiers crus and no more than 50% for Bonnes Mares. In recent years Christophe has been searching for, and achieving, a greater sense of precision in his wines.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
Bourgogne Rouge is the term used to apply to red wines from Burgundy that fall under the generic Bourgogne AOC, which can be produced by over 350 individual villages across the region. As with Bourgogne Blanc and Bourgogne Rosé, this is a very general appellation and thus is hard to pinpoint any specific characteristics of the wine as a whole, due to the huge variety of wines produced.
Around 4,600 acres of land across Burgundy are used to produce Bourgogne Rouge, which is around twice as much as is dedicated towards the production of generic whites.
Pinot Noir is the primary grape used in Bourgogne Rouge production, although Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and in Yonne, César grapes are all also permitted to make up the rest of the wine. These wines tend to be focused and acidic, with the fruit less cloying than in some New World wines also made from Pinot Noir, and they develop more floral notes as they age.
Although an entry-level wine, some Bourgogne Rouges can be exquisite depending on the area and producer, and yet at a very affordable price.
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.