2014 Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru, Domaine Castagnier, Burgundy
About this WINE
Jérôme Castagnier is fifth generation, though passage through the female line and sons-in-law has changed the family name: the originator Jules Séguin was succeeded by Albert Rameau then Gilbert Vadey, a military man, who developed the business, working closely with Alexis Lichine. Guy Castagnier, born in Algeria, married Mademoiselle Vadey and began working at the domaine in 1975. Since 2004 the wines have been bottled as Domaine Castagnier. Jérome, the sole son, did not originally intend to join the family business, becoming instead a professional trumpeter, in the Republican Guard. In 2004 he left Paris and the army and came back to Morey-St Denis.
Morey is sometimes ignored between its two famous neighbours, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin, but its wines are of equal class, combining elegance and structure. Morey-St Denis, being that little bit less famous, can often provide excellent value.
The four main Grand Cru vineyards continue in a line from those of Gevrey-Chambertin, with Clos St Denis and Clos de la Roche the most widely available. Clos des Lambrays (almost) and Clos de Tart (entirely) are monopolies of the domains which bear the same names.
Domaine Dujac and Domaine Ponsot also make rare white wines in Morey-St Denis.
- 64 hectares of village Morey-St Denis
- 33 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (20 in all). Best vineyards include Les Charmes, Les Millandes, Clos de la Bussière, Les Monts Luisants
- 40 hectares of Grand Cru vineyard. Clos de Tart, Clos des Lambrays, Clos de la Roche, Clos St Denis and a tiny part of Bonnes Mares
- Recommended Producers: Dujac, Ponsot, Clos de Tart, Domaine des Lambrays
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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Deepish purple in colour, this is really fabulously classy with great density and a lifted magical finish. Some blood orange notes lurk in the fruit. Altogether this is a red-blooded wine – really terrific. The finish is awesome: the whole range is really fine this year.
Our jovial friend Jérôme Castagnier has excelled himself this year. The promise we picked up on last year has really been delivered in 2014. He says that the wines have lovely flesh but also a beautiful freshness, and notes some similarities to 2010. His generic Burgundies (available on www.bbr.com/burgundy2014) are also excellent.
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