2017 Bourgogne Rouge, Le Chapitre, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Jean Fournier, Burgundy
About this WINE
Domaine Jean Fournier
Laurent Fournier has achieved a lot since taking charge of the domaine established by his father, Jean, in the 1960s.
In 2011, he was voted the Côte de Nuits’ young vigneron of the year; he has since dedicated much of his considerable energy campaigning to establish Premiers Crus in Marsannay, which is home to a number of his single-vineyard reds.
The domaine is currently undergoing reconversion to organic certification. Laurent ploughs his vineyards by horse.
Bourgogne Blanc is the appellation used to refer to generic white wines from Burgundy, a wide term which allows 384 separate villages to produce a white wine with the label ‘Bourgogne.’ As a result of this variety, Bourgogne Blanc is very hard to characterise with a single notable style, however the wines are usually dominated by the presence of Chardonnay, which is just about the only common factor between them. That being said, Chardonnay itself varies based on the environmental factors, so every bottle of Bourgogne Blanc will vary in some way from the next! Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are also permitted for use in Bourgogne Blanc under the regulations of the appellation.
As Bourgogne Blanc is very much an entry-level white wine for most regions in Burgundy, prices are usually very reasonable, and due to the terroir and climate of Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc wines tend to have a strong acidity to them, combined with a vibrant and often fruity palate when compared with other whites from the New World, say, allowing fantastic matchmaking with many different kinds of food.
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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This site can count itself very unlucky not to be classified as Marsannay, a quirk of the process when the appellation was created, one which hopefully will be rectified soon. It’s a mix of 1940-planted vines with some young, but very high-quality young vines. Floral and spicy on the nose, the wine is rich, concentrated and pure on the palate with chalky limestone minerality. Outstanding. Drink 2020-2026.
The scars of the 2016 vintage appear to have healed, although with Laurent’s positive attitude that was never in doubt. Having had to compromise his organic status last year to fight the mildew which followed the frost, he has begun organic certification again. Since 2016 Laurent has made a conscious effort to “have faith in the grapes”, and extract less from them, allowing the terroir to speak clearly. The results are exciting, the wines showing more grace, elegance and purity. It is clear that this is one of the success stories of the vintage.
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