2017 Bourgogne Cote d'Or, Pinot Noir, Domaine Coche-Bizouard, Burgundy
About this WINE
Domaine Fabien Coche
Fabien Coche is a fourth-generation vigneron who took over from his father, Alain, in 2005. From the ’20 vintage the name of the domaine changed from Coche-Bizouard to Fabien Coche. The Coche family is well known in Burgundy: Raphaël Coche-Dury is a cousin, and the two domaines were one until they split in 1949.
Fabien’s shunning of the limelight and understated winemaking have kept him relatively under the radar. A pragmatic and forward-thinking winemaker, he moved in 2007 from the cramped family cellars in Meursault to a more practical, purpose-built premises outside the village.
He uses more and more large-format oak (foudres and 500- to 600-litre barrels) to minimise oxidation in the face of warmer, riper vintages. After several years of trials, he now uses Diam “Origine” corks (made with beeswax) across the range to ensure consistent ageing. He farms organically, not for any commercial motivation but out of respect for the health of those working in the vineyard.
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.
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