2018 Beaune, Les Grèves, 1er Cru, Dominique Lafon, Burgundy
About this WINE
Dominique’s decision, in 2008, to start this parallel project – separate from Domaine des Comtes Lafon – was already an interesting proposition. Now, with his daughter Léa and nephew Pierre beginning to take bigger roles at the family domaine, Dominique may have a little more time to spend on these already splendid wines.
Officially, this is a négociant business, but all the fruit comes from vineyards that Dominique either owns or has the contract to farm.
In the winery
The cellars are rented in the old château in Bligny-lès-Beaune but the same team is used to harvest the fruit for these wines and the Comtes Lafon estate. The winemaking is just the same as well, although the élevage is shorter.
The wines of Beaune are usually on the lighter side, especially if from the flatter vineyards on the Pommard side, or the sandier soils towards Savigny. The sturdiest wines with the greatest depth of flavour come from the steeper slopes overlooking the town itself.The Hospices de Beaune charity auction on the third Sunday in November is one of the highlights of the year. The Hospices building, known as l'Hôtel-Dieu, is well worth visiting. Beaune is also home to several of the region’s best known merchants such as Maisons Louis Jadot and Joseph Drouhin.
- 128 hectares of village Beaune and 52 hectares of Côte de Beaune
- 322 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards. The finest vineyards include Les Grèves, Clos des Mouches
- Recommended producers: Germain, Devevey, Domaine des Croix, Jadot, Drouhin, Camille Giroud.
- Recommended restaurants: Ma Cuisine (not least for the wine list), Le Conty
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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Dominique rents this from the same owner as Vignes Franches, and the vines are also 60 years old. Arguably Beaune’s best vineyard, this has an extra layer of dark, meaty richness alongside the usual bright, floral notes. Drink 2024-2031.
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