2019 Bourgogne Rouge, Domaine Castagnier
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.
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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The lion’s share of this cuvée hails from Gevrey, but there’s also a barrel of declassified village-level Morey otherwise too small to make on its own. A small proportion of the blend was aged in new oak. This is invariably a serious example of Bourgogne Rouge, with black as well as red fruit, and the structure to age. Drink 2020-2027.
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