Neal Martin, Vinous
About this WINE
Domaine Jean Fournier
An up-and-coming domaine in the hands of Laurent Fournier, who has farmed it organically since 2004 and is currently undergoing certification. He is moving towards 350-litre barrels to avoid the overt taste of new wood while still letting the wine breathe through the staves. Marsannay bottlings include Cuvée St-Urbain, Les Longeroies (red and white), Clos du Roy and les Trios Terres old-vines cuvee, made with most of the stems included. Other vineyards include Gevrey-Chambertin and Fixin Les Petits Crais.
Marsannay is the northern most wine village in the Côte de Nuits in Burgundy. Formerly known only for its rosé wine, Marsannay now has the appellation controlée for all three wine colours, though the white (Chardonnay) is rare. Vineyards now have to compete with the encroaching urban sprawl of Dijon.
- 312 hectares of village Marsannay red and a further 200 ha for Marsannay Rosé (Pinot Noir).
Marsannay is the only village-level appellation which may produce rosé wines, under the description Marsannay Rosé.
- The AOC regulations allow up to 15 per cent total of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris as supplementary grapes in the red wines. For white wines, both Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc are allowed, but the common practice is 100% Chardonnay.
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.