Red, Ready, but will improve

2017 Bourgogne, Hautes Côtes de Nuits, Domaine Lamarche

2017 Bourgogne, Hautes Côtes de Nuits, Domaine Lamarche

Red | Ready, but will improve | Domaine Lamarche | Code:  56216 | 2017 | France > Burgundy > Cote de Nuits > Hautes-Cotes-de Nuits | Pinot Noir | Medium Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

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The Producer

Domaine Lamarche

Domaine Lamarche

Domaine Lamarche produces 15 different wines, including La Grande Rue, a monopole of the estate and one of the rare Grands Crus of Vosne-Romanée. The domaine’s vineyards are principally in Vosne-Romanée, with a single parcel in Nuits-St Georges, as well as vines in the Hautes-Côtes.

The family estate – now run by Nicole and Nathalie – has nearly 28 acres. Its story spans several generations, with ancestors of the Lamarche family established in the village of Vosne-Romanée as far back as 1740. Henri Lamarche founded the estate at the beginning of the 20th century. His son, Henri Lamarche, took over the estate, and inherited La Grande Rue in 1933, the year of his marriage to Aline Demur (La Grande Rue would become a Grand Cru in 1992).

Henri handed the reigns to his son François, who was succeeded by his daughter Nicole and niece Nathalie; Nicole is today in charge of winemaking and Nathalie, the marketing side. Meticulous work in the vineyards, careful barrel selection and a new cuverie (since 2000) have all combined to make this a fine and consistent domaine.

Nicole practises organic viticulture, which she believes makes the vines more resilient. In the winery, she habitually retains around a third whole bunches across the range, with new oak reaching 50% for La Grande Rue.

The Grape

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

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.

The Region

Hautes-Cotes-de Nuits

Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits covers land in 19 communes, stretching from around the hill of Vergy in the north to Magny-lès-Villers, which sits astride the dividing line with the Hautes-Côtes de Beaune.

Arcenant is one of the best wine villages in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, and is also noted for the quality of its fruit-based liqueurs such as the Crème de Cassis (as well as Framboise, Pêche de Vigne, Guignolet and more) from Jean-Baptiste Joannet. The leading wine estates are Olivier Jouan and Aurélien Verdet.

Le Clos du Prieuré is located on a south-facing slope above the village, with a white marl and limestone bedrock with affinity to parts of Corton-Charlemagnee, according to Thibault Liger-Belair – whose plot is planted at 10,000 vines per hectare rather than the usual higher training and wider spacing of the Hautes-Côtes. The other main producer is Aurélien Verdet, as before.

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