The master in Malconsorts, Burgundy

Sylvain Cathiard has been a rising star in Burgundy for some years now and he appears to be applying a lot of the quality principles set up by the legendary Henri Jayer like 100% de-stemming, no use of weed-killers/chemicals in the vineyard and hard pruning for low controlled yields for out most quality. In addition, Sylvain and his son Sébastien employs cold soaking (another one of Jayer’s methods) with daily rémontage in order to enhance colour and aromas without extracting tannins. He is also known for having a very hands-off approach in the cellar and being very skillful with a significantly high level of new oak that amazingly only emphasizes and conveys the unique terroir in a very good way.

After gentle crushing of the grapes, a seven-day long cold soaking, 16-22 days of maceration depending on vintage and alcoholic fermentation, the grape juice is moved into barrels for the malo on its lees and sediments. Then it is aged in the same barrel for 18 months. Even though their grand cru Romanée-Saint-Vivant is great, the estates pride is their Aux Malconsorts and not only does it border the famous La Tâche, it cost much less and Cathiard’s wine from this famous premier cru is considered the best by several critics including Allen Meadows and Clive Coates.

“There is no one hotter in Burgundy these days than Sylvain Cathiard.” — Allen Meadows, BURGHOUND
“a touch of genius in the winemaking” — Clive Coates MW

2006 was a troublesome cool year that has proven to be better than first anticipated. In general it lacks a little concentration and structure. Moreover, the fruit may be unripe, patchy as well as the tannins. However, in Vosne-Romanée you can find good wines and this was also a wine-maker’s year.

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Cathiard, Aux Malconsorts 2006

The colour is purple red with pink and transparent edges.

The nose starts off with Vosne spices, preserved raspberries, orange-peel, some cherry notes and fine tuned complex minerals. After a few hours, there are some high notes of lovely, quite seductive red flowers, violets and delicate stylish perfumes emerging.

On the palate there is a lot of complex, quite deep layers of fresh, cool and exceptionally pure red fruit and in the foreground. A vast variety of red current, wild strawberries, rowan berries and lingonberries. In the back ground there are some anise and clove, but it is dominated by loads of delicate minerals and orange-peel. Even though, as much as scarily 100% new oak is used to produce this wine it is skillfully integrated and the territorial aromas slips through. The vintage and 100% de-stemming does not render enough tannins, so oak tannins are really needed here. A very (as always) round, smooth and fantastically well balanced wine.

Purity, elegance and balance are the obvious key words for the overall impression of this great wine. As always we are impressed with the vast and complex nose and the purity in Cathiard’s wines. It is a feather-light wine and our only remarks are that this vintage lacks some structure and some grip.

94p/100

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