Tag Archives: Côte de Nuits

A super-fresh, well-balanced and pure village from Vosne-Romanée

Etienne Grivot heads the estate since 1987 and lately his daughter and son has joined him and they are obviously focused on elegance and devoted to transparently convey the expression of the soil. The wines are made with precision and offers elegance and purity. Since the 1920’s they own several parcels in a vast numbers of crus in Burgundy, e.g. Clos Vougeot, Richebourg and Echezeaux. In addition, a collection of interesting premier crus in the area that is really impressive too. They use no weed-killers and work the soil organically with low controlled yields. After de-stemming, selection and gentle pressing, the grape juice for the village blend undergoes cold soak for six days, extraction (maceration) prolongs for 17 days and is raised in 25% new barriques, lightly toasted with racking max twice.

2011 is a short-cycled and unstable vintage with one month earlier flowering than usual and one that is more approachable than a classic one. It is rich in colour with impressive balance, soft tannins and rich, complex aromatics, but in general, we think, it lacks concentration and backbone. Etienne and his team started harvest on 31th of August to secure fresh acidity. Like 2007 this is a very unusually early harvest, but clearly a much better one. In Etienne’s own words, this vintage “combines the precision of the 2005 and with the sophistication of 2010”.

2011 Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée Village

The colour is beautifully scarlet, translucent red middle with light-orange transparent edges.
After more than two hours of decanting eventually very delicate, complex and vibrantly burnt chalky minerals, distinct exotic herbs, fragrant peon roses and stylish, seductive inner perfume emerges from the glass. A lovely and quite complex nose for a village wine!
The palate offers fresh, pure red fruit, anise, herbs, clove, delicious grape juice and spices. Impressive super-fresh acidity that wraps balsamic oils and ripe, but rather weak tannins with a velvety texture. Typically, slim body with one-directional precision type of wine from the site. However, concentration is low and it certainly lacks backbone and grip. Etienne de-stems as hard as he can, but some ripe stems might have done the trick here.

Altogether a very fresh, well balanced and very pure wine with an impressive and complex nose but as expected from a village wine, the taste lacks complexity, depth and moreover in this case it is low on concentration as well as lacking some grip, but still it is a great effort and a wine to enjoy for its genuine expression that we certainly recommend. Open 2015.


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.


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.