Beaune Grèves, 1er Cru, 2016

  Genot Boulanger

Well exposed and well drained, an early ripening plot that sits above L’Enfant Jesus. Ripe, round, plum and berry fruits with background asian spice notes supported by a finely-etched, gripping tannic framework. A mid slope, south east facing parcel planted on sandy clay and limestone soils spread over one hectare, a part planted in the 60s, the remainder in the 80s.

Contains Sulphites.

About Genot Boulanger

It is not every day we come across a 22ha domaine in Burgundy we have never encountered before that are producing wines of outstanding quality. So we were taken aback during our visit to Genot-Boulanger in Spring 2018, a tasting which proved startling for its consistent brilliance for both white and red wines. The Domaine began its history as the life-long dream of two Parisian pharmacists, Charles-Henri Génot and his wife Marie Boulanger, that was realised when they moved to Meursault and purchased vineyards in Mercurey in 1974. They began to gradually build up the Domaine with further acquisitions in the Côte d'Or including Meursault, Volnay and Chassagne. In 1995 the Domaine expanded again into the Côte de Nuits, Corton and Aloxe-Corton Clos du Chapitre. By 1998 Francois Delaby had inherited 22 prime hectares of vineyard area in Burgundy. He was joined by daughter Aude and son in law Guillaume Lavollée who, in turn, took over the running of the Domaine in 2008, becoming the fourth family generation of the estate's history. Aude and Guillaume were clear on their mission from the off - to produce wines that express the complexity and finesse of their great Burgundian terroirs - recognising the quality of the vineyard to be the most important factor to get right. So they began their tenure by concentrating on viticulture and the health of the soil, starting conversion to organic farming - a process that ended with full certification in 2018. Winemaking follows a non-interventionist approach. For reds whole bunches are included during fermentation to a small degree when appropriate, or equally berries are completely de-stalked depending on the vintage. Fermentations are with indigenous yeasts and extractions are gentle. The wines are aged with 20% new oak barrels for 12 months followed by 6 months ageing in tank. The whites undergo the same process, the only difference being no sulphur is added to them until after malolactic fermentation. Rather like Aude and Guillaume themselves the wines are precise, composed and elegant. These are beautiful, noble burgundies that effortlessly give plenty of pleasure and can be considered among the Côte's greats.

Appellation: Beaune

The commercial hub of Burgundian wine giving its name to the Côte de Beaune section of the Côte d’Or, Beaune was originally founded as a Roman camp by Julius Caesar, later becoming the seat of the Dukes of Burgundy in the fourteenth century. It is the Côte d’Or's third largest commune after Gevrey-Chambertin and Meursault. Its band of premiers crus, of which there are 44, stretches from Pommard in the south to the boundary with Savigny in the north. The soils are complex and varied and therefore so are the resulting styles of wine, however it is true to say that in general its Pinot Noir vineyards are usually some of the first to ripen in the Côte de Beaune, at least outside of the vinyeards on the Corton hill, and produce rich, ripe sturdy wines that may lack the finesse of the Volnays or Chambolle's of this world but compensate for this by showing a great deal of guts and character.

Grape Type: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is the classic grape of red burgundy, whose greatest wines are concentrated in the east and south-east-facing clay/limestone hills of Burgundy's Côte d'Or. A notoriously temperamental variety, Pinot Noir has proved difficult to grow in certain climates and soils and will not tolerate over-cropping. The best examples have wonderfully expressive aromas and thrillingly pure bitter sweet red forest fruit and cherry flavours, developing truffle and game overtones with age. Outside of Burgundy, Pinot Noir has had great success in New Zealand, California’s Carneros, Oregon and the more marginal, cooler districts in Australia. Along with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir is also one of the major components of Champagne.