Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru, 2017

  Genot Boulanger

Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru

The only 2017 at the estate to be fermented with whole bunches (30%). That typically Clos de Vougeot brooding quality but with a great deal
more snap and definition than expected. This manages to be an incredibly precise Clos de Vougeot without sacrificing richness, stature or depth. Pure, clear flavours of loganberry, raspberry and Victoria plum with a gentle earthiness grounding the lively fruit. A parcel planted in 1986, that comprises a 150 metre long parcel of vines that pass over a range of soil types, more clay in the lower part and rockier limestone in the higher part. Aged in 20% new oak.

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: Clos de Vougeot

One of the most famous and largest Grands Crus in burgundy the walled Clos de Vougeot was created by Cistercian monks between the 12th and early 14th centuries. The monks cleared, planted and amalgamated vineyard plots as and when they acquired them, eventually completing the final 50 ha walled vineyard by 1336. The Cistercians maintained ownership until the French Revolution, when all clerical estates were dispossessed. Clos de Vougeot was sold on to Julien-Jules Ouvrard in 1818, the year before he bought Romanée-Conti, and remained in single ownership until 1889. Since then ownership has fragmented so that today there are over 80 proprietors. The sheer size of the vineyard area means quality can be variable, particularly considering the bottom part of the vineyard reaches right down to the low-lying route national. However at its best Clos de Vougeot fully deserves its Grand Cru status, a wine different to any of the other Grands Crus, a broad, mouthfilling dense example of red burgundy that almost verges on the heavy but the greatest examples have a defintion,balance and finesse to add to this overwhelming power.

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.