Bourgogne, Blanc, Les Chataigners, 2016

  Hubert Lamy

Bourgogne, Blanc, Les Chataigners

Neat, clear, well made and with some lively, delicious fruit to it. This does not show the saline character or depth you would expect of his St Aubin’s but there is an very good core of fruit here - stone fruit, sicilian lemon, lime and cox apple notes. Some declassified St Aubin 1er Cru fruit was used in the blend this year. The wine is aged in a mixture of barriques and larger demi muid casks for around 12 months followed by a year in tank. Only one to five year old barrels are used, there is never any new oak employed.

Contains Sulphites.

About Hubert Lamy

The Lamys are a celebrated Burgundian family who have been working in vineyards since 1640. Domaine Hubert Lamy itself was first created in 1973. The course of the domaine’s history began to change in 1995 when Hubert’s son Olivier joined, bringing with him ambition and ideas. Contracts to sell grapes to negociants were terminated, new vineyards were bought and rented, quality soared. Olivier is the vigneron’s vigneron: Passionate, obsessive, even, about his work in the vineyards. He prunes famously short and late, a key factor in saving a large part of his vineyard from the notorious 2016 frost. Other winemaking features he is renowned for are his sparing use of new oak (20% at the most,) favouring of 600l demi-muid barrels over the 225l barriques and a typically early harvest. After a long slow fermentation the wines are aged for a year in barrel followed by a year in tank. Sulphur is added when required as a result of analysis rather than systematically, so doses tend to be low. Lamy has become a benchmark Burgundian domaine, celebrated for the energy, focus and purity of its wines. These are livewire burgundies you won’t forget in a hurry.

Appellation: Bourgogne

Bourgogne or Burgundy is a wide-ranging generic appellation in eastern France that has been planted with the vine at least since Roman times, the earliest archaeological evidence coming from 2nd Century A.D. The region, now spanning up to 28,000 hectares, owes a lot to the work of Cistercian Monks in the 11th and 12th Centuries, particularly in the Côte d'Or, who were responsible for identifying some of the finest vineyard plots still in existence today. The appellation is large, stretching between the cities of Auxerre in the North and Lyon in the south and includes Chablis, the Côte d'Or (from where hail some of the world's finest examples of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), the Chalonnais, Maconnais and Beaujolais. Chardonnay is the main white grape planted, though there is still a fair amount of Aligote to be found if an ever decreasing amount, as well as tiny proportions of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Beurrot. For quality reds Pinot Noir is the dominant grape and the only permitted variety for the "Bourgogne Rouge" appellation controlee, there are plantings of Gamay too, though, which can be blended with a minimum one third Pinot Noir to make "Bourgogne Passetoutgrain." There is also the rarely seen Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, which may include the Pinot Noir, Gamay, César, and Tressot varieties. This appellation also exists for whites, allowing a blend of Chardonnay, Aligoté and Melon de Bourgogne. Being such a big area style can vary enormously: From the steely, minerally white Bourgognes near Chablis to the rounder, more buttery offerings in the Maconnais. Very fine and extremely good value examples of red and white Bourgognes are made by many of the high quality estates in the Côte d'Or, the designated "Bourgogne" vineyards here being on the flatter less well-drained terrain the other side of the RN74 road to the villages and 1er Cru appellations. Some Bourgogne Rosé can also made be made but this is a tiny fraction of the red and white wine production.

Grape Type: Chardonnay

Chardonnay is one of the most widely-grown and versatile of all white grape varieties. As a relatively neutral grape, it offers a near transparent map of winemaking style, climate and terroir. It is the ideal grape variety for Burgundy, where it serves to mirror the complex nuances of the myriad of terroirs found in this hallowed land. Chardonnay produces a variety of wines from the minerally and unoaked styles found in Chablis, the fatter nuttier examples in Meursault, to the tropical fruit-driven versions found in the New World. It is also the major grape variety in Champagne, where it produces lively floral wines, namely in the Côte de Blancs. It can be found throughout Europe and the New World thanks to its versatility. As a non-aromatic variety, it has an affinity with oak, whether new or used, French or American.