Nuits St Georges, Les Cras, 1er Cru, 2008

  Domaine François Lamarche

Nuits St Georges, Les Cras, 1er Cru

Ostensibly Nuits but nowhere near rustic, really good delicious cherry, red berry, currant and blackberry fruit, strong underlying mineral notes, quite chunky but not heavy, wonderfully pure and intense to the long, lifting finish.

Contains Sulphites.

About Domaine François Lamarche

A 10 ha domaine in Vosne whose jewel in the crown is the monopole La Grande Rue, which was elevated to Grand Cru status in 1992. After years of neglect by previous generations François oversaw a steady improvement in quality throughout the 1990s and in the last few years his daughters have helped raise the qualitative bar further still. As of the 2007 vintage the François' daughters have total control of the winemaking. The approach is fairly hands off in the winery and hands on in the vineyard. Grapes are mostly de stemmed, depending on the vintage, and between 50-100% new oak is used. These are Burgundies that display ripe, hightoned fruit and strong terroir complexity.

Appellation: Nuits St-Georges

A town in the northern part of the Côte d'Or that gave its name to the Côte de Nuits. Sitting on the southern edge of the Côte de Nuits, the town is the mini commercial hub of this part of the Côte d'Or, though much less significantly so than the Côte d'Or's capital, Beaune. Many négociants are based here and the town, like Beaune, also runs its own charity auction, the Hospices de Nuits, but on a much smaller scale.

The appellation Nuits-St-Georges lies both sides of the town, incorporating the vineyards of neighbouring Prémeaux-Prissey to the south. Typically Nuits-St-Georges are powerful, mineral, muscular and long-lived wines, however there is a distinct, widely accepted difference between the wines on the south side and those further north adjoinging Vosne-Romanée where the wines are silkier and more elegant, rather like those of its neighbour. There is more clay in the soil of the Prémeaux vineyards, making wines of less finesse and more prominent tannins.

Nuits boasts 27 Premier Cru vineyards but no Grands Crus, perhaps because at the time of the classifications in 1930 the town's leading vigneron, Henri Gouges, who was tasked to help classify the vineyards, was too concerned of being seen to favour vineyards in which he owned parcels. However, if the crown was to go to one Les St-Georges, on the south side of Nuits, would be it. Also particularly fine in the southern Nuits-St-Georges sector are Les Cailles and Les Vaucrains, both adjacent to Les St-Georges, while Aux Murgers and Aux Boudots on the Vosne-Romanée side and Les Argillières, Clos l'Arlot, and Clos de la Maréchale in Prémeaux can make great wine.

Small quantities of very rare white wine are made, too, from the Chardonnay grape, as in the Clos l'Arlot, and also from the Pinot Blanc grape in Gouges' Premier Cru Les Perrières. The town is home to a surprisingly small handful of well-reputed producers, namely Henri Gouges, Robert Chevillon, Domaine de l'Arlot, Patrice Rion, and Chauvenet, whilst there are many growers in neighbouring Vosne-Romanée who make outstanding examples of Nuits St Georges., and in Chambolle-Musigny, Freddy Mugnier is responsible for the great revival in fortunes of the spectacular Clos de la Maréchale vineyard.