A completely different beast to the Clou des Chenes. Darker fruit, more profound and muscular, this needs more time in bottle to be at its best but has a track record over the years of ageing extremely well; a 2002 opened in Burgundy in November 2014 was testament to this cuvées' ageing potential. Layered velvety flavours of dark forest berries, hedgerow fruit, herb and spice with a floral touch of violet and rose. Complex and impressive.
As much as it is a much over-used cliché, there is no doubt that Eric is a real character and very much a ‘hands-on’ man. Every year, after negotiating the tight squeeze through the gates of the splendid Château de Monthélie, we drive up to the front door confronted by a grinning, short-clad Eric de Suremain. He wears shorts come hell or high water, hail, wind or rain. You only have to observe his soil-encrusted hands to realise that he spends his entire life in the vineyard. Wine is definitely his passion. One suspects that Monthélie is rather unfairly known (if at all) as simply “that village next door to Meursault”. However, Eric’s wines are certainly putting such ignorance to shame. The bio-dynamic viticultural methods set in place since 1996, some of the Côte d’Or’s lowest yields (often on a par with Domaine Leroy), rigorous grape selection and a minimal intervention winemaking policy conspire to produce some of the purest, finest and most complex Burgundy available. The wines are aged in a mixture of large old wooden foudres and smaller used oak futs.
A mainly red wine-producing commune in the Côte de Beaune neighbouring Meursault, Volnay and Auxey Duresses. At its best, from arch exponents such as Eric de Suremain and Lafon, Monthelie is a characterful, medium to full bodied red Burgundy not dissimilar to a Volnay without perhaps the same depth or complexity. The best wines can give great pleasure and represent some of the best value for money red wine in the Côte d'Or.