2012 1er Cru Santenots Domaine Nicolas Rossignol
|Sub-district||Côte de Beaune|
Big and sweet and silky. Lots of body, a fleshy richness. 'Animal', spicy, an extra wild touch. Not just fruit - there is so much more going on, nor is it fine and precise - it is rich and round and powerfully long, arguably slightly rustic when compared to a Caillerets, for example, but always with this generous complexity. L&S (Dec 2013)
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(13.4% natural alcohol, cropped at 20 hectoliters per hectare; 100% destemmed): Medium red; less saturated than the Chevret. Very ripe but aromatic on the nose, with plum and chocolate scents lifted by a hint of flowers. Silky and suave for such a ripe, concentrated wine, with red berry, black cherry, spice and earth flavors showing surprising inner-mouth lift. Very densely packed but more accessible today than the Chevret and a bit lighter on its feet. Really echoes on the long, mineral-tinged finish. Drinking range: 2021 - 2033 Rating: 93 Stephen Tanzer, www.vinousmedia.com(Mar 2015)
There is outstanding intensity to the big-bodied and overtly powerful flavors that brim with mouth coating dry extract that also serves to buffer the very firm tannins on the very ripe but not heavy finish. This is a very impressively scaled Santenots that once again I would advise against buying without the express intention of cellaring it for the long-term. 2027+ Rating: 90-93 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com(Apr 2014)
Good dark red. Very ripe aromas of cherry, mocha, chocolate and menthol. At once plush and delicate, with a subtle, high-pitched floral character and a rocky element lifting the raspberry and chocolate flavors. With its sound acidity and inner-mouth perfume, this should gain in complexity with bottle age. Not a particularly huge example of Santenots, which is routinely high in grape sugars. Rossignol owns 2.1 hectares in Santenots; he vinifies the two "extremes" separately and then combines them to make a single wine Rating: 91-93 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar(Jan 2014)
The 2012 Volnay 1er Cru Santenots comes from the lower part of the climat and is totally de-stemmed. It seems to have a higher proportion of red fruit than the Ronceret with a more conspicuous floral component. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy ripe tannins. Again, there is more red, earthy fruit here than Ronceret with a long, tightly wound, laconic finish that will come out of its shell once in bottle Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Jan 2014)
Nicolas is quite happy with Santenots as he getting more and more of the harvest. He will get everything ‘13. He has 3 vats; 2 hectares and will make the three different terroirs he has within Santenots separately. “The soil and rock are not the same as the rest of volnay.” He has one part with more elegance; one sweeter and one for strength. “more gamey; I have no stones as can be found in the milieu part so this is naturally a little more ‘rough’ not the sweetness of the milieu.” It has a rich and sumptuous aroma on the nose. Full and juicy at the front; a large, full-bodied, rounded palate with plenty of volume and generosity. Rather muscular; quite punchy tannins, not quite in the luscious velvet tannins. It has flesh about a more robust dark core. A powerful finish. From 2018/19. Rating: 18 Sarah Marsh MW, The Burgundy Briefing(Dec 2013)
Domaine Nicolas Rossignol
Born in 1974, Nicolas represents the fifth generation of his family in Volnay (a village which seems to be populated almost entirely by families with Rossignol somewhere in the name). He started to make the wines of his 'Rossignol-Jeanniard' family domaine when he was just twenty.
After studies at the Lycée viticole in Beaune, he worked with Joseph Voillot in Volnay, who became a mentor to him, for Louis Latour at their estate in the Ardèche, and for Vieux Télégraphe on Châteauneuf, where he loved the combination of richness and elegance in the wines, which influenced the style of wines he would later want to make himself. He also made wine in Boschendal in South Africa, and for Château la Cardonne in Bordeaux (then managed by the Lafite team).
In 1997, Nico started his own domaine with three hectares of vines inherited from an uncle. After a period in which some of the wines he made were labelled 'Domaine Rossignol-Jeanniard', and some 'Domaine Nicolas Rossignol', he began to buy the fruit from his (Rossignol-Jeanniard) family, and label these simply 'Nicolas Rossignol' (without the 'domaine'). Now the vines (all 16 hectares) are finally in the 'Domaine Nicolas Rossignol', and labelled as such. Phew! To handle this sizeable domaine, Nico needed a new winery. Having started with a chaotic assemblage of tanks in a building in the village of Volnay, he had moved to share Ben Leroux's winery on the Beaune ring road, but Nico had dreams of his own place and built his impressive new winery in 2016. A fantastic bespoke build, admittedly in a ZI (Zone Industrielle) on the outskirts of Beaune, which he recognises is not ideal for the 'folklore' aspect, it is a perfect tool for the job, and does have a good view of all 'his' bit of the Côte - from a sort of eyrie on the roof.
Like many Burgundy domaines, the appellations have proliferated as the surface area of the vineyard has increased with lots of little (and some quite large) parcels of vines in Aloxe ('village'), Savigny ('village' and two Premiers Crus), Beaune (three Premiers Crus), Pernand ('village' and one Premier Cru), Pommard (three 'village' wines and six Premiers Crus) and Volnay ('village' and seven Premiers Crus). With two cuvées of Bourgogne Rouge, this adds up to twenty-eight different wines. Like Burgundy more generally, the joy of tasting here is recognising the individual character of each plot, modulated by the conditions of the vintage, of course, but each with their own distinct personality
The viticulture of the domaine is inspired by biodynamics, but Nico is pragmatic, and although no weedkillers are used and the vineyards are maintained by ploughing, he says that there are both good and bad things in biodynamics, and he will use conventional fungicides to combat disease. At harvest time the grapes are picked into eight kilo boxes, and transported to the winery in them to minimise handling. They are then carefully sorted, before either being de-stemmed (but with the berries left intact) before being put in the fermentation vat, or put in directly as whole bunches. Nico uses varying proportions of whole bunch fermentation depending on the type of wine each vineyard gives, and of course on the health and 'ripeness' of the stems. A classic fermentation using the natural yeats on the grapes ensues, with punchdowns (pigeage) and pumpovers (remontage) used to extract flavour from the grapes, or to oxygenate the wine and refine its structure - the amount used judged by tastings throughout the process. After the vatting the free-run juice is separated from the pressed juice - the latter being blended back as required if necessary after tasting. The wine is put into barrel by gravity (with the amount of new wood between 0 and 50%), and aged for between ten and twenty months depending on the wine and the vintage, always on the lees without racking. The wood and the amount of heat used in making the barrels is also modulated for each wine. The malolactic fermentation is delayed for six months to increase aromatic complexity and structure to the wines. At the end of the ageing the wines are racked and blended in tank, before bottling without fining or filtration.
Nicolas makes deeply-coloured, flavourful wines. He is always keen to rubbish the generalisation that Pommard makes structured 'masculine' wines, as opposed to Volnay's supposed 'feminine' ones, and proves his point with Pommards grown on clay and Volnays like his punchily structured 'Ronceret'. Each wine is very site-specific. Great winemaking here from a domaine that is really hitting its stride after many years of disappointing yields caused by hail and frost.
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