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VOLNAY

2018 1er Cru Santenots Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

Grapes Pinot Noir
Colour Red
Origin France, Burgundy
District Côte d'Or
Sub-district Côte de Beaune
Village Volnay
Classification 1er Cru
Vineyard Santenots

All de-stemmed. The vines grow on the gently sloping face of Santenots du Bas where the soils are red and iron rich. There is weight on the palate. Silky and dense, the wine has a voluptuous feel which is kept in check by impressive structure and freshness. The red and dark fruit is joined by hints of game and forest floor. Powerful and elegant - there is a high toned finish which is long. Really quite serious and for long ageing. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035 L&S (Nov 2019)

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Or, check the RELATED PRODUCTS below for different vintages or wines of a similar style.


(from Santenots Dessous). Liqueur-like aromas are composed of red currant, black cherry, spice, earth and a whiff of the sauvage. The exceptionally rich and overtly powerful larger-scaled flavors possess excellent density, all wrapped in a muscular, firm and serious finish that makes clear that extended patience is absolutely necessary, indeed I wouldn’t touch a bottle for at least a decade. Drinking range: 2035 - Rating: 91-94 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com(Apr 2020)

Cask sample. Much more reserved than the Chevret – rather intriguing nose. Real structure and tension. I’m getting the merest hint of that mousy note again. Does he use minimal SO2? But this is exciting red burgundy by any measure. Drinking range: 2027 - 2045 Rating: 17.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2020)

Santenots du Bas. Destemmed. Big calacareous rocks. Red soils with ferric oxide. 2.1 ha (5.2 acres) en métayage. He makes four cuves to be more precise during extraction but blends them all in barrel. Deep crimson. Deep, ripe and intense on the nose, big rich dark-red fruit but also has a nice stony quality on top, a fine layer. Lots of tension in the mouth, fresh, taut and sinewy and just a touch of animal on the finish. Mouth-watering and so much freshness in this big but sinewy wine. Muscular but toned. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035 Rating: 17 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Dec 2019)

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. 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' bits 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 supposedly '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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