As I am writing this article, I am thinking that I have to stop by my local wine shop, The Fine Wine Source, because we are getting low on basics, which I know that you may find surprising. My Bride is a creature of habit and when she finds a wine that she loves, and that won’t break the bank, she is always checking to see how much we have in reserve. I mean, can you find a worse errand in the universe, than stopping at a wine shop?
Domaine Julien Cruchandeau Hautes-Cotes de Nuits “Les Cabottes” 2019 was a wine that I recently tasted. The estate was established in 2003 and currently comprises nine wine appellations from the Burgundy region. The vigneron Julien Cruchandeau is not from a winemaking family. He began first with Bouzeron and built his domaine in the Hautes Cotes de Nuits and is working towards sustainable viticulture. The Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits appellation was created in 1961 for the high slopes above the famous mid slopes of the eight communal and twenty-three Grand Cru appellations of the Cote de Nuits. The majority of the wines with this designation is red. This wine is pure Pinot Noir on basically clay and limestone, and all the harvesting of the fruit is done by hand from twenty-year-old vines. The grapes undergo cold maceration for ten days and then about fifteen months of aging on the lees in oak, with twenty percent new. The pretty burgundy wine had notes of red fruit. On the palate the wine had the red fruit, fine tannins with a trace of rhubarb in the mix, and a nice medium finish of terroir.
We were enjoying Vignobles Verzier Cave de Chante-Perdrix La Madone Syrah Saint-Joseph 2015. Saint-Joseph is the largest appellation in the Rhone Valley and encompasses both red and white wines. It was designated in 1956 and originally had six parishes, and in 1969 the boundaries were extended to twenty-six communes and along thirty miles of the Rhone. The Verzier family has owned the farm estate since 1828, and of the current family Philippe at the age of nineteen took over the estate and even planted some terraced vines overlooking the Rhone and next to the Madone statue. In 1988 he stopped sending his harvest to the cooperative and created his own wines in his converted cellar. Now some of the vines in the Madone vineyard are around fifty-years-old. The family plot called Chante-Perdrix, a singing partridge, is where they grow the Viognier. The fruit is hand-harvested, destemmed for maceration in either concrete or Stainless Steel. The fermentation takes between eighteen and twenty-eight days using natural yeast. For La Madone they use a mix of medium and heavy toasting of the barrels for longer aging. The wine had a nice deep color with floral notes, leather, smoke and pepper. The flavor was deep with black fruits, earthy and savory with a medium count finish and definitely Old World in taste.