Sylvain Loichet- 2014
Exclusively sourced from a one hectare parcel of vines situated at the top of the village of Comblanchien, not far from the quarries of "French Carrara", on a very stony, steep slope. The grapes undergo a week-long cold maceration and then a three week fermentation in conical wooden vats. Maturation in 1-4 year old French oak barrels for 24 months provides the final 'polish'. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration in order to leave its full character intact. Classically restrained bouquet that offers a telling medley of damson, cool autumnal leaf litter, and dark cherry with just a crack of pepper to add an element of spice. Vigour, drive and minerality, alongside its appealing savoury character and finely judged tannins adds up to a 'proper' red Burgundy at a very fair price.
16.5/20 - JancisRobinson.com, 'Baked red fruits, clove spice, grainy tannin, bright acidity, slight violet aromas on the finish. Plenty of vivid, eye-widening (but not watering) acidity.' Richard Hemming MW, October 2017 (2014 vintage)
Domaine Sylvain Loichet is situated in the heart of Burgundy in Chorey-les-Beaune. Since Sylvain took over the reins in 2004, many changes have been implemented, the most significant of which is the conversion to organic viticulture, in order to preserve the terroirs, the ecosystem and the health of the consumer. He strives to produce the healthiest grapes possible in order to limit the work needed during vinification, thus producing pure wines that reflect their true origins.
When he started working at the end of 2004 (after studying at the Beaune wine school and gaining experience in both Bordeaux and California), the family vineyards were fully rented out in tenant farming or sharecropping. He was then just 22 years old. Not only did he decide to take back his own vines to cultivate himself, but he focused on conversion to organic viticulture. He started out with just 3.5 hectares - a surface area that today has increased to 10 hectares through acquisitions or rentals, spread over a dozen appellations. Of these 10 hectares, everything is certified organic or being converted. "Bio [organic] was immediately obvious to me," he says. "It was a personal conviction, for the sake of leaving a clean floor for future generations, not to self-poison with chemicals, to produce clean and healthy wines, striving to achieve the strict reflection of the terroirs that we have the chance to work ". "We are lucky in Burgundy to have a multitude of appellations and very different terroirs, with many small parcels. We must let this mosaic express itself and seek a certain purity in the wine, a digestibility. A fine Pinot Noir like a fine Chardonnay must be delicate enough to make you want to finish the bottle. "To achieve this result, Sylvain Loichet applies a simple recipe: manual harvesting "at maturity, always", grapes handled with care (small crates, work by gravity, never pump), vinification in vats with a minimum of intervention, and precise élevage (12 to 18 months for whites, up to 24 months for Grand Cru reds, 50% maximum of new oak), without forgetting, of course, the benefits of organic viticulture/winemaking.
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