Unlike Location with respect to real estate, many (including me) argue that the first rule of Burgundy is Producer, Producer, Producer. With so many farming in the same vineyards, knowing and respecting the producer is the most important consideration.
Having said that, geography is a significant aspect of the region. Click here and go to the bottom of the page to zoom in on the map above, which shows a good bit of the Côte de Nuits and the location of Domaine Rion's vineyards. The easternmost portion on the map is Nuits-Saint Georges. Moving a bit west, you see a dotted line jutting out the top. That is the dividing line between Nuits and Vosne Romanée. Just to the left, you can see the Rion plot in Les Damodes. It is a rather large vineyard of about 8.5 hectares farmed by many different folks. The Rions own just .42 ha of it.
The top of the slope of the vineyard (about half its area) is classified as village wine. The soil is slightly different from the 1er Cru plots and the drainage is so effective that the vines don't need to work as hard and thus produce grapes with less complexity. The horizontal white line dividing the village section above from the 1er Cru below is a road the farmers use to access their vines. The vineyard actually extends into Vosne, where the spelling changes to Les Damaudes. Here the classification is entirely village.
Being in close proximity to Vosne, it is no surprise that Rion's Damodes displays many similar characteristics. To my taste, it offers the refinement and seductiveness of Vosne with the earthiness and structure of Nuits.
While Chief's glass may have been empty waiting for this wine when he had his steak this past weekend, your's need not be much longer. NEWS FLASH: The ship with Rion's 3 wines - Damodes, Vosne Juliette and Bourgogne - along with 18 other wonderful wines, has arrived in NY and our 500 cases are being prepared for delivery to our warehouse. Some of these already are on our website, but we will be rolling out some other gems (perhaps even more from Rion) in the next few weeks.