From Our Cellar

Armelle et Bernard Rion Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Chaumes 2016

Pinot Noir
Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion

More Wines from Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion

Our tasting impressions

An absolute stunner of a young Vosne!  The nose is similar to the Nuits - no surprise given their close proximity - but more complex and on a wider spectrum.  This is suave, velvety and plush middle-weight with primary and beautiful fruit.  It offers terrific depth and width and a touch of sweetness.  More refined than one expects from Chaumes.  In this vintage it seems more Vosne than Nuits.  It will be a pleasure to track the changes in it for at least a couple of decades.


About this wine

Les Chaumes is lower on the slope than most Vosne 1er Cru vineyards and the soil features more clay.  The result is supple wines an emphasis on body.  This vineyard exemplifies the unique composition of Burgundy ownership.  Six and a half hectares of land are owned by 30 or more people.

100% Pinot Noir from an east facing plot of .46 ha planted 85 years ago.  It is just below La Tache, perhaps the most prized Burgundy Grand Cru vineyard.

Full berries are pressed, and after vinification, aged in 60% new oak barrels for 15 months.


About the grape

Pinot Noir is an ancient grape from eastern France. Notoriously challenging, it thrives in cooler climates.  The concept of terroir is most closely identified with Burgundy because the lightness of Pinot Noir enables it to so transparently express minor differences (which is why experienced tasters can discern the difference in wines produced from vineyards in very close proximity).  Intense popularity resulted in plantings all over the world but most agree that its finest expression is in the Côte d’Or of Burgundy.


The Rions' view of the vintage

Spring 2016 was wet & wild with unexpected cold fronts and heavy frosts at the end of April. Summer was pleasant and dry so while yields were extremely low, quality was high, though with significant variance among vineyards. The harvest began on September 24.



On your table

Duck confit would be lovely alongside this Chaumes, which has enough heft to balance the fat of the duck and the dish is simple enough to allow the wine to shine. Give it plenty of air and serve at cellar temperature.


Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru

Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion

A true family affair, Armelle, Bernard and their daughters, Nelly, Melissa and Alice and her husband Louis, manage 7.5 hectares of vines producing 35,000 bottles of 14 wines across 8 appellations, including some of the most coveted ground in the Côte de Nuits. Five generations of this Rion family have been making wine since the late 19th century.

The Rions farm their mostly old-vine plots lutte-raisonnée (mostly natural and non-interventionist but within reason based on what nature dictates). Everything is done by hand, they destem completely, ferment 2-weeks in concrete tanks and age in a mix of old and new oak barrels.

Their wines are remarkably elegant and finessed while remaining true to the terroir of the different vineyards. While they do not display overt power, they do not want for structure and fortitude and are certainly age-worthy. They are heavenly with the truffles they forage with their 3 dogs.