About this wine
100% Pinot Noir from vines averaging 35 years old in Grands and Petits Epenots. While many believe that fruit from Grands Epenots is superior, Christine finds no qualitative difference and blends them randomly.
The grapes are harvested by hand, sorted and de-stemmed. The 17-day fermentation is in stainless steel vats with punching down occurring twice a day. The wine spends 20 months in oak barrels, 30% of which are new. Annual production is 3,500 bottles. Bill Nanson of the Burgundy Report calls it his favorite wine from this estate.
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.
About the Vintage (Domaine perspective)
2016, a miracle vintage perhaps. Generally, tiny production but concentrated and fine. Less ripe and probably better balance than 2015. Here are comments from Christine Dubreuil, “Frost 27 April. Directly we could see ‘That’s not good.’ In the commune of Pernand we were particularly touched – 70-80% losses. The vines just stopped growing – it was June before the vines were green again… but from July the weather was really super and the vines looked great – but there was no fruit. We could be happy if we found one cluster per vine. The whites of Pernand was the lowest spot but we had the chance that the red Corton was lovely and not touched – Pommard Epenots too. In the end it’s less than half a harvest here – we lost roughly two-thirds of the whites, but at least the quality is super. The reds fermented faster than the whites, but nothing took long.”
Our tasting impressions
A big, shouldered and brawny glass of Pinot. Some consider Pommard rustic - particularly as compared to Volnay - but there is a regal refinement to this wine. Of course, it’s tannic in its youth but with enough balance to open it soon with long, rigorous decant. Ten years will offer even greater rewards.
On your table…
Likely the best Dubreuil-Fontaine wine with steak or another robust beef dish. Serve at cellar temperature.
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Christine Dubreuil is a fifth-generation winemaker and owner of this Domaine located in Pernand-Vergelesses. The wines are elegant, charming, and delicious - each wonderfully depicting its vineyard.
The Domaine offers 28 wines from 22 different appellations. The 20-hectare estate is sizable, by VDLT standards and generates close to 100,000 bottles per year.
Christine is a recognized leader in supporting women winemakers. Her daughter Clementine, who is training with mom, appears to be following in her footsteps.
Chief has known Christine and her family for many years. They have spent many wonderful evenings enjoying great food and splendid older vintages from the Dubreuil-Fontaine cellar.