From Our Cellar

Dubreuil-Fontaine Pommard Epenots 1er Cru 2016

2016
Pinot Noir
Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine
$67.00

 

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 a long, rigorous decant. Ten years will offer even greater rewards.

 

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.

 

Christine's view of the vintage

2016, a miracle vintage?, perhaps.  Tiny production but concentrated and fine. Less ripe and probably better balance than 2015. Pernand was hit with frost on April 27th and we lost about 80% of the crop. The vines just stopped growing, not showing life until June. Beginning in July, the weather was super and suddenly the vines looked great - but we had no fruit! -at best, one cluster per vine. The Chardonnay was decimated but the Pinot in Corton and Pommard was lovely and unfazed. Ultimately, we had less than half a typical harvest and only a third for whites. But the quality is excellent. Everything fermented quickly, particularly the Pinot.

 

On your table…

Likely the best Dubreuil-Fontaine wine with steak or another robust beef dish. Serve at cellar temperature.

 

Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru

Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine

Christine Dubreuil is a fifth-generation winemaker and owner of this Domaine located in Pernand-Vergelesses. Her wines are elegant, charming, and delicious - each wonderfully depicting its vineyard.

 

The Domaine makes more than 20 different wines. The 20-hectare estate is sizable, by VDLT standards and generates close to 100,000 bottles per year.

 

Christine is a leader in supporting women winemakers. Her daughter Clémentine, 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.