This is a very special wine from a very special person. We've know Róisín for many years and have been wowed by her focus and vision in running this amazing project, and the quality of her wines.
The village of Beaune is at the heart of the historic region of Burgundy and specifically the Cotes d'Or; it is also the capital of the Cotes de Beaune subzone. Its vineyards sit in an amphitheatre-like semi-circle around the outskirts of the town facing east and south in varying degrees. Apart from being spectacularly beautiful, the vineyards grow exceptionally fine grapes (almost all of them being red). This set of terroirs and variety of exposure gives wines such as this, that are velvet-smooth, ripe, soft and round, without ever losing interest or tension. This Beaune is made from grapes that come from only one vineyard, which is rare and normally the preserve of 1er and Grand Cru wines.
This wine is made with 30% whole bunch fermentation, to add floral characters and increases the perception of brightness and fruit flavours. It is aged for two years in a combination of concrete tanks and three and four year old wooden barrels.
Broadly speaking, Róisín gives her wines a very light fining and filtration in order to preserve the natural character of the grapes terroir as much as possible. Indeed, some of her wines are left completely unfiltered. For the winemaking itself, she uses concrete tanks or small vats for fermentation, but seldom made with new oak. In the vineyard at harvest, and in the winery, too, she does a massive amount of sorting of the grapes (called triage in the vineyard) which has sometimes reduced her potential output up to 50%, such is her determination for the best quality. The standards that she achieves has allowed her access to some of the best coopers and she now uses a mix of different barrel suppliers, buying more each of the last six harvests in which her wines have been made.
The grape suppliers for Róisín's wines are mostly all farming organically and in the case of this wine, the vineyard is in bio-dynamic conversion. The wine-making philosophy is very definitely hands-off and low-intervention, allowing for terroir and variety to shine. Regular trips to the region and long-term relationships with the growers allow for total control of the process, which again gives such scintillating quality. Certainly the reaction from the growers themselves is immensely positive and this has to be the highest form of praise one could wish to attain.
Róisín is not only a winemaker and micro-negotiant (which means that she buys the grapes rather than owning the vineyards), she is a full-time pharmacist in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, and she is a Master of Wine.
Her enthusiasm for wine led to her turning a hobby into this incredible alternate life with, via lengthy studies that led her to work in Chateau Latour (yes, the Chateau Latour), Chateau Grillet in the Rhone, Geisenheim in the Rhein and Montpelier. A forensic characteristic is certainly the thing that comes to mind, yet not at the expense of being a jolly good person.
Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Style: Soft, Pure, Profound, Medium Bodied, Iconic, Elegant, Complex, Bright, Balanced
Best food matches: Venison, Veal, Trout, Steak, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Game, Fine Dining, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles, Beef