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The Story

Christophe makes the wine as naturally as possible, vines are hand-tended, the wine undergoes a controlled fermentation with maceration before and after, and the wines rest sur lie in barriques for as long as possible, usually 16 to 18 months. The long slow ageing enables these wines to be bottled without filtration. 15-25% new oak is used for the village appellations whilst 40-50% is used for the 1ers and Grand Crus. The result is intense, noble red Burgundy.


Here, Morey-Saint-Denis and Chambolle-Musigny demonstrate the ability of the Côte de Nuits to blend two distinct temperaments into a single personality. The Bonnes-Mares vineyards have been known by this name since the late Middle Ages although the etymology still remains uncertain. The origin might be the verb " marer " meaning " to cultivate carefully ", although many like to think the name alludes to ancient mother-goddesses. This explanation, however, is certainly less probable. Its Grand Cru status was recognised on 8th December , 1936. The Bonnes-Mares appellation lies just south of the Clos de Tart, the neighbouring Grand Cru, forming a rectangle between the hollowed hillsides of Morey and Chambolle. More of it lies in the territory of Chambolle-Musigny than that of Morey-Saint-Denis. Its exposition is easterly and its altitude averages between 250 and 280 metres.

The sub-soil consists of limestone pavement and white marl and underlies clay-flint soils some 40 cm in depth on a gently sloping site. The soil is quite light and gravelly, and is brown or reddish in colour. Its origins date back to the Jurassic period, some 150 million years ago. 


A successful blend of impressive build and meaty texture means this wine is a worthy equal to game, which responds well to its huge aromatic intensity and, in the maturer vintages, its musky notes. Preferably the game should be roasted, but the wine will also take on stews without fuss as well as fine wine-based sauces. Duck (even laquered Pekin-style Duck) is similarly enhanced because the virile tannins in the wine give structure to the aromatic and delicately-textured flesh. It also goes well with strong-flavoured cheeses.
Serving temperature : 14 to 16 °C.



Vintage 1994

1994 VINTAGE in Burgundy

Not at all bad. A useful vintage for early to mid-term drinking. An unprecedented change in the weather at the beginning of September with a very wet first week, meant that the harvest was difficult. The quality of the reds was uneven and at Maison Latour, to maintain our standards of high quality, Grand Crus and Premier Crus wines were declassified and blended into their respective village appellations. The wines are perfumed and charming with soft tannins that have a correct balance between acidity and alcohol. They offer quality drinking and are developing well. The quality of the whites is much higher in general, as the Chardonnay is more resistant to unfavourable weather conditions. The wines are stylish with good balance between acidity, body and fruit. The overall quality is good, with a few wines of exceptional quality amongst the Grands Crus.

By the end of August Burgundy was preparing for a vintage worthy to rival some of the greatest years- It had been an exceptionally warm summer. However an unprecedented change in the weather on the 31st of August followed by the coldest and wettest first two weeks of September in over twenty years (8 degrees below seasonal norm) meant that plans and hopes had to be revised.

A mild Spring led to an early 'bud burst (10th April) although vegetation growth was then temporarily halted by a cooler end to April. May temperatures were average and considerable work was undertaken in the vineyards to halt diseases such as mildew, oidium and grey rot, the first signs of which were evident due to the wet conditions. Spraying and good weather in June prevented serious damage. A slightly delayed flowering (between 10th and 20th of June) was followed by fine weather and high temperatures (30 °C. - 33 °C.) only broken by occasional rainstorms refreshing the vines and aiding the "veraison" which had slowed during the dry spell, fortunately, the potentially devastating effect of hail were largely avoided apart from some localized damage in the Côte de Beaune on the 18th of July. 

The hopes of a great vintage were dashed as 3Omm of rain fell on the 31st of August and another lOO mm between the 7th and the 18th of September bringing forward the "ban des vendanges" to the 16th and 21st of September for Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits respectively. 

In summary, some of the 1994 whites will be excellent. Even at this early stage they are perfumed and charming, the lack of maceration in the making of white wine making the rot irrelevant. The reds, particularly the Premier and Grand Crus are already showing considerable elegance and finesse. 



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Written Notes

Chaptalised from 12 to 13%. Rain. Elastic and versatile even if not desperately concentrated. Twangs back to base on the finish but pretty damned good for the vintage. Just a bit tough and dry on the end. They left this wine on the lees for ages to try to combat dilution.

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Beaune, Burgundy

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