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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.
1997 VINTAGE in Burgundy
The exciting Burgundy vintage in 1997 is regarded as having produced some of the most charming wines in living memory. The whites are notable for their richness and balance. Full, elegant and well bred, they are for great short to medium term drinking pleasure. The reds have fine intense colour, with well-ripened berry fruits on the nose, and smooth, fleshy flavours in the mouth. They are already very agreeable to drink and, their personality will develop further as they age
At the beginning of the viticultural year the weather was fair, very bright and dry. Bud burst for the Chardonnay took place on the first April and for the Pinot Noir the 10th April. Following this, we had an unbroken stretch of fine weather until flowering, as a result we were twelve days in advance compared to the average year.
The period between the 15th June and the 10th July was not good, cloudy, cold and wet until the 7th July and then stormy between the 7th and the 20th July.
The beginning of veraison (when the grapes begin to change colour) occurred on the 4th August and was completed on the 20th, 4-5 days in advance. There then followed a long, unusual period of dry weather. By the 27th August, we had had only 50% of the usual rainfall, the heat was intense throughout a thirty day period. Despite this there was no sign that the sustained period of hot, dry weather had any adverse effect on the vine and its fruit.
The harvest was particularly rapid, taking less than 10 days and was not once interrupted by rain. The weather conditions during the harvest were exceptionally good, it was hot, sunny and dry. As a result we were very pleased with the ripeness of the fruit in both the Reds and the Whites. In addition, the fruit harvested was very healthy with virtually no trace of rot in the Pinot Noir. The other interesting effect of these weather conditions was that the sun and wind concentrated the grape juice without reducing the acidity. We harvested the top Cru red wines at between 12.5° and 13°. In general, we had a medium sized crop for the red wines which are of a very high quality which will create some tension at the grower level, considering the international demand.
As for the whites, to begin with they were slow to ripen, but again we benefited from the good weather conditions during the harvest period, picking the top white Crus at between 13° and 13.5° and in terms of quantity it was a good crop. We are pleased with the quality too, which we believe will be very good, with less acidity than the '95's and '96's, they will be powerful and pleasant.