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A shallow sea withdrew over 100 million years ago leaving a peneplain consisting of a horizontal pile of marine sediment deposited in the Jurassic period. After the erection of the Alpes, several faults were produced, one between Lyon and Dijon gave birth to the Côtes de Nuits and Beaune. The formation of the Côte, with its eastern exposure, brought the Jurassic era's geology up to date.
The Combe de Lavaux would eventually form an impressive alluvial cone extending from the vineyard to the plain. On one side of this valley the Côte des Grands Crus may be found, extending almost all the way to Morey, with its nine esteemed wines. The soil is a brown calcareous soil.
Chambertin is the greatest of these 9 Grands Crus. The vineyard is situated on a subsoil of marl, covered by a thin surface of scree and the finest silt. Brown chalky soil developed over these deposits. Our parcel, located at the highest part of the vineyard, is much whiter and very marly. This type of soil slows down the vegetative cycle and imparts this gem of a wine with an exquisite and rare balance.
Burgundy Report: Arguably the of the decade producing consistently high quality wines the breadth of the Côte de Nuits. 1988 is a more complete version of 1985. This time the wealth of sumptuous fruit was matched by a firmness of structure gave us first class wines.
Prices rose at the Hospices sale by 35%, albeit after two quiet years, and growers also increased their prices though not by as much. Tasted later in 2000, the wines seemed still very much on the young side. Those at village level were singing, the premier and grands crus still tight.
Red Burgundy 1988 - The Weather
For once Burgundy escaped the pitfalls of frost, hail and rot. Spring 1988 was warm and gentle without a disastrous cold snap, leading to good flowering conditions in June, followed by hot, dry weather throughout most of July and August.
September was mostly fine and dry; some growers began harvesting in the 3rd week of the month but those who waited until the end of September were amply rewarded and produced the best wines.
In youth the wines were deeply coloured and well structured with very prominent tannins. Over the years they have become more integrated and harmonious, with the best wines now combining a very good balance of ripe fruit, crisp acidity and svelte tannins. They are drinking well now, although many of the top wines still have not reached their peak.