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The wine-growing village of Flagey-Échezeaux lies in the " Plain ", so-called, between Vougeot and Vosne-Romanée in the Côte de Nuits. Facing east, the Grands-Échezeaux vines are a prolongation of Musigny following the North-South axis of the Côte, but more regular and less broken in their layout. At the bottom end, the " Climat " known as La Combe d'Orveau separates them from Musigny. The Échezeaux vineyards, for their part, divide the Clos de Vougeot from the Premier Cru vines of Vosne-Romanée.
Grands-Échezeaux and Échezeaux both date their Grands Crus AOCs from July 31, 1937. Like the Clos de Vougeot (from which they are separated only by a wall), they were founded by the monks of the abbey of Cîteaux and date from the 12th and 13th centuries. Their name derives from chesaux, a word of Gallo-Roman origin meaning a group of dwellings, presumably referring to an ancient hamlet.
Belonging geologically to the Jurassic (175 million years BC), the GrandsÉchezeaux vineyards are fairly homogeneous and lie close to the upper part of the Clos de Vougeot. Gradient: 3-4%. Soil: clay-limestone overlying Bajocien limestone. Altitudes: 250 metres. The Échezeaux Climats have more diverse soils (largely bajocien marls with pebbly overlay). Altitudes vary from 230 to a little over 300 metres (13% gradient at mid-slope). Up-slope, the soil is deep (70-80 cm). Gravels, red alluvium, yellowish marl, etc., make up quite a complex mosaic.
Red: its colour is ruby, shading towards the darker tones of magenta and purple. Its bouquet is redolent of animal, spice notes, underbrush, and prune, evolving with age towards musk, leather, fur and mushroom. When young, its aromas suggest rose, violet and fresh cherry. On the palate, there is a heightened attack and an agreeable balance between supple tannins and fully-rounded flavour. The dense texture and tight grain of these wines fully open after 4-5 years in the cellar.
Wines so powerful and full demand to be matched with dishes of the same calibre. Virile, four-sided tannins cry out for roast lamb, rib steak, or joints of game. Autumn and winter dishes in the right setting match the profound and meaty personality of these great wines : braised beef or pork, for example, or any other good red meat. Fine, whole-milk, soft-centred cheeses will also do them proud.
Serving temperature : 15 to 16 °C.
"We tend to count too much on science, when, before, people gave importance to natural things. One thing is certain, the ancients were not dumb, and if they established a tradition it was because of their experience. They tried to eliminate unfavorable elements and preserve what worked best." -Henri Jayer
When a vintage like 1996 passes and 13 moon chages take place in the year many growers expect difficult moments to come.
Eventhoug the spring was marvellous and the very arly springbut was not affected by any frost.and due to the high tepertures the flowering rarely ever seen before (only one generation !)
The arrival of the summer ...warm and dry in June, cooler but still dry in July and August. A perfect weather with short periods of rainfall each time followed by intense suneshine untill the harvest helped the grapes to finish maturation (Wonderfull natural degrees from 12° to 13°9).
The weather during the harvest was relatively cold, cloudy but dry allowing the growers to harvest each parcel at the best moment of maturity.
The cold nights stabalised the level of acidity in the grapes and most important protected the grapes from rot.
Our first impressions on the Red wines are very promessing with deep colours and good and intense aromas
For the White wines we detect the sugar/acidity balance of a “ Great ” vintage. Despite of the relatively high yields the wines show power and complexity remembering of the 1990 vintage (equal yields).
One very distinctif sign of a very promessing vintage is the smile in the faces of the growers.