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Richebourg is a king of a wine: the Colonnade of the Louvre, the Château of Versailles. You are impressed by its finesse, its length and its delicate sensations, endlessly changing. The fact that no element dominates the others enables you to appreciate all of its aromas, on the nose and on the palate. Force and subtlety in one wine ?
Richebourg reacts well to new oak, which it can dominate completely. It is therefore regularly matured in new casks of oak from the forests of Tronçais and Bertranges. It is easy to guess its depth and finesse, but this is a wine which is frequently discreet during the first months of its maturing period. To express itself, it needs a little encouragement (aeration, for example).
Richebourg requires very few tricks for it to express itself. There's no need to break up the cap or to control the temperature inopportunely; the vinification follows the general rules of the estate; no more, no less. The most important thing is to have ripe grapes to start with, which is not difficult, given the low yields.
Planted during the 1950s, this 'grand cru' vineyard regularly produces small grapes, perfect examples of 'pinot fin'. It is not particularly precocious and likes to take its time to mature; a characteristic which can also be found in the cask, once the wine has been made! The grapes present a fine balance between sugar and acids, certainly at the origin of this appellation's character.
The estate possesses about three quarters of an acre in 'les Verroilles', plus a tenth of an acre in 'les Richebourg', just below 'Cros Parantoux' (or close to an acre in total). The vines are oriented principally towards the east, and they are characterised by being planted in rows running north-south – a protection during hot years. Generally speaking, the site is fairly cool.
If the estate had intended to stop here, you might have thought that this was a sort of crowning moment. What a harvest and what a vintage! The month of September was radiant up until the harvest, when rain arrived to disrupt the picking. It was essential not to bring in wet grapes and our nerves were severely tested. Apart from this important detail, the grapes were extraordinary in every way: very ripe, of consistent quality and very abundant. The wines were very promising, dark, graceful, delicious..., and have kept their promises! They can easily vie with 1990: they have the same complexity, which will develop even more over time; they have the same charm and what’s more, they’ve never really closed up. The most accessible wines (Nuits, Vosne Chaumes, Nuits Boudots, perhaps Clos de Vougeot) are slowly approaching a certain fullness. And for the others, the future lies before them!