Saint-Aubin `En Vesvau`, Château de Santenay, Burgundy, France, 2017

£41

This magnificent property, which dates back to the 9th century, is also known as Château Philippe le Hardi, as it was once owned by the first Duc of Burgundy. Philippe le Hardi is famous as the person who banned the cultivation of Gamay in the Côte d'Or, saying in his edict of 1395 that only Pinot Noir could be used in the production of red wines from the already fabled slopes. Despite its long history, the property had fallen on hard times until it was taken over by the French bank Crédit Agricole in recent years. The winemaking at Château de Santenay is simple and traditional. After crushing in a pneumatic press, the must was settled for 12 hours then fermented in oak barrels. The wine was aged on its lees and spent 12 months in oak, of which 20% was new, before being bottled in October.In 2017, Burgundy enjoyed a return to average yields. Some areas were impacted by spring frosts which reduced yields slightly. Generally the vines’ growth cycle benefitted from an early budburst at the beginning of April, followed by a very warm summer. Ripening progressed at a good pace with the first grapes being harvested across the region two weeks ahead of average.Château de Santenay owns 25 hectares of vineyards in the Côte d'Or, including four hectares in Saint-Aubin 'En Vesvau'. The soils here are free-draining with a mixture of clay and sand, and a subsoil which has a high limestone content. This forces the roots of the vine to dig deep to find the vital nutrients and water they need, which in turn results in a high concentration of flavour within the fruit.

Food pairing ideas : subtle and fine-textured fish or meat such as grilled lobster, crawfish or king prawns in garlic butter sauce, and poultry or veal with white sauce. Dishes with aromatic and crisp textures match with the lively minerality, acidity and supple balance of the wine.

This wine is gold in colour with a very expressive nose. Notes of yellow peach and apricot are supported by vanilla nuances from judicious oak ageing. The elegant palate has good concentration. Ripe fruit, well-balanced oak and minerality highlight the complexity of the wine.

Winemaker: Gérard Fagnoni
Alcohol (ABV): 13 %

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