Domaine Blain-Gagnard Volnay Les Pitures Premier Cru Pinot Noir France Cote de Beaune 2018
Regular price Sale price $89.99
1er Cru Red barrel
Score: 89-92 Burghound
Tasted: Apr 10, 2020
Note: from Chanlins
Producer note: The shy and modest Jean-Marc Blain was optimistic about the results of the 2018 vintage while noting that "we picked from the 30th of August to the 4th of September. We probably could have started in Volnay and Pommard a day or two earlier as they had the benefit of a rainstorm several days before that harvest that we didn't receive in Chassagne, so the vines were more shut down with consequent implications for ripeness levels. Either way, you really had to be precise with your picking sequences as the rise in maturity levels at the end of the cycle was absolutely stupefying in terms of the increase in sugars. This is to say that you could have as much as half a degree each day! One huge advantage in terms of picking speed was that the fruit was so clean that it required essentially zero sorting. The exception was our parcel of Caillerets where some of the young vine fruit wasn't completely ripe at only 10.5% plus some of it was wilted so those berries were thrown out. However, the fruit that we kept from Caillerets gave us excellent results. [The Caillerets will be reviewed in Issue 79.] Yields were good without being really high at around 40 hl/ha in pinot and between 45 and 60 hl/ha in chardonnay. We chaptalized nothing as everything came in between 12.5 and 13.6%. We chose to do a very soft vinification for the reds during a total cuvaison of 16 to 18 days. As to the wines, they are surprisingly fresh and vibrant and in both colors. Given how warm and dry the growing season was, I am really quite happy with the results." (Craft + Estate/Winebow, www.thewinebowgroup.com, VA USA; Majestic Wine Warehouse, www.majestic.co.uk, Laytons, www.laytons.co.uk, John Armit Wines, www.armit.co.uk and Haynes, Domaine Direct, www.domainedirect.co.uk, Hanson & Clark, www.hhandc.co.uk, all UK).
Tasting note: Here the expressive nose is a bit riper with its mix of liqueur-like and spicy red cherry scents. The succulent yet quite serious broad-shouldered flavors flash event muscle on the robust, sappy and impressively long finish. This won't win any awards for refinement but there's plenty of aging potential for the patient.