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Domaine de Villaine, Pinot Noir, Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy, France 2021

Domaine de Villaine, Pinot Noir, Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy, France 2021

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Produced exclusively in the 2021 vintage due to low yields, this Bourgogne is made from the terroirs of Bourgogne C么te Chalonnaise La Fortune and La Digoine, Mercurey Les Montots and Santenay Rouge 1er Cru Passetemps.

Aubert de Villaine deserves the accolades he receives. He is a reluctant hero, an unlikely trait in a man of such accomplishment, intellect, and inherent sense of noblesse. Heir to one of the most enviable wine legacies of all time, Domaine de la Roman茅e-Conti, the young Aubert was more interested in literature and law than wine. After spending time in New York working for an importer of Burgundian wines, he finally returned home in the mid-nineteen sixties to assume his role as co-director of DRC.

In the 1970s, Aubert and his American wife, Pamela, sought less pedigreed pastures to call home. They finally settled in the village of Bouzeron, well-situated between Chassagne-Montrachet, Santenay, Rully, and Mercurey, in the C么te Chalonnaise. However high profile his day job, Aubert still considers himself a vigneron like any other, and Bouzeron鈥檚 off-the-beaten-path location left him alone to make his own wines without the demands of upholding an international reputation.

The domaine was horribly rundown when the de Villaines took over, but years of studying this unique terroir have made them pioneers in one of the last forgotten enclaves of Burgundy. The monks of the great abbey of Cluny first planted vines here in the twelfth century, leaving a legacy that has endured for centuries. Consequently, the grape varietal that reigns supreme today is the dry, white Aligot茅 鈥 an unusual celebrity given its work-horse reputation in the middle of Chardonnay country.

Bouzeron boasts the best Aligot茅 in Burgundy, the Aligot茅 Dor茅, (instead of the lesser clone, Aligot茅 Vert) which gives smaller yields to produce wines with more expressive aromatics. Although the grape was overlooked until 1979 when it first earned the appellation Bourgogne Aligot茅 de Bouzeron, the I.N.A.O. finally upgraded the appellation to A.O.C. Bouzeron in 1997, largely due to Aubert鈥檚 advocacy over the years. Aubert鈥檚 single vineyard Bourgognes, both in blanc and rouge, are equally outstanding representations of the unlikely pedigree found in this corner of the region.

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