Alain Gras Saint-Romain Rouge 2017
A bright and deep red color enlightened with notes of violet. An expressive nose with aromas of red fruit and cherries, and only a discrete touch of oak The palate shows supple tannins, with good fruit and freshness, and an elegant finish.
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The 2017 Saint Romain Rouge is also terrific, showing ripe red and black raspberry, charcoal, forest floor, violets, and sappy flower aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, juicy, and lively on the palate, it has a core of sweet fruit, good acidity, and impressive length. It’s going to be even better with a year in bottle and keep through 2029.
When people talk about off-the-beaten-path Burgundy, they might be headed for St-Romain, in a valley west of Auxey-Duresses. And it’s easy to fall for this bright, citrusy 2017, all airy perfume and light smoke, a little staunch apricot and lees backing it up. It’s cool and intriguing, with a little toughness to its structure that will relent in the presence of smoked trout.
Alain Gras has been working passionately since 1979 with a great respect for the land. Despite its young age, his domaine has quickly established itself as the standard-bearer for the village of Saint-Romain. It now extends over 30 acres, primarily located in Saint-Romain, Meursault, and Auxey-Duresses. Vinified with care and using traditional methods, the domaine’s wines exemplify the character of this terroir, which Alain Gras sums up in three words: fresh, fruity, and elegant. Alain remains one of the most fervent supporters of the wines of Saint-Romain and has lately been joined by his son, Arthur, in his quest to make his a reference point for all of Burgundy.
A classic source of exceptional Chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir, the Côte de Beaune makes up the southern half of the Côte d’Or. Its principal wine-producing villages are Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet.
The area is named for its own important town of Beaune, which is essentially the center of the Burgundy wine business and where many negociants center their work. Hospices de Beaune, the annual wine auction, is based here as well.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”