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Albert Bichot Pommard Clos des Ursulines 2012
Serve with exquisitely prepared red meats, feathered game and wine sauces. This Pommard Clos des Ursulines is the perfect match for veal chops with shallots, lamb curry, stewed venison or roasted wild boar with port. It is also well-suited to most full-flavored cheeses.
Since 1350, the Bichot family has called Burgundy home. But, it was in 1831 that Bernard Bichot founded a merchant house bearing his name in Monthélie, a couple of kilometers south of Beaune. At the end of the 19th century, his grandson Albert Bichot took the family business into a new direction and created the winery, Maison Albert Bichot as we know it. The family heritage has been perpetuated from father to son since then. The family crest, consisting of a deer and antlers, has been synonymous with the winery since its inception.
Since 1996, Albéric Bichot has represented the 6th generation managing the winery. The winery’s mission is to utilize the best fruit possible to create the best wine and best expression of terroir. In the constant pursuit of accomplishing this mission, Albert Bichot has acquired 250 acres of vineyards in the most reputed growing areas throughout Burgundy. In addition to this expertise as a wine-grower, Albert Bichot carefully sources grapes with an extremely hands-on approach, in order to vinify many of its regional and village wines, enabling them to supply high quality wines with continuity. For these grapes sourced from our partner growers, quality, and a close partnership, are of the utmost importance.
Albert Bichot owns 6 Domaines set at the heart of 5 great vinicultural regions that make up Burgundy: Chablis, Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise, and Beaujolais. Each estate consists of vineyards cultivated with sustainable practices, as well as facilities, cellars and dedicated winemaking teams devoted to wines of that Domaine and region.
The 6 estates include:
- Domaine Long-Depaquit in Chablis
- Chateau Gris in the Cote de Nuits (Nuits-St.-Georges)
- Domaine du Clos-Frantin in the Cote de Nuits (Nuits-St.-Georges)
- Domaine du Pavillon in the Cote de Beaune (Pommard)
- Domaine Adelie in the Cote Chalonnaise (Mercurey)
- Domaine du Rochegres in Beaujolais (Moulin-à-Vent)
A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land. While the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here—soil type, elevation and angle of each slope—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one or two rows of vines. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.
Burgundy’s cool, marginal climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory, and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. In some years spring frost and hail must be overcome.
The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red, white, and rosé are all produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne. The Mâconnais produces soft and round, value-driven Chardonnay while Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy, is a paradise for any lover of bright, acid-driven and often age-worthy versions of the grape.
One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).
In the Glass
Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.