Domaine de la Pousse d'Or Santenay Clos Tavannes Premier Cru 2008
‘Clos Tavannes’ is a walled vineyard, located on the border with Chassagne-Montrachet. Older vines, planted in 1920, were originally sourced from Romanée-Conti. Hand-harvested. Destemmed and fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature controlled tanks. Aged in French barrique (20% new) for 15 months. Unfined and unfiltered.
Domaine de la Pousse d’Or has for decades been the collector’s choice for expressive and memorable wines from Burgundy’s most hallowed terroirs. This historic estate is one of the Burgundian elite, in a similar realm of such exclusive wineries like Romanée-Conti and Comte de Vogüé, with its strict selection and seamless winemaking. The history of Pousse d’Or in Volnay underscores its influence throughout the ages. In 1855, the winery was part of a larger domaine that included such names as Romanée-Conti and Clos de Tart. Originally called La Bousse d’Or (Bousse, in old French, means earth; thus, “golden earth”), the Domaine changed owners a number of times until legend Gérard Potel took the reins. It was Potel that put the estate’s wines on the map, with the elegant, refined style that Pousse d’Or is still known for today. In 1997, Patrick Landanger purchased the winery and its vineyards. In the mid-2000s, Landanger added an impressive collection of Côte de Nuits vineyards (from Domaine Moine-Hudelot) to his portfolio. Pousse d’Or has three premier cru monopoles, or exclusively estate-owned vineyards, in Volnay: ‘Clos de la Bousse d’Or,’ ‘Clos des Soixante (60)-Ouvrées’ and ‘Clos d’Audignac.’ Pousse’s attention to detail and dedication to organic viticulture (the estate is not certified but has followed organic principles for years) is serious. Vineyards are cared for without the use of pesticides or herbicides and are regularly plowed. Grapes are harvested and sorted by hand, and bunches are destemmed and fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled tanks. Wines are aged from 15 to 18 months in French oak barrels, with between 30 to 50 percent new wood, depending on the cru. In recent vintages, Landanger has been experimenting with terracotta amphorae for aging some of his premier cru wines. All wines are bottled by gravity and are unfined and unfiltered.
In the far southern end of the Côte de Beaune, Santenay forms a little notch that juts into the otherwise straight border with Côte Chalonnaise.
Santenay red wines show the true essence of red Burgundy at good price points and without demanding a lot of cellar time. Enticing aromas of rose-petal, violet, red fruits and licorice lead to sturdiness on the palate. With soils rich in oolitic limestone and marl, this is the home of well-constructed, hearty Pinot noir and represents a fantastic region to explore if you are just beginning your understanding of red Burgundy.
Reputable vineyards of Santenay include La Maladière, as well as the Premier Crus of La Comme, Clos de Tavannes, and Les Gravières.
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.”