Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanee 2018
Red Burgundy might be the world’s most flexible food wine. The wine’s high acidity, medium body, medium alcohol, and low tannins make it very food-friendly. Red Burgundy, with its earthy and sometimes gamey character, is a classic partner to roasted game birds, grilled duck breast, and dishes that feature mushrooms, black truffles, or are rich in umami.
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Domaine Jean Grivot is among the great names in Burgundian wine. Étienne Grivot and his wife Marielle (Patrick Bize's sister) took over from Étienne’s father Jean Grivot in 1987. The Grivot family believes in generational change and in 2017, Étienne and Marielle’s daughter, Mathilde, took over for her parents. Mathilde brings a fresh approach while maintaining the longtime traditions of the Grivot family.
The recently renovated winery and cellar is in Vosne-Romanée where most of the Grivot vineyards are located. The domaine has been assembled over several generations to its current size of 15.5 hectares and includes holdings in three grand crus: Clos de Vougeot, Echézeaux, and Richebourg. Mathilde believes in getting quality first thanks to meticulous vineyard work throughout the year. The result of this hard work is healthy, ripe (both phenolic and sugar levels) and depth of concentration and flavor of the fruit. Today, the vineyards are densely planted and farmed organically “sans certification,” while the aim in the cellar is for balance and clear expression of terroir.
This is the village for the most die-hard Burgundy fanatics. Vosne-Romanée has for many hundreds of years been the source of the most sought-after Pinot Noir in Burgundy. The village claims six Grands Crus—and some of the most famous at that—but in other villages where owners manage tiny parcels or a few rows of any one vineyard, monopolies dominate the Grands Crus of Vosne-Romanee.
Of these monopolies, Domaine Romanee-Conti (DRC) reigns supreme, claiming not only more total vineyard area than any other producer, but outright owning the entirety of two of the Grands Crus and a majority of two others. In its full possession are naturally Romanée-Conti, as well as La Tâche. DRC also owns most of Richebourg and Romanée-St-Vivant. The final two, La Grande Rue and La Romanée are completely owned by other other produers: François Lamarche and Comte Liger Belair, respectively.
While one could spend a lifetime on the puzzles of land ownership in Burgundy, the point is that Vosne-Romanee contains the most valuable pieces of vineyard real estate in the world. Pinot Noir from any of its vineyards—especially from within its 27ha of Grand Cru or 58 ha of Premier Cru land—is going to rank among the best.
The most outstanding wines from this village have everything: finesse and elegance coupled with the body and sturdiness for incredibly long aging ability. They are intensely floral and exotically spiced. Beautifully ripe, complex and ephemeral throughout, they are robust, yet fine-grained in texture. These wines will stay gorgeous for the long haul.
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.”