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Domaine les Poete Le Reuilly Rouge 2014
Guillaume comes from a family of viticulturalists and his father had vineyards in Quincy and Reuilly, but after it became apparent that his sons had no interest in continuuing the family domaine, he sold the vineyards in 2001. It was during this time that Guillaume was working in some of France’s finest restaurants both as a cook and a sommelier, but eventually he says “the soul of a winemaker awoke in me”. He went to Beaune to study viticulture and oenology determined to return to the Loire valley and piece together a domaine of his own.
In 2007 after completing his studies he began to look for vineyards and soon found a plot of very old gamay vines on the right bank of the Cher river. He began here and has slowly patched together a tiny domaine today of more than 25 single plots that he farms himself biodynamically. Only 4.5 hectares total are put into production here so quantities are extremely small.
Precision, freshness, and delicacy are the pursuit here and Guillaume believes that terroir is the most important thing, often citing his motto 'moins mais mieux' – 'less but better".
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.