Marc Colin St-Aubin Cuvee Luce 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Today Joseph, Caroline, and Damien, the children of Marc and Michele, own and run the domaine. The fourth sibling Pierre-Yves (who made the wine at Marc Colin for 10 years) established his own project in 2005. Sustainable and organic agriculture, older vines, and clay-limestone soils are just some of the components contributing to the quality of the final product. Winemaking style would best be called traditional, though Joseph (who makes the whites) and Damien (who makes the reds) are certainly not shy of innovation. Whites strive for optimum freshness; there is no heavy, ungainly wood here. The red wines are characterized by silky texture, ever-present fruit and a certain roundness with just a kiss of oak. Production consists of 70% white and 30% red with total production maxing out at 120,000 bottles.
A steep, upcountry basin (referred to as a combe in French) in the southern end of the Côte de Beaune, St. Aubin is a direct westerly neighbor to Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. Recent years have seen a boom in white wine production so that now Chardonnay accounts for more than three quarters of area under vine here. Two thirds of St. Aubin is classified Premier Cru (30 total vineyards); most notable include Les Charmois, La Chatenière, En Remilly and Les Murgers Dents de Chie. The Premiers Crus of St. Aubin, wrapping like a ribbon upon the southeast and southwest facing slopes, produce fresh and elegant whites from Chardonnay. When young, these tout a refreshing grip and convey qualities of white flowers, citrus, pear, green almond and wet stone. Given some age, a graceful evolution occurs so that older St. Aubin whites express richer aromas of beeswax, honey, marzipan and spice.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.