St. Aubin 'Le Ban' Rouge 2018
A Wine That
you want to drink while wearing a silk robe. It is so smooth that it will make you wonder how wine can produce a liquid so gentle. It reminds us of the importance of old vines; in a glass of "Le Ban", power is juxtaposed with elegance; something that only old vines and ancient vine material can bring. There is so much concentrated perfume on the nose here; rose hips, roses, cherry blossom and lilacs. A wine for daydreaming.
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Where and How?
This was the first vineyard that Dominique was able to purchase. He used to walk by the parcel and think to himself, "wow. Such pretty vines." Luck was on his side - a year later the vineyard came up for sale. It was planted in 1920; with around half of it recently replanted to a massal selection of old vines.
It sits on slopes at a high elevation and is planted to gravelly clay-limestone soils. The wine was foot trodden and fermented whole cluster with some berries destemmed to be able to fill the tank. It was fermented naturally in old wooden tanks, with very gentle vinification - only pigeage where necessary. The wine was then aged for a year in old oak barrels and bottled with just a tiny addition of sulphur.
Dominique may have officially retired, but he still spends his days in the vineyards and in the cellar, tasting with Julien Altaber and Carole Schwab; the duo who have taken over the domaine. Honouring Dominique, they continue to make the wines under his name and according to his vinification practices, for this is not simply a retired vigneron.
Dominique has been a friend, teacher and influence for so many aspiring farmers and winemakers who wish to work without chemicals. Here, it has never been about making fancy, dressed-up wines in their tuxedos, dresses and heels. Rather, this is Burgundy in the nude - it is the skin and bones of these old vines that speak through the unadulterated wines.