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It’s not often that one of the more talked about new producers in Burgundy debuts their winery with one of the more hyped vintages of the last 10-20 years but that’s the case today.
Introducing Domaine de la Monette, an address with one of the brightest futures in all of Burgundy.
As I travel the wine road, I am bombarded with “next greatest this” and “next greatest that” at almost every turn. People are always trying to convince me of something that is just not within the bottle. In this case, Monette was mentioned by so many insiders (including one of the most respected critics of Burgundy in the world) that the hype had to be more than just fluff.
Boy were they right.
Domaine de la Monette is the coddled hobby (now full time occupation) of Roelof Ligtmans and Marlon Steine. Formerly in high-tech, the couple became disillusioned with the industry and cast it all aside for a quieter life in Burgundy. They used the proceeds from the sale of their IT company and purchased an old Domaine house and vineyards within the area of Mercurey to concentrate on producing BIO/organic wines of the highest order. They do everything themselves – from the farming, sorting to winemaking and the vineyards perform the rest of the magic without interference. With only 4.5ha in total, this is small production on the smallest of scales and I can only imagine what their prices will be like a decade from now.
What is most interesting about this couple is that neither Roelof or Marlon knew anything about making wine. They enjoyed fine Burgundy and examples from around the world so their palate was in-tune with terroir expression and varietal harmony (two elements they wished to capture in their wines) but they had no idea how to raise a vintage. Without any outside influence or family hierarchy to interfere (with the winemaking or style of the wines), they enrolled in viticulture school in Beaune and the rest (they hope) is soon to be history. For more information on this newcomer loaded with potential, please see: http://bit.ly/fyUV0f
Whether by luck or coincidence, the debut vintage for Monette is 2009 and what a debut it is. I can’t remember a scrum this intense by important US importers (to obtain the rights to Monette) since the final scene of Rollerball. With that in mind, here are the first wines from their cellar – if you have any interest in this property, please let Nicki know at your earliest convenience.
As far as which wine to choose, I would try at least two different wines and the Mercurey Villages (regular) should be one of them. It is the most transparent Pinot Noir of the portfolio with low alcohol and a very special quality (although the full-bore style of the En Cortechat is simply impossible to resist – its presence and dominating persona have turned normally conservative curmudgeons around Beaune into quick believers):
2009 Domaine de la Monette Bourgogne (blanc) - (only 150 btls are available for the entire US – 2-3 bottles per state): Elegant white spice wafts from the glass with some wood notes of youth and an alluring textural thickness that pervades. Quite 2009 – dominated by delicate white peach flavors that linger with uncanny purity. Much higher quality than the generic “Bourgogne” designation would let on. Unmistakably Burgundian but for those that lean toward the Macon, not Montee de Tonnerre. Maximum 1 bottle/person (sorry).
2009 Domaine de la Monette Bourgogne "En Cortechat" (rouge) - (only 6 barrels produced from .30ha on chalk that border Mercurey proper) Very deep color - surprising depth, shocking really. Tannins present but there is so much fruit that it intrigues rather than detracts. Blackberries spill forth with a tinge of cinnamon. Burly tannins in the finish with a density that is just not the norm for this humble classification. While this wine takes full advantage of the vintage to wow with concentration and depth it still completes the journey with a round and fresh picture left on the palate. A mouthful of Burgundy for this level – not particularly elegant but who cares? This is going to put them on the map in the blink of an eye – look out in a blind tasting. Could be one of the more admired wines we offer this season but not for its ability to challenge, more for its kryptonite factor. Maximum 3 bottles/person.
2009 Domaine de la Monette Mercurey Villages (rouge) - (12.6% alc, alluvial soil) More luminescent red fruit than the En Cortechat. Spice, lilting red berry fruits. Lovely sap, tart berry, black fruit. Good structure, lovely silky fruit that expands but retains a feather quality. With air an enticing smoky nuance develops. Very strong wine of varietal and vineyard expression. Not as “on the vintage” as the En Cortechat, more on the terroir. Exciting for its level and a worthy juxtaposition. Maximum 6 bottles/person
2009 Domaine de la Monette Mercurey rouge "Le Saut Muchiau" (rouge) - ](red, alluvial soil – high elevation). More exotic aromas, more 2009 than the Villages. Finishes a touch on the wood (35-40% new barrels) and fruit is more difficult to pinpoint on entry. Quite full, blue fruit and crushed black currants and black raspberries – a style Bernard Dugat (Dugat-Py) is often associated with (as opposed to something like Olivier Guyot that is synonymous with delicate red fruit). Finishes with just a touch of astringency but the potential is unmistakable. Very young and in need of 4-6 years minimum. From the highest and oldest vines on the property. This wine has also turned many heads around Beaune but it does not have the immediacy of the regular Mercurey. Will make old bones - revisit in 2015. Maximum 6 bottles/person.
All are EXTREMELY LIMITED and directly from the Domaine cellar with perfect provenance.
Please give us your maximum number of each and we will allocate accordingly.
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