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Community Tasting Notes (5) Avg Score: 91 points

  • Nuits-Saint-Georges is a town in eastern Burgundy, which gives the name to Côte de Nuits, the northern half of the Cote d’Or. It is known for a structured, mineral, powerful style of Pinot Noir. There are 41 premier cru climats belonging to this appellation. While there are no grand cru sites, the many premier cru vineyards are among the finest in the district.

    The second half of the name 'Nuits-Saint-Georges' comes from the Saint Georges vineyard, it is just south of the town and has been renowned as a source of good wines for hundreds of years. In the 1890s, the town of Nuits added the vineyard’s name to its own, hence we know it today as NSG. Unsurprisingly, the wines from the Saint Georges vineyard command the highest price in NSG.

    Chateau gris is a small premier cru vineyard on the higher slopes of the Cote d’Or, overlooking the town of Nuits-Saint-Georges. This is a sub-section of the village level Les Crots (which means the shit or droppings), the name likely comes from the brown soil, with plenty of small limestone rocks and a layer of oolitic limestone that is again underpinned with pink Premeaux limestone.

    The Château Gris section of Les Crots covers 2.8 hectares within the 4 hectares of Les Crots. The vines sit on terraces and slopes around the eponymous château building, prominently visible on the slopes above Nuits-Saint-Georges, directly overlooking the road to Chaux as it winds up the slope on the west side of the town. The vineyard itself is a monopole, once controlled by Lupé-Cholet, it is now run by Albert Bichot. The story of the chateau itself is quite interesting, it was built in the 18th century, and the roof of the castle was covered in grey slate even though tiles are traditionally used in Burgundy, hence it came to be known as grey castle.

    The climat is one of the most elevated and northerly sites between Premeaux-Prissey village and Nuits-Saint-Georges. The vineyard's steep slope has had a considerable effect on the terroir, and the site has been terraced to make it easier to work. Regardless, the soil is thinner and rockier than on the land below, and covers a hard layer of limestone.

    Château Gris' east-facing position on the hill also gives it an excellent exposure to sunlight for much of the day. This warming influence is important in Burgundy, as it helps to ensure that the grapes reach maximum ripeness despite cool continental influences.

    The Bichot family has been in Burgundy since 1350. They initially settled in the fief of Chateauneuf-en-Axois. The family’s coat of arms has not changed since, nor has its symbol, a doe (biche). In 1831, Bernard Bichot founded his own wine company in Monthélie, just a few km south of Beaune, but grandson Albert established the company in Beaune itself at the end of the 19th century. 6th generation Albéric Bichot has been running the Domaine since 1996. Today, Albert Bichot owns six estates that cover Burgundy from North to South.

    2012 was a year marked by problematic weather conditions in the Cote de Beaune, but it was an excellent vintage in the Côte de Nuits.

    The nose was overt at bottle open, but gradually faded, initial raspberries on the nose gave way to some dried berries, with some chalky minerality and some herbaceous notes. On the palate it is quite rich and broad, with a nice energy from the limestone soils. It is long and intense, mid palate focused, a nice cool climate style.

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  • From a 3,5-hectare (8,75 acres) monopole vineyard, of which 2,8 hectares (7 acres) are planted to Pinot Noir. Average age of the vines 35 years. Fermented and macerated with the skins for 30 days in conical foudres. Aged for 12-15 months in oak pièces (25% new). 13% alcohol.

    Luminous, moderately translucent and still relatively youthful, deep cherry red color. Rich, powerful and - surprisingly - slightly reductive nose with aromas of skunky sulfurous character and some gunpowder smoke, a little bit of cooked beet root, light cranberry tones, a toasty hint of oak and a touch of darker fruit. I wonder if the wine is just reductive or has had a bigger dose of SO2? The wine is full-bodied, quite big and rather ripe on the palate, but the reductive tones from the nose follow to the taste, making the fruit feel somewhat subdued. Flavors of cranberries and brambly raspberries, some sour cherry bitterness, light stony mineral tones, a little bit of peppery spice, reductive hints of gunpowder smoke and a touch of sweet, chocolatey oak spice. The moderately high acidity and the gently grippy medium-minus tannins keep the wine balanced, but it lacks the structure a big Burgundy like this calls for. The finish is dry, juicy and gently grippy with somewhat restrained flavors of black cherries, some sour cherry bitterness, a little bit of sweet, toasty oak and a brambly hint of black raspberry that fall somewhat on the short side.

    A rather big, polished and slightly clumsy 1er Cru NSG suffering from something that might be reduction. It's quite rare for me to taste a reductive red Bugundy - let alone one at 7½ years of age - but all signs seem to point towards reduction, so I guess that must be it then. The way it seems to dull the fruit flavors a bit doesn't really work in the wine's favor, but I must say I'm not really impressed by the style of the wine, be it reductive or not. Even if the fruit was singing, the wine feels a bit too big, soft and oaky for my taste. I enjoy the sense of power here, but this feels more like a Cali Pinot drinker's Burgundy than a Burgundy drinker's Burgundy. Cellaring might make the wine gain a few points more if the oak integrates with age, but I doubt this wine will ever become a grand vin.

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  • 100% Pinot Noir
    from monopole estate vineyard (2.8 of 3.5 ha) with terraced parcels (unusual for Burgundy)
    at 280 m with calcareous clay soil and vines of ave age 35 under sustainable viticulture.
    Manual harvest and sorting.
    Fermented in conical oak vats with ~30 days maceration.
    Aged 12-15 months in 100% French oak (25% new)
    13.5% Abv.
    Proprietor: The Bichot Family under Albéric Bichot (6th gen)
    Technical Director:Alain Serveau

    A(ccuracy)=2: Med ruby/red. Focused, floral varietal.
    B(alance) =3: Refined components in harmony.
    C(omplexity)=2: Fresh berries, herbs, minerality.
    D(epth) = 1: Firm mouthfeel. Average length and finish.

    Wine Tally Score [2,3,2,1]=8/10

    Classy and classic burgundy.

    For story-telling label graphics, see:

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  • Områdestypisk, kraftfull, fin doft, bra längd och god

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  • This is lovely, a touch of black fruits, mineral and savory, precise, a lot of power but with a finesse.

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