Gevrey-Chambertin, Combes du Dessus

Terroir

This lieu-dit has an excellent situation below the castle. It lies on a gentle east facing slope. The top soil is quite thin and the old vines here tap into the limestone. The fruit is usually blended and vinified with other parcels from all around the village belonging the domaine.

The Domaine

The grapes of Combes du Dessus come from Domaine Rossignol-Trapet in Gevrey-Chambertin. David and Nicolas Rossignol (distant cousins if the Volnay Rossignols) converted the domaine to bio-dynamics in 2004. Having tasted a vertical of Petite Chapelle last year, the change in viticulture, in particular the improved life and quality of the soil, has heightened levels of energy and vibrancy in their wine. The brothers push the boundaries in the vineyard, both nurturing and protecting their vines. Their trials of netting sections of the vineyards against hail, measured against a control, has resulted in the INAO accepting this practice to the potential benefit of all. Whether they are working in their village vineyards or in grand cru (Chambertin, Latricières & Chapelle-Chambertin), the attention to detail is the same. The brothers are both quite reserved and their elegant and restrained wines reflect this.

In the Winery

My job is to help the wine express the freshness, minerality and tension of the limestone site, while ensuring there is sufficient depth of fruit and finesses of tannin. In 2018 the fruit was picked on the 7th Sept. I liked the idea of 15% whole bunch for a touch of floral lift and extra complexity. The whole bunch formed a layer in the middle of the tank. The fermentation lasted 20 days reaching a peak of 27 degrees on day 12. To keep the straight palate, I made 4 light remontage (5 minutes with a gentle pump) and one rack and return just to finish the fermentation. There were five light pigeage in total, just standing on the cap to submerge it, to bring the body and tannins. I have used one year old oak from Cavin for ageing. Three barrels made.

Style and When to Drink 

This was the opportunity to discover the character of Combes du Dessus, which was revealed to be straight and elegant with silky tannins and a touch of class. The tannin character of Pinot Noir when it taps into limestone is typically quite tight in youth and this is no exception, but they are fine grained and stretch the finish. They provide the wine with a good line and the potential for some ageing. The style is straight and refined, rather than full and rich. The bio-dynamic farming enhances the energy of this already fresh and bright wine. 

This lieu-dit would benefit from three years bottle ageing, ie 5 years post vintage, but has the the potential to mature for several more…6 to 8 years at least.

Vintages made

2018. The fruit quality was superb. No sorting needed. Beautiful bunches of glistening dark berries with ripe skins. Good freshness despite the hot summer. The freshness is enhanced by the sappy taste of the minerality.  Good tension. It needs time to mature and will remain in barrel until early 2020. Sign up below to receive the early release offer in November 2019.

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