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2013 Monthelie, Dom. Francis Lechauve

2013 Monthelie, Dom. Francis Lechauve

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Monthelie lies south of Volnay and if there’s a silver lining to be found amongst the many ‘short’ vintages of late then it is to bring the wines of the less well-known regions such as Monthelie to the fore.  Cherry, red fruits, spice on the nose, lovely sense of ripeness.  This continues in the mouth, ripe, whole red berry fruit, good acidity, juicy – ripe tannins.  Delicious red Burgundy at an affordable price.

As it becomes harder, but not impossible, to find good quality Burgundy at an affordable price I have to classify the quietly spoken Francis Lechauve is a bit of a find. A Burgundian to his very core, Francis has been learning his craft since he was old enough to help out his neighbours in their vineyards from the age of 12; he attended the Lycee Viticole in nearby Beaune in his teens and by the time he was 17 he was already working at wineries in St. Romaine and Pommard. In 1989 he started at Domaine Douhairet Porcheret in Monthélie (Andre Porcheret of Hospices de Beaune and Bize-Leroy fame) where he honed his skills until leaving to start his own winery after 17 years.

His philosophy or, more accurately perhaps, his methodology is one of care and precision; hard work in the vineyards, yields are controlled; grapes are hand-harvested and sorted in the vineyard before being sorted in the winery. The winemaking is simple; hands off using natural yeasts, and he ‘listens to the wine’; if a longer elevage is needed, then a longer elevage is what happens. The use of oak is judicious, 30% of new oak barrels for his top reds at most – but no hard and fast rules and everything ‘just so’ and gentle. Francis has his own vineyard holdings but also acts as a négociant to boost his range until new vineyards can be found.

Proof that there is still real value to be found in Burgundy if one is prepared to look.

Wine info

  • Country:
  • Region:
  • Style:
  • Vintage:
  • Producer:
    Dom. Francis Lechauve
  • Size:
  • Food Suggestions:
    Red Meat
  • Grape Variety:
    Pinot Noir

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