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2014 Hautes-Cotes-de-Beaune Blanc, Dom. Francis Lechauve

2014 Hautes-Cotes-de-Beaune Blanc, Dom. Francis Lechauve

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Citrus and white flower, minerally nose; brisk minerally acidity on the palate, ripe citrus and stone fruit underneath; lovely finish.  This is an absolute star given the price.

As it becomes harder to find good quality Burgundy at an affordable price I have to classify the quietly spoken Francis Lechauve is a bit of a find, as numbers of our customers are discovering. He has been learning his craft since he was old enough to help out his neighbours in their vineyards from the age of 12, attended the Lycee Viticole in nearby Beaune, and by 17 was already working at wineries in St. Romain 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 in Meloisey after 17 years. Francis has his own vineyard holdings but also acts as a négociant to boost his range until new vineyards can be found.

His philosophy is one of care and precision: hard work in the vineyards (yields are controlled, grapes hand-harvested and sorted in the vineyard before being sorted in the winery); winemaking is simple (natural yeasts, if a longer elevage is needed, then a longer elevage is what happens); and 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.

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