jueves, 21 de marzo de 2013

Louis Latour Beaune Vignes Franches 2006


LOUIS LATOUR BEAUNE VIGNES FRANCHES 2006

- Tasting notes: The Beaune 1er Cru "Vignes Franches" has an elegant, seductive garnet colour. On the nose, it reveals aromas of undergrowth, liquorice and mint. In the mouth, notes of cherry appear. It is a fresh and powerful wine.

- Historically the owners of this area did not have to pay tax on the land, hence the name ‘Vignes Franches' (‘free vines'). The "Vignes Franches" parcel is found mid-slope. The clay soils are scattered with small pebbles which allows for easy drainage of water. Here we find the same opulence as in neighbouring Pommard as well as an extrememly pleasant fruit-forwardness even when young. It is one of the best Premier Cru vineyards of Beaune, producing a wine that is capable of ageing to perfection for a considerable period of time.

- Winery: Maison Louis Latour is an important négociant-éléveur of red and white wines in Burgundy, France. Currently run by the seventh Louis Latour, Louis-Fabrice Latour, the company has remained family-run since its foundation in 1797 and has built a reputation for tradition and innovation. This Domaine has the largest Grand Cru property in the Cote d'Or with a total of 28.63 hectares (71.58 acres). In 1997 Louis Latour was admitted into the exclusive club of the Hénokiens. This club only admits companies that remain family owned, have a history of 200 years' experience and still bears the name of the founder.

- Price: £34.99

BEAUNE LES VIGNE FRANCHES

Les Vignes Franches is a Premier Cru climat of Advertising the Beaune appellation in Burgundy. Wines made from grapes grown within Les Vignes Franches may claim the title Beaune Premier Cru and use the climat's name on their labels.

Beaune Premier Cru wines are produced under the strictest conditions of the Beaune appellation from grapes grown exclusively in the commune's Premier Cru-classified vineyards.

Les Vignes Franches is located at the southern end of Beaune's belt of Premier Cru sites, near the commune boundary with Pommard. Being on the lower eastern side of the Montagne-Saint-Desire hill, the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines here make the most of the morning and early afternoon sunshine in Burgundy's marginal climate.

BEAUNE PREMIER CRU

Beaune Premier Cru wines are those made under the strictest conditions of the Beaune appellation in Burgundy, and from grapes grown exclusively in the commune's Premier Cru-classified vineyards.

Beaune has 42 Premier Cru climats - more than any other commune in Burgundy - and also tops the chart for the total surface area under vine. A total of 77% of Beaune's vineyard land is classified as Premier Cru - placing it, in percentage terms, second only to the tiny commune of Vouaeot.

Beaune's name is widely recognized and is associated with reliable quality, rather than a particular excellence or defining style. In the days when the name was an umbrella title for local wines - including those now recognized as Grand Cru - it was held in higher regard.

The expanse of Premier Cru land that Beaune has at its disposal stretches right across the commune, from its boundaries with Savianv-les-Beaune in the north to Pommard in the south.

The soils here have a higher proportion of sand than is found in the rest of the Cote d'Or escarpment, meaning that the wines tend to lack the body and structure of neighboring Pommard and Corton, yet also fail to achieve the elegance of VolnaY reds. There is a recognized correlation between the clay content of vineyard soils and the body of the wines they create. The difference in styles across the 2.5 miles (4.1km) that separate Beaune from Volnay, and Volnay from Pommard, is testament to this and is a key to the mysteries of Burgundy wines.

PINOT NOIR

Pinot Noir is the grape variety wholly responsible for red burgundy and gives its name to the Noirten family of grape varieties. Unlike Cabernet Sauvignon, which can be grown in all but the coolest conditions and can be economically viable as an inexpensive but recognizably Cabernet wine, Pinot Noir demands much of both vine-grower and wine maker. It is a tribute to the unparalleled level of physical excitement generated by tasting one of Burgundy's better reds that  a high proportion of the world´s most ambitious wine producers want to try their hand with this capricious and extremely variable vine. Although there is a relatively little consistency in its performance in its homeland, Pinot Noir has been transplanted to almost every one of the world's wine regions, except the very hottest, where it can so easily turn from essence to jam.

If Cabernet produces wines to appeal to the head, Pinot’s charms are decidedly more sensual and more transparent. The Burgundians themselves refute the allegation thar they produce Pinot Noir; they merely use Pinot Noir as the vehicle for communicating local geography, the characteristics of the individual site, the terroir on which it was planted. Perhaps the only characteristics that the Pinot Noirs of the world could be said to share would be a certain sweet fruitiness and, in general, lower levels of tannins and pigments than the other ‘great’ French red varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The wines are decidedly more charming in youth and evolve more rapidly, although the decline of the very best is slow.

Part of the reason for the wide variation in Pinot Noir’s performance lies in its genetic makeup. It is a particularly old vine variety, in all probability a selection from wild vines made by mankind at least two millennia ago. There is some evidence that Pinot existed in Burgundy in the 4 century AD. Although Morillon Noir was the common name for early Pinot, a vine called Pinot was already described in records of Burgundy in the 14 century and its fortunes were inextricably linked with those of the powerful medieval monasteries of eastern France and Germany.

Clearly Pinot Noir has for long been grown in Burgundy but it is particularly prone both to mutate (as witness Pinot blanc, Pinot Gris, and Pinot meunier) and degenerate, as witness the multiplicity of Pinot Noir clones available even within France. Galet notes that no fewer than 50 Pinot Noir clones (as opposed to 25 of the much more widely planted Cabernet Sauvignon) are officially recognized within France, with the most popular being one of first generation of virus-free Burgundy clones 115, followed by the productive Champagne clones 375 and 386. Marsh surveyed top Cote d’Or producers in the early 2000s and found second generation clone 677 marginally more admired for wine quality than the more widely planted 777 or 828. It is possible to choose a clone of Pinot Noir specially for the quality of its wine, its productivity, regularity of yield, resistance to rot, and/or for its likely ripeness (which can vary considerably). A majot factor in the lighter colour and extract of so much red burgundy in the 1970s and 1980s was injudicious clonal selection, resulting in higher yields but much less character and concentration in the final wine. The most reputable producers of all tend nowadays to have made mass selections from their own vine population.

In as much as generalizations about a vine variety with so many different forms are possible, Pinot Noir tends to bud early, making it susceptible to spring frost and coulure. Damp, cool soils on low-liymg land are therefore best avoided. Yields are theoretically low, although too many Burgundians disproved this with productive clones in the 1970a and early 1980s. The vine is also more prone than most to both sorts of mildew, rot (grape skins tend to be thinner than most), and to viruses, particularly fanleaf and leafroll. Indeed it was the prevalence of disease in Burgundian vineyards that precipitated the widespread adoption of clonal selection there in the 1970s.

Pinot Noir generally produces the best quality wine on limestone soils and in relatively cool climates where this early-ripening vine will not rush towards maturity, losing aroma and acidity. In Burgundy, for example, where it is typically cultivated alongside the equally early-ripening Chardonnay, Pinot Noir may ripen after Chardonnay in some years, before it in others. There is general agreement however, that Pinot Noir is very much more difficult to vinify than Chardonnay, needing constant monitoring and fine tuning of technique according to the demands of each particular vintage. A vogue in Burgundy for rotofermenters was followed in the late 1980s by one for cold maceration before fermentation as a way of leaching more colour and flavour out of these relatively thin-skinned grapes.

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