Domaine Derain Bourgogne Blanc ‘ La Combe’ 2019: The nose is pure and elegant, lemon skins, hawthorn flowers with honeyed notes. The palate is explosive, bright citrus and apple fruit mingle with vibrant acidity and minerals softened by the lightest touch of oak. Amazingly long and racy finish, reminiscent of a village or even premier cru. Wonderful experience. Tasted April 2019
The vines for this lovely Chardonnay ‘La Combe’ are located close to the village of Puligny-Montrachet where there is deep brown soil which is managed biodynamically. The yield is only 35 hectolitres per hectare and this means the fruit is packed with flavour and the wine reflects this. La Combe is a tiny plot of only .5 hectare (they purchased .2 hectare recently). This is a wine for contemplating. It opens up slowly in the glass, but then reveals an array of flavours and aromas that are truly compelling. This is a lovely, expressive Chardonnay.
Domaine Derain, Saint-Aubin
Dominique Derain is a pioneer of Biodynamic and Natural wine in Burgundy. Born in 1955, he originally trained and worked as a cooper (barrel maker) for 5 years. In 1988 he purchased a 5.5-ha estate in Saint-Aubin, he obtained organic certification the following year, followed by Demeter cert. In 1997, he left Demeter when the membership fees doubled. He no longer displays any certifications on his bottle labels.
Dominique definitely adopt a minimalist approach. He farms biodynamically, hand harvest, do not chaptalize or acidify and use the barest amount of sulphur.
All the fruit is hand-picked, destem 90% (red grapes) before fermentation, which occurs in wooden vats. After fermentation the wine is aged in old oak casks for 12-18 months. SO2 is never added during the winemaking process, only a small amount at bottling for stabilization.
From this vintage we see Dominique handing over the reins to his long time employee, young rising star Julien Altaber, and Julien’s talent can be seen in the quality of the wine. The wine is still sold under the Derain banner, as Dominique is still very involved in all stages, from harvest to winemaking, sales and of course, degustation.