The thrilling Mercurey La Plante Chassey from old biodynamically-tended vines (100 years old) reaches an altogether different level. It is a blend of 85% Pinot Noir, 15% Pinot Beurrot (an ancient Burgundian variety related to Pinot Gris). There is a silky nature to this Mercurey giving it a supple mouthfeel and a detailed range of raspberry and cherry fruit with a touch of pomegranate. It has lovely spice notes and touch of lavender on the nose. Striking elegance, complexity and length.
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.