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Capitain-Gagnerot Ladoix 1er Cru 'La Micaude' 2020

Appellation
Ladoix 1er Cru
Region
Côte de Beaune
Vintage
2020
1 In Stock
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$85.00
 
SKU: ECAP04R-20
Overview

The Capitain Ladoix 1er Cru 'La Micaude' is a 'monople', meaning they own the entire 4 acres of vines themselves. This is and has been for nearly 30 years, our benchmark Pinot Noir. Roger Capitain used this wine to show us that if you are looking for color in Pinot Noir, you are asking the wrong question.  He showed us here that a wine can be delicate and powerful at the same time, And he showed us that pretty little red fruits can age as well (and usually better) than concentrated extracted fruit bombs. Racy and well-structured, 'La Micaude' is at the same time discreet with delicate black berry fruits. It's one of those wine that will surprise you as it ages, growing in elegance and nuance with each passing year.

Winemaker

Anybody who has followed us since our start in early 1996 knows the Maison Capitain-Gagnerot in Ladoix-Serrigny. We have seen three generation now. Roger Capitain was our first mentor in Burgundy, and we learned our craft leaning against a wine barrel, soaking up his wisdom and discussing his inimitable wines. His sons Patrice and Michel, and now Patrice's son Pierre Francois (the whole family, really), carry on a tradition that is most easily described as a style. There is no mistaking a Capitain wine. Once you know it, you can pick one out just in the bouquet. It's a purity. And it's our benchmark in Burgundy.

Vintage

BURGUNDY 2020

With so many winemakers finishing their 2020 harvest before the end of August, everyone here in Burgundy expected that this hot, sunny vintage would produce atypical wines, overripe, fat and flabby. Why it did not is a mystery to this day.

In fact, 2020 Burgundy, both red and white, is being lauded by the Press and professionals alike as an exceptional vintage, brilliantly fresh, pure, elegant and focused. Yes, the wines are ripe and concentrated, but there is good acidity that more than brings things into balance. This, in fact, defines the Burgundy 2020 style: high acidity and high concentration.

So let’s look, as we do every year, at how the growing season developed, to try to get some idea of what shaped these unexpectedly energetic wines.

In a word, from start to finish, 2020 was precocious. After a mild and humid winter, the vegetative cycle started a month early under sunny skies, with bud burst in mid-April and the first Chardonnay flowers in early May. Then the weather deteriorated. Pinot Noir flowered in cool, damp conditions, and was less successful than Chardonnay, explaining the smaller Pinot crop.

From that point on, there is not much to report weatherwise. It was hot and dry from June through to the end, the driest year since 1945. The grapes started to change color in mid-July, and harvest in August seemed likely.

Now you may think that an August harvest lets everyone get their jobs done and go home early. But remember that there is a big difference between the heat and luminosity of an August afternoon and the cooler, shorter days of September. When maturity comes galloping at you in August, you have to react quickly; a day or two can mean considerable differences in acid and sugar levels.

Indeed, there may have been more stress on the winemakers than there was on the vines. 2020 was in fact an easy growing season, dry, with little risk of fungal problems. The tough part was deciding when to harvest. Do you put off harvesting to try to get to phenolic maturity, or do you pick sooner to keep acid levels up and to avoid higher alcohol levels?

Many opted to pick early. And for the most part, it proved to be the right decision…though we still do not understand why! 

Many 2020 wines have alcohol levels of 13%-14%, but many are higher. Delaying picking increased the potential alcohol levels by as much as a degree a week.

At the same time, good levels of phenolic maturity gave ripe, but not overripe tannins. Some call the 2020s ‘crunchy’, which is a tannin level riper than ‘green’ but less than ‘fine’.

Total acidity was generally high, but most of that was tartaric acid. Malic acid, which would normally make up a big percentage of the total acidity, was low. In fact, the wines changed very little during malolactic fermentation, as there was little malic acid to transform into lactic acid.

So, again, we have a vintage that is characterized by high acidity and concentrated fruit. Some are saying that there has never before been a vintage where ripeness and acidity combined to give such brilliant wines with great aging potential. And this is true for both red and white. Freshness, balance, moderate alcohol.

The whites are rich and ripe, but with a crystalline, almost razor-sharp edge. That little touch of lactic acid makes them complex without adding weight.

The reds might bear a resemblance to past vintages.  2005, maybe. But they made wine differently in 2005. Back then, extraction was the goal: get as much out of the ripeness as you could. Today, Pinot is not so much ‘extracted’ as ‘infused’, like tea. This gives wines that are fresher and more energetic, with no less intensity and maybe more spice.

Drink them now, both red and white. There is astounding vitality in the youthful 2020s. But stick to the regional appellations for now because this is above all a vintage for aging, again both red and white. Keep the premier and grand crus for 10-15 years; longer for the best wines.  They have the balance to age, and will reveal little by little the complexity that we just get hints of today. These are wines that may shut down for a few years in a few years, that’s to be expected. But be patient; you will be overjoyed to pull 2020 Burgundy from your cellar down the line.

But even just that little touch of lactic acid made the complexity of the whites.

Appellation

LADOIX

COTE DE BEAUNE

Coming south from Dijon, Ladoix is the first village of the Cote de Beaune. En route you will have left the Cote de Nuits at Nuits St. Georges and traversed a zone of commercial quarries. Ladoix shares with Aloxe-Corton and Pernand-Vergelesses the famous wines of the Corton mountain. But it also has a northern zone of vestigial Cotes de Nuits soil. The vineyards grow both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, seemingly randomly, but really they are planted mostly according to the complexity of the soils as the hillside heads up into the vines of Aloxe-Corton.

Produced in the commune of Ladoix-Serrigny, the appellation Ladoix includes 11 premiers crus.

Wine

Ladoix red is often the color of cassis (or blackcurrant), bright garnet with deeper tints. But if you are looking for deep color, you have come to the wrong place. Ladoix is a finesse wine, long on little red woodland fruit and the first hints of Cote de Nuits cherry. It is deceptively tender and supple, but should have a depth that comes from its location rather than extraction. It can be voluminous without being dense.

Ladoix white is golden straw colored and should smell of flowers and have notes of ripe autumn fruit, plum and apple, pear and fig. They are bright on the palate, often very juicy, but show the firmness of good structure. Their minerality in not unlike the famous neighbor further up the slope, Corton-Charlemagne

Terroirs

The soils of the upper slopes are pebbly and red, iron-rich olite with a high limestone content and a good bit of marl. These soils suit white wines. Mid-slope, reddish-brown calcareous soils with abundant limestone debris produce full-bodied and flamboyant red wines. Clayey soils at the foot of the slopes take away some of their finesse, but add oomph. Exposures are mainly east or south-east to south. with altitudes at 230 to 325 meters

Color

Reds - Pinot Noir

Whites - Chardonnay

Production surface area :

1 hectare (ha) = 2.4 acres

Reds : 73.86 ha (including 15.96 ha premier cru)

Whites : 20.14 ha (including 8.73 ha premier cru)

Food

'Silky' is a word often used to describe red Ladoix. Soft tannins and roundness texture go well with cured ham and delicate meats like rabbit or boiled beef. There is a fleshiness that will smooth out the spices in a curry of lamb or poultry. It goes well with mild cheeses such as Vacherin, Reblochon or Cîteaux.

Ladoix white at its fullest, suits the salty iodine flavors of shellfish and cooked seafood. Blue cheeses work, as do firmer aged goat cheeses and grainy gruyère.

Appellations

On the label, the appellations 'Ladoix' and 'Ladoix 1er Cru' may be followed by the name of a specific vineyard, known as a climat.

The following climats are classified as premier cru.

Basses Mourottes

Bois Roussot

En Naget

Hautes Mourottes

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SKU: ECAP04R-20
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