Domaine Michel Arcelain Beaune ‘Siserpe’ 2006
A rich ruby color. There is a lovely floral aspect to the bouquet, then a generous finely tuned fruit right across the palate, offering subtle nuance. The tannins at the back are fine-boned. A wine that will appeal to those seeking for the ethereal side of Burgundy.
Michel and Mado Arcelain have been working their domain in Pommard together since they were married in 1963. The domain is made up of parcels of vines inherited from both sides of the family and over a number of generations, as well as vineyards purchased by them over the years. These vineyards (with the exception of a small parcel planted in Chardonnay) are all Pinot Noir of the highest quality, known as Pinot Fin. The selection of quality vines was primordial for the domain, and they have been cultivated like a garden since 1949.
BURGUNDY 2006 VINTAGE
If wine is the bottled essence of a year, lets uncork 2006. Winter was glacial, and the winemakers couldn’t have been happier. These were, in fact, the only ‘ideal’ conditions 2006 was to offer. ‘Ideally’, Nature should then re-awaken gradually in March and April, the plant ‘weeping’ as the sap gushes to cauterize pruning wounds, forcing the buds to swell. What we got instead was dismal cold and soggy wet on through to the end of May. Vegetation stagnated, and you could fairly smell the mildew in the air. June in turn was beautiful. Hot, dry conditions saw the retarded vines burst into flower practically overnight. The vineyards exploded with green growth that galloped along as the producers struggled to keep control. July hit and was torrid, a heat wave worthy of 2003. As the grape skins thickened, the growers talked warily of another late-August harvest. How wrong they were. August waned autumnal and deteriorated. Cold and rain halted the vine’s progress yet again. The risk of rot was back (it’s never a good sign to be picking mushrooms in August), and as the bad weather dragged on, a gloomy resignation settled in. Burgundy was not a happy place when the sun returned with September. Resignation turned to panic when the heat turned August’s rain to sweltering humidity. The vines took off again, this time hurtling towards maturity at an astonishing rate, those thick skins near bursting, and grey rot not far behind. The growers walked a razor’s edge as the difference between ripeness and over-maturity often came down to hours, not days. When the crop was ready, it was ready; not the day before, not the day after. Golden grapes turned brown seemingly overnight. Picking teams worked furiously to get the harvest in before sugar levels went through the roof. It was ‘do or die’. And then it was over. Nature had served up a riotous 2006 vintage.
COTE DE BEAUNE
A Burgundian icon and capital of Burgundy's wine trade, Beaune takes center place on the world stage during the annual Hospices wine auction. The Hôtel-Dieu with its Flemish tiled roof, the huge silent cellars of the negotiants' houses, and the wine-growing domaines of the district all attract lucrative tourism. The Beaune vineyards are among the most extensive of the Côte d'Or.
The appellation Beaune includes an astounding 42 premiers crus produced within the commune of Beaune itself. There is much variation in the appellation Beaune. Differences appear from parcel to parcel, depending on the location. Generally wines from the northern end of the commune tend to be more often intense and powerful, and those from the southern end are smoother and fuller.
The reds should be a luminous scarlet color, with classic Pinot aromas of black fruits (blackcurrant, blackberry) and red (cherry, gooseberry) with notes of humus and wet undergrowth. When older, secondary aromas of truffle, leather, and spice develop. Younger Beaune reds give the impression of biting into a bunch of fresh grapes, firm and juicy.
The whites tend to be a viscous gold flecked with green. You often get almonds, dried fruits and white flowers in the nose. They may be enjoyed for youthful fruitiness but will age admirably, especially in the better premier cru vineyards.
In the geosyncline of Volnay the comblanchian limestone disappears into the depths to be replaced by the overlying Rauracian. The slopes are quite steep and the soil thin (scree-derived black rendzinas). On the lower slopes are argovian marls and deep soils tinged with red from the iron in the oxfordian limestone. The foot of the slope is mostly limestone mixed with clay. Exposure ranges from east to due south. And altitudes range between 220 to 300 meters.
Red wines - Pinot Noir
White wines - Chardonnay
Production surface area
1 hectare (ha) = 2.4 acres
Reds : 362.74 ha (including 281.49 ha Premier Cru)
Whites : 48.96 ha (including 36.06 ha Premier Cru)
Reds from Beaune tend to be fleshy and generous, and the best can show great aromatic power and solid structure. So we partner them with firm gamey meats such as feathered game, roasted or braised. For cheeses choose the more 'gamey' style too: Époisses, Soumaintrain, Munster, Maroilles.
Beaune whites in their youth have a flowery freshness making them a good match for poultry and veal in creamy sauces, and for grilled sea-fish. When older and fleshier they enfold cheeses such as Cîteaux, Comté, and creamier goat cheeses.
On the label, the appellations 'Beaune' and 'Beaune 1er Cru' may be followed by the name of a specific vineyard, known as a climat.
The following climats are classified as premier cru:
Clos de l'Ecu
Clos de la Feguine
Clos de la Mousse
Clos des Avaux
Clos des Ursules
Clos du Roi
Le Bas des Teurons
Le Clos des Mouches
Les Cents Vignes
Les Vignes Franches
Sur les Grèves
Sur les Grèves-Clos Sainte-Anne
The following climats are villagewines from a single vineyard, know as a lieu-dit:
Dessus des Marconnets
Fb de Bouze
Les Beaux Fougets
Les Bons Feuvres
Les Levées et les Piroles
Les Pointes de Tuvilains
Montagne Saint Désiré