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Domaine Michel Rebourgeon Pommard 1er Cru 'Les Rugiens' 2022

Appellation
Pommard 1er Cru
Region
Côte de Beaune
Vintage
2022
In Stock
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$169.00
 
SKU: EREB06R-22
Overview

If there ever were to be a Grand Cru in Pommard, it would be Rugiens. Many call it the Richebourg of the Cote de Beaune. The Domaine Rebourgeon owns a tiny slice of under a half an acre.

Always tight when young, it nevertheless has so much going on that you can’t help but get an idea of what the future holds. Rugiens is muscular due to its poor rocky iron ore soil. The fruit struggles, and the juice produced is always intense.

Ripe cherry is the fruit, but there’s so much more. Power and structure, explosive from start to finish. Long, long finish that just keeps coming, full of cherry fruit and that structure that tells you that you want to have a bottle of this in your cellar 25 years from now.

Winemaker

Is there a more unusual story today in Burgundy?

At first sight, perhaps not. The Domaine Michel Rebougeon, in the heart of Pommard, has origins dating back to the 16th century. It has gone by its present moniker since 1964, and in 1996, Michel’s daughter, Delphine, and her English husband Steve Whitehead took over.

This small domain is made up of prime appellations in Pommand, Volnay and Beaune, 4.25 ha (10+ acres) in all.

Steve had a wine business in the UK in the 1980s, and it was during that time and via that business that he met his future wife, Delphine. When Delphine’s father, Michel, neared retirement age, Steve left his UK business and joined the Rebourgeon family domain.

He and Delphine worked the vineyards themselves. The small production was sold mostly out the door at their ‘caveau’ on the main square in Pommard. So while the domain had classy wines in some of the bell-ringing appellations in the zone, it remained small, discreet and undiscovered.

Now that Steve and Delphine are getting closer to retirement, their son William has taken charge. And the profile of the domain has changed overnight. When these notes were written in 2021, William was 21 years old. His father tells me that he was avidly in the vines every day after school from the age of 8. And his enthusiasm shows. William Whitehead, at a very tender age, shows the maturity and touch of a winemaker with decades of experience, and innate ability.

As always in the Press, there is a lot of hyperbole. But a) before William, there wasn’t much Press about the domain; and b) it’s just true, the kid has talent. The vineyard work, the expression of ‘terroir’ and the generosity of the wines, from the simple regional Bourgognes through to the quasi-grand-cru ‘Rugiens’, is astounding.

Out of the discretion and potential of the Domaine Michel Rebourgeon past, a star is born.

Vintage
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BURGUNDY 2022 VINTAGE

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After three successive high-quality but low-quantity vintages, winemakers in Burgundy are refilling their cellars with an excellent 2022 harvest.This is not to say that it was an easy ride. Once again, frost, heat and drought put stress on the growing season, but timing is everything, and the extreme weather did much less damage than in previous years.

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Winters have been wet and mild for years now. The winter of 2021-22 was not, with less than average rainfall and seasonal temperatures. Under these ‘normal’ conditions, we would expect budburst in the first half of April. But summer-like conditions at the end of March forced the vines, especially Chardonnay, to bud early, and we went into frost season with tender green buds exposed. There were two nights in the coming week below zero, but damage was limited.

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Spring conditions set in in mid-April, but Summer followed soon thereafter, dry with spiky heat waves. The vines went wild.  Winemakers fought to keep the growth under control. And the fight continued until flowering, which happened a couple of weeks early in mid-May.

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The warm, dry conditions led to nearly-perfect flowering. We saw for the first time the potential of a great crop, with lots of beautiful, full, well-formed grape bunches; and an early harvest, with fruit setting well ahead of schedule.

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But the drought held, and the fear was that this beautiful fruit would shrivel on the vine. Finally, at the end of June, the rain came. Summer storms bring with them the risk of hail, so all eyes were on the sky as the storms were sometimes violent causing significant but limited hail damage. The rains were intermittent, but regular for the next weeks. The cumulative rainfall would not be enough to see the crop through to harvest, however.

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The heat waves continued through the rains, and so the risk of fungal disease, usually associated with wet conditions, dried up. But temperatures spiked and dry conditions set in again. The grapes ripened in a full-blown heat wave. Winemakers had to keep a close eye on sugar levels, as the risk was that ripeness could gallop away at the last minute.

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And then, just about the time when it looked like an over-ripe mid-August harvest was imminent, it rained again. And the producers were able to let that water absorb into the fruit, increasing the volume of juice that was ultimately harvested in the first week of September.

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2022, both white and red, are showing real depth and ripeness. And while there was once again very little malic acid, the tartaric acid holds the balance and structure together. Early tastings in the barrel show enormous charm and vitality. Very promising.

Appellation

POMMARD

COTE DE BEAUNE

Pommard lies between Beaune and Volnay where the Côte de Beaune makes a slight turn towards the Morvan. After Beaune, it is one of the larger vineyards. There are no grands crus, though there is a perennial debate about which of the best vineyards should be promoted. As in many of the best wine villages, the appellation is split by a combe with the village lying in the mouth of the valley. So here in Pommard, we speak of the north (Beaune) side vineyards and the south (Volnay) side vineyards. And that goes someway to explaining Pommard styles. But Pommard has a quirk: its best vineyards are not necessarily all situated on slopes. In fact many are in the flatland north of the village.

Produced only in the commune of Pommard, appellation Pommard includes 28 premiers crus.

Wines

Pommard has a reputation, forged in the 19th century, of being a massive beast of a wine. But look where it sits, between the south of Beaune and Volnay. Time, terroir and oenology have combined to show us a much more subtle Pommard, a wine that is richer and at the same time more elegant than its caricature. It can be deeply colored, and its berry fruit can be supported by cherry pit and plum. And yes it can develop wild aromas and chocolaty textures, but it will never be a tannic giant, but rather a full and gutsy, mouthwateringly rich, fruit-filled nugget.

Terroirs

On the lower slopes and flat ground, the soil is ancient alluvium. Mid-slope, the clay-limestone soils are well drained thanks to the inclusion of rock debris. Higher still are jurassic oxfordian marls, brown calcic soils, and brown limestone soils. In places, the soil is red with iron. Exposures are south or east, and altitudes range between 250 to 330 meters.

Color

Red wines only - Pinot Noir

Production surface area

1 hectare (ha) = 2.4 acres

321.69 ha (including 122.31 ha Premier Cru)

Food

Pommard's density is perhaps its most important feature when combining with food. Most will tell you that because it is so massive, it should be served with game. And is some cases this is correct. But you will find that braised and stewed meat and poultry work well, and the finesse of the wine can accent the rusticity of a simple stew. It is a natural partner for flavorful cheeses Époisses, Langres and Soumaintrain, but also Comté.

Appellations

On the label, the appellations 'Pommard' and 'Pommard 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 Blanc

Clos de la Commaraine

Clos de Verger

Clos des Epeneaux

Derrière Saint-Jean

En Largillière

La Chanière

La Platière

La Refène

Le Clos Micot

Le Village

Les Arvelets

Les Bertins

Les Boucherottes

Les Chanlins-Bas

Les Chaponnières

Les Charmots

Les Combes Dessus

Les Croix Noires

Les Fremiers

Les Grands Epenots

Les Jarolières

Les Petits Epenots

Les Pézerolles

Les Poutures

Les Rugiens Bas

Les Rugiens Hauts

Les Saussilles

The following climats are village wines from a single vineyard, know as a lieu-dit:

Chaffaud

Clos Beauder

Derrière Saint-Jean

En Boeuf

En Brescul

En Chiveau

En Mareau

En Moigelot

La Chanière

La Combotte

La Croix Blanche

La Croix PlanetLa Levrière

La Plante aux Chèvres

La Vache

Le Bas des Saussilles

Le Poisot

Les Chanlins-Bas

Les Chanlins-Hauts

Les Combes Dessous

Les Cras

Les Lambots

Les Noizons

Les Perrières

Les Petits Noizons

Les Riottes

Les Tavannes

Les Vaumuriens-Bas

Les Vaumuriens-Hauts

Les Vignots

Rue au Porc

Trois Follots

Village

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$169.00
 
SKU: EREB06R-22
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