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Type
Red Wine

Domaine Royet Bourgogne Cote de Couchois 'Expression' 2018

Appellation
Bourgogne Cotes de Couchois
Region
Cote Chalonnaise
Vintage
2018
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$39.00
 
SKU: ERCO04R-18
Overview

AVAILABLE TO SHIP MARCH 2021

Intense ruby ​​color. Aromas of black fruits, cassis and blackberry. After aeration, licorice and vanilla, clean woody notes. Full fruit with spices enveloped in velvety tannins. Aging potential: 5 years

Producer

DOMAINE ROYET

In Burgundy, the Côtes du Couchois is at a crossroads. Both literally and figuratively.

Closing the geological fault that runs from Dijon to the southwest, this islet of vines west of the Côte Chalonnaise but in the extension of the Côte d´Or should be attached to the soils of "great Burgundy". But its location in Saône-et-Loire has led the appellation to fall back to the Côte Chalonnaise.

The region is undiscovered, all but unknown in the US. But it can be a source of excellent wine from excellent producers. And as always Elden Selections is there to prospect for the best.

Allow us to introduce the Domaine Royet. Located in the heart of the Côtes du Couchois, this family estate extends over 14 hectares (nearly 34 acres). The vines are planted on steep slopes at the foot of the Château of Couches. Combining tradition and modernity, the Domaine Royet produces wines that express the unique subsoils of this corner of Burgundy.

Vincent Royet today works with his father, Jean-Claude, being the third and fourth generations to exploit the domain. They have planted Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Aligote, and produce wines in the regional appellation Bourgogne, the sub-region Cotes de Couchois, as well as premier cru Maranges. They are also producers of an excellent in-house Crémant de Bourgogne.

Vintage

BURGUNDY 2018 VINTAGE

There has been talk over the past year of the 2018 vintage in Burgundy being one of the greatest of all time.  Comparisons with the mythical 1947, and all that.  But let’s be careful and take a closer look.

We’ve tasted some marvelous wines, both white and red, and from all of the appellation levels.  Purity and concentration would be the key words across the board.

But lest we forget, 2018 was the hottest vintage in Burgundy since 2003.  And frankly, we were expecting wines like we got in 2003: flabby whites and Cote du Rhone-like reds.  But that did not happen.  And the secret to understanding 2018 Burgundy lies in understanding the difference between these two very hot years.

If you look at 2018 from start to finish, not only was it hot, it was dry: 50% less precipitation than the annual average over the past 30 years. However, if you were here in the early part of the year, you’ll certainly remember the rain. ​

After a very dry summer in 2017, winter 2017-18 was wet. It rained nearly every day through March and into April.  And the vine was slow to bud.

That all changed in the middle of April. Wet soil and higher temperatures brought on explosive growth in the vineyards that the vignerons had a tough time keeping up with.  In a week we went from bud burst to unfurled leaves.

The first flowers burst in mid-May. The crop set regularly with very little disruption, and summer settled in. The early wet conditions followed by April’s warmth saw the onset of mildew, but the fungus never stood a chance.

It was a hot and sunny summer. Some would say it was a heat wave and a drought. And we started to see signs of stress in vineyards in certain sectors. Things were better where there was a little rain.  But August was bone dry. In fact, there was no rain from June 15th to the end of October.

It was about this time that comparisons to 2015 cropped up. You could see ripeness rapidly approaching, and there was talk of harvest starting at the end of August.

The vines were incredibly healthy; no moisture means no threat from mildew or odium. No rot.  Good ripeness.  ​

And, for the first time since 2009….a normal yield! So, let the harvest begin!

And it did, in the last days of August.  What was most astonishing right from the start was that the perceived acidity levels seem OK.  Granted, there’s no malic acid, but the levels of tartaric acid seem to be compensating, and there is an over-all impression of balance. 

Also amazing was the amount of juice the crop produced.  Not only was the yield bigger than the past 10 years’ average, but the amount of juice set a record for Burgundy.  So there will be a lot of 2018 around.

And all this in a year that felt more like the south of Spain than Burgundy as we know it.  The only thing we can attribute the quality of 2018 to is the abundant winter rains, and the vine’s ability to go searching for water when it needs it.

Appellation
p>BOURGOGNE COTES DE COUCHOIS

In Burgundy, the Côtes du Couchois is at a crossroads. Both literally and figuratively.

Closing the geological fault that runs from Dijon to the southwest, this islet of vines west of the Côte Chalonnaise but in the extension of the Côte d´Or should be attached to the soils of "great Burgundy". But its location in Saône-et-Loire has led the appellation to fall back to the Côte Chalonnaise.

Little known, the Couchois is therefore somewhat unloved in Burgundy. Angry at being snubbed by its neighbors, the appellation is now taking the bit in the teeth. Its time has come. In fact, at the start of the 1980s, at a time when appellations of origin were organized, the Côtes du Couchois procrastinated. Its winegrowers (around thirty at the time) could not agree on the position to adopt. Resist alone or let yourself be swallowed up by the neighboring Hautes Côtes de Beaune? In 1983, a union was finally formed, but its action, undermined by clan quarrels, produced little results. The Côtes du Couchois had to wait seventeen years to finally gain access to the precious AOC. Today, only a dozen truly concerned winegrowers are watching over the future of the appellation.

These troops have formed a new strike force. At their head: Olivier Poelaert, disembarked from his native Normandy in 2009 and since then installed at the Château de Couches. At the instigation of the group, the quality of the wines improved, a business called the Union of Producers and Traders of the AOC Côtes du Couchois was created. Together, they try to attract tourists and professionals to their end of the Côte d´Or.

On these slopes planted with Pinot Noir, Aligoté and Chardonnay (though the whites are not yet entitled to AOC Bourgogne Côtes de Couchois), the view is beautiful and the prices more than reasonable.

The vines meander along the geological fault and the folds of the valleys. This laughing landscape, just after Maranges and ten kilometers from Meursault as the crow flies, remains unexplored. Wrongly. It is time for fans to come and recharge their batteries.

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