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As one marvels at how the apparently skinny frame of a marathon runner, all sinew and tendon, can complete the distance, so Rollin’s fine-boned, medium-bodied wines have a remarkable ageing ability. The first time you visit the cellar Rémi Rollin brings out this red to taste blind. Most tasters say it’s a decade younger than it is. Light but intensely fragrant aromas and pretty balanced palate.
Product Code: BU41541
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A family domaine run by Rémi Rollin and his son Simon who are the third and fourth generation respectively to make wine in the little village of Pernand-Vergelesses. It all began when Rémi’s grandfather Maurice slowly accumulated plots in the appellation while working as a vineyard worker. His son Maurice took them over in 1955 and added more parcels when he could and bottled some of his wines for the first time. 1976 saw Rémi join him and Simon joined Rémi in 2003. This is very much a family affair, with all the vineyard and winery work done by father and son across 12 hectares, 8 of which are owned by the Rollins. Five communes and fourteen appellations are represented in their range, including several premiers crus in both red and white, including a small plot in the Ile de Vergelesses premier cru first purchased by Maurice in the 1930s, and part of the Corton Charlemagne grand cru more recently acquired. Their wines are very fine, with the potential for cellaring.
The Côte de Beaune runs from Ladoix-Serrigny in the north to Cheilly lè Maranges in the south, on the southern escarpment of the Côte d’Or. Beaune is the town at its heart. The most famous wines of the area are white, but many excellent reds are produced. The soils of the area are predominantly mixtures of clay and limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The hillsides here, split and riven by streams and side-valleys, provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as various aspects ranging from east-facing to south and south-west facing. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile respectively. More generic wines are produced at the top and bottom of these slopes, with the Premiers Crus and Grand Crus in a band running along the upper middle. Soils with more limestone suit chardonnay more than pinot, hence the number of famous white burgundies produced here.The climate here is semi-continental, though northerly winds can temper a hot summer while warmer winds from the south can bring warmth. Westerly winds that ultimately originate in the Atlantic can bring rain but at its worst may deliver devastating hail in incredibly localised storms. There is a degree of unpredictability about vintages in Burgundy.Pinot noir and chardonnay are the two permitted grapes of any significance, though Aligoté is grown occasionally for crisp, mouth-watering whites that are often used to make kir, and some generic Bourgogne or Crémant can be made with pinot blanc, pinot gris and beurrot can be made. The appellations to be found in the Côte de Beaune are as follows: Ladoix, Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton , Corton, Corton-Charlemagne, Chorey-lès-Beaune, Savigny-lès Beaune, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Monthélie, Auxey-Duresses, Saint-Romain, Meursault, Saint-Aubin, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, Santenay and Maranges Côte de Beaune-Villages and Bourgogne-Hautes Côtes de Beaune are also made. The former is solely for red wines and the latter includes some whites as well. Both are mostly from vineyards on the top of the escarpment and some represent good value for early drinking Burgundy.Côte de Beaune wines are generally lighter than those from the Côte de Nuits. Beaunes are soft and round, Volnays fine and silky. Pommards are the exception: due to more clay in the soil, they can be notably tannic and in need of considerable bottle age. The greatest of all white Burgundies, Le Montrachet, is made here between Chassagne and Puligny.
The exceptional 2005 vintage was always going to be a tough act to follow, but 2006 made a decent fist of doing so. Though 2006 might not be a great vintage it is clearly a good one. A mixed bag of weather through the summer was something rollercoaster ride for growers. A warm sunny June provided excellent conditions for flowering and segued into a very hot, dry July and one or two damaging hail storms. August was a big disappointment as overcast, wet and cool weather set in. As a result the vines were some way behind schedule in terms of ripening but matters were vastly improved by a superb pattern of September weather. The warm and relatively dry conditions of September allowed the grapes to catch up with their ripening and this they did so successfully that some growers requested a derogation allowing them to pick earlier than Ban de Vendage date of the 18th, the official start of the vintage. In fact the weather created one or two problems for the chardonnay crop, with browning of the grapes and the presence of botrytis rot in some vineyards. A warm south wind was a boon as it evaporated some of the water in the grapes and concentrated the sugars and acidity, which meant a good balance of ripeness and freshness. Any rot around was removed at the sorting tables at the cellars.Overall the wines have completeness and harmony, with intense aromatics, ripe fruit and tannins, and freshness. Once again, the Burgundy hierarchy shows very well in the wines.Whites were good to very good, ripe, full of flavour and freshness. Most were clearly for short to medium-term drinking and but for the very best crus should now be enjoyed. The reds are more consistent than the whites with excellent concentration and ripeness of fruit, particularly in the Côte de Nuits.
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