Have you missed us?


No, we haven’t gone away. So to prove – we’ll post on Santenay.

The 2005 Premier Cru, Les Gravieres, to be exact. This was drunk, and enjoyed, on Friday night, after an evening at Birmingham Wine School. It accompanied cheese on toast, some cold Italian meets and savoury biscuits – which were all very welcome after a long evening.

Santenay is a village towards the southern end of the Cote de Beaune which boasts around 16 Premier Cru vineyards. These account for a third of the total of 1000 acres of vineyards, only 10% of which is white wines. The grape variety permitted for AC red wines is, of course, Pinot Noir. Les Gravieres is regarded as one of the finest Premier Crus in Santenay. It certainly promised a lot.

The colour was a brilliant, bright clear cherry red – neither overly light nor dark. It had the legs to remind us of its 13.5% alcohol level. There was only a slight farmyard rich whiff (hallmark Burgundy, by the way) on the nose which vanished quite promptly and it was not particularly beetroot, either. The nose was one of strong fruit, slightly sweet.

It was of medium length on the palate, where the sweet fruit was balanced by a delicious savouriness and was still firmly structured, suggesting it still had plenty of life ahead of it. At the finish, it tasted slightly of violets but this disappeared after a while. It was a well-made, delightful wine. Even Richard, a Burgundian sceptic, was impressed.

[The Wine Society used to sell ‘mystery’ Burgundy cases which purported to offer big reductions on what were, I suppose, bin-ends and stuff that didn’t sell. This came from one of those so it’s hard to price. Maybe £20 which for the vintage and the quality is  pretty good value in Burgundy, if nowhere else.]


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