Sylvain Cathiard Vosne Romanee 2018
100% Pinot Noir. Domaine Sylvain Cathiard comprises almost 7 hectares of vineyards in the Côte de Nuits, principally in Vosne-Romanée , but also in Nuits-St-Georges and Chambolle-Musigny. The Domaine was founded by Sylvain’s grandfather in the 1930’s and taken over by his father in 1969. Sylvain himself, a graduate of the École Viticole in Beaune, began working with his father, André, in the 1980s and gradually assumed control in the 1990s. Sylvain raised the quality level of the Domaine to the topmost echelon of Burgundy. Sylvain has now been succeeded by his son Sébastien, who has, many says, managed to raise the bar another notch or two. The domaine practices lutte raisonnée, a system of vine cultivation that is essentially organic and noninterventionist. Cathiard completely de-stems the fruit and employs cold maceration for 4-8 days, depending on the vintage. Fermentation occurs over indigenous yeasts for 16-22 days and reaches a fairly high temperature. The frequency of pigéage and length of cuvaison is adapted to the vintage. The young wine is then racked into Allier barrels and aged 18-20 months. After assemblage, the wines are bottled without fining or filtration. The vines for this Vosne-Romanee Village wine were planted between 1945 and 1985 and aged in 50% new oak. The wines of Sylvain Cathiard are reference standards. The subtle differences among the crus are readily apparent and illustrate both the authority and the magic of terroir. Cathiard wines are lush and opulent, to be certain, and without the slightest hint of forced extraction or excess sweetness; and they are harmonious and balanced and delicate. But the overriding impression that Cathiard wines give is one of absolute precision: striking each prescribed note perfectly in pitch and tone, without even a hint of excess or discordance.