Saint-Aubin


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  • Marc Colin Saint-Aubin Luce 2018

    £38.99

    “Offering up aromas of crisp orchard fruit, white flowers and toasted nuts, Colin’s 2018 Saint-Aubin Cuvée Luce is medium to full-bodied, elegantly textural and precise, with a caressing attack and a charming, expressive profile. This will drink well young. Drink: 2020-2035. 89 points

    Damien Colin continues his progression towards longer élevage in larger vessels: In 2017, he purchased more 300- and 350-liter barrels, a trend that continued in 2018, and after a year in wood, his wines now see a protracted sojourn in tank on the lees. He’s adding less sulfur dioxide at harvest, finding that fermentations last longer. And longer élevage with attendant natural clarification meant that he was able to bottle his 2017s entirely without fining or filtration. Those 2017s, revisited from bottle, confirmed their fine showing last year; and 2018, rounder and more immediate in style, looks to be another success for Domaine Marc Colin, as my notes testify.

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/20)

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  • Marc Colin Saint-Aubin Premier Cru En Montceau 2018

    £45.99

    “The 2018 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Montceau is also performing well from bottle, mingling aromas of pear, pomelo, orange oil, fresh bread and ginger. Medium to full-bodied, racy and tensile, with fine depth at the core but a more open, giving profile than the 2017 vintage, this will offer a broad drinking window. Drink: 2022-2042. 92+ points

    Damien Colin reported that his yields were some 30% below average and that the crop ripened rapidly, “even very rapidly.” Indeed, having projected a September 15 start, he began picking on September 7. Alcohol levels came in for the most part between 13% and 13.5%, with good phenolic maturity and lower pHs than in 2018. Having learned from a succession of warm vintages, every effort was made to retain freshness: working with cool grapes, minimal bâtonnage and moderate percentages of new oak. And in the vineyards, Colin is backing off rognage, working more flexibly to adapt to the vintage. All this translates to a very fine vintage chez Colin, delivering wines that are more concentrated and more clearly defined by site than the charming, open and expressive 2018s, also revisited here.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/21)

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  • Marc Colin Saint-Aubin Premier Cru Sous Roche Dumay Blanc 2019

    £47.99

    “The 2019 Saint-Aubin Sous Roches Dumay 1er Cru has a precise and focused bouquet, traces of oyster shell intermixed with yellow fruit, a hint of nectarine. The palate is very well balanced with a fine line of acidity, more weight than En Créots with a spiciness that floods the mouth on its way out, ensuring that you will not forget it in a hurry. Very penetrating, this is a sublime Saint-Aubin. Drinking window: 2022-2038. 92-94 points

    Since splitting with his brother Joseph, whose wines will hopefully be added to this report in the not-too-distant future, winemaker Damien Colin, together with his sister Caroline, has continued to create some of the best Burgundy wines you will find in Saint-Aubin, Chassagne and Puligny-Montrachet, from his winery based in the confusingly-titled village of Gamay. “It is a complicated growing season with the frost and the ‘canicule’ [heat wave]. In some appellations we produced just 30% of a normal crop in 2019, though there are others that produced a normal yield.” Damien Colin added that in Saint-Aubin, parcels located on the slopes that normally escape frost, were affected in 2019. Vines on flatter areas that are prone to frost damage seemed to escape Scot-free. He continued saying that in Saint-Aubin, buds had already begun opening, allowing moisture to enter, causing some of them to ‘explode’ when it turned to ice.

    “Flowering was normal and then there was a heatwave in the summer, but the vines did not suffer much hydric stress despite the high temperatures that reached around 40°C. The harvest was small, so the maturity came very quickly. The vintage was expected to be 15 September but by the end of August the natural alcohol was around 12.0° to 12.5°. Therefore, we brought the picking forward and began on 7 September until 18-19 September. For the whites the alcohol degree is 13.5° to 14.0°C but with high acidity, mainly tartaric. The malic was low so after the malolactic fermentation the acidity levels are still good. The harvest was rapid because of the small yields, though we had to keep stopping and starting to be precise in terms of picking. The fermentation was quite quick, finishing around mid-November and the malos passed normally in springtime. From 2019 we no longer use SO2 until after the malolactic, which was fine in 2019 as the fruit was healthy. The SO2 inhibits some of the natural yeasts and without SO2 we have a broad spectrum of yeasts that engender more complex wine. The Village Crus are matured in around 15% new oak and the Premier Crus between 20% and 25% new oak. The 2019s are all taken from vat and will be bottled next spring with the final six months in tank.”

    The 2019s from Domaine Marc Colin do not disappoint and it is remarkable, almost irrational that such freshness could be conjured in such a dry and warm season. Standout? Perhaps surprising to some, it is not their morsel of Montrachet, good as that is, but a thrilling Bâtard-Montrachet, a Grand Cru that I feel over-performs in this vintage. If unable to splash the cash, then head for their outstanding Saint-Aubin Les Charmois or Les Combes or just buy both. I also found much to admire apropos their nervy Chassagne-Montrachets, particularly in Les Vides Bourses. Not every cuvée hit the bulls-eye, but generally these 2019s continue to consolidate Damien Colin’s reputation as winemaker par excellence. Pressing him to choose between 2018 and 2019 he replies: “It is difficult for me to say one vintage is better than the other. I find more terroir character in 2019 and I think that they will need more time.””

    Neal Martin, Vinous (12/20)

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