Marc Colin Saint-Aubin Premier Cru La Chateniere 2020

£69.95

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“The 2020 Saint-Aubin La Chateniere 1er Cru comes from the parcel at the top at the climat, the one that Damien Colin opined has improved the most since the domaine was divided with his brother. It has a vibrant, very focused sea-spray-scented bouquet, bashful at first but soon losing its inhibitions. The palate is supremely focused with real concentration, and spicier than Colin’s other Saint-Aubin Premiers, leading to a sapid finish. Everything you could really wish for. Drinking window: 2024-2048. 93-95 points

“The 2020 vintage was easy overall – no hail or maladies, but a precocious harvest, so we started picking August 22,” Damien Colin explained when I dropped in at his winery in the confusingly named village of Gamay. “You would think that the wines are rich, but they’re not at all like that. The whites are coming back to a more classic style of Burgundy, less ripe and rich than the previous two vintages, with a lot of freshness. With the maturity and acidity levels, I felt that we should reduce the percentage of new oak to preserve this freshness and also pick each parcel at optimal maturity within the climat. For example, the Chassagne-Montrachet Village was picked over five different days, and the same for the En Remilly, whereas before they were picked and blended in the vat on the same day. Each parcel is vinified separately and then blended to try to respect the maturity of each one. There is no bâtonnage, and now I use three cooperages instead of ten: Chassin, François Frères and one in Cognac. I no longer use foudres because the domaine is smaller and we have smaller yields, so the wine is just matured in piéces. All the wines have been in vat since September. I prefer the 2020 to the 2019 because it is more Bourguignon, more classic in style.” This was a fabulous set of 2020s from Damien Colin, full of verve and precision.”

Neal Martin, Vinous (12/21)