This Thirsty Thursday we look to a small wedge in Burgundy. 4 wee hectares (just 9.9 acres) of Pinot Noir to be exact. Called la Prieuré, it sits on the Western edge of the Hauts-Côtes de Nuits (that blue splotch on the map) near Arcenant.
In 1970, Mr Verdet decided to get it Organic Certification: one of Burgundy’s first. In 1981, his son Aurélien was born (good year). Under his father’s wing he quickly learned how to make fantastic wine. That 4 hectare plot became his sandbox. When dad retired in 2005, Aurélien took over and has since acquired some of the best vineyards throughout Burgundy.
But that little plot is still his baby. Entirely hand-harvested, sorted Pinot gently macerates at cold temperatures for 10 days, then pumping over starts a gradual, native yeast fermentation for 15 days. Up to a third of new barrels from Tronçais and Vosges forests then gently age this wine. This Thirsty Thursday we splurge and try it.
Aurélien Verdet, Hauts-Côtes de Nuits, la Prieuré, Bourgogne 2010
Aromas: An enveloping, challenging, complex bouquet can be smelled for miles of tart wild cherry. Dig deeper and find slight clove, chamomile flower, and white wood.
Palate: La Prieuré rings with steely acidity, lean, present tannin, medium body, with a 12.5% alcohol, warming finish.
Flavors: Intense, precise unsweetened cranberry juice, slight caramel, a steely minerality, followed by a slight menthol and grey smoke on the long finish.
Verdet’s 2010 is all focus and edginess yet extremely detailed and minutely intricate in its flavor complexity. This wine is fascinating now, if a bit precocious, but will age beautifully another ten years at least. Outstanding (5 of 5) stuff, and at $32 a worthwhile splurge.