Dominique Laurent is a former pastry chef who started a small negociant business in Nuits-Saint-Georges, in Burgundy’s Cote d’Or, in the late 1980s. He produced his first vintages a few years later, and quickly developed a reputation for making very small quantities of excellent wine sourced from old vineyards. In 2006 Laurent made the leap from negociant to grower with the purchase of a few acres of vineyards. Today Domaine Laurent Pere et Fils owns 23 acres in Nuits-Saint-Georges. He is known for his extreme approach to “hands-off” winemaking, and for his habit of sometimes using “200% new oak,” meaning that one cuvee is sometimes transferred twice to new oak barrels. About 30,000 bottles are produced annually and his wines have earned cult status with some Burgundy collectors.
Côte de Nuits is the northern part of the Côte d’Or and it includes the most famous vineyards and wine communes in the world. There are more Grand Cru appellations in the Côte de Nuits than anywhere else in Burgundy. Of the fourteen communes, or villages in the Côte de Nuits, six produce Grand Cru wines. They are Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St.-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Flagey-Échezeaux and Vosne-Romanee. Some of the vineyards within the Côte de Nuits are tiny, which adds to their prestige. The fabled Grand Cru vineyard La Romanee is barely two square acres. Altogether there are twenty-four Grand Cru vineyards. The region takes its name from the village of Nuits-Saint-Georges. Côtes de Nuits produces mostly reds from Pinot Noir, and the wines have been in demand for centuries. During the 18th century King Louis XIV’s physician recommended that for his health the king only drink wines from Nuits-Saint-Georges. Like most of Burgundy, the soils of the Côte de Nuit can vary greatly from one vineyard to another, though most are a base soil of limestone mixed with clay, gravel and sand.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.