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2011 Hospices de Beaune Volnay Santenots Cuvee Gauvain elevage Louis Jadot

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WineBid Tasting Team

Vibrant ruby. Smoky, tarry, scorched earth becoming chaparral-infused scents of forest floor, dusty cherries. Almost medium-bodied, bold but elegant, with a satiny texture, tastes of red cherries, clove, allspice. A vixen of a Volnay.


France, Burgundy, Côte d'Or, Côte de Beaune, Volnay, Santenots

Volnay is a small appellation with just 904 vineyard acres and a town of fewer than 500 residents. Nevertheless, to Burgundy enthusiasts, it's a jewel. Clive Coates calls Volnay “one of the most delightful wines and one of the most rewarding communes in the Côte d’Or.” Robert M. Parker Jr. described Volnay as “the queen of the Côte de Beaune.” Volnay has always been appealing. In the 13th and 14th centuries the powerful Dukes of Burgundy acquired land there and built chateaux. The medieval town sits on the hillside above the vineyards and the appellation is restricted to red wines made of Pinot Noir. Though there are no Grands Crus, there are 35 Premiers Crus. Some reviewers say the lighter soil of Volnay, compared with Pommard to the north, makes Volnay wines more delicate and elegant than wines from neighboring appellations. Robert M. Parker Jr. wrote that Volnay has a “high-quality level of winemaking…The top Volnays possess an immense, seductive fruitiness and lushness…”


Red Wine, Pinot Noir, 1er (Premier) Cru

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.


2011 Hospices de Beaune Volnay Santenots Cuvee Gauvain elevage Louis Jadot

Cuvée Gauvain comes from plots in Les Santenots du Milieu and Les Plures. The total area of the vineyards is 3.5 acres and they are located on hillsides on Volnay's southern border. The cuvée is named for Bernard Gauvain, a wealthy land owner who left everything to the Hospice de la Charité when he died in 1804. His widow later bequeathed their magnificent home to the municipality and it is now the seat of the Union of Burgundy Negociants. Wines from the Volnay-Santenots hillsides are among the first in the area to ripen, and they are prized as the source of rich, complex and elegant wines. Christie's Auction Catalog: "purple-ruby, with very ripe, fragrant aromas, which are subtly spicy. On the palate...full and luscious...shows the inimitable finesse of its great, First Growth Volnay terroir. Tannins are firmly present..."