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David Gleave MW on Château de Santenay: "It is always gratifying when you take a punt on an unknown property and the wines come up trumps"

20th May, 2014

David Gleave MW on Château de Santenay: "It is always gratifying when you take a punt on an unknown property and the wines come up trumps"

"It didn’t really seem possible, when I visited the venerable Château de Santenay last July, that only nine months later they would be celebrating two Gold medals at the International Wine Challenge.  The wines I’d tasted from previous vintages hadn’t impressed, but the new winemaking team in place for the 2012 vintage had certainly produced wines that were a big step up.  The low yields of 2012, helped by good weather in August, had brought the grapes to full ripeness.  The wines were certainly better than the image that had been painted for the vintage by the difficult growing season.  In the tasting, the whites were very promising, and it hasn’t surprised me in the least that the Mercurey Blanc and the St. Aubin ‘En Vesvau‘ have been hits with our customers.

The reds, however, were still young and closed in early July 2013.  The two Mercurey were excellent and forward, and I had every confidence in them, but wines like the Beaune 1er Cru ‘Clos du Roi‘ and the Grand Cru Clos Vougeot hadn’t even completed a year in oak, so looked young and closed, if very promising.  Their bright fruit, classic structure and clever oak handling has given wines that have developed beautifully in bottle over the past four months, but they’ve still a long way to go.  All credit then, to the judges at the International Wine Challenge who were able to see the quality shining out of these young wines. 

It is always gratifying when you take a punt on an unknown property and the wines come up trumps.   We currently have five of their wines in stock, and will be adding the Clos Vougeot to our list in September. I’d heartily recommend that you try the Château de Santenay wines and discover what drew us – and the judges at the IWC – to them."