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Château de Santenay Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru

Côte de Nuits, Burgundy


  • Gold - International Wine Challenge 2014

Château de Santenay

This magnificent property, which dates back to the 9th century, is also known as Château Philippe le Hardi, as it was once owned by the first Duc of Burgundy...

Philippe le Hardi is famous as the person who banned the cultivation of Gamay in the Côte d’Or, saying in his edict of 1395 that only Pinot Noir could be used in the production of red wines from the already fabled slopes. Despite its long history, the property had fallen on hard times until it was taken over by the French bank Crédit Agricole in recent years. They have invested heavily, bringing in a new team to support the general manager, Gérard Fagnoni, and putting the emphasis on quality. The property has 98 hectares of vineyard, 72 of which are in Mercurey. These are remarkably well made and good value wines from the Côte d‘Or and Côte Chalonnaise.

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Château de Santenay owns 25 hectares of vineyards in the Côte d‘Or. The soils here are free-draining with a mixture of clay and sand, and a subsoil which has a high limestone content. This forces the roots of the vine to dig deep to find the vital nutrients and water they need, which in turn results in a high concentration of flavour within the fruit.

Vintage information

The growing season in 2012 was a challenging one and yields were down by 20%. Winter was mild and this was followed by a frosty and wet spring, threatening the vines with mildew and causing a very late and long flowering period. Thankfully a hot summer ensued allowing the berries to ripen fully. with harvest starting in mid September. Though yields and berries were small, the quality of the vintage was high, characterised by a very nice ripeness and great balance.


In 2012, most of the fruit from their vineyards was hand harvested. On arrival at the winery, the grapes were cold soaked for seven days at 8°C to extract colour and flavour from the skins. Temperature controlled fermentation lasted 12 to 14 days with daily pumping over, finishing with a rack and return, or ‘délestage‘,  to impart the grainy tannins that give the wines a lovely structure and length. The wine was then aged in oak barrels for 13 months, of which 20% were new, before being bottled in December 2013.

Tasting Notes

A powerful and well-rounded wine, with refined, mellow tannins whose velvety texture accompanies an elegant bouquet of violets, liquorice and truffles.

Vintage information

Vintage 2012
Grape varieties 100% Pinot Noir
Region Côte de Nuits, Burgundy
Winemaker Gérard Fagnoni
Alcohol (ABV) 13%
Acidity 6.3g/l
Residual Sugar 0.2g/l
Wine pH 3.39