Château de Santenay

Burgundy, burgundy France

This magnificent 9th century property is also known as Château Philippe le Hardi, named after the first Duc of Burgundy. Philippe le Hardi received his duchy from his father, the King of France, and became famous for banning 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 fell on hard times until it was taken over by French bank Crédit Agricole, who 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, which was of great interest to us.

The Mercurey Blanc has lovely fruit, good intensity, balance and a superb texture. The Mercurey Rouge has a perfumed nose with a touch of cherries and bright, lifted fruit on the palate while 'Les Puillets' is a step up; full-bodied, with riper, dark cherry fruit. In addition to vineyards in the Côte Chalonnaise, Château de Santenay also have 25 hectares of vineyards in the Côte d'Or, including 18 hectares in the Côte de Beaune. The Saint-Aubin, from the four hectares they own in 'En Vesvau', is excellent. It has good depth, a touch of smokiness and nice minerality on the nose and a lively character and velvety texture on the palate. The Beaune 'Clos du Roi' is forward and scented with excellent depth, a good intensity of dark cherry fruit and a dark supple structure.


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