Philippe le Hardi

Burgundy, burgundy France

Domaine du Château Philippe le Hardi (formerly Château de Santenay) was once the majestic stately home of the first Duke 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.

The magnificent Château has a flamboyant multi-coloured tiled roof ‘en tuile vernissée de Bourgogne’, one of the region’s most distinctive architectural traditions. Despite the property’s long history, it fell on hard times until it was taken over by French bank Crédit Agricole in 2010. The current owners have invested heavily in the estate over the past decade, building a new cuverie in 2014 and putting in a place a new team, including Chef de Cave François des Moutis. He is focused is on revealing the quality of the domaine’s single-vineyard sites through sensitive winemaking. A more gentle extraction and less new oak than in the past mean that the wines today are supple, characterful expressions of their well-respected sites.

Domaine du Château Philippe le Hardi own 98 hectares of vineyard, 72 of which are in Mercurey, as well 18 hectares in the in Côte d’Or. The Bourgogne Blanc Côte d’Or comes from a monopole near Saint-Aubin named `Clos de la Chaise Dieu`. The Mercurey Blanc `Bois de Lalier` is a single climat that displays lovely citrus fruit, good intensity and a superb texture. The Mercurey Rouge `Les Cheneaults`, another single-vineyard, has a perfumed nose with a touch of cherry and bright, lifted fruit on the palate while the Mercurey 1er Cru `Les Puillets` is fuller-bodied, with a ripe, dark cherry character and core of richness. The Saint-Aubin, from the four hectares they own in `En Vesvau`, offers excellent value in this increasingly popular appellation. It has bright, concentrated fruit, a touch of smokiness which gives a brilliant tension supported by a fine, silky texture on the palate. The Beaune 1er Cru `Clos du Roi` is forward and scented while the Aloxe-Corton `Les Brunettes et Planchots` shows a full and intense dark cherry fruit and a brooding structure. Lastly, Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, which was awarded the Clos de Vougeot Trophy, the Red Burgundy Trophy and the International Pinot Noir Trophy at the International Wine Challenge in 2019, is testament to the strides made by winemaker François des Moutis and his team in recent years.


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