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Domaine de la Grand Cour, Fleurie Cuvee Vieilles Vignes 'Champagne' 2019
Domaine de la Grand Cour, Fleurie Cuvee Vieilles Vignes 'Champagne' 2019


 
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The estate of Domaine de la Grand Cour dates back to 1969 when it was purchased by Jean Dutraive, making it one of the oldest in the village of Fleurie. Jean Dutraive was joined by his son and fifth generation vigneron Jean-Louis in 1977. By 1989, the reins were fully in Jean-Louis’ capable hands. The heart of the property are the lieux-dits of Clos de la Grand Cour, Chapelle des Bois and Champagne which make up a total of 9 hectares of vines in Fleurie, surrounding the house and cellars. Additionally, the family has 1.6 hectares in the cru of Brouilly. The average age of the vines are around 40-50 years, with a good chunk around 70 years old.

Harvest at Dutraive is done by hand and grapes are immediately placed in tank at low temperatures to begin carbonic maceration (without sulfur). The wines ferment naturally with indigenous yeast and are macerated on the skins for anywhere from 15-30 days depending on the vintage and the particular wine. The wines are then gravity fed to the cellar for a period of ageing of 6-15 months, depending on the cuvée. Elevage occurs mostly in used burgundy barrels, though the Fleurie Grand Cour, Fleurie Chapelle des Bois and Brouilly are sometimes aged at least partially in old foudres or cement tanks depending on the vintage. Minimal S02 is added during the élévage, only when necessary, though a small amount is added when the wines are racked and assembled for bottling. And in general, no fining and filtration is used unless absolutely required.

This southeast-facing parcel, where the bedrock breaks through the soil in places, has delivered another terrific wine with the 2018 Fleurie Lieu-dit "Champagne" Cuvée Vieilles Vignes, a superb bottling that soars from the glass with aromas of rose petals, cinnamon, raspberries, Griotte cherries and blood orange. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, satiny and layered, with the most energy of any cuvée in the cellar this year, fine tannins and a long, penetrating finish. It's a worthy successor to the incredible, vintage-transcending 2017 rendition. Wine Advocate 96 (2018)

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