2014 Jane et Sylvain Bourgogne Passe-tout-grain
Region: Cote de Nuits < Burgundy < France
Grapes: 50/50 Pinot Noir, Gamay
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified Biodynamic farming; 25-year old vines; aged in 3-10 year old barrels and stainless steel; minimal SO2 added at bottling; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Jean-Claude Rateau
In the commune of Gevrey-Chambertin, in Burgundy’s fancy Cote de Nuits appellation, Domaine Jane et Sylvain is one of its smallest producers with only 4 hectares of vines and a teeny-tiny production. They’ve been organic since 2003, never using chemical herbicides or pesticides and instead using sexual confusion (yes, this is an organic-farming thing) to minimize pests. The wines are made with minimal intervention in the cellar, as Jean-Claude’s goal is authentic representation of the terroir and character of the fruit, without interference from oak or additions. And you absolutely see this purity and honesty in his entry-level bottle. It’s young and needs a few minutes to breathe after opening – there’s a bit of tar on the nose that blows off within 5 minutes — but then it starts opening up to reveal lovely blackberry and cassis notes, hits of cinnamon spice, and something clean and earthy, like fresh dirt right after a rain. On the palate you get chalky berry fruit with earth, citrus and anise in a refreshing medium-bodied frame. And it continues to open and reveal more layers as the night goes on. Serve slightly cool, with just about anything from fish to steak to turnip soup (tested this one – fab!) A lovely everyday Burgundy, something that’s hard to find under $25.