2015 Claire Nadin 'Orchis Mascula'
Region: Burgundy < France
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, dry-farmed vineyards; long, slow whole cluster fermentations in old wood; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no additives, including So2; vegan; zero-zero
Winemaker: Claire Nadin
In 1994 Claire, fresh out of Oenology school, started making wine at the estate she took over from her father, halfway between the Cotes de Beaune and Cotes de Nuits in Burgundy. Her style has always been very minimalist, but she started experimenting with no sulfur winemaking in 2001, in response to the terrible migraines she started suffering after work in the cellar. Not only did this solve her migraine problem (newsflash: So2 is bad shit!), but she found the wines were more expressive and more stable without. Claire found that by using long, slow 3-hour whole cluster pressings to slowly expose the juice to oxygen and fortify it with the antioxidants found in the stems, she got very stable wines that would not oxidize further or fade upon opening. We tested this, it’s true folks – tasted over 3 days, the wine never fell apart, remaining bright and beautiful and intoxicatingly delicious – not always the case with sulfite-free wine. As you would expect in a top-quality Pinot, the texture is polished and pristine, with fine tannins, and seductive smoky, chalky, crunchy red berry fruits. Different here though is the magical floral perfume that emanates from the wine, along with real lift and energy - the palate evolves constantly, from cherry blossom, to red apples and tart red cherries, to stemmy, savory spice. Even better, it is incredibly affordable, given how inflated Burgundy pricing has become. But not for long – Claire is a star on Paris’ natural wine scene, and her wines hard to come by there – and the word is bound to spread soon, tightening the supply for us here. So, treat yourself and grab a bottle now, before it’s all gone.