Chantal Lescure | ‘Living terroir, authentic wine’

Whilst this Burgundian domain has a low-key reputation, its vines cover both the prestigious Côte de Nuits and the enchanting Côte de Beaune, giving us the best of both worlds when it comes to the region’s produce. Chantal Lescure is an estate that manages – quite surprisingly – to marry strength and finesse in their cuvées, and this year after year.

The family estate Chantal Lescure stretches from the northern slopes of Dijon down to Meursault, straddling the border between Burgundy’s two most famous wine regions, the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune. The domain owes its name to the woman who founded it with Xavier Marchard de Gramont in 1975. Since the death of Lescure, who was also the owner of Burgundian stamping company SEB, her sons have taken up the reins. Aymeric and Thibaut Marchard de Gramont work alongside winery master François Chavériat to continue the estate’s craft.

Under their artisanal direction, 19 cuvées from 35 different parcels are crafted at the domain every year, each one revealing something of the terroir from which it comes. Red wines are in the majority, with much of the vineyard dedicated to growing Pinot Noir. Other than that, Chardonnay and even a small amount of Pinot Gris grapes are cultivated. Organic certification was obtained for these vines back in 2009, a successful result for a conversion that started ten years prior. In practical terms, this philosophy looks like respect for soil health, optimal ripeness from natural yields, as well as harvests by hand, a method that allows for a meticulous sorting of the grapes.

Work in the cellar continues with ideas of terroir identity and authenticity in mind, as the grapes are destemmed before an intentionally gentle vinification. Cold maceration between 14° and 18° kicks off the process, a step that helps to preserve the fruit’s delicate aroma and flavour, as well as its colour and texture. Alcoholic fermentation then takes place in closed vats before a relatively long maturation on lees. This takes between 16 and 20 months, during which the wine ages in Burgundian casks and 500-litre containers. Oak has a moderate but by no means overbearing presence at this stage, allowing the wine to express itself more freely as it evolves. Once deemed ready, the wine is bottled without any fining or filtering.

The result matches the effort made. These wines are solid and expressive, perfect for keeping. Indeed, the way they evolve in the bottle is remarkable. Recognised by critics, the wines of Chantal Lescure are an excellent example of the authentic character of modern Burgundy, revealing the beauty of their superb terroir.

What do the critics say?

Guide Vert, La Revue du vin de France

The wines: the 2019 vintage gives very ripe fruit, but it holds onto a certain freshness thanks to the whole harvest. The white has an ample texture, more mineral and complex than you might think at first. Flavourful and tender, the Volnay has great energy. The Beaune is smooth and sweet, ripe with a nice tension to it. Les Vignots still carries the influence of its maturation, but nicely marries tension and freshness. Les Vaumuriens is a bigger wine with an almost languid mouthfeel. Les Bertins is a flash of fruit in the glass, bursting with life and flavour. Finally, Les Suchots holds onto its top position with its chiselled and sensual profile; this is a harmonious wine with sumptuous texture.

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