Domaine Dandelion Hautes-Cotes de Beaune 'Nature' Rouge 2020
If you're looking for the purist possible expression of Pinot Noir from this part of the world, this is it...
Make no mistake, for truly great wine must be first made in the vineyard. He tends his own vineyards, from go to woe - no brought in fruit or juice here...As such you'll experience the magic only previously enjoyed by the Burgundians of yesteryear...
Organic, no additions whatsoever - cover crops - horse and hand winch ploughing - no pumped wine movements all combine to produce a most sublime expression.
The 2020 will start to enter its drinking window from 2026++
Variety - Pinot Noir
Country - France
Region - Burgundy
Sub Region - Hautes-Cotes de Beaune : Mavilly-Mandelot
Extra - Cork
Year - 2020
Volume - 750ml
In the lofty and peaceful village of Mavily-Mandelot, Christian Knott, crafts arrestingly beautiful wines of great class and elegance.
Christian, an Australian, has been living in France for the past 14 years, working as the Chef de Cave at the highly esteemed Biodynamic Estate, Domaine Chandon de Brialles in Savigny-les-Beaune until mid 2022. Christian’s understanding of plants and how to encourage their vitality with Biodynamics is profound. And the wines he's able to produce, thanks to that intimate knowledge and understanding of plant and site, are a pure pleasure and lesson in easy elegance. Nothing austere here, just pure fruited, seductive, yet mineral and fine wines.
Domaine Dandelion consists of approximately 2.5 ha in AOC Hautes Cotes de Beaune, mostly planted to old vine Pinot Noir (1940s - 60s plantings). There is also a tiny amount of very old vine Gamay (1901 plantings) and aligoté.
The geology is a combination of 2 different types of sites. On some vineyards, it is the classic Cote d’Or setup of a layer of clay over limestone, and on others a very deep basin of Blue Marl full of fossils (the famous geology of the Jura). The vineyards are around 500m altitude, making them the highest and latest to be harvested in the Cote d’Or. This ultimately gives the wines a more ethereal and elegant nature, no doubt a valuable asset for the future in this warming climate.
The vines are worked entirely biodynamically by hand and/or horse, and winch plough. They are using alternative disease treatments to remove all sulphur sprays from the vineyard, and copper is kept to a very bare minimum (usually less than 20% of the authorized maximum spray for Biodynamic certification, which is already very low).
Christian's wine making is extremely deft and intuitive.
He has a solid grounding in the chemistry and mechanics of wine making but his approach also combines a healthy dose of laissez-faire.
This is where the magic is created - he indicates, you have to have a certain element of wildness in the ferment to create intrigue and complexity, otherwise it's just all vanilla and safe. The thing is, he can do this because he has UNIQUE raw materials, his precious grapes to start with - from the being, it all starts in the vineyard...