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The Regal Duet

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Loyal followers of Burgundy understand that its sophistication lies not just sensually in taste, but also intellectually in heritage and history. Endowed with and relying on a myriad of terroirs painstakingly studied and delimited by Benedictine and Cistercian monks, Burgundy is revered for, inter alia, its diversity – made possible by two noble varieties only.
Often referred to as the Queen and King of Côte-de-Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin are home to some of the world’s finest Pinot Noir. Similar in class but dissimilar in style, the two appellations provide a perfect case study on the subject of terroir.
A linguistic corruption of champ bouillant (literally: bubbling field), referring to water torrents after heavy rainfall, Chambolle appended the name of its most prized vineyard Musigny in 1882, and Chambolle-Musigny was granted AOC status in 1936. Possessing 24 Premiers Crus and 2 Grands Crus, the small appellation produces ca. ¾ million bottles annually, almost exclusively red. With more active chalk and less clay than other villages, Chambolle-Musigny is synonymous to elegance and finesse.
Whereas the etymology of Gevrey is untraceable, Chambertin came from champ de Bertin (literally: the field of monk Bertin). In 1847, Gevrey-Chambertin set the trend of appending names of prized vineyards, which was followed by 10 villages. Granted AOC status in 1936, it is the largest appellation of Côte-de-Nuits and second largest of Côte-d’Or (only behind Beaune). Boasting 26 Premiers Crus and 9 Grands Crus, the entirely red appellation produces ca. 2 million bottles annually. With clay rich in iron, Gevrey-Chambertin defines authority and intensity.
Established in Gevrey-Chambertin as coopers and farmers since 1740s, the Naigeon family has been winemakers since 1890. Now with Pierre Naigeon at the helm, the domaine owns 11.5ha of vineyards, including plots of the prominent Grands Crus of Charmes-Chambertin and Bonnes-Mares.

Domaine Pierre Naigeon Chambolle-Musigny Les Athets Vieilles Vingnes 2009

Deep garnet with shimmering crimson-ruby rim, the discreet and floral nose reveals cranberry, raspberry, star anise, sous bois and white truffle, embellished by hints of violet. With tantalising acidity and silky tannins, the elegant and enticing palate delivers redcurrant, morello cherry, Da Hong Pao red tea, dried basil, wild mushroom and black truffle. Medium-bodied at 13%, the stylish entry continues through a classy mid-palate, leading to a focused finish.
Sourced from old vines planted before 1960, the berries were manually harvested, rigorously sorted and fermented with natural yeast. Matured in oak barrels for a year, the wine was bottled without pomping, fining and filtering. From the outstanding 2009 vintage, the wine has yet to hit top gear; further cellaring is recommended. Merely 2,650 bottles were produced.

Domaine Pierre Naigeon Gevrey-Chambertin Les Corvées 2009

Rich garnet with gleaming cardinal-carmine rim, the aromatic and nuanced nose radiates bilberry, black cherry, clove, mocha, porcini mushroom and black truffle. With jovial acidity and rounded tannins, the alluring and profuse palate exudes blackberry, red cherry, Keemun red tea, cinnamon and nutmeg, enriched with hints of game. Medium-full bodied at 13%, the fleshy entry evolves into a concentrated mid-palate, leading to a spiced finish.
Grown on clay-limestone soil on an east-facing slope, the berries were manually harvested, rigorously sorted and fermented with natural yeast. Matured in oak barrels for a year, the wine was bottled without pomping, fining and filtering. From the outstanding 2009 vintage, the wine has just become approachable; further cellaring is an option. Merely 1,300 bottles were produced.

To experience the charm of fine burgundies, contact Mr Pierre Naigeon of Domaine Pierre Naigeon; W: www.domainepierrenaigeon.com; E: naigeon@aol.com; T: +33 (0)3 80 33 46 03

Jacky I.F. Cheong is a legal professional by day and columnist by night. Having spent his formative years in Britain, France, and Germany, he regularly writes about wine, fine arts, classical music, and politics in several languages

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