In 1985, brothers Philippe and Vincent took over the management of Domaine Lécheneaut from their father, Fernand. Twenty-five years before, Fernand had bought the property that would one day bear his name, but he preferred to remain a simple grower while he cultivated his career at négociant Maison Morin. When the company closed its doors in 1980, Fernand decided to create his winery out of Nuits-Saint-Georges to finally bottle his own wines, leaving a legacy of some of the Côte de Nuits greatest appellations for Philippe and Vincent to farm. Since taking over, these affable, modest and enthusiastic perfectionists have increased the family holdings and now make some the region’s most highly regarded red burgundies.
PEDIGREED TERROIRS, OLD VINES & LOW YIELDS
The Lécheneaut brothers farm 22 hectares among 70 vineyard parcels—a real feat when one considers that they farm in multiple appellations stretching throughout the Côte de Nuits and into the Côte de Beaune. In village AOCs, they work parcels in Marsannay, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey St-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanée, Nuits-Saint-Georges—and Chorey-lès-Beaune in the Côte de Beaune. In premier crus, they farm multiple parcels in Morey St-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny and Nuits-Saint-Georges. The brothers also farm a small parcel of grand cru Clos de la Roche which produces a mere 40 cases a year. The average age of their vines is 50 years.
With so many small parcels to farm, the Lécheneauts plow the soil regularly and have incorporated some organic and biodynamic treatments into the vineyard management, as they find it is the best way to preserve their clay and limestone terroirs. In certain vineyards, a grassy cover crop protects the soil from erosion and helps control nitrogen intake. The brothers aim to keep yields low, which they accomplish through a severe de-budding early in the season and later, a green harvest to average about 35 hectoliters per hectare. All of their grapes are harvested by hand.
GENTLE VINIFICATIONS, EXPRESSIVE WINES
The Lécheneauts favor de-stemming most of the grapes, but keep approximately 20 percent of the crop in whole clusters. The grapes undergo a pre-fermentation cold soak for three to six days. Fermentation occurs in cement vats, lasting from 15 to 21 days. Gentle extractions are achieved by occasional, pneumatic pigéages. All of the wines age for at least 18 months in both barrel and a few experimental demi-muids, ranging from one-third to 100 percent new oak, which integrates exceptionally well into the finished wines.
Actual bottle from our inventory is pictured. These bottles are in excellent condition, from their original case and all fills are into the neck. All bottles are as good or better than the bottle pictured. To see other wines currently available from this producer, please click the link with the name of this producer underlined above, just to the right of "Producer."
January 14, 201388-91 Reduction. The medium-bodied flavors are earthy and somber with the same fine concentration as the Vosne along with a similar texture though the tannins are less fine; indeed this is very Nuits and finishes with noticeable but not aggressive austerity. Patience will be required as the supporting structure is markedly firm.
March 201489 Lécheneaut's 2011 Nuits-Saint-Georges needs a bit of time in the glass to fully come together. Sweet spices, crushed flowers and red stone fruits wrap around the palate in a succulent, mid-weight Nuits with good balance and personality. The tannins are a bit rough around the edges, but all the elements come together as the wine opens up.