Sunday, April 3, 2011

Macon-Chanes "Serreudieres", Dominique Cornin, Burgundy

Ray Isle, the managing editor of Wine and Spirits magazine ( ), once said, "So what if they (biodynamic winemakers) also think burying cow horns full of manure will help them channel new life forces from the cosmos?"

Cornin winery, winter

   Do I think he was saying that because biodynamic practices add nothing to the product, or because whether one chooses to believe in the mystical aspects of this winemaking or not - the proof is in the bottle? A touchy subject, one that is being debated fairly heatedly in most areas of the winemaking world.

   With approximately 475 wineries worldwide being certified biodynamic by the Demeter Association ( ) Dominique Cornin and his son Romain have achieved something unique at their winery in the Macon-Villages appellation of Bourgogne (Burgundy). They are one of a very small, very powerful movement in the wine industry.

Dominique Cornin
     Dominque learnt winemaking from his father, who learned it from his father, all working the same land. Dominique will tell you that his grandfather passed away when his father was only 16 years old, and he believes that it is because they were the first generation to work the land using chemicals. Chemicals, to both Dominique and Romain, are not only dangerous - they are un-necessary.

   The proof is in the bottle. The Cornin winery ( ) only produces 12,000 bottles per year of the Macon-Chanes "serreudieres", and it manages to find it's way into markets as far away as Alberta, Canada. It has been written up be Decanter magazine, Le Point, and La Revue du Vin du France and continues to receive attention wherever it is sold.

Cornin winery, spring

   But is the attention due to biodynamics? The Cornin winery only received it's certification as an organic winery in 2009, although they follow most of the biodynamic practices. Does following the lunar cycle for harvesting really influence flavor concentrations? At the end of the day, I believe that what influences flavor more then anything else is the vignerons dedication to allowing the land speak in it's own voice. Dominique and Romain have that dedication and refuse to allow anything (even lunar cycles) get in between that expression of self and the bottle. Time will truly tell us if it was the Cornin's hardwork, or their belief system, that truly brought such elegance and finesse to our tables.

2008 Macon-Chanes "serreudieres", Cornin winery
Chaintre village, appellation Macon-Villages controlee, Burgundy, France

13% ABV, $20 USD   $25 CAD   ** EXCELLENT VALUE **

soil:         limestone, some clay
varietal:   100% Chardonnay
vines:       planted 1990, 1998
maturation:   concrete tanks, no oak

  • visual:   clean; pale amber gold core with watery rim
  • nose:    clean; moderate+ intense and developing aromas of stonefruit, honeysuckle, calcareous minerality, ripened gala apples, light almondy finish
  • palate:   clean; dry, moderate+ (lemon zest) acids, moderate alcohol, light+ body, moderately intense and developing flavors; mimicking the nose well with that pronounced minerality that runs through the palate from start to finish. Excellent balance and structure, medium length on the palate
  • conclusion:   drinking incredibly well now through 2012/13. Great concentration of flavors and the acids are quite lively
  • PAIRINGS:   poulet au quarante gousse d'ail - a whole roast of chicken with 40 cloves of garlic! It may seem like overkill, but trust me that this Macon has enough where-withal to stand up to the buttery, roasted power of garlic. Not into garlic? chevre risotto with smoked duck - a little cheese to play off the acids, a little smoke to enhance the non-oaked Chardonnay
   Let me conclude with Dominique's own words:

     Our wines are like siblings. They all share Chardonnay origins- they are similar, yet each has its own personality. Our wines are like you, like me- sometimes reserved or shy, sometimes flirtatious, high-spirited or laughing. They evolve and mature but never lie. They are authentic, in short, alive. Over vintages and time, they unveil their multiple facets. Love them simply for who they are and they will give back tenfold.

Bravo says I. As always, I look welcome your comments and questions.

CINCIN~!!!     SLAINTE~!!!     CHEERS~!!!

1 comment:

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