Saint-Aubin Blanc

Saint-Aubin Blanc

Saint-Aubin Blanc

Regular price $65.00
Burgundy, France
Grapes: Chardonnay
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The Chardonnay grapes in the Domaine Derain Saint-Aubin Blanc were formerly part of the cuvée En Vesvau, but from more gravelly soil, which Julien decided to keep separate. So, the wine is from the Saint-Aubin appellation which is famous for its white wines in particular due to its proximity to Puligny-Montrachet.

The grapes for this wine are farmed organically and biodynamically to ensure that the fruit is able to be picked in perfect condition and with great juice. At harvest time the grape bunches are hand harvested to ensure that the grapes stay in perfect condition and no sulphur is added to the grapes .

The whole bunches are pressed (although sometimes Julien decides to partially destem the bunches), fermented using only the natural yeasts that are on or in the grapes and then matured in aged French oak barriques for 12 months before being bottled unfiltered, unsulphured and unfined.

This is a delicious wine that will drink very nicely for a number of years, but is tasting very nice right now!

Domaine Derain

Dominique Derain started his career making wine barrels but decided, instead, to study winemaking in Beaune. In 1988 he and his wife Catherine purchased 5.5 hectares of vineyards in Saint-Aubin just south of Beaune and began tending the vines biodynamically and making their wines in a non-interventionist way. This formed the basis of Domaine Derain.

The Saint-Aubin appellation is one of the hidden secrets of Burgundy because the vineyards border those of the premier crus of Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet but do not command anywhere near their price.

Some years ago Dominique and Catherine were joined by an eager young assistant, Julien Altaber, who wanted to learn the finer points of natural winemaking and Dominique was an ideal teacher. As the business grew there was plenty of work for Julien helping Dominique in the vineyards and in the winery.

And there was also a lot of administrative work so Dominique hired a young woman named Carole Schwab to help in the office but also to assist with wine tastings and other work in the cellars. 

A few years ago, Dominique officially retired. Julien and his now partner Carole bought the domaine from him.

Julien, in addition to working for Dominique, had started his own domaine (Sextant) some years before, initially making his own wine in Dominique’s cellar, so it was a natural changing of the guard.

You can see the change of ownership in the labels. The older labels reference ‘Catherine & Dominique Derain’ and the new wines are labelled ‘Domaine Derain’. 

However, although no longer an owner, Dominique is still intimately involved in the cellar and vineyard. He may not have the responsibility any more but as a mentor he is still ever-present. He maybe waxing (he is still the master) or labelling bottles.

The wines are certified biodynamic by Ecocert and have been certified since 1989.

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