Regional Red 750 ml
Tasted: Apr 10, 2019
Producer note: Richard Fontaine’s daughter Céline, who is progressively taking over the domaine, described the 2017 growing season as one where we were “incredibly fortunate not to have suffered frost damage again because everything was in place for another catastrophe. In the end though, there was a bit less humidity and some wind, both of which were critical in avoiding damage other than a bit in the pinot vines in our parcel of Bourgogne. Otherwise we had an excellent, mostly stress-free growing season with an early bud break, good flowering and a fine fruit set. The summer was very warm and relatively dry which meant we had no disease threats and the fruit rapidly ripened. We began picking on the 3rd of September and brought in generous yields in both colors. Moreover the fruit was clean and ripe with potential alcohols that ranged from 12.5 to 13%. Interestingly, despite the higher yields we obtained very good solid to liquid ratios and this explains why the reds possess such a lovely texture. In fact the maturities were about what we obtained in 2015 though the wines themselves are notably more elegant. As to the reds, I love the style as they’re classic, refreshing, and beautifully transparent. We gave them 18 months of élevage and they should age well but be accessible young too. In sum, I think of the 2017 vintage as a very pleasant surprise as it gave us both quality and quantity.” I found the quality of the Fontaine 2016s to be basically in-line with what I found elsewhere in the Côte de Beaune though a few of the wines seemed a bit awkward which I attribute to the recent bottling. Fontaine also noted that the reds were bottled in February, 2019. (JAO Wine Imports, www.jaowineimports.com, VA, Polaner Selections, www.polanerselections.com, NY, Los Angeles Wine Company, www.lawineco.com, CA, all USA; Diva Beaune S.A.S., www.divawine.com, Beaune, France; John Armit Wines, www.armit.co.uk, Decorum Vintners, www.decvin.com, Bibendum Wine Ltd., www.bibendum-wine.co.uk, Lay & Wheeler, www.laywheeler.com, Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Private Cellar Ltd., www.privatecellar.co.uk, Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com, Laytons, www.laytons.co.uk, O.W. Loeb, www.owloeb.com, Private Cellar Ltd., www.privatecellar.co.uk and Majestic Wine Warehouses, www.majestic.co.uk, all UK).
Tasting note: This too is attractively fresh with its array of airy red pinot fruit and hints of forest floor character. The sleek and utterly delicious lightweight flavors possess a slightly firmer finish. This too should drink well early on.