In a nutshell: An excellent single vineyard red Burgundy from the Hautes Côtes de Nuits made by renowned Vosne-Romanée producer Michel Gros.
The lowdown: Over a period of 40 years Jean Gros and then his son Michel painstakingly put back together the unique 4 hectare parcel of Fontaine Saint Martin in the Hautes Côtes de Nuits overlooking the 900 year old Cistercian abbey of Lieu-Dieu des Champs. This vineyard had been decimated by phylloxera in the late nineteenth century and then abandoned until Jean took up the task of reclaiming it in the 1970s. Michel had always vinified his different Hautes Côtes de Nuits parcels individually before blending but took the decision in 2014 that Fontaine Saint Martin, sitting on soils similar to that of the hill of Corton 5km to the south, deserved to be bottled separately and the monopole was created.
Traditionally made the wine is first matured in large oak barrels before being transferred to 1 to 3 year old Burgundy barrels that have previously held some of Gros' top cuvées. A classic, well-made, red Burgundy with bright raspberry and ripe black fruit aromas with touches of earthy notes and liquorice and violets. Medium-bodied on the approachable, supple and rounded palate with ripe tannins, balanced acidity, a grippy firmness and good finish.
When to drink: Drinking well now but will have the capacity to age over the next few years. Try with veal, game, or mushroom based dishes or sauces.
The Gros family have been vignerons in the village of Vosne-Romanée since 1830. Michel Gros, who started out in 1995 with a magnificent parcel of vines handed down from his father today has more then 23 hectares under vine in the Côtes de Nuits and the Hautes Côtes from which he makes wines together with his son Pierre.They ensure that yields are kept low, everything is hand-picked and there is a rigorous sorting prior to total destemming. During fermentation, at a maximum of 32 degrees, he uses both pigeage and remontage to ensure a gentle extraction. Racking is kept to a minimum. They use between 30% new oak, for the village wines and 50-80% for their Premier crus.
The resulting wines offer great purity and intensity of flavour, and, as good Burgundies should do, seduce rather than assault the senses.