2017 Quentin Jeannot Santenay Clos de la Comme-Dessus
Tucked away at the bottom of the Cote d’Or in Burgundy is the sleepy hamlet of Santenay. Santenay may not be the first location on every Pinot Noir lover’s lips, and that is certainly understandable. A complex set of sub-soil and soil changes in this very small area means that Santenay’s wines don’t necessarily hold a uniform profile. Some of them come across as deeply flavored as Gevrey-Chambertin, while others are beautifully perfumed, deliciously light and brilliant. And I don’t have a problem with either style, it’s just hard to know what you’re getting by looking at the label.
This wine, Quentin Jeannot’s Santenay Clos de La Comme-Dessus, is of the latter style. Here with just a whiff, is the seductive magic of Burgundian Pinot Noir – a gorgeous perfume of raspberries in the morning dew unfurls in the glass. The fruit is so pure, so perfumed it captures the true essence of this beauty. The palate is simply a dream woven in silk – so supple, so smooth that it’s dangerously easy to drink through an entire glass because it is so charming. The finish lasts for minutes, leading me to conclude it will be a treasure in your cellar for at least 10 more years. But I also think the wine is perfect right now.
Who made this heaven-sent wine? – Domaine Jeannot. As far as Burgundy goes, this domaine is relatively new. It was founded in 1995 when Quentin Jeannot’s parents decided it was time to switch occupations and return to the ancestral farm – vineyards in Santenay. With the young Quentin now at the helm, I think this producer is an absolutely rising star in Burgundy.
This particular bottle is a very special, with 3,500 bottles released from the winery. The Clos de la Comme-Dessus sits at the top of the Premier Crus in Santenay, tucked right back almost to the forest. Here the vines are 50 years old (that’s very old for Burgundy) and often have significant amounts of millerandage (poor flowering in the spring). This results in astonishingly low-yielding vines but grapes with amazing flavors – and it doesn’t concentrate the alcohol. This supple beauty comes in at a lovely, easy-drinking 13%.
Given its flavor, extremely limited allocation, and the rising star of Quentin Jeannot I have no idea why I got a deal on this wine. But I did, and Pinot Lovers everywhere should take advantage!