A little video of Mounir Saouma on his walk from Gevrey over to Chambertin. On a cold morning in November 2011, Mounir discusses the difference between Clos de la Roche and Clos Saint Denis, topographically and geologically, and then how those factors affect the wines – as he states, in his cellars the Clos Saint Denis takes an entire year to go through alcoholic fermentation, making it a “difficult” wine.
This little walk we took explains his whole “operation” – in quotes because in the video you see his wife Rotem (pouring) and it is just the two of them. One to two barrels of wine from who he thinks are the most interesting growers in his favorite vineyards. Then….nothing…for a long time…his fermentations are typically the longest in Burgundy as is his maturation. He does little lees stirring, and only sulfurs once, a few months before bottling (his wines typically have ¼ the average sulfur levels in Burgundy, but they are protected because he prefers traditional, coarser pressings which leave more lees in the wine).
The Hospices de Beaune is a wonderful event for a wonderful cause – you can read the background here on the auction and the Hospices itself. Mounir Saouma, owner/oenologist of Lucien Le Moine, has become one of the largest buyers at the Hospices the last several years, as he uses it as an opportunity to bring his importers and friends together and celebrate and promote all the wonderful things about Burgundy. Below you can see a few videos, of the Hospices itself, the tasting in the Hospices cellars, and finally a picture of the auction.
Steven Tanzer has a great video up of Mounir Saouma, the man behind Lucien Le Moine, posted on his blog, Winophilia. Mounir discusses the 2008 vintage (still in barrel) methods, including extensive lees stirring (even topping his barrels off with lees!), late malolactic fermentation, and one of the longest barrel aging regimes in all of Burgundy. The result, says Mounir, is an extremely principled one; to not simply make wines that have pleasant fruit, but wines that have real character, both of their vintage and their vineyard.
“I am against this point where people say, ‘I bottle early to capture the fruit.” We saw it in the last years, we finished bottling the 2007′s in September 2009, and we have a lot of fruit, we just tasted a lot of fruit, out of 2007. So these years, these ‘classic’ years like ’06, ’07, ’08, there is a lot of fruit, and I think it is a mistake to make weak body. The fruit is there, but are you going to buy a bottle of Première Cru or Grand Cru for $150 or $200 to have just the fruit, or do you want that depth and aftertaste and something that stays for a long time in your palette.”
We couldn’t agree more. The full video as follows: