Sylvain Cathiard Burgundy, France.
This tiny Domaine was established by Sylvain Cathiard’s grandfather ( who worked for Domaine de la Romanee Conti and later for Domaine Lamarche) in the 1930s and then maintained by Sylvain’s father Andre from 1969 until 1985, when Sylvain himself became involved. The following year, Sylvain set up his own with parcels of vines rented from his father and other vignerons, before taking on his father’s original vineyards. From 2006, he was joined by his son, Sebastian, and they have formed the estate of Sylvain Cathiard et Fils and since 2011 Sebastien is running the domaine with Sylvain retiring.
Based in Vosne, his 5 hectares span Vosne-Romanée, Nuits-St-Georges and Chambolle-Musigny, with a very small parcel in Romanée-St-Vivant located directly below Romanee Conti where they are officially the smallest land-owner of this magnificent Grand cru. All vineyard work is carried out with meticulous attention to detail by Sebastien and his wife and a small dedicated team. All vineyard work is done on organic principles although Sebastien has not sought certification.
For winemaking Sebastien has a definite hands-off approach, preferring to do nothing rather than interfere with the natural development of the wines. He de-stems entirely, cold settles the juice for about 10 days and ferments the wines for between 22 and 30 days on skins. The new wines are matured for 18 months in oak of which about 90% is from tonellerie Remond and 10% from Francois Freres as follows: Village wines, roughly 1/3rd new oak and 2/3rds of 1 year old; 1er Crus, roughly 50% new oak and 50% 1 year old; Grand Cru, two new barrels and one one year old barrel. Since 2000 none of the wines are fined or filtered.
Sebastien Cathiards wines are incredibly harmonious, softly textured and very fine. Since taking over in 2011 Sebastien has been listening carefully to those few who get the privilege to taste with him and he has gradually reduced the percentage of new oak used for ageing. In a good vintage there are around 50 barrels produced in total across all appellations. His Vosne-Romanées in particular are now regarded among the best of the village. All wines offered here are from fully mature vineyards that have yielded fruit with wonderful natural intensity and balance. These wines represent artisan wine-making at its very best. Quantities are extremely limited and are offered first to previous faithful buyers.
“Not surprisingly, Sébastian Cathiard was more upbeat about the 2017 vintage than he was about 2016, noting that “2016 gave us excellent quality but no quantity yet 2017 gave us both. However, it was necessary to wait to pick because while sugar maturities came in early September, phenolic maturity came much later. As such, I chose to begin the harvest on the 13th of
September and there was essentially no sorting required except for leaves or insects. Yields were very good at around 48 hl/ha with solid but not high potential alcohols that came in between 12.5 and 13%. I destemmed all of the fruit and then vinified softly over a total cuvaison period of 23 to 28 days. The malos were all over the place as some finished in April while
others didn’t finish until August, which is curious in its fashion because there wasn’t a lot of malic acid to begin with. Even so, the post-malo pHs were pretty much ideal at between 3.45 and 3.58. As to the wines, I love the style as they’re classic Burgundies with excellent freshness and terroir transparency plus they should be accessible earlier than say 2015 and 2016.” Cathiard, who presently farms 4.6 ha of vines, was also very happy to report that he has signed a lease agreement for another 3.75 ha.“ Burghound, January 2019
Coteaux Bourguignon rouge (Sold Out)
Made from a parcel of inter-planted vines of about 60% Gamay and 40% Pinot Noir from the lieu dit Croix Blanches located between Nuits and Vosne and aged in barrel - all of 3 barrels produced. Perfumed seductive and full flavoured for such a humble appellation. Pure joy. “There is just enough reduction present to push the underlying fruit to the background. By contrast there is good freshness to the nicely vibrant and well detailed flavors that offer solid length on the refreshing if rustic finale. (86-88)/2020+“ Burghound, January 2019
Bourgogne rouge (Sold Out)
From a tiny 0.272 ha parcel of vines planted in 1987 located in Flagey opposite Clos Vougeot below the Village, aged in used oak. Just 3 barrels produced in 2016 up to 7 barrels in a good vintage. Remarkably good wine that performs well above its humble appellation name.
Vosne-Romanée (Sold Out)
From 5 parcels of vines from 4 different lieu-dits of less than 1 hectare in total planted from 1945 to 1985 located below the village, aged in 40% new oak, 60% 1 y.o. oak. Since taking over from Sylvain, Sebastien has reduced the percentage of new oak for all wines and taken this domaine to a new level. A stunning village Vosne.
Chambolle-Musigny Le Clos de l’Orme (Sold Out)
From 0.427 ha of vines mostly planted 1935 (85%) and 1992 (15%) which are located near the village just below premier cru Les Charmes, aged in 40% new oak, 60% 1 y.o. oak. This is a very intense vibrant and dark fruited wine with great perfume and concentration that is rarely found in village level wines.
Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Aux Thorey (Sold Out)
From a 0.43 ha parcel of vines planted 1953 located high up on the slope not far from the Vosne Romanee border, aged in 50% new oak, 50% 1 yo oak. These were vines which Sylvain worked en mettayage for Moillard for many years and when the opportunity came to purchase this plot he bought the vineyard in 2006. From a higher cooler and more mineral site this wine always has a very striking perfume and elegance that really can not be mistaken for any of the other wines in the cellar. Always a favourite.
Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Aux Murgers (Sold Out)
From .0476 ha of vines planted 1945 and 1960 which are located mid-slope quite close the Vosne Romanee border. Aged in 50% new oak, 50% 1 yo oak. This is always a wine of great depth and generosity with real density showing from very old vines. Harmonious plush tannins and great mid-palate, this is an outstanding 1er cru Nuits St Georges. Hedonistic Burgundy at its best.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru En Orveaux (Sold Out)
From a tiny parcel of less than 0.3 ha of north-east facing vines planted in 1953 located very close to Grand Cru Echezeaux, aged in 50% new oak, 50% 1 yo oak. Produces just 3 barrels in a good year of finely structured more mineral wine of great perfume and spice. Not far from the Chambolle border and it always shows in it finesse and perfume.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots (Sold Out)
From a tiny 0.163 ha of vines planted 1969 on the lower part of the vineyard with richer soil which borders on to Grand cru Echezeaux. Aged in 50% new oak, 50% 1 yo oak. Just 3 barrels produced in a normal vintage. This is always a very deep and intense wine with layers of fruit and seemingly endless depth.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Reignots (Sold Out)
From the youngest vines of the domaine, planted in 1997 located above Grand Cru La Romanee. With several parcels reaching from the bottom up to the middle, Cathiard is the second largest landowner producing 5 barrels from this tiny 1er cru vineyard. The wine aged in 50% new oak, 50% 1 yo oak.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts (Sold Out)
From 0.74 ha of vines planted early 1970’s located close to Grand Cru La Tache, aged in 2/3rds new oak, 1/3rd 1 yo oak. A wine of rare breed and depth of Grand cru quality and dimension.
”There is more size, weight and muscle to the big-bodied and more evidently mineral-driven flavors that are almost painfully intense, all wrapped in a gorgeously long finish that really fans out as it sits on the palate. However, it is pointless to buy this without the express intention to cellar it as it is very structured.” Burghound, January 2019
Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru (Sold Out)
From 0.1673 ha of vines planted 1919 aged in 2 new barrels and 1 one year old barrel. Cathiard is the smallest land owner of this Grand Cru making 3 barrels in a good vintage. This holding was purchased in 1984 from Thomas Moillard after many years of share-cropping for the Moillard family. This arrangement was begun in 1941 so it is possible that the Cathiard family have been producing from this site since that time. The Cathiard plot adjoins the village directly below Romanee Conti. “An exuberantly fresh if restrained nose offers up a panoply of spice
elements to the primarily red berry fruit aromas that display additional breadth with hints of orange pekoe tea, lavender and a whisper of sandalwood. The lacy yet concentrated middle weight flavors possess a highly refined mouthfeel and first-rate complexity on the balanced and wonderfully persistent if youthfully austere finish. Like the Malconsorts, this is gorgeous but it
is also very clearly built for long-term cellaring.“ Burghound, January 2019