Balanced and Easy-Drinking Vosne-Romanée

Today’s Story: Domaine Cecile Tremblay

I previously wrote about the fantastic Domaine Cecile Tremblay in November, 2019 with the 2011 Chambolle-Musigny Les Cabottes. As these wines are fantastic and prices have skyrocketed since I started buying them, I am excited to try her Vosne-Romanée today.

Domaine Cecile Tremblay has a very interesting history, partly because she did not start making wines until 2003 though her family owned vineyards for several generations. Cecile is the great-granddaughter of Edouard Jayer, uncle of the famed Henri Jayer (go Google some of his wines, and perhaps sell your car to buy a bottle). Cecile’s family inherited vineyards from Edouard, though the two generations before her leased out the land to other producers and did not make their own wine. In 2003, however, with the expiration of a lease on three hectares of vines Cecile started making wine under her own label with a plan for further growth. For instance, the Domaine owns roughly 10 hectares of vineyard land and while more of this becomes free from leasing agreements in 2021, Cecile rented or purchased land along the way in communes such as Gevrey-Chambertin.

When Cecile took over her family’s land for her own use, the vineyards were in no standing to produce high quality wines. The producers leasing the land, for instance, used too much fertilizer for Cecile’s taste and utilized herbicides instead of ploughing. Throughout her time thus far as a winemaker, Cecile transitioned to organic farming and many of her practices include biodynamic farming measures as well. During maintenance of her vineyards, Cecile ploughs the soil mechanically and with horses while using copper sulfate to prevent mildew and other fungi.

Similar to her views on caring for her vines, Cecile is very traditional in her winemaking process. She presses her grapes with an old-fashioned vertical press and her wines see only a moderate amount of new wood during fermentation and aging. All of this effort culminates into wines that are refined and elegant, though built for the long haul.

Today’s Wine: 2011 Vosne-Romanée

100% Pinot Noir; 13% ABV

The 2011 Vosne-Romanée is pale to medium ruby in color and translucent. Given some time to blossom in the glass, this opens to showcase a nose of black raspberry, strawberry, cherry, pine, leather, tilled earth, mint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and a hint of baking spice. Meanwhile on the palate, I get notes of black cherry, plum, cranberry, tobacco, green herbs, gravel, and truffle. This is medium-bodied with high acidity, medium (-) tannins, and a long finish. This was much less complex compared to her Chambolle-Musigny bottling I reviewed last year, though it is very well-balanced and enjoyable to drink.

Price: $460 (but this was shared by a good friend who paid $120). While no doubt a delicious wine, I can’t see this being worth the $460 I see it going for nowadays online. For my very fortunate friend who spent $120, however, I’d say it’s worth that price.

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