Domaine Benoit Cantin Irancy 'La Grande Cote', Burgundy, France 2018
VINTAGE : 2018
COUNTRY : France
REGION/APPELLATION: Burgundy, Irancy
VARIETALS: Pinot Noir
There are less than fifty active viticulteurs in the relatively small northern Burgundy Appellation of Irancy, only twelve of which are situated in the commune of Irancy. Located just southwest of Chablis, Irancy is a picturesque canvas of vineyards planted on hillsides and amphitheaters, all favorably facing south for maximal sun exposure. While it shares the Kimmeridgian limestone soil also found in Chablis, the combes of vineyards here are planted exclusively to red grapes–mainly Pinot Noir–with instances of Gamay and César. Historically, the land was co-planted to vines, wheat, and cherry trees, and not unlike the reds of Sancerre, its wines were a favorite of Parisians due to its close proximity to Paris.
Benoît, with the continued support of his father, Bernard, runs the domaine, farming 16 hectares in Irancy across 10 different lieux-dits. Following in the footsteps of many Cantin generations before him, Benoît began working at the domaine in 1991, bottling his first solo vintage in 1994. His wines display a rustic elegance, an earthy, Burgundian soulfulness, and a structure and depth well above their price point. They are wines of character, with a strong sense of place and typicity, as well as great freshness thanks to the limestone soils in which they are grown.
From a single-vineyard parcel on one of the family’s most primely positioned slopes, this bottling has more depth, concentration, and brambly tannic punch. While additional bottle age isn’t required, I know from experience that it would perform beautifully in your cellar. Benoît Cantin is the captain of the local Irancy hunting club, and his pursuits in the local forests produce all kinds of proper pairings at table for this more structured Irancy cuvée. If you aren’t self-sufficient in that realm, I’m sure your local butcher can help.