Mar 05 2012

The fine side of Pommard with a touch of rustic style, Coste Caumartin

Published by at 12:09 am under Burgundy

Pommard a small village roughly 2 km south of Beaune. If you say Pommard to me the first thing which jumps into my mind is the weight, heaviness, less finesse and more density of Pinot Noir at the Cote d’Or. Probably the most rustic, rich in tannin and hardy wines with good (time!) potential and good density. But this is purely a generalization, yes tannins tend to be fuller then in neighbouring Volnay and the wines perhaps less elegance (especially when they’re closer to Beaune) but nevertheless they still can show much complexity under this curtain.

“The Pommardiness”
The rockier and thinner soils on the upper slopes tend to give less depth but somewhat more elegance and finesse, the lower laying mixture of clay is heavier and supports the heavier wines. The vineyards closer to Beaune tend to have more tannin while the ones closer to Volnay show more resemblance to that of Volnay’s silkiness. It’s said that red clay and limestone produce some muscle and more power for the wines. The side which is closer to Beaune shows more white marl and stony soil.

There are no Grand Cru sites in Pommard yet there are some outstanding premier crus such as Les Rugien (divided in to upper and lower parts) and Les Fremiers must be mentioned. Rugiens Bas is said to be better of the two, steeper vineyards and somewhat rockier soil exist in this climat with better exposure to South, South-East. Les Fremiers has some marl with rich in iron and plenty of active limestone. It’s different to Rugien, shows more elegance and silky touch but without loosing the “Pommardiness”.

The reaction of limestone and clay is partly responsible for the weight and the sometimes more rusticity or sturdiness.

The Domaine
The Domaine Coste Cautmartin has a long history within Pommard the property was established back in the XVIII. century. Today Jerome Sordet owns 12 ha in Pommard and the neighbouring villages and also a monopole site the Clos de Boucherottes 1er Cru.
The winery is within the centre of Pommard reached via a small side street and a lovely old courtyard. Somewhat of medieval atmosphere gets you once you walk into the courtyard of the estate.

Today 8 people work on the estate, produce 60,000 bottles from that 30% is white and the rest is red.
Always with a smile, Jerome Sordet the head of the operation at Coste Caumartin. While the two top wines the family owned Le Clos des Boucherottes and great 1er Cru Les Fremiers, the winery has more to offer. The Bourgogne Chardonnay (2008) spent one year in used oak shows fine fruit with a fresh acidity and a touch of spice. It mainly comes from the lower end of Pommard and Beaune-Chagny.
Definitely at least a couple of levels up in Chardonnay the Saint Romain, slightly higher on 450 m of elevation rich in limestone the Sous le Chateau lieu dit. Bottled usually in the middle of August, the 2010 fairly pale in colour but with delicate fruit and very good acidity. Minerality is something which jumps into your mind as well, 20% new oak.

The winery has some vines in Monthelie 1er Cru Les Duresses (close to Auxey Duresses) as well which tend to show more depth with a hint of feminine character. The vines trained Guyot, fairly dense on 350 m positioned to the East on Argovien limestone. Premaceration for 3-6 days on 15°C and fermentation 33-34°C.
Jerome was saying the Volnay is more delicate with a velvety texture but also strength, Monthelie more feminine with a certain depth and richness while Beaune shows depth but also finesse.

The famous Les Femiers comes from the name of Fremyer or as I understood it in Old French it means firm and solid. Very good South-East positioning with a rich calcareous soil around 250-280 m. The other top site the Boucherottes belongs to the family since 1908. It’s around 1,8 ha with limestone and rocky stones 25 year old Pinot Noir vines, 45hl/ha average yield. Wines tend to show plenty of tannins sometimes a bit harder, but develop very well.

Destemming happens every year at the winery, as Jerome mentioned the stems are not welcome due to the harsh tannins and greenish acidity. The entry level wines spend 1 year in barrel, mostly used. Volnay and the 1er Crus go between 15-18 months, while the Pommard and 1er Cru receive 15% new oak.
Jerome likes to use both stainless steel and cement vats as well yet he prefers the cement due the even temperature. Everything is temperature controlled, while the fermentation should not exceed 34°C.

The wines show a certain style, very good quality with the typicitée of Pommard & Co. It has the fine side of Pommard with the sturdiness and somewhat rustic character yet honest and straightforward, intense tannins and a lot to show. The Pommardiness…

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