France, Burgundy, Vosne Romanée
Without doubt one of the undisputed stars of Burgundy, Etienne Grivot has quietly gone about his business over the past couple of decades, slowly but steadily nuancing his wines gently and gradually so that today, he is universally admired for being in the very top echelon of Burgundian producers.
Returned to a very ‘natural’ approach in the vineyards, using organic treatments only, grass-cover, horse and plough (currently around 30% of the whole estate and increasing, including Richebourg, Echezeaux and the Premiers Crus), harder pruning, more rigorous canopy management and a far more rigorous crop-thinning and bunch selection process;
Changed the fermentation regime to extract the tannins, colour and flavour without rough or aggressive action; instigated a procedure whereby separate vintages are stored in separate parts of the cavernous cellar so temperature increases due to the new wines being encouraged to undergo malo-lactic fermentation are not affecting the previous vintage’s wines;
Chosen to rack or move the wines less often so they can mature without agitation. “You must have the courage to do nothing (referring to elevage). Sometimes it’s tempting to tell your cellarhands to go and rack because there is nothing else to do. Better to send them home!”