Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Disruptive Burgundy From Sextant

Vin de France is a disruptive designation, especially for Burgundy. I'll take it anytime coming from a producer like Julien Altaber. Vin de France has become a badge for honestly made wines at affordable prices. For Burgundy, VdF is particularly disruptive.

Julien Altaber doesn't come from a winemaking family, but he got started in wine early. He studied oenology in Beaune and worked for the past ten years at a negoce (Champy) and at Dominique Derain in Saint-Abuin before venturing out to establish his own winery, named Sextant, with his wife. He hasn't quit his day-job, he still works at Derain and at the same time he continues to build his own label.

Altaber is a conscientoius Burgundy winemaker. He buys healthy, organicaly grown fruit from excellent parcels and vineyards, mainly from vignerons he knows well. In the the cellar, his work is totally manual--using a hand destemmer made of wicker and doing pigeage by foot.

Vinification is totally natural at Sextant. Altaber ferments with native yeasts and vinifies without corrections or additives. If he thinks it is warranted, he would sometimes add a small dose of sulphites during racking.

Sextant's 2013 Vine France Pinot Noir is gorgeously perfumed, light-bodied, intensely flavored with bright red fruits. So pure and luscious. A steal for a red Burgundy with such charming character.

Vin de France Pinot Noir, Sextant (Julien Altaber) 2013 $25.00 (order here)

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