While searching for producers to visit in Vosne-Romanée you'll find two Cacheux wineries. As it often happens those little 'ouvrée' (1/24 of a hectare) are divided between the many heirs.
There were two daughters of Charles Blée that married two Cacheux sons. So at the end, we have two Cacheux wineries. I ended up at the René Cacheux et Fils winery that is now managed by the son of Jacqueline Blée and René Cacheux - Gérald.
*"Ouvrée" from French means "worked", meaning that it's as much land as one peasant can work by hand in a day. So in Burgundy 1 ouvrée corresponds to 4.28 acres of vineyard. This term is used in eastern part of France mainly.
Only 3 hectares spread around Premier Cru, Village and Bourgogne appellations. Here they follow integrated* vineyard management techniques, which means: - Careful pruning for proper nourishing, exposure and yield control. - The area where the grape bunch develops is stripped for natural ventilation, to prevent rot and avoid chemicals. - For pest control (specifically against cluster worm) they apply mating disruption. Using artificial pheromones they prevent mate localization and block the reproductive cycle. This way the insect population is not affected by usage of chemicals, but cluster worm is not a danger anymore. - Thanks to tillage (the dig - stir - overturn process that can be done by hand, horse or tractor) light grass cover is maintained without herbicides. So perfect 'équilibré' of human-vine-nature.
*Integrated viticulture basically means sustainable viticulture or "lutte raisonnée" (which translates as "well thought-out control" from French). This means that chemical pesticides and herbicides are completely avoided or reduced and kept below the so-called damage threshold.
Wine Tasting at Domaine René Cacheux et Fils
They make only 12 000 bottles a year. So I felt like: 'whatever bottle I buy here, it will definitely be unique and very limited edition!"
I start the morning with a glass of Bourgogne Aligoté - fresh, unpretentious, a simple but refined aperitif drink. Matured in stainless steel for 6 months before bottling. I'll be honest - we won't talk much about terroir and legacy when it comes to this specific Aligote wine. If you are curious to taste the best what Aligote has to offer - head over to Bouzeron, the only place where this grape variety grows on the best sunny slopes. It was made, as I mentioned, for a nice aperitif or to become a Kir cocktail. Machine harvest, grown on flat landed regional appellation, with added bacteria for malolactic. Just drink it to wake up (exactly as I did).
Bourgogne Passetoutgrain 2017 - here we have a blend of 60% Gamay and 40% Pinot Noir. That disloyal Gamay, how Phillip, the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, called it and expelled from Burgundy. Well, this blend is interesting, it has the typical Gamay aromas as dominant - carnation, pepper, raspberry, under bush, and these, unfortunately, fully cover anything brought by Pinot Noir to the blend. So, can't say I disagree with Duke Phillip. Bourgogne les Champs d'argent 2017- another wine that comes from regional appellation, so not really part of Vosne-Romanée climats. But it's a 100% Pinot Noir, aged in 10% new oak for 18 months. More loyal, more finesse. An elegant fruit basket full of raspberries, blackcurrant, blueberries.
Chambolle-Musigny 2016 - known to be the most feminine wine from Côte de Nuits, this is a village appellation, although it isn't a blend of parcels, but a single vineyard. There is a lot of flowers here (perhaps, some violets) and even more fresh berries. Here we face a shift of soils - if the previous two were from silt and clay, this is a combination of limestone and clay. And presence of limestone is always a good way to make a wine elegant. Vosne-Romanée 2016 - the village wine of this renown place, and I loved it! It's a bit rustic, more masculine, powerful. Obviously, if this wine is masculine, it's a very refined French monsieur. There is a great irony clay-limestone blend here that you could easily identify by the 'bloody' (this is how I call iron in wine) taste. Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru 'Les Beaux Monts' 2016 - stays much longer on the palate, it's a silky wine that comes from one of the best Premier Cru climats. Violet, blackcurrant, earthy and flinty notes with an elegant body that doesn't overwhelm. Perhaps, it's a bit too early to fully appreciate it, that´s why I took a bottle to open sometimes in 10 years ;) Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru 'Les Suchôts' 2016 - a bouquet of cherries here! Fresh cherry, candied cherry, brandy-cherry, whatever other cherries you know - they were all there! And if you push your nose hard, you'll discover mushrooms, clove and vet forest. Again a very young wine, but this young complexity promises a bomb of experiences in some 10 years.
The two Premier Cru wines are aged for 18 months in 50% new oak, made with indigenous yeast, bottled without filtering or fining. These qualify as vegan wines.
... and I continued my way from Vosne-Romanée to Gevrey-Chambertin all along the Grand Cru vineyards of Chambolle-Musigny, Morey-Saint-Denis and the Clos de Vougeot. Join my upcoming wine trips and discover the artisan wine producers of Europe.