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2000 - WINE

YOUNG GUNS

Burgundy's wine reputation owes much to time honored traditions. But is the latest generation of wine makers following familiar foosteps, or blazing its own trail ? Kim Maxwell finds out.

INSTINCTIVE : ANNE GROS


2000 - WINE "I know what each parcel can do for quality and I try to have the ideal number of grapes per vine, not hectolitres per hectare. Unlike the previous generation where quantity was important, now there is a lot more focus on quality with every vintage." Former literature student Anne Gros has been making wine since she was 18. Now 30, she has seen the family domaine grow from 3 to 6.5ha, and has recently installed an impressive barrel cellar. She used wooden vats for fermenting reds initially, but now favours cement tanks.

Gros's approach uses science only to confirm intuition. "When I vinify I don't bring my samples to oenologists until afterwards. I'd rather do it myself and trust my own instincts." The biggest change that she has introduced in five years is the destalking of all grapes to produce soft tannins; for the rest she builds on what her father François started.


"It takes time to understand what Pinot Noir is - the time in oak, the terroir, which clones I grow. Some produce a dark wine, more like Shiraz. But in fact that isn't what Pinot is about," Gros says, offering a barrel sample of Vosne-Romanée village 1998, with elegant spicy cherries enveloped in oak. Going up a step, Clos du Vougeot Grand Cru 1998, with a smoky cherry and blackcurrant nose, offers classic style, while Vosne-Romanée Richebourg Grand Cru 1998 shows more power and tannin structure, with dark chocolate elegance.

Aside from trying to perfect Pinot, Gros is making a Chardonnay Bourgogne Blanc and Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc. "In 1996 I produced one barrel. From 1999 I'll be producing five barrels. It gives me the opportunity to try to make a white."
 
L'abus d'alcool est dangereux pour la santé. A consommer avec modération.
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