From: Burgundy, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Taste: The wine exhibits refreshing and elegant aromas of fresh strawberries, cranberries, and licorice. This is complemented by deeper notes of blackberries, sweet spice, and earth on its complex palate. The wine is medium bodied, with firm, round tannins and a long, lifted finish. Its color is dark, reminiscent of black cherries, and its bouquet is floral, evoking rose petals, peonies, and violets, with hints of red fruits and licorice.
Pairing: As quoted from Siyps, “Jérôme Billard produces fine wines that are always pure, elegant and well-focused.” This makes the 2021 Domaine Billard Santenay Rouge Les Hates an exquisite partner to various dishes (we’re sharing a recipe by Mark Bittman for a classic Creamy Chicken Liver Paté below). The wine’s firm yet supple character makes it ideal for grilled fish, poultry, game, mushroom dishes, and strong cheese. It can also be beautifully paired with slow-cooked dishes like braised veal or beef. For cheese pairings, consider Brie de Meaux, Pont-l’Evêque, Cîteaux, Reblochon, or Bleu de Bresse.
Creamy Chicken Liver Paté by Mark Bittman for the NYT.
About. Nestled amidst the scenic backdrop of the Hautes Côtes de Beaune in Burgundy, France, lies a gem that reflects the true essence of the region - Domaine Billard Père et Fils. The wine under review is the captivating 2021 Domaine Billard Santenay Rouge Les Hates.
A Journey through Domaine Billard Père et Fils
The Domaine Billard Père et Fils is located in the secluded and historical village of La Rochepot, 13 km south of Beaune. This region is known for its enchanting landscape, where vineyards are intermingled with woodlands and farms. La Rochepot, with its 13th-century chateau majestically perched on a rocky hillside, is one of the roughly 20 villages that make up the Hautes Côtes de Beaune appellation.
The guardians of this prestigious winery are Jérôme and Elisabeth Billard, who are the fourth generation of the Billard family to manage the estate. Under Jérôme's visionary leadership, which began in 1999, the estate shifted from selling its wine to the local cooperative to bottling their entire production on the property. Today, Domaine Billard boasts an impressive 18.5 hectares of vineyards scattered across Hautes Côtes de Beaune, Beaune, Saint Romain, Saint Aubin, Auxey Duresses, Santenay, and Pommard.
As a testament to Jérôme’s respected position within the community, he has served as the mayor of La Rochepot. His winemaking philosophy centers on "expressing the typicity of the terroir." By employing organic farming techniques, extensive pruning, and cover crops, the estate ensures low yields and highly concentrated grapes. Jérôme's son, who completed an internship at the prestigious Domaine de la Romanée Conti, brought back not only invaluable experience but also a trusty Percheron horse named Raphael, who now plows the vineyards of the Billard estate.
The Marvel of Santenay
Santenay is the southernmost region of Côte de Beaune, which has a rich history of wine cultivation. The Santenay AOC status was instituted in 1937, and the region's wines present a diversity of character depending on their precise origins.
The soils of Santenay are diverse and ideal for viticulture. Higher elevations feature grayish limestones, while lower down the slope, the soils are rich in oolitic limestones, marls, and other minerals. The vineyards are situated between East and South exposures, making them perfect for cultivating the revered Pinot Noir grape.
The 2021 Domaine Billard Santenay Rouge Les Hates
The Billard family farms one hectare in the Santenay climat known as Les Hâtes. The vines in their parcel are an impressive 45 years old. The site is one of the larger named sites in Santenay and is located between the Premier Cru vineyards of Passetemps and Beaurepaire.
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