Dominique Derain and Julien Altaber. The master and the pupil. Hummm... the pupil ? Julien has surpassed the master according to Dom', proud of his foal to whom he passed on his domain with pride.
Non-conformist, winemaker with character, pioneer of biodynamics in Burgundy and star of Parisian bistros, Dominique Derain has seen and experienced it all. On the heights of Saint-Aubin, he cultivated his plots biodynamically for more than 20 years, with the greatest respect for nature and the soil. In winemaking, if he intervened little, he perfectly mastered his processes and produced wines with a strong personality that are snapped up all over the world.
“Pinot Noir is a delicate grape variety, you have to keep this delicacy. A great wine is one that has succeeded in preserving and expressing it, naturally, without a beacon,” explained Dominique. “Next, I like it to be on the fruit, that there is freshness, aromatics, a little substance. Finally, the wine must be balanced. A wine that is too heavy, too soft or too acidic, you quickly get tired of it. Good wine is the one you want to return to. »
In 2019, Dom decided to distance himself for a well-deserved rest. His spiritual son, the talented Julien Altaber took over the domain with a master hand. Dominique had warned us: "Julien is a much better invigorator than me!" We cannot judge but, whatever the case, the 2017 and 2018 released by Julien were proof that he was in good school.
Never far away but officially in the background, the earthy winegrower from Saint-Aubin, pope of biodynamics and free winemaking, knows he can rest easy. Julien has become one of the most solid winegrowers of the Côte de Beaune. Year after year, whether on the Derain estate or on his Sextant business, he perpetuates the tradition while bringing his personal touch.
The new vintage that we welcome this week is no exception to the rule. The 2020 great whites are impressive in depth and intensity, especially the three magnificent Saint-Aubin 1er Crus. Wines made for laying down and for fine tasting! On the reds, it is the 2021s that present themselves to us, all in delicacy. It crunches the fruit, it's immediate, obvious. And to please us, Julien even brought out a few bottles of Gevrey 2018 and Pommard 2020. Attention, emotions.