"What's in a name?" A famous quote from Romeo and Juliet. What does it mean? Well, "Shakespeare was referring to the idea that names themselves are a convention to distinguish things or people, but themselves do not have any worth or meaning." One could pose the same question of any village outside of the Cote d'Or, surely: is the name that matters that of the village or the producer?
The fine wine world is an interesting one - a beautiful blend of elevated viticulture, passion and prestige. Yes, this is simplified, but it heightens the question too of what makes a wine a great wine?
One estate that can surely answer this question is Jean-Marc Vincent. Monsieur Vincent and his wife started the Domaine in the late 90s. Since that point, the wines undoubtedly have delivered consistency and quality, and have caught the eye of shrewd collectors who know great value when they spot it!
Shortly after their first couple of vintages, the duo switched over to organic farming (with the assistance/guidance from their friends Olivier Lamy, Bruno Lorenzon, and Thomas Bouley!). Santenay is home, but there are equally exciting wines from Montagny and Auxey-Duresses, possessing the same intensity and purity of terroir as their home vineyards.
Over the next 2 decades, they would make changes to their foliage and soil management. In the cellar, the wines are gravity-fed without crushing the grapes. The red wines are aged in 20% new wood for a minimum of 15 months. During that time, wines are never racked. The white wines are aged in about 15% of new oak for an increasingly prolonged duration. Lees are stirred 3 or 4 times per month up until spring, then wines are then left on their lees until aging is finished.
The wines are divine and should get more attention than they do. Pure, gentle and delightfully charismatic, with Auxey-Duresses and Santenay whites and reds of such quality that they rival many Premier Crus of the Cote d'Or. If they had the cachet of Puligny-Montrachet and/or Vosne-Romanee, no one would flinch to purchase.
This leads me to my original question. What's in a name? The village of Santenay is distinguishable but I would argue it does have a worth and a meaning..thanks to Jean-Marc Vincent.