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HART & CRU is a consulting service that brings artisanal wines to avid drinkers through special events, wine tastings, cellar offerings, and wine classes.

GROWER STORIES

HUBERT LIGNIER

Kevin Hart

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THE STORY

HUBERT LIGNIER: As I will often state, one of the major rules of buying wine is: Producer, Producer, Producer. This is a statement said by many wine professionals. As the journey goes and bottles get consumed with friends, certain producers just stand out for consistency and delicious wines that give goosebumps and possibly even create a bit of sadness after the last bottle is finished.

HUBERT LIGNIER is one of these OG producers in a region that can be insanely difficult to navigate buying. Great Burgundy is something I cherish and once you start drinking Pinot Noirs like these, it really changes the way you look at the varietal. The production levels on these wines are tiny and insanely hard to come by. The family has been farming their land for five generations, since the 1880s, and has always passed it on to the next generation. With some incredible vineyards, the idea of "site" makes great wines, it is insanely true with the wines of Hubert Lignier. The farming is not just a chore for the Ligniers: it is part of who they are. They follow the principles of lutte raisonnée (sensible combat) in their viticulture, using practices of low intervention and only organic compost when necessary. They have been following the low intervention way before it became the hip term on sommeliers' rap sheets. The Domaine is located in the commune of Morey-Saint-Denis, part of the Northern Slopes of the Côte-d'Or. I have always loved this region in Burgundy due to the texture and elegance that the wines have. The family manages 22 acres of vines and makes 24 different wines from these vineyards.


THE OFFER

MOREY-SAINT-DENIS, TRILOGIE 2015 $115 BOTTLE

Vines planted in 1936, 1942, 1964, 1972
2.5 acres in three climates: Chenevery (60%), Clos Solon (15%), Porroux (25%).
These three parcels from the north and south of the village, on the edge of the Premiers Crus, produce low yields (30 hl/ha on average) due to the age of the vines.

GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN, LES SEUVREES 2015 $115 BOTTLE

Vines planted between 1938 and 1966.
Covering an area of 2.55 acres, this terroir located below the Mazoyères Grand Crus gives us meaty, subtle wines. With excellent cellar-aging potential, this is a Gevrey with a strong character but a tender heart.

GEVERY-CHAMBERTIN, 1ER CRU AUX COMBOTTES 2015 $300 BOTTLE

Vines planted in 1957 with 150 m2 of vine area.
This 7.5-acre terroir is surrounded by 3 Grands Crus: Latricières Chambertin to the north, Charmes Chambertin to the east and Clos de la Roche on its southern and western sides.

POMMARD, EN BRESCUL 2015 $115 BOTTLE

Vines planted in 1997, acquired in 2013. Covering an area of 410 m2, this terraced parcel overlooks the town of Beaune and the Clos des Mouches.


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ISOLE E OLENA OFFER

PAST GROWER STORIES

ISOLE E OLENA : Paolo De Marchi

Kevin Hart

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THE STORY

Meet “The Dean of Chianti.” Paolo De Marchi, the owner and winemaker of the famed Isole e Olena estate in Tuscany, is the ultimate student of the vine. He earned his nickname the old-fashioned way, through years of research into vine-density planting and discovery of topsoils throughout the region.

De Marchi’s beliefs have always focused on the land and the wine—high quality matters more than high production levels. By holding steadfast to this mantra, he has been a key figure in leading the region out of the quantity-driven, unpalatable wines that were produced post-World War II.

The Icon of Italian Vino. If I had to pick just one wine in all of Italy that would be the voice of Italian wine culture (truly a difficult choice with so many to love), it would have to be Chianti produced from Sangiovese. These traditional Chiantis are always blended, and their fruit is fresh.

My mentor in the wine world believes so much in the lifestyle of the Italian table that if tomato sauce is on pasta, there must be Sangiovese poured. He actually refuses to eat red sauce pasta without the wine! He would rather starve than miss the experience of wine and food that are unequivocally made for each other.

The Quest for Benchmark Sangiovese. De Marchi, now 66, has made it his life’s work to produce the highest quality Sangiovese in Chianti Classico. Growing grapes can be tricky—a science and art that is very reliant on the climate and soil—and even then, certain varietals struggle to obtain their highest quality.

De Marchi has always experimented in his vineyard parcels to continue to learn and refine. Each year, he focuses on a new project: during the 80s, he replanted entire vineyards and in the 90s, he rebuilt five miles of terrace vineyard walls. As the years pass by, his investment in improving this historic estate continues to grow.

De Marchi understands that he never will truly be "finished" and welcomes the challenge. After decades of studying his vineyards, vine by vine, and replanting parcels that did not perform to his standards, he explains: "as you get better, the target moves."

Today, after 30 years, more than 50 of his wines have ranked on the top wine lists.

But the dean of Chianti's influence extends far beyond his dedication to his vines. He has transformed the mindset of an entire region. When De Marchi speaks, other producers listen. Many of his techniques have spread to other estates and his vine stock has been purchased by many farmers to replant their parcels throughout the region.


THE OFFER

CHIANTI CLASSICO 2014 $34 bottle

The 2014 Chianti Classico is 80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 5% Syrah, aged in small and large oak barrels for one year. It offers beautifully polished and fine aromas of wild berry, toasted almond, grilled herb and blue violet. Compared to its peers from this difficult vintage, this wine offers noticeably more definition and depth.

CEPPARELLO 2014 $90 bottle

Isole e Olena's flagship, Cepparello, was introduced in 1980, prior to a change in DOC regulations that allowed for a monovarietal Sangiovese. Thus, it effectively served as a pioneer of the pure Sangiovese movement, same as the production of Brunello.

"COLLEZIONE PRIVATA ”CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 $90 bottle

In 1984, the first Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted at Isole e Olena. The Cabernet Sauvignon was grafted over old Canaiolo. The resulting wine was quite encouraging, so another 4 hectares were planted. Today, a total of 5 hectares are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon on the Isole e Olena estate.

CHIANTI CLASSICO GRAN SELEZIONE 2006 $250 bottle

incredibly rare—packaged in wooden 3 pack box
80% Sangiovese, 12% Cabernet Franc & 8% Syrah

2006 was an outstanding vintage in Tuscany, with perfect fall weather conditions—including long, sunny days and cool nights—which allowed tannins to ripen well and encouraged development of the aromatic qualities in the grapes.

"COLLEZIONE PRIVATA” CHARDONNAY 2016 $50 bottle

Paolo De Marchi grafted Chardonnay onto existing vines on the Isole e Olena estate and 1987 became the first vintage of the 'Collezione De Marchi Chardonnay'. In 1989, a new vineyard was planted with five different clones from Burgundy (planted at a density of 5,000 vines per hectare) which came in to full production with the 1994 harvest.


CURIOUS ABOUT ANY OF THESE WINES AND WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER. PLEASE SEND US A NOTE HERE.

Name *
Name
ISOLE E OLENA OFFER

PAST GROWER STORIES