Sulfite-Free Pinot Noir Wine from Burgundy, by Moutard Diligent
Wine Review of 2016 Moutard Diligent Bourgogne-Epineuil Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France
This red wine by Champagne and Burgundy producer Moutard Family is not only fermented using exclusively wild yeasts (also called indigeneous yeasts or ‘levures indigènes’ in French), but more important, it is made without any sulfites (SO2) added during winemaking. Certainly a positive point for those suffering from an allergy to sulfites.
A Burgundy Pinot Noir this is, but more specifically, it comes under the Bourgogne-Epineuil appellation, from the Tonerre area near Chablis.
About Bourgogne Tonnerre and Epineuil
The Tonnerrois region lies in the southern Yonne not far from Chablis. One of its communes, Épineuil (home of Alfred Grévin, founder of the Paris waxwork museum which bears his name), won the official right to identify its wines by name within the general appellation Bourgogne in 1993 for red and rosé wines.
This practice has been tolerated, however, since 1930. Here the abbeys of Saint-Michel and Quincy produce wines whose reputation goes back to the high Middle Ages. For a long time they supplied Paris with wine. Illustrious personalities such as Henri IV, Boileau, and the cross-dressing Chevalier d’Éon helped to popularise “the good wine of Tonnerre”. The vineyards were destroyed by phylloxera but have made a comeback since the late 1970’s around Épineuil, thanks to strict selection of terroirs and grape varieties. The revival took in all 9 communes of the Tonnerrois district and recently they combined under the appellation Bourgogne Tonnerre.
Terroirs of Bourgogne Epineuil:
The soils, full of white pebbles, resemble those of the nearby Chablis region (Kimmeridgian or associated limestones) and have definable qualities. Where the vineyard district is broken up into valleys, the vines are sheltered from the cold winds of the Langres plateau and reap the benefit of a favourable microclimate. (information about the appellation sourced from bourgogne-wines.com )
So, How Good is Moutard Diligent Bourgogne-Epineuil Sulfite-Free Pinot Noir
This Burgundy red comes in a rather intense ruby red color, quite dark to the core for the grape, and looking youthful with purple hues to the rim.
The nose appears equally youthful and vibrant to smell at, dominated by pungent fruity aromas of raspberry and fresh blackberry. There is certainly some lifted spiciness from white pepper notes, and deepening sweet spice elements such as nutmeg and clove.
Put the wine in your mouth, and you’ll discover this is indeed a juicy Pinot Noir, full of crisp and fresh red berry notes, featuring raspberry and precise blueberry flavors, including the slightly vegetal salivating notes you find in red berry seeds. They’re in there too, for the better…
A relatively generous round body, with overall smooth tannins, although providing a little grip to the finish, adding character more than anything.
A ripe and youthful Pinot Noir wine, delivering some generosity out of crisp and vibrant red berry flavors and aromas, augmented by well-crafted touches of varied spices.
A precise wine offering a pure expression of the Pinot grapes it was made from, generously scented, round bodied and tannically smooth. Moderate depth. It’s all about upfront yet complex enjoyment.
This young wine will benefit from a good 6 months to 1 year in bottle to settle in, and perfect its roundness and deepen further. From there, drink within 3 to 5 years to enjoy the vibrancy of its fruit character (2019-2023).