Romain Taupenot is the ninth generation to run this family domaine in Morey-Saint-Denis. While records show his ancestors practiced viticulture as far back as the 17th century, the domaine as we know it today truly came to be after the marriage of Romain’s parents, Denise Merme and Jean Taupenot, in 1963.
Romain recalls helping out at the domaine as a child, assisting with harvest and selling his grandfather’s wines along the side of the route nationale to vacationers passing through Burgundy on their summer journey south.
In 1998, he returned home to assume management of the domaine, which he now runs alongside his sister, Virginie.With 9 hectares in the Côte de Nuits and another 4.5 hectares in the Côte de Beaune, Romain and Virginie now produce nineteen different wines across seventeen appellations. A significant portion of their holdings are in premier cru and grand cru appellations, and all of their premiers crus are enviably placed.
Romain considers the house style to be one of richness with freshness, relying on the innate quality of the sites they farm to deliver wines that are balanced and complete, with elegant tannins. With such an amazing assortment of climats to their name, the down-to-earth and hard-working Romain and Virginie are perfect ambassadors for this diverse collection of esteemed Burgundian terroirs.
In eastern central France, Burgundy is nestled between the wine regions of Champagne to the north, the Jura to the east, the Loire to the west, and the Rhône to the south. This is the terroir par excellence for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The southeast-facing hillside between Dijon in the north and Maranges in the south is known as the Côte d’Or or “golden slope.” The Côte d’Or comprises two main sections, both composed of limestone and clay soils: the Côte de Nuits in the northern sector, and the Côte de Beaune in the south. Both areas produce magnificent whites and reds, although the Côte de Beaune produces more white wine and the Côte de Nuits more red.
Chablis is Burgundy’s northern outpost, known for its flinty and age-worthy Chardonnays planted in Kimmeridgian limestone on an ancient seabed. Vézelay is a smaller area south of Chablis with similar qualities, although the limestone there is not Kimmeridgian.
To the south of the Côte de Beaune, the Côte Chalonnaise extends from Chagny on its northern end, down past Chalon-sur-Saône and encompasses the appellations of Bouzeron in the north, followed by Rully, Mercurey, Givry, and Montagny.
Directly south of the Chalonnaise begins the Côte Mâconnais, which extends south past Mâcon to the hamlets of Fuissé, Vinzelles, Chaintré, and Saint-Véran. The Mâconnais is prime Chardonnay country and contains an incredible diversity of soils.
Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch
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