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St-Aubin


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St-Aubin is a village of slightly over 3.6 square miles located right to the west of Chassagne-Montrachet. Unsurprisingly, the white wines produced there are of a very similar style. The village yields slightly more than 400 acres of vineyards, of which the great majority are classified as Premier Cru. As a result, the general standard is high, but the best of the Premiers Crus must be looked to to find wine that's truly ahead of its competitors.

In a market where white wine is no longer the center of attention, many people are no longer interested in purchasing an extremely expensive bottle of white Burgundy. For those who love Montrachet, St-Aubin offers a much less expensive way to get those flavors, albeit not in quite a Grand Cru style. Burgundy's great red grape makes up just about 1/4 of production, but this figure is misleading as red wine is very obscure here. Hence, this is almost entirely a white wine appellation.

History

The St-Aubin appellation was officially created in 1970, along with the second wave of Burgundy appellations. The village allowed both white wine and red wine. At the time, the village was rather obscure, and its history up until then was not too exciting. Nowadays, it is becoming more of a hub for Montrachet-style white wine as people look to find this style without breaking the pocketbook on Grand Cru or even Puligny or Chassagne Premier Cru wine.

Climate and Viticulture

St-Aubin does not lie on a hill as Montrachet and the greatest Grand Cru vineyards do, but rather in a somewhat weather-protected small valley. While the commune itself is fairly large, only some areas are suitable for vineyards, and as a result much of the wine produced here is somewhat inauspicious. But the best vineyard sites with steadily concentrated soil can utilize the rain and wind protection of a valley and make wine of a greatly elegant style.

Certain top Premier Cru vineyards are actually situated on the hill above the valley. Strategically located in the areas where wind and fog will not make the wine lean, these vineyards often produce some of the most characterful white wine. The Pinot Noir grape, it should be noted, does not do as well due to a slightly warmer climate in St-Aubin, as well as less optimized soils.

Grape Varieties

Major Producers

There are eight major producers of St-Aubin white wine that we would like to mention. As well as getting consistently high scores from critics, these wines should be reasonably easy to find and purchase for a competitive price. These examples are discussed in the below subregions section.

For red wine, Domaine Ramonet would have to be considered the top producer. Its red wine from the Premier Cru of Le Charmois is round, slightly sweet, and a somewhat simply structured wine, but good nonetheless. A mineral note will emerge early, and be present for as long as the wine is. Age the wine for eight years maximum.

Subregions

There are no Grands Crus within St-Aubin, and about 3/4 of the vineyard land is designated Premier Cru, so the lieux-dits are of little importance. Here is a list of St-Aubin's 20 Premiers Crus.