Santenay

Santenay, lying at the southern extremity of the Côte De Beaune, is home to both the nymph of water and the god of wine: it is both a spa and a winegrowing centre. The wines of Santenay and of neighbouring Remigny present discernible differences according to which part of the appellation they hail from. The houses of Santenay and its associated hamlets form a scattering of small groups, and sumptuous panoramic views are to be had from the hilltops. Human occupation here goes back to pre-history. The Sorine windmill also represents an important part of the history of this commune.

Greyish limestones occupy the high ground of Santenay up to a height of 500 metres. Lower down the slope, starting at the 300-metre line, are oolitic limestones, white oolite, marls, kidney-shaped limestones, and lower oolite on a layer of marl. The location of Santenay's vineyards is ideal, with exposures between east and south.

Santenay produces mainly red wine from Pinot Noir. Its colour is a dark but brilliant black cherry. The bouquet evokes rose-petals, peony, violet, red fruits and a hint of liquorice. In the mouth, the attack is deep and intense. Firm but discreet tannins make for a body that is supple, finely textured and well-built. It boasts aromas of bilberry underneath, along with a long finish. The white wine (Chardonnay) is clear and brilliant, mineral and floral, fresh and vigorous. Its aromatic expression features notes of bracken and hazelnut.

Its supple and intense attack, and its aromatic register with its distinguished finish mean that red Santenay should be matched with slow-cooked dishes like braised veal or beef, to which its tannins will lend structure without being aggressive. Glazed or caramelised poultry in the Asian style would also give it a warm welcome for its meaty texture, as would home-made hamburgers. From the cheese-board: Brie de Meaux, Pont-l’Evêque, Cîteaux, Reblochon or Bleu de Bresse. White Santenay's lightness, vivacity and edge would be a good choice for fluid and creamy dishes like fish couscous, or pasta or risotto with mushrooms. Poultry in cream sauce would similarly hit the spot. It would harmonise well with cheeses like Comté, Beaufort, and goat cheeses.
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