Ever since I discovered Sylvain Cathiard’s wines some two decades ago, he has never disappointed me. Year after year, his wines achieve that wonderful balance of purity and harmony. Their color, depth of flavor, delicacy and elegance are a beautiful tribute to the terroir.
The new vintages from Sylvain Cathiard, whom I consider among the twelve top growers in Burgundy, have arrived at W.I.N.E. But they are not for sale just yet, not until they reach their optimal drinking period.
What we do have currently is the 2006 Nuits-Saint-George's 1er Cru "Aux Murgers" and a few others available on the wine list at the restaurant next door.
"Aux Murgers" is a small parcel of vines on the border Vosne Romanee. It's in the middle of the hill ensuring perfect exposure. The wine is a rich dark purple color and so pure on the palate.
I began visiting Cathiard with some frequency eight years ago and got to know him quite well. He was and remains a very shy man to whom words don’t come easily.
Last year, when his son Sebastien came to New York, I hosted a small dinner for him and paired the 2006 Nuits-Saint-George's 1er Cru "Aux Murgers" with sautéed chicken livers, cippollini onions and mint and the 2008 vintage with polenta and wild mushrooms.
The Cathiard story began with Sebastien's great grandfather who moved from Savoie to Burgundy where he began working at the Domaine de la Romanee Conti and ultimately bought some land of his own. His son, Andre Cathiard began to make wine and was joined by his son Sylvain, who ultimately split from his father to start his own domaine. When Andre retired in 1995, Sylvain incorporated the family vineyards with his own.
Today, all vineyard work is done by Sylvain himself, his wife and Sebastien, all of whom are meticulous in their attention to detail. Their farming methods are in keeping with the ‘sustainable’ (Lutte Raisonee) model.
They are wonderful people who make exceptional wines.
2006 Nuits-Saint-George's 1er Cru "Les Murgers" -- $250