Nestled at the foot of the Château de Pommard, Simone is a 0.53 hectares plot of remarkable terroir that embodies the soul of our domain. The origin of her name remains a mystery.
In the most generous years, we produce 1,800 bottles of this intense, rich and complex Pinot Noir—our rarest cuvée, available by allocation only.
Barely contained within her sleek dress, Simone 2014 envelops the senses of all those who wish to learn her secrets. Dark ruby curves and a seductive purple sparkle around the edge of the glass showing off finessed legs. Simone 2014 tastes as delectable as she looks. Her smell is intoxicating too, with generous flashes of rose and peony constructing cherry and blackberry aromas on the tongue. Delicate, vibrant, delicious, Simone 2014’s high acidity and rich flavor structure are a complementary companion to the gloriously smooth tannins on show. With a savory finish that lingers in the mouth and a subtle caress of salinity that continues to resonate after the final sip, this exceptionally fine wine is a highly-prized and collectable vintage. Like all vintages of Simone, 2014 deserves nothing more than to be aged for many years and shared only with those who are patient enough to seek her true value.
After the small yield, but opulent flavors, of the 2012 vintage, 2013 was another year that mother earth proved its hegemony over the vignerons and vignobles of Burgundy. The bud break was relatively late, seeping into June, following a cold and rainy Spring. Throughout June, intense rainfall delayed floraison (flowering), introducing an increased risk of blight. Pommard, as well as surrounding appellations Volnay, Beaune and Savigny-lès-Beaune, experienced a near-fatal hailstorm, identical to the power that struck in 2012. Clos Marey-Monge lost fifty percent of her harvest, and we lost a lot of sleep, in June. In July and August, the weather transformed again, this time for the better. Warm temperatures and sunshine envelop and clothed the vines, guiding the grapes to ripen delightfully at the end of September. Simone’s harvest began on September 23rd, with Clos Marey-Monge bare of all ripe fruit come October 2nd. The year’s unstable conditions struck again with huge storms across the region’s vineyards on October 5th and 6th. Thankfully, just a few days too late to do any more damage to the overall yield.
Behind its ruby red color, Simone shows an intense nose of flowers. Aromas of peonies are lined with notes of red fruits, sweet spices, and cedar wood. The palate reveals a high acidity, as well as perfectly integrated velvety tannins. This well-rounded cuvée is both structured and silky. Simone 2014 is a complex, elegant and intense red wine that will still be described with superlatives in a dozen years from now.
Trimming the vine, plowing the soils, using only all-natural solutions to fight against insects and diseases… We have many ways to help Nature to do its work. However, there is one parameter that we have no control over – weather conditions. With a hot and dry spring, 2014 was looking particularly promising. The first buds appeared early, as did the first flowers, blooming in early June. Who could have imagined that an intense hail storm was going to hit Pommard on June 28th, announcing a cool and wet summer? Eventually, the sun came back to Burgundy mid-August, just in time to allow the grapes to ripen optimally. In September, the wind coming from the north strengthened the effects of the sun to give clusters ready to be picked. A few days later, the harvest began under a bright and cloudless sky. Simone was the first parcel to be harvested. Unpredictable and unexpected, the 2014 weather allowed us to obtain grapes with concentrated floral aromas and marked acidity. It is an undeniably complex and silky vintage that will evolve elegantly for the upcoming two decades.
Fruited and floral. Toasted and spicy. Aerial and concentrated. Enjoyable today and suitable for aging. Simone 2015 proudly displays every side of her complex character. Her nose reveals aromas of little black fruits, licorice, vanilla, and toast, while her palate shows flavors of peonies, red fruits, candied orange, and cinnamon. The finish is particularly lasting, rich and delicate at the same time. While her aroma profile will evolve over the next few years, the elegance and refinement of Simone 2015 will remain forever.
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015. With their basket firmly attached to their backs, our pickers stride across Simone with the greatest attention. For a few hours now, the sound of secateurs fills our Clos Marey-Monge’s smallest parcel with life. As far as we can recall, harvest rarely began so early in the season. Mature earlier than expected, the grapes are yet more aroma and sugar concentrated than ever. Let’s rewind for a minute to understand this phenomenon. The first flowers bloomed in early June, as a result of the heat. During eight weeks, Burgundy experienced 40°C degrees afternoons, inducing an early ripening of the fruit, starting mid-July. Cooler temperatures and much-appreciated showers eventually brought some fresh air in August, allowing the grapes to develop the acidity essential to the balance of the wines. Intense and subtle at the same time, Simone 2015 is the ultimate expression of pinot noir on a solar year.
Complex and elegant, Simone 2016 reveals a fragrant nose marked by aromas of black fruits, elderberries and fresh rose, lined with notes of black pepper. The palate reveals all the freshness of the vintage. The first impression on the mouth is energetic; the tannins are present but silky with a long finish. Simone 2016 is a rich and concentrated pinot noir that reveals the very soul of our domain.
2016 was a struggle against the elements, having us more committed than ever. While the Clos Marey-Monge was affected by a bitter frost dividing the harvest in half, followed by rain and damp allowing the return of powdery mildew, Simone was almost spared. Thanks to her high internal surface of clay, our iconic terroir can capture much more humidity than any other parcel, an asset when it comes to fighting diseases. With richer elements in her soil, she overcame the freak of nature and took advantage of the warm summer months to produce plump and concentrated grapes, with skins full of tannins and color. Despite the challenges, Simone 2016 turned out more elegant and profound than ever. The vintage also marks our first year into our biodynamic conversion. Released from the negative effect of the chemicals, our wine turned out even more vibrant and energetic. With its velvety tannins, mouthwatering saline notes and palate both ethereal and intense, it is an iron fist in a velvet glove.
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Fifteen villages. Two iconic grape varieties. The most honest expression of grape, terroir, and vintage.
For fifteen years, Jérôme Aucourt introduced tens of thousands of people around the world to the wines of Château de Pommard. His passion for Burgundy and his knowledge of wine was limitless. In memory of our friend, colleague, father, husband, and wine advisor, we have established the Jérôme Aucourt Scholarship at our Ècole V Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) professional wine school. Details of the scholarship program will be published soon. Jérôme is survived by his wife Allison, their two young children, his mother, father, and two brothers.