2014 Nuits St Georges Aux Thorey Sylvain Cathiard

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Average critic rating : 91.38 points



In this case the reduction is quite strong and nothing is discernible beyond the funk. Otherwise there is good freshness and verve to the distinctly restrained medium-bodied flavors where the mouth feel is also dense but refined, all wrapped in a linear and moderately austere finale that clearly signals that at least moderate patience will be required. Jan 2016, www.burghound.com, Drink: 2024+



The 2014 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Aux Thorey has a gorgeous bouquet with blueberry and wild strawberry fruit, hints of cassis intermingling with violet, a little creaminess coming from the new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannin, and a keen thread of acidity that binds the succulent dark plum and blackberry fruit together. There is a sense of controlled opulence here, very silky in the mouth with a very precise finish that does not hang about like the 2009 I tasted a few weeks earlier. The coolness of this vineyard just curtails any ostentation here and renders this an extremely fine Aux Thorey. Nov 2015, www.robertparker.com, Drink: 2019-2038



(from vines planted in 1953): Dark red-ruby. Nose dominated by licorice and smoky minerality. Concentrated but a bit reduced, showing distinctly primary, sappy flavors of black fruits and minerals. Quite backward today but has the density to make an excellent--and ageworthy--bottle. Jan 2016, www.vinous.com



The Aux Thorey is also shining in 2014 although perhaps a bit more backward than the previous wines. In the nose juicy red fruit … variations of cherries. On the palate very airy and crisp with a fine energy and tension in the fruit. A bit darker than the other wines … but is nevertheless very charming and quite forward. Love the transparency and crystal clear purity. Nov 2015, www.winehog.org, Drink: 2022+

Sylvain Cathiard: The Importance

“Cathiard is now among the very very best producers in Vosne-Romanée,” writes Steve Öhman, fully corroborating Allen Meadows’ judgements that “there is no one hotter in Burgundy these days than Sylvain Cathiard” and that “the Cathiard wines are hardly a secret anymore but they deserve to be better known still.” Indeed, Cathiard has completed an unusually rapid rise to fame in the last decade or less, as Neil Martin attests, “the name is presently revered as one of the top exponents of Vosne-Romanée” thanks to “a glittering array of parcels” in this village and beyond, also encompassing some very old vines Nuits-Saint-Georges and Chambolle-Musigny.

Sylvain Cathiard: The Insight

This small family domaine farms a total of 4.2 hectares split over 11 plots, so production is naturally limited, above all for the glorious Pinot Noir grown in the minute 0.18 hectare plot at the southern end of Romanée Saint Vivant Grand Cru (or RSV), hemmed in between the Domaine Dujac and Domaine Robert Arnoux, and conspicuously crowded by the large tranche belonging to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. In the hands of Cathiard it results in something very special, with “wonderful depth and simply superb length,” according to Allen Meadows, while for Neil Martin the Cathiard RSV is “a wine that God would make if he were a winemaker.”


The Vosne-Romanée Les Malconsorts vineyard has been gaining attention, particularly since 2005, when Dujac and Hubert de Montille snapped up and divided the old Domaine Thomas holdings here. Clive Coates reviews the newcomers like this: “These both produce excellent wine. So do Lamarche, Bichot (Clos Frantin) and Alain Hudelot-Noëllat. The best wines, however, today come from Sylvain Cathiard.” John Gilman even elevates this Premier Cru above the Cathiard RSV, calling it “the crown jewel in the cellar,” and Steve Öhman sees it the same way: “In my view the Malconsorts is sort of a signature wine for this fine domaine…  yes I know the RSV is better…  but it’s still possible to find and pay for the Malconsorts and experience the Cathiard magic.”


The same can be said of Cathiard’s other Premier Crus, such as Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots, situated between the Grands Crus of Richebourg and Echezeaux; Vosne-Romanée Aux Reignots, known for its elegance and shared with such growers as Louis-Michel Liger-Belair; and Vosne-Romanée En Orveaux, where Clive Coates again proclaims that: “the star in is the brilliant Sylvain Cathiard.”


Cathiard’s other holdings are impressive for their vine age. While most of his Premier Crus are 35 to 45 years old, the parcel in Chambolle-Musigny Les Clos de l’Orme was planted in 1951, producing stunningly perfumed expressions of the village. Meanwhile the two Premier Crus produced in Nuits-Saint-Georges, Aux Murgers and Aux Thorey, are both endowed with stunningly concentrated vines no younger than fifty,  but sometimes sixty or seventy years old, offering intense earthy complexity. Cathiard also makes excellent Nuits-Saint-Georges and Vosne-Romanée Villages Pinot Noirs.

Sylvain Cathiard: The Background

The wines are made as one might expect at a small domaine, where from 1969 to 2011 everything was done by Sylvain, his wife Marinette, and his son Sébastien. The fruit gets completely de-stemmed after rigorous sorting, with no fining or filtering since 2000. In 2011 Sébastien Cathiard fully took over and oversaw the completion of a new cellar. Since then he has been impressing critics by refining the house style and slightly reducing the use of new oak.

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