Yann Durieux – Recrue des Sens

Yann Durieux is a young winemaker who is definitely making his mark in Burgundy! He has very strong views about how wine should be made and how vines should be tended.

His domaine is called Recrue des Sens.He has both bought and rented vineyards in some amazingly good terroir, particularly in the Hautes Cotes de Nuits, but as he becomes more established he is also paying attention to other prime areas such as Gevrey Chambertin.Yann Durieux is a ‘new’ winemaker in one of the lesser known appellations of Burgundy – the Hautes Cotes de Nuits.

This may appear to be an obscure appellation but we need to remind those of you who are unaware of the area that Domaine de la Romanee Conti is his neighbour. They have established a vineyard here under the famous name because of their faith in the terroir of this area.

But this is a sideshow. When we first tasted Yann’s wines we were stunned at their purity, delicacy and their elegance. We are dedicated fans of the Aligote grape in Burgundy even though it is often regarded as a secondary grape by many outside France. We know that this is the wine that many winemakers in Burgundy drink with their lunch.

And Yann produces an Aligote that is one of the most ethereal examples of this wine that we have experienced. It is called ‘Love and Pif’.

Yann Durieux (Recrue des Sens) Bourgogne Aligote Love and Pif 2018

Yann Durieux’s Aligoté is made from grapes picked from his vines that grow not too far from the central town of Beaune. The vines are at least 45 years old and are planted on clay and limestone soils.

Aligoté is capable of producing great wines in the hands of the right winemaker and provided it has flourished in good terroir.

Love & Pif is a great example of this grape, showing why Burgundians revere it and the wines made from it. This has had the benefit of being from good terroir near the city of Beaune.

It has amazing length and structure and has certainly benefited from some time in the bottle even though it is still quite lively and fresh. And speaking of freshness, Yann matures the wines that he wants to be “fresh and dynamic” in tanks rather than new or old oak.

Yann leaves it in bottle for some time before releasing it so that it has had a chance to develop some complexity in the bottle.

Like all of his wines, this one is labelled as a Vin de France despite the grapes coming from an exciting area.

Many of our winemakers just don’t bother with the appellations anymore as their wines are now well known and widely accepted so they don’t need the additional trouble and expense of submitting the wines to the authorities.

RRP: $81 (SOLD OUT)

Recrue des Sens (Yann Durieux) Les Grands Ponts Blancs 2018

The “Les Grands Ponts Blancs 2018” is a wonderful wine that shows how versatile the Aligoté grape can be. In this case Yann has decided to create an orange wine by macerating some of his Aligoté grapes for 21 days on their skins and then maturing the wine in tanks rather than oak barrels.

The 21 days of maceration allows the polyphenols to become extracted from the skins to change the nature of the subsequent wine. There are at least two important polyphenols that are extracted from the skins during this process.

The first are anthocyanins. These are the polyphenols responsible for colour in a wide range of plants including many flowers. With a red wine you can see them change from almost white when they are very young. They then change to green to pink to red and then almost to black. However the juice is usually white so the skins are left in with the juice to extract these anthocyanins into the juice to create a red wine. The same happens with a white wine except that the colour of the skins is not as pronounced so that the anthocyanins turn the juice a light orange colour.

The other polyphenols that are extracted from the skin are tannins. These can give the juice a slightly bitter taste depending on how the tannins are handled. By only doing the extraction for 21 days Yann is making sure that there is a nice equilibrium between the freshness of the wine and the complexity of having these extra polyphenols present.

The grapes came from 45-year-old vines planted on clay-limestone soil in the commune of Villers-la-Faye, at 400 metres altitude.

We have only a few bottles of this gorgeous wine.

RRP: $261 (SOLD OUT)

Yann Durieux (Recrue des Sens) Manon 2017

The Yann Durieux Hautes Cotes de Nuits Manon is an interesting expression of Chardonnay which Yann makes in very small quantities, therefore the allocation for Australia is similarly tiny.

The wine exhibits very complex aromas giving a hint to the complexity of the flavours that lie below. But this is not big, oaky Chardonnay of the style we have come to expect recently in Burgundy.

The wine is powerful and with lovely minerality and has had 24 months of aging in wood.

The vineyards have not been sprayed or chemically fertilised. The grapes have been picked by hand. The fermentation has been carried out only with natural yeasts and there are no additives.

The vines come from a small vineyard which lies below the Abbey of Saint Vivant which lies some 24 kilometres north of Beaune in the hills near Messanges. The wine has been aged in used barrels.

This is an expensive wine because the yields in the vineyard are so low. But we love it because it is a real wine!

Like all of his wines, this one is labelled as a Vin de France despite the grapes coming from an exciting area. Many of our winemakers just don’t bother with the appellations anymore as their wines are now well known and widely accepted so they don’t need the additional trouble and expense of submitting the wines to the authorities.

RRP: $230 (SOLD OUT)

Yann Durieux (Recrue des Sens) Black Pinot 2018

The Yann Durieux cuveé called Black Pinot is a very special wine! If you are a wine drinker who loves the over extracted Pinot Noir wines that have been coming out of Burgundy over the past twenty years to grab the attention of Robert Parker, then please don’t buy this wine!

This vintage the wine is fairly intense weighing in a 13.5%. It is a deeply flavoured Pinot Noir of a style that we remember from long ago when we first loved Burgundy wines.

The vineyard (the grapes come from Yann’s 1er Ponts vines) has not been sprayed or chemically fertilised. The soils here are primarily clay and limestone.

The vines are 40 years old, facing south, at an altitude of 400 m in the commune of Villers-la-Faye, southwest of Nuits-Saint-Georges. The name of the vineyard is Les 1er Ponts.

The grapes have been picked by hand and the wine was made from the first picking (or first “pass”) from the vineyard.

The fermentation has been carried out only with natural yeasts from the vineyard and no additives such as sulphites have been added.

The wine was matured in for ten months in tanks so that no “new wood” flavours would be added.

This is an expensive wine because the yields in the vineyard are so low. But we love it because it is a real wine!

RRP: $212 (SOLD OUT)

Recrue des Sens (Yann Durieux) Les Fleurs des BT 2018

We haven’t imported this wine before because it is relatively new. It is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes.

This wine is a sub-selection from the parcel from which Yann makes BT (Les Boutières), which is virtually within Savigny-Les-Beaune. The timing of the flowering was different so he treated it as a different wine.

This is a plot of 50 year old vines that have excellent south-facing exposure and which sits at 300 metres above sea level. The soil is clay over limestone.

The juice was macerated on skins for a long 30 days with some punch down of the cap. It was matured in older oak barrels that had seen several wines over the years.

It is fresh but complex, aged in tank to preserve the freshness.

This is not a cheap wine, but one to be treasured.

RRP: $302 (SOLD OUT)

Recrue des Sens (Yann Durieux) LDX 2018

This is a new wine from Yann and Cristela made from Pinot Noir grapes sourced from a vineyard near the village of Ladoix-Serrigny which is about 6 kilometres north of the town of Beaune and also on the road to Villers-la-Faye which is where Yann lives and where some of his most interesting vineyards are.

The wine was made with a reasonably long maceration but aged in vats to maintain the freshness and vibrancy of the wine.

This is not a cheap wine, but one to be treasured.

RRP: $297 (SOLD OUT)

Recrue des Sens (Yann Durieux) La Gouzotte 2018

This wine from Yann and Cristela is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes sourced from a number of plots that Yann manages.

The name doesn’t arise from a vineyard or area where the grapes come from but rather from the fact that Yann thinks that the wine is as fine and sharp as a “gouzotte”, a sharp hooked knife commonly used in the vineyard for pruning.

The wine was made with a reasonably long maceration but aged in vats to maintain the freshness and vibrancy of the wine.

This is not a cheap wine, but one to be treasured.

RRP: $126 (SOLD OUT)

Recrue des Sens (Yann Durieux) CR 2018

This is a relatively new wine from Yann and Cristela made from Pinot Noir grapes sourced from a vineyard near the village of Chorey-lès-Beaune which is literally on the outskirts of the town of Beaune and also on the road to Villers-la-Faye which is where Yann lives and where some of his most interesting vineyards are.

The wine was made with a reasonably long maceration but aged for one year in tanks to maintain the freshness and vibrancy of the wine. Yann also calls this wine “powerful and aromatic”.

This is not a cheap wine, but one to be treasured.

RRP: $275 (SOLD OUT)

Recrue des Sens (Yann Durieux) PV 2018

This is a new wine from Yann and Cristela made from Pinot Noir grapes sourced from a vineyard near the village of Pernand Vergelesses which is quite a famous appellation about 9 kilometres north of the town of Beaune as you start to climb into the hills on the D18 after passing between Savigny-lès-Beaune and Aloxe-Corton.

The wine was made with a reasonably long maceration but aged in vats to maintain the freshness and vibrancy of the wine.

This is not a cheap wine, but one to be treasured.

RRP: $306 (SOLD OUT)

Yann Durieux (Recrue des Sens) Hautes Cotes de Nuits Les Ponts Blanc 2014

Every now and again a wine comes along that is completely out of left field. And the Les Ponts Blanc is one of them!

We have, for many years, been very fond of the Aligote grape variety so beloved by local Burgundians, provided the vines have been planted in good terroir.

And this wine is made from Aligote, but it is a wine with a difference. It is a white wine that has undergone 18 days of skin maceration to add complexity to the wine including some complex tannins from the skins of the grapes.

Yann has shown amazing judgement in making this wine. There is still plenty of fruit characteristics here but the skin contact has added complexity without taking away the soul of the Aligote. It is slightly orange in the tradition of orange wines without having been completely transformed into a different type of wine.

The result is an harmonious and elegant wine that can be savoured right through a meal as it will pair with just about any food. It is only 10.5% in alcohol!

RRP: SOLD OUT

Yann Durieux (Recrue des Sens) Vin de France Les Ponts 2013

This is a very low alcohol (10%), light yet expressive Pinot Noir where the fruit is sourced from a different vineyard to the Premier Ponts. There is no sulphur added to this wine at any time.

When you first smell this wine you will notice a faint raspberry aroma that slowly gives way to more usual Pinot references such as forest floor and mushrooms with overtones of field herbs.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Yann Durieux (Recrue des Sens) Vin de France Cas d’Eau Blanc 2013

This is a very interesting wine. The grapes were sourced from the famous Prieure Roch vineyards in Vosne Romanee (where Yann still works). It is an elegant Chardonnay.

We tried a bottle of this with friends in Sydney recently and it was absolutely delicious!

RRP: SOLD OUT

Yann Durieux (Recrue des Sens) Morey Saint Denis 2012

We only have a few bottles of this amazing wine from a great appellation. We don’t expect to be knocked over in the rush to buy them due to the price for this year where yields were incredibly low, but the quality was very high! But we did very much enjoy a bottle of this wine recently!

RRP: SOLD OUT

Yann Durieux (Recrue des Sens) Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2012

We only have a few bottles of this amazing wine also. This wine exhibits all of the characteristics of a great Gevrey. The grapes have been handled with great care by Yann who has a great understanding of this appellation and how to get that unique aroma and flavour that screams GEVREY. His vines are quite old which also helps produce wines of amazing complexity.

RRP: SOLD OUT