Domaine Alain Gras
Saint-Romain, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy
Alain Gras took the helm at this Saint-Romain domaine in 1979 and today cultivates some 12 hectares of vines in the appellation and its environs. More than anyone, Gras deserves credit for raising the reputation of Saint-Romain’s wines, and his bottles are frequently found on the wine lists of France’s better restaurants. The house style has evolved over the years, but today it is best characterized as succulent and supple, the whites and reds alike framed by a delicate touch of new oak from Gras’ neighbor, François Frères. These are keenly priced wines that number among the leaders in their appellations, and they would make an admirable choice for a by-the-glass pour or daily drinker.William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, July 2019
Alain Gras is the reference point for St-Romain. This extremely steep village (we didn’t realise quite how steep until we took our Fiat 500 hire car there recently and very nearly didn’t make it!!!) was considered part of the Hautes Côtes de Beaune until 1947. The vineyards are set back from the main Côte and mostly at higher elevation and have unquestionably improved in quality by the changes in climate and no longer struggle to reach full physiological maturity.
The domaine covers 12 hectares with 8ha being planted with Chardonnay and 4ha to Pinot Noir. There are 42 separate parcels but Alain prefers to blend the grapes into one cuvée.
The Saint-Romain blanc is succulent with ripe stone fruit, energetic acidity; supremely elegant with great poise.
The Saint-Romain rouge is fully destemmed and offers a crunchy, vibrant palate with fresh acidity, ripe red fruit and a smooth, satiny finish.
Currently there are 26 restaurants in France with 3 Michelin stars and Alain’s wines are listed in 21 of them; these are very smart, gastronomic wines and extremely reasonably priced for the quality they offer.
|Soil type||Vineyard area|
|Saint Roman Blanc||Chardonnay||40 |
|Saint Roman Rouge||Pinot Noir||35 |
Viticulture & Vinification
- Blanc – After a gentle pressing, it is vinified in a combination of 80% stainless steel and 20% new oak and bottled after 11 months.
- Rouge – The grapes are 100% destemmed then fermented on the skins for 12-14 days before maturation for 12 months in 80% lined cement tanks and 20% new oak