Louis Lequin – 4 centuries in Burgundy
Domaine Louis Lequin has been producing Burgundy in Santenay for four centuries, since 1669. It now comprises 7 hectares of premier and grand cru terroirs in prime sites throughout the Côte d’Or: Nuits-Saint-Georges in the Côtes de Nuit, as well as Pommard, Santenay, Corton, Corton Charlemagne, and Bâtard-Montrachet in the Côte de Beaune. Though the Lequin Family started to grow grapes as early as 1604, their first purchase of vineyard, a small parcel in Santenay called Les Clos Genet, did not come to them till sixty five years later. This acquisition sealed the fate of the Lequin family in Burgundy, as they had 120 years to pay their mortgage.
In 1852, Louis Isadore Lequin moved his family to the hill in Santenay where the vineyards and winery were located. The hill was rich in siliceous sand deposits which proved ideal for glassmaking (of all things!) Lequin began doing glasswork as well as cultivating vineyards. All the proceeds from his glass business were reinvested into the winery with the purchase of more land.
In 1938, Lucien Lequin (grandfather of Louis, the current proprietor) purchased his first parcel of Grand Cru land in Batard-Montrachet. An export market was developed in 1946 and by 1950 the wines were being served at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. Over the decades that followed, the Lequin family purchased vineyards in Corton and Nuits Saint Georges. Louis took the helm in 1993.
It is a well-known fact that terroirs in Burgundy vary greatly even from one site within a vineyard to another site within the same vineyard. However, there is one ubiquitous geological fact that remains: the Jurassic period, which saw much of Northern Europe and all of Burgundy submerged in a shallow sea, is responsible for the beds of exquisite sea minerals that give the wines their gravitas. All of the terroirs within Lequin’s vineyard sites are possessive of that classic limestone, clay, and various marl soils so key to the elaboration of high quality Burgundy. Similarly, each cuvee is unique, for example the stony soils of his Chassagne-Montrachet 1er cru Morgeot make for a crystalline white of great finesse, which the iron-rich terroirs of his Santenay 1er cru Passe-Temps make for a rustic red of great power.
Domaine Lequin produces pure, sanguine wines ranging in style from polished to hale. The Bourgogne rouge (declassified Santenay) is easily enjoyed young, while the premier & grand crus have long term aging potential.
Producer: Louis Lequin