Santini Frères

Burgundy & Beaujolais, France

Chris Santini comes from French and American blood, with roots in Tunisia, Corsica and the USA where he grew up. Spending every summer in France as a child he decided to work his first harvest in Provence at age 20. He fell in love and after finishing his Oenology studies at the University of Beaune he spent years working all over Burgundy for both big domains and small, eventually working for the legendary American natural wine importer Kermit Lynch at his office in Beaune. Chris soon became the manager, a position he still holds today working a few days per week when not at his winery.

After years travelling and tasting Kermit all over France he got the itch to start making wine again releasing his first commercial vintage from his friend Christophe Pacalet’s cellar in 2013. Since then he has moved to his own space in Auxey-Duresses, a hundred year old cuverie that has never seen commercial enzymes or yeasts.

The focus is on producing “vins de soif” – wine made to quench your thirst and be consumed with fervor. The fruit is sourced from interesting and unique Terroirs that are off the beaten track in Burgundy, Beaujolais and elsewhere. They partner with honest and environmentally conscious growers to bring in organic fruit with their ultimate goal is to produce accessible, naturally made easy drinking wines - the same types of wines their Corsican and French ancestors enjoyed for generations.

In an effort of mutual cooperation and development, they’ve also invited other young, like-minded producers to set up shop in their cuverie to allow them to make their own wines from their own sources, all while sharing equipment and exchanging ideas and positive energy. They call this added endeavor, begun with the 2016 vintage, “The Auxey Collective”.

All the wines are vinified with native yeast and have no sulfur added until bottling. No other additives or manipulations are used at any time and the wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered. So far vinification on reds has been done entirely using whole cluster fermentations with the goal always to be terroir driven, light but aromatic, fruit driven wines. Chris favors infusion over extraction techniques avoiding aggressive pumping and heating during vinification. Whites and reds are aged in a combination of old barrels and fiberglass tanks. All the wines are made in extremely small quantities.

 

2016 Macon Villages Blanc

From organic fruit, no additives until a small dose of sulphur at bottling. Foot stomped then pressed in a wooden basket press.

 

2016 Beaujolais-Lantignié Blanc.

This wine is made by the same young vigneron who sells them the grapes for Lantignié rouge. It comes from his organic conversion vines, fermented with natural yeasts and slow press in a wooden basket press after foot stomping.

 

2016 Beaujolais Superieur - "Litre Etoilé"

Chris decided to declassify this wine from Beaujolais Village because he loves the old school ring to the name and simply couldn’t resist.

 

2016 Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Rouge

From organic fruit, no additives until a small dose of sulphur at bottling.

 

2016 Beaujolais-Lantignié "Les Monthieux"

this is a single parcel, old vine cuvée, barrel aged, that was vinified with one of the other guys who makes wine in the cuverie (The Auxey Collective). Labelled as collaboration between Santini Frères and Vin Noé. The vinification was slightly different than the house style, in that it was pressed dry after a 15 day maceration and had some pump overs and punch-downs over the 2nd half of the fermentation. The wine is more "Vin Noé" style, which is to say a little rounder, a little more serious and extracted. Vin Noé (whose real name is Jon Purcell- his negoce name is an hommage to his french great-grandfather who emigrated to the US, where Jon is from), worked several years at Philippe Pacalet, and honed this style of vinification from him. Philippe mixes classic natural Beaujolais ferment (CO2 enclosed tank, natural yeasts, whole cluster, semi carbonic) with some Burgundian moves as well (pigeage, longer maceration, barrel ageing). Voila!

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