Eric de Suremain Monthelie Rouge 1er Cru ‘Clou des Chênes’ 2018

  • Monthelie is a little hamlet
  • It is one of those rare Burgundy vintages where the wines are already drinking beautifully and yet they will certainly age as well
  • One of Burgundy's leading practitioners of biodynamic viticulture
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • Decanter
    92 points
  • The Wine Advoca
    92+ points

Editors notes

This is always the demure wine of the group; shy and subtle. A beautiful ruby/garnet colour, very lifted and bright. Very fine aromas, delicate - red fruit, strawberries, jellied cherries. Very fine, very attractive. This has considerable finesse and complexity. Lovely clarity and depth on the finish. Superb!


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Earthy
    • Herbal
    • Red Fruits
  • Palate
    • Cedar
    • Red Cherry
    • Strawberry

Food Pairings

  • Fish
  • Game
  • Poultry

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Decanter

    "Near Volnay, Clou des Chênes sits high on the slope in calcium-rich marl soils. This parcel delivers a wine of inky dark concentration with lovely depth of ripe cassis fruit, stony minerality and plenty of tannic concentration on the palate. This transcends the typical Monthélie to achieve a substance and structure worthy of laying down for 10 to 20 years."
  • The Wine Advocate

    "(2017 vintage) Unfurling in the glass with aromas of wild berry fruit, woodsmoke, cassis and raw cocoa, the 2017 Monthélie 1er Cru Clou des Chênes is medium to full-bodied, deep and fleshy, with a comparatively muscular chassis of fine but youthfully chewy tannin, lively acids and a sappy core of fruit, concluding with a chalky finish. This will reward some bottle age."

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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.


Burgundy is undoubtedly the home of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnays in the world, where vineyards, or Domaines have been producing wines for over 2000 years. Burgundy is located in the North-east of France, an hours drive from Lyon and 2 hours from Paris. With over 100 appellations, or sub-regions (more than any other wine region) Burgundy is known for being the most terroir-oriented region in the World. The finest red wines of Burgundy are found in the Côte d'Or, a string of villages including Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey St Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée and Nuits-St Georges.

There are flavours present in great Burgundys that are the envy of Pinot Noir producers worldwide. The elusive peacocks tail finish that goes on and on, and the pretty-elegance backed by Burgundy muscle is the goal of winemakers around the globe. The main levels in the Burgundy classifications, in descending order of quality, are: Grand crus, Premier crus, village appellations, and finally regional appellations. For the Chablis wines, a similar hierarchy of Grand Cru, Premier Cru and Village wines is used, plus Petit Chablis as a level below Village Chablis.


Monthélie is a village appellation for both red and white wine in the central Côte de Beaune wine-producing region in the southern part of the Côte d’Or in Burgundy, France. Monthélie is tucked up between Volnay and Meursault, overlooking the Côte de Beaune hills. Soils here consist of pebbly limestone, marl, and red clay. The appellation produces only small amounts of white wine – Chardonnay. These golden-hued, firm wines are similar to Meursault. On the nose, expect notes of lemon, apple, mayflower, and hazelnut. Further, expect a lively, supple, full-bodied palate with just the right acidity. For red wines, Monthélie produces some good bold – and good-value – Pinot Noirs. These ruby-coloured wines boast red fruits, black fruits, and floral notes on the nose, gaining characters of underbrush and spice with age. On the palate, expect a velvety texture atop firm but still delicate tannins.

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About the brand Domaine Suremain

One of Burgundy's leading practitioners of biodynamic viticulture, Eric de Suremain began farming organically as long ago as 1996. Today, he and his wife, Dominique, work with just under six hectares in Monthélie and five hectares in Mercurey. Red wines are fermented in wooden tanks, often these days with the retention of some 30% stems, for a very classical maceration; whites are pressed directly and fermented in barrels after a brief settling. Elevage is comparatively protracted, with whites seeing some 15 months and reds seeing 18-20 months. The result is elegant reds that have a charmingly old-fashioned feel and evolve slowly in bottle and pure, precise whites with sneaky depth and persistence. In short, admirers of classically balanced Burgundy will find much to admire at this address, and the wines come warmly recommended.
William Kelley, End of July 2019, The Wine Advocate

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