Review: 2022 Domaine Nico Grand Mere and Grand Pere Pinot Noir

Review: 2022 Domaine Nico Grand Mere and Grand Pere Pinot Noir

Hard as it is to believe, Laura Catena has managed to squeeze in working on the family wines, running a medical clinic, the La Posta and Altaland lines, and who knows what else to establish a line of Pinot Noirs. With a name dedicated to both her daughter and great-grandfather (founder of Catena Zapata), Domaine Nico finds inspiration from Catena’s time in France and her resulting obsession with Burgundy and Pinot Noir.

Catena and her team started on their mission in Tupungato in 2008, meticulously studying various grape varieties, production techniques, altitude plots, and soil compositions. After thorough scrutiny, their efforts culminated in the commencement of bottling in 2016. Five different parcels were selected, and today we’re looking at two of them.

So what’s the difference between Grand Mère and Grand Père? Easy. Both are 100% Pinot Noir grown at the same elevation. However, Père’s parcel is more shaded, has shallower soil levels, is subject to a slightly longer aging process (15 versus 14 months), and has a different oak aging process (25% new, 75% second use versus 100% 2nd use French oak). Got all that? Good. Let’s go.

2021 Domaine Nico Grand Mère Pinot Noir – This opens with big aromas of cherry and strawberry, with layers of baking spice and forest notes evolving with time in the glass. The red fruit carries forward on the palate, with medium acidity pulling up cranberry, cocoa, and a slightly floral note driving towards a lingering finish. Highly nuanced and well-balanced, you’d be forgiven for mistaking this for a younger Burgundy — which is the idea. A-

2021 Domaine Nico Grand Père Pinot Noir – Similar to its partner, very Burgundy-like and presenting aromas of red fruit mixed with earthy elements of mushroom and clove cutting through eventually. It makes its way through a body of medium acidity and silky tannins, featuring additional notes of orange peel, cranberry and a mild note of pepper towards a long finish. Not as lively as Grand Mère, but equally as pleasurable, providing an engaging study in contrast. B+

each $36 /

2021 Domaine Nico Grand Mère Pinot Noir




Rob Theakston is a contributing editor to Drinkhacker.

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