Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits, Domaine Olivier & Anne-Marie Rion 2004 (Petit Pois, Moorestown, NJ)
The divided story of the Rion family is becoming an increasingly typical one as the generations roll on in Burgundy. The middle of three sons of Daniel Rion, Olivier Rion has been at the helm of his family’s estate, Domaine Daniel Rion et Fils, since 2000. At that time, his elder brother Patrice, who had carried the torch since Daniel’s retirement, left the family business to solidify his own company which he started ten years earlier. Patrice sold his share of Domaine Rion – one-third according to the Napoleonic code – to Olivier. In the midst of all this, Olivier started his own Domaine based on property inherited by his wife, Anne-Marie, and on some small plots they’d purchased together. The resulting estate, Domaine Olivier & Anne-Marie Rion, currently makes tiny quantities of just three wines, all of them estate bottled: a Bourgogne Rouge, Hautes Côtes de Nuits and a Côte de Nuits Villages from the lieu-dit "La Prètière."
Olivier is a slight, quiet yet clearly passionate man who opts to let his farming and wine making speak in his stead. The wines from the main family Domaine have steadily improved under his supervision and his own estate is quickly becoming one to watch. Based on the progress of this 2004 Hautes Côtes de Nuits, I think it might be wise to stow away a few bottles of the 2005, now on the market, for future enjoyment.