Échezeaux is loyal to its appellation through the finesse of its attack on the palate and its overall balance. But it's also a wine with pronounced acidity, which gives it freshness and structure and bestows upon it a sometimes austere finish.
This wine needs to be kept for a long time if it is to reveal all its richness. The natural acidity contained in the grapes tends to constrict it somewhat when it is young, and time must play its part to make it better balanced.
Its development is slow, and right up to the moment when it is bottled, the wine is a little austere. Time is necessary, for this is a wine which tends to remain indifferent to whatever treatments you try to apply to it. It must like to be left alone. It may just react to new casks, Bertranges being the oak that is the most successful.
The vinification requires little intervention, as the grapes already contain the elements which it takes to succeed.
The original planting dates from the end of the 40's, but about one quarter of this was renewed a few years ago. The grapes are small, particularly at the top of the plot. They ripen quickly, and a high sugar level combined with excellent acidity can often be observed, and this produces wines of intensity. The only difficulty is that these are grapes which have to be "snapped up” at harvest time: you cannot wait, or they will spoil.
As its name - "les Rouges du Bas” - does not indicate, this vineyard plot of about 1 acre, is situated at the upper limit of the Échezeaux appellation. The altitude explains perhaps the aromatic freshness often found in this wine, even though its east/south-east orientation also influences its early maturity. The nature of the soil changes with the altitude: lighter and lighter as you get higher.