About this wine
This lieu-dit (a single vineyard village wine) of Pinot Noir sits near the southeast corner of Volnay. The exposure is southeast and the soil is rusty limestone and clay. The vines were planted in 1946 and 1986. Harvesting is by hand and yields are 40 hl/ha.
Fermentation takes 15-20 days with maceration (cold to start), including pigéage (punching down the cap). The wine ages in oak barrels (15% new) for 15-18 months. A light filtration is done before bottling if necessary. A mere 1,400 bottles are produced each year.
Volnay wines are among the most popular in the Côte de Beaune due to their beautiful and intense aromatics. Because of this, many people incorrectly consider them light but Volnay can be as rigorous as its neighbor Pommard - particularly in its youth.
About the grape
Pinot Noir is an ancient grape from eastern France. Notoriously challenging, it thrives in cooler climates. The concept of terroir is most closely identified with Burgundy because the lightness of Pinot Noir enables it to so transparently express minor differences (which is why experienced tasters can discern the difference in wines produced from vineyards in very close proximity). Intense popularity resulted in plantings all over the world but most agree that its finest expression is in the Côte d’Or of Burgundy.
About the vintage
A very challenging vintage due to frost and hail. Production was sharply down - but as is often the case - resulting in very concentrated wines.
Our tasting impressions
I was struck by how deep this is for a village level. It is showing some youthful tartness (possibly coming from the tannins) but in time this will be very good and there is no rush to drink.
On your table
Try pasta with dried porcini mushroom sauce and some herbs. Serve at cellar temperature.
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Guillaume Guiton is a fiercely dedicated and extraordinary vigneron and a super nice guy. In the grand scheme of Burgundy, his vineyards would be considered modest...his wines, we consider, anything but.
He has been running this 11.5 hectare Domaine since 2002. His father Jean started it in 1973. Very much a hybrid estate, Guillaume owns 4ha, rents the rest and even buys grapes in his pursuit of the best he can get. He produces about 50,000 bottles per year.
He is a devoted terroirista, who welcomes the opportunity not to intervene in what nature offers. His methods vary based on vintage circumstances but he usually de-stems his red grapes and mostly avoids fining and filtration.
Guillaume is an intense student of barrels. He raises many wines in a variety of barrels before blending, only uses them for 6 years and never employs more than 20% new oak.