Our tasting impressions
The 2016 Pommard was unavailable for tasting on my first visit, so it was not part of our original offering from Guiton. Tasting twice since (5 months apart), it demonstrated what a great wine it is. It may not be as big as his Volnay (an anomaly for sure) but it is clear why this village wine is presented last for tasting by Guillaume. A complete wine that while delicious now, will benefit from years of cellaring.
About this wine
100% village Pinot Noir from 3 vineyards - Rue au Port, En Mareau and Les Vignots. Exposures include south and east and the soil includes marl and marly limestone. The vines were planted in 1950, 1970 and 1995. Harvesting is by hand and yields are 42 hl/ha.
Fermentation lasts 18-22 days with maceration (cold to start), including pigéage (punching down the cap). The wine ages in oak barrels (25% new) for 15-18 months. A light filtration is done before bottling if necessary. No racking. 2,800 bottles produced each year.
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 - resulted in very concentrated wines.
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.