Our tasting impressions
The clay and limestone soil are so aromatically transparent! In the mouth, there is a crispness and brightness almost suggesting Chablis but with the body and weight one expects from a good Côte de Beaune. Citrus and zesty flavors - and more of those intense minerals - have good length. Even better with food but given the quality and the price, this is tough to beat.
About this wine
100% Chardonnay from less than a half hectare plot called Les Rouards, just above Pommard, planted 15 years ago in soil composed of clay and limestone. Yields are 40 hl/ha. The stems are left intact before pressing. The must is allowed to settle for 24-36 hours before fermentation and malolactic fermentation is done in oak barrels (15% new). Annual production is 2,800 bottles.
Hautes Côtes de Beaune is a regional appellation established in 1961, covering vineyards throughout the Côte de Beaune that sit above (Haute) the more storied vineyards. In the past, wines with this designation tended to be thin and nondescript, but a combination of increased focus from talented winemakers like Guillaume Guiton and global warming has elevated their quality and reputation.
About the grape
Chardonnay is the most popular wine variety in the US. Winemakers love the green-skinned grape as well because it’s so easy to grow and adaptive to many different production techniques. Grown everywhere, Chardonnay’s greatest expressions are widely believed to come from Burgundy. Indeed, this is believed to be where the grape originated. Chablis, in Northern Burgundy and Champagne also offer superlative examples of Chardonnay.
About the Vintage
Guillaume was delighted with 2021 and heralded it as a return to typical Burgundian style. For the first time in several years, high temperatures during the growing season were not the overriding factor. Unfortunately, a severe spring frost that plagued much of Europe drastically diminished yields. Chardonnay was hit harder because it buds earlier than Pinot Noir. So, 2021 was very good on quality but very poor on quantity.
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.
A 10% discount will be credited in your cart when purchasing at least 12 Pre-Arrival bottles from this producer.