The concept of terroir in Burgundy is the foundation of my project. What excites me is the opportunity to make wine to express the character of a specific site. Identifying the best sites began in the middle ages and while it was enshrined in an appellation hierarchy in 1936, there are many subtle variations to the terroir within that framework.

Over the years I’ve complied a sensory map for numerous village lieux-dits and climats of premier cru as well as the grand cru on the Côte d’Or,  but it is rarely simple for the soil and aspect vary considerably within any defined area. Often a domaine has some variation in the terroir within their parcel.

This gives me an exciting opportunity of making wine with a slightly different terroir footprint to the domaine from whom I have bought the grapes.

So…don’t expect a repeat version of the domaine’s wine.

The best illustration of this approach is the Volnay, Santenots, which I made in the 2018 vintage. The fruit comes from Nico Rossignol’s domaine. His parcel lies directly below Santenots Milieu and I chose fruit from the top of the Volnay side, where the soil is rockier than the sandier soil on the Meursault side or on the clay below.

Clearly my terroir project is exciting for me, but it also offers an opportunity for the domaines domaines to discover something new about their vineyards.

And of course my interpretation will be slightly different.

So there is also interest for the domaines in seeing how their grapes respond to a different approach in the winery.

I like wines with minerality and tension. It’s no surprise that I gravitate to sites with high limestone or thin top soil with rock, but not exclusively. I also want to explore sites with more clay, to celebrate the fuller and rounder character they produce, while aiming for an elegant texture.

I am very happy working with tiny quantities – one to three barrels gives me the chance to explore different appellations. I am hoping to make a few barrels of premier cru from the Côte de Nuits in 2019 and have my sights set on specific climats. It may be just a barrel of each. A total production of 6 to 8 barrels of 1er cru and 4 to 6 of village wine (Meursault and Gevrey-Chambertin) seems about right for me for now.

Ideally I would like to make the same appellations every vintage, learning more about them in the process, but in Burgundy, where the vintage variation is both a charm and curse, the size of harvests can vary alarmingly so it’s unlikely that I will secure grapes for every cuvée in every vintage. Volnay and Pommard are often affected by hail and so we must see what the gods send. If I cannot make a particular appellation, this is an opportunity to experiment with a different terroir.

The 2017s will be shipped in January and are available for purchase now. There is limited stock, just one barrel (300 bottles).

The 2018s will not be bottled and shipped until spring 2020, but may be reserved now. There are three barrels of each red cuvée and slightly fewer of Meursault.

Elegance combines with muscular minerality

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Charming red fruit and silky texture

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Stylish, straight and satin-smooth

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Alluringly, succulent, plump & sleek

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Full, smoothly muscular and vigorous

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