The fruit comes from Nicolas Rossignol. It is easy to spot Nico’s vineyards from the high and healthy canopies, which grandfather initially encouraged him to grow. In this film Nico explains.
He works with the lunar calendar for pruning, racking and bottling, but has a pragmatic approach to bio-dynamics, taking that which works for him. The vineyard management is a labour of love. The soil is lightly ploughed. The focus is on the life and energy of the soils and the vines. There is more about the domaine under Chevret.
Santenots is a large vineyard with a total surface area of 29 hectares of which Nico has two. He divides his vineyard into three sections based on the soil type. Each is vinified separately and then blended for barrel ageing. The top half on the Volnay side is stonier, closer to the bedrock, making tight, mineral and vigorous Santenots. As the soil becomes sandier towards Meursault the older vines in this section make supple, elegant and more refined, lighter wine. The bottom, with more clay, is typical Santenots Bas, softer and richer.
I followed the separate cuvées in 2017, tasting during vintage with Nico and his team. It was an easy choice. Never-the-less I walked through the vineyard looking at the grapes and the soil on the morning of the harvest in 2018 and chose the fruit on the rocky part, where the ‘ship heads’ protrude through the soil.