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Posts Tagged ‘Pierre Vincent’

Clos Blanc de Vougeot  is a small 2.29-hectare Premier Cru climat located in the commune of Vougeot.  The vineyard, a monopole of the Domaine de la Vougeraie, is situated in front of the Château du Clos de Vougeot, below the western half of the Clos de Vougeot’s north wall. By tradition, and most likely in fact, Cistercian monks identified the parcel as early as 1110 A.D. as a perfect vineyard site for white wine used in communion. Surrounded as it  is by vineyards producing red wine (not only in Vougeot but also in the whole Côte-de-Nuits), Le Clos Blanc is poetically referred to as a “diamond set in a field of rubies.”

 The triangular-shaped vineyard, whose traditional lieu-dit is La Vigne Blanche, lies at an elevation of 250 meters, with an eastern exposition, and enjoys a limestone-based soil mixed with clay. While the vineyard is planted 95% with Chardonnay, there is also a small amount of traditional Pinot Beurot (4%) and Pinot Blanc (1%) which help make the wine both distinctive and complex.

Owned from 1959 until 2000 by L’Heritier Guyot , where it was quite regrettably an underperformer, the quality of Clos Blanc de Vougeot has been raised by the Vougeraie team to the very highest level. The farming is organic (certified by Ecocert) and rigorous biodynamic practices are closely followed. Winemaker Pierre Vincent presses whole bunches for 2½ hours, followed by a 12 hour debourbage at 15°C. The wine is fermented in barrels and aged for 16 months before bottling.

Only about 500 cases of the wine are made each year.

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The creation of the Domaine de la Vougeraie by the Boisset family in 1998 remains one of the most extraordinary evenements in Burgundy in recent times.  Uniquely, a major domaine emerged and quickly earned a place at the very top of the hierarchy in the Cote d’Or.  

Jean-Charles Boisset

Directing this phenomenon, initially, were two complementary and remarkably young, talented, and charismatic binary stars:  

Pascal Marchand

Jean-Charles Boisset, the American-educated Boisset scion of vision and grace, and Pascal Marchand, the French Canadian poet-turned-winemaking genius and Pied Piper of biodynamie in Burgundy. Beginning in 2006, the abundantly talented Pierre Vincent succeeded Marchand as winemaker at Domaine de la Vougeraie. The consensus of critics is that the wines have become even more approachable under Vincent.  

Domaine de la Vougeraie includes an amazing 33 hectares in 29 different appellations, including six grands crus (5 red and 1 white) as well as two monopoles in Vougeot, the Clos Blanc de Vougeot and Le Prieuré. In general, the vines at Vougeraie are planted 10,000 to the hectare and trained according to the Guyot method. All the vineyards of the Domaine are farmed by entirely organic methods of agriculture. In fact, the principles and rules of biodynamie are rigorously followed in nearly all of the vineyards, including horse-ploughing wherever possible.    Yields of Pinot Noir average a mere 20-25 hl/ha due to such agriculture as well as old vines.  

Vinification varies depending on vintage and appellation. As a general rule, however, the grapes are 100% destemmed, and then cold soaked in stainless steel for 4 to 5 days. This is followed by 6 to 8 days of alcoholic fermentation and 8 to 14 days post-fermentation maceration in traditional wooden vats. The wines are then racked into wooden barrels (typically 30% new wood) and bottled by gravity without fining or filtration.  

Winemaker Pierre Vincent

Remarkably, winemaker Pierre Vincent is able to produce twenty-nine different wines, each of which is fundamentally true to its terroir.   From its monumental Musigny, to its signature Clos Blanc de Vougeot,  and extending to the regional (but far from simple) Bourgogne Rouge, the wines of the Domaine reflect precisely the character of the underlying vineyard.

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