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Posts Tagged ‘Savigny-lès-Beaune’

 

Jean-Marc and Hugues Pavelot

Jean-Marc and Hugues Pavelot illustrate yet again Burgundy’s apparently endless capacity to generate father-son teams that transition seamlessly from one generation to the next. Much like Michel and Frédérich Lafarge in Volnay,  Pavelot Père et Fils work so completely in synch that either one could doubtless complete the other’s sentences without a change in pitch or emphasis.  

Domaine Pavelot, with family roots going back in Savigny-lès-Beaune to the 17th Century, currently comprises 12 hectares in the Côte de Beaune, principally in Savigny-lès-Beaune, but also in Corton, Beaune, and Pernand-Vergelesses.  

The heart of Domaine Pavelot lies in Savigny-lès-Beaune (locally known as “Savigny”) where the Domaine has holdings in six different Premier Cru vineyards.   On the south-facing hillside sector lying under Mont Battois, Domaine Pavelot holds a .6-hectare parcel of Premier Cru Aux Gravains , 75% of whose vines were planted in 1930 (the other 25% in 1990), from which are produced on average 300 cases per year. Adjacent to Aux Gravains,  lies the Premier Cru vineyard of Les Serpentières, in which Pavelot holds a tiny .17-hectare parcel that was planted in 1947 and yields, on average, only 80 cases a year.  In the same sector of the appellation,  also on the north of the river, lies a 1.48-hectare parcel of Premier Cru Les Guettes, planted in 1978 and producing about 685 cases annually.    

On the hillside closer to Beaune, Pavelot owns three additional Savigny vineyards: a .36-hectare parcel of Premier Cru Les Narbantons, planted in 1923 and yielding an average of 165 cases per year; and a .45-hectare parcel of Premier Cru Les Peuillets, planted 1n 1955 that averages 225 cases annually. The Domaine’s largest holding  is  2.21-hectare parcel of Premier Cru La Dominode, which is a lieu-dit within Les Jaurrons, and arguably the most celebrated vineyard in Savigny. The largest portion of the vineyard (45%) was planted in 1928, while 32% dates to 1973 and 23% to 1993. Altogether Domaine Pavelot produces, on average, about 1000 cases annually of La Dominode.  

The Domaine also holds several parcels of village-level vineyards, aggregating  5.35 hectares of Pinot Noir vines averaging over 35 years of age,  from which are annually produced about 2000 cases of Savigny-lès-Beaune Village (Rouge). The Pavelots, in addition,  hold .84 hectares of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc vines, from which they blend (90-95% Chardonnay, remainder Pinot Blanc) about 400 cases annually of Savigny-lès-Beaune Village (Blanc).  

Finally, Domaine Pavelot enjoys a few small holdings outside Savigny, including  a .61-hectare parcel of Premier Cru Pernand-Vergelesses, Les Vergelesses, planted in 1975 and yielding an average of 300 cases per years;  a .23-hectare parcel of village-level Aloxe-Corton, Les Cras, planted in 1953 and producing about 100 cases per year; and a minuscule .09-hectare slice of Grand Cru Corton (Blanc), Les Chaumes, from which are produced 25 cases per year.  

  

Hugues Pavelot

Traditionally, as well as in the hands of less skilled vignerons than the Pavelots, Savigny wines can be a somewhat lifeless, all too often caused by fruit harvested before full phenolic maturity. Domaine Pavelot, however, as well as a handful of other Savigny vignerons, have mastered the techniques of coaxing elegant, rich, and seductive wines out of the difficult appellation while remaining true to the Savigny terroir. The approach taken by Domaine Pavelot is a combination of scrupulous viniculture and noninterventionist winemaking carefully tailored to the peculiarities of Savigny .    

The Pavelots are adherents of lutte raisonnée, a system of vine cultivation that is essentially organic and noninterventionist.  Lutte raisonnée entails holistic and balanced viticultural management with primary focus on microbial health of the soil and the biodiversity of the vineyard. The governing policy is to support and maintain the natural ecosystem of the vineyard so that the vines can prosper without intervention, thereby naturally resisting pests and disease. The system pursues a reasoned and not absolutist approach, however, and practitioners of lutte raisonnée  will occasionally permit limited chemical intervention if certain danger thresholds are passed, and when chemicals are viewed as less harmful to the soil than alternative biodynamic treatments.   As a practical matter, lutte raisonnée  can be distinguished  from biodynamie in that the former implies the application of treatments only as a necessary response and the use of chemicals as a less harmful alternative; whereas biodynamie implements treatments systematically as prevention and employs biodynamic remedies like sulphur and copper that many vignerons believe are more harmful to the vineyard than chemical alternatives.   Lutte raisonnée , in the judgment of its practitioners, thus results in less intervention and a flexible approach that elevates the long term health of the vineyard above organic and biodynamic orthodoxy.    

Jean-Marc and Hugues Pavelot focus on low yields and old vines to produce their wines. The vines of the Domaine average over 65 years of age, and many are almost 100 years old. Such old vines typically provide small yields of rich, concentrated fruit. In addition, the Pavelots affirmatively restrain vineyard yields through a program of close pruning, de-budding, and vendange vert if necessary. In addition, only focused and restrained use of organic fertilizer is permitted.    

The vines are manually harvested and carefully sorted in the vineyard to remove any imperfect fruit.  The clusters are then brought immediately to the cuverie where they are subjected to a second round of triage. All of the Regional, Village, and much of the Premier Cru is then completely de-stemmed. Partial clusters of Dominode and Bressandes are left intact.    

A pre-fermentation maceration follows for 4-5 days, with temperature restrained to 12° C. The must is then slowly permitted to warm up to ambient cuverie temperatures, at which point the naturally-occurring  yeasts generate alcoholic fermentation. Temperature-regulated fermentation continues 12-15 days for Village wine and 15-19 days for the Premier Cru. During this period there is twice-daily pigeage (punching-down); toward the end of the process, there may be some remontage (pumping over) until all the sugar is converted into alcohol.    

Selecting termination date for cuvaison is a critical decision at Domaine Pavelot, one seen as greatly determinative of the character of the wine. The decision is predicated on careful evaluation based on tasting and experience.    

After a débourbage (settling of gross lees) of 24-48 hours, the wine is racked into French oak barrels (10-30% new), the choice of toast, percentage of new oak, and the origin of the barrels, all dependent on the vineyard. For example, Aux Gravains is treated to 25% new Tronçais barrels with light toast, whereas La Dominode enjoys 30% new Aliier barrels with medium toast, while Pernand-Vergelesses, Les Vergelesses is racked into and aged in 25% new Allier barrels with heavy toast.    

 The wines are barrel-aged on their fine lees 10-12 months for Village-level and 12-14 months for Premier Cru, and  then assembled in tank by appellation, resting there for a month or two before bottling, with light filtration,  only if necessary.

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Savigny-lès-Beaune, Les Serpentières is 12.14-hectare Premier Cru climat in the wine commune Savigny-lès-Beaune,   situated in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune.  The vineyard is situated in the Pernand sector of Savigny, north of the Rhoin River on the hillside descending from Bois Noël. Specifically,  Les Serpentières lies just west of Aux Gravains, and toward the village of Savigny.  Facing south from an elevation of 260-270 meters, the sandy, brown soil contains much marl.

There  is  an interesting difference of opinion over the etymology of the name “Serpentières”. Many researchers  insist that the name  refers to the snake-like rivulets that pass through the vineyard whereas some locals,  notably  Jean-Marc Pavelot, insist that the written record attests that the name derives from the sometime-presence  of the reptiles  that tempted Eve.

Excellent examples of  Les Serpentières are made by Domaines Patrick Javiller and by Jean-Marc Pavelot.

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Savigny-lès-Beaune, Les Lavières is 17.66-hectare Premier Cru climat in the wine commune Savigny-lès-Beaune,   situated in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune.  The vineyard is situated just east  of Aux Gravains in the Pernand sector of the appellation, north of the Rhoin River on the hillside descending from Bois Noël. Facing south from an elevation of 260 to 280 meters, the thin (30 cm) and brown sandy soil contains many rocks and flagstones.

The vineyard name, “Les Lavières”refers to the many flagstones in the soil. The Carmelite Order acquired 10 oevreés of  Les Lavières in 1665.

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Savigny-lès-Beaune, Les Jarrons is 9.35-hectare Premier Cru climat in the wine commune Savigny-lès-Beaune,   situated in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune.  The vineyard is located in the Beaune sector of Savigny, south of the Rhoin River on the hillside descending from Mont Battois.  Specifically, La Dominode lies  uphill from Les Narbantons, and downhill, north of Les PeuilletsLa Dominode (which is entitled to its own appellation and Premier Cru status) forms a majority 7.89-hectare  piece of Les Jarrons; excluding the La Dominode piece, Les Jarrons comprises only 1.46 hectares. Facing east, northeast from an elevation of 260 meters, the soil is sandy with some fine gravel and a bit of red clay.

The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem acquired 10 oevreés of Les Jarrons in 1665. The name, Les Jarrons, derives from a French word referring to the branches of a tree.

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Savigny-lès-Beaune, Les Haut Jarrons is 9.35-hectare Premier Cru climat in the wine commune Savigny-lès-Beaune,   situated in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune.  The vineyard is located in the Beaune sector of Savigny, south of the Rhoin River on the hillside descending from Mont Battois.  Specifically, Les Haut Jarrons lies just uphill of the separate Premier Cru climat, Les  Jarrons; in fact, the name “Les Haut Jarrons” means the “high section of Jarrons”. Facing east, northeast from an elevation of 280 meters, the soil of Les Haut Jarrons is deep, brown and sandy, and contains some limestone gravel.

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Savigny-lès-Beaune, Aux Gravains is 6.15-hectare Premier Cru climat in the wine commune Savigny-lès-Beaune,   situated in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune.  The vineyard is situated between Les Lavières and Aux Serpentières in the Pernand sector of Savigny, north of the Rhoin River on the hillside descending from Bois Noël. Facing south from an elevation of 260-270 meters, the soil is a sandy alluvium with an admixture of gravel and limestone scree.

The vineyard name, “Gravains”, makes reference to the fine gravel in the sandy soil.

Excellent Aux Gravains is made by Domaine Jean-Marc et Hugues Pavelot.

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Savigny-lès-Beaune, Aux Guettes is 14.08-hectare Premier Cru climat in the wine commune Savigny-lès-Beaune,   situated in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune.  Situated in the Pernand sector of Savigny, north of the Rhoin River on a steep portion of the hillside descending from Bois Noël, Aux Guettes lies just above the village of Savigny, at the northwestern end of the band of Premiers Crus. Facing south from an elevation varying between 270 and 330 meters, the sandy reddish soil is rich in clay with many protruding rocks.

The vineyard name, “Guettes”, refers to a masonry hunting blind (a “guet” in French) that lies on the uphill section of the vineyard, from which hunters can observe game unseen.

Very fine Aux Guettes is made by Domaine Jean-Marc et Hugues Pavelot.

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