There are certain vineyard sites up and down the Côte d’Or in Burgundy which have been recognised for centuries as being outstanding locations. The monks were usually the first to spot the potential and to stake a claim. One such is the Clos de la Perrière in Fixin, just north of Gevrey-Chambertin, founded by the monks of Cîteaux in the early 12th century. The Joliet family purchased the Manoir de la Perrière and its attendant vines in 1853. Bénigne, who has bought out other family members so as to be able to run the domaine as he wants to do it, is the 6th generation of the family. He has moved towards organic farming in the vineyards, reduced yields and developed a style of vinification and barrel maturation to suit this vineyard. From the 2009 vintage the wines are aged for 24 months in barrels, half one year old and half two year old. Various early wine authorities in the 19th century singled out Clos de la Perrière as an exceptional vineyard, Dr Lavalle (1855) noting it as a Tête de Cuvée making wines which kept for longer than any others of the Côte d’Or. Though attempts to have it classified as Perrière-Chambertin in the 1930s failed, Bénigne is about to start work on a dossier to propose Clos de la Perrière as a grand cru now. Up to 10,000 bottles are made each vintage, with young vines being declassified into village Fixin. There is a small amount of white made as well from the coolest part of the vineyard.
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