2017 Volnay, Caillerets, 1er Cru, Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur, Burgundy
About this WINE
Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur – along with current winemaker François – was born of the marriage of Vincent Bitouzet (of Volnay) and Ann Prieur (of Meursault), bringing together two distinguished Burgundian families.
The domaine has a red cellar next door to Lafarge (who are distant cousins) and a white cellar in Meursault, with reds making up approximately 60 percent of production.
The estate’s notable vineyard holdings include a selection of the finest Premier Cru sites in Volnay and Meursault. The whites are elegant and restrained, rather than being broad-shouldered, old-fashioned Meursault. The reds are de-stemmed, with new oak kept to a modest level.
The finest and most elegant red wines of the Côte de Beaune are grown in Volnay, a village which might be twinned with Chambolle- Musigny in the Côte de Nuits, for the high active chalk content in the soil and comparatively low clay content.Whereas in earlier times Volnay was made in a particularly light, early drinking style, these days there are many producers making wines which age extremely well. The best vineyards run either side of the RN73 trunk road.
- 98 hectares of village Volnay
- 115 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (35 in all). The finest include Les Taillepieds, Clos des Chênes, Champans, Caillerets (including Clos des 60 Ouvrées) and Santenots in Meursault.
- Recommended producers: Lafarge, Lafon, de Montille
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
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This is an outstanding site renowned for its intensely mineral wines; sadly the Bitouzets only own enough to make barely three barrels. The nose is a little marked by the oak at the moment but will absorb the wood with time; there is certainly the fruit and the rocky, precise tannins to carry this. A vin de garde. Drink 2024-2032.
François is keen to highlight the importance of the solidarity shown by the Côte’s vignerons at the end of April, when everyone came together to burn dampened bales and create cloud cover to ward off the frost. Without such action this could well have been another catastrophic yield. Having avoided this threat, the rest of the season was fairly straightforward with careful vineyard management and harvest began on the 30th August. He feels the whites are a mix of 2015 and 2014, while the reds are pretty and will drink well from an early age.
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