Right: Patrick pictured in his cellars in 2016…
I was tasting 2021s at the domaine only few days ago and heard that Patrick was in very poor health but the news remains undilutedly sad – Patrick passed on Saturday, the day after I visited the domaine.
Patrick, born in 1950, came to Volnay in 1997, following Gérard Potel as head of this iconic domaine. His 1999s were good but not particularly great in the context of that fine vintage or in the context of the wines of his neighbours – he was aware that the domaine could do better and so single-mindedly started his search for improvements and finding new help at the domaine – help came in the form of Hubert Rossignol. The progress of this team was more than steady.
Investments came thick and fast – new vines in Chambolle – including Bonnes-Mares – but Patrick wasn’t one for pausing – there came additional vines in the grand crus of Corton and more in Puligny too – including Clos des Caillerets and Chevalier-Montrachet.
Patrick, always the engineer, was constantly striving for new solutions to aid wine-making and together with Hubert started to trial amphoras in the Côte d’Or – a rarity in 2015 – but what wines they produced like this, wines of incredible clarity.
It was Patrick’s son, Benoit, who took up the reigns of the domaine when his father chose retirement – Benoit too, augmenting the vines of the domaine.
Patrick’s retirement certainly didn’t slow down the wanderlust that he shared with his wife, Marie. Unfortunately, it was during one of these trips that a miss-step caused Patrick to fall, the result of which caused him more and more issues and further falls. He weakened considerably in the last months.
All my sympathies are with the family. There will be a service at the church of Volnay this week, on Friday…