Why Big Red Diary?

Profile: Domaine Digioia-Royer (Chambolle)


Of-course the most important question you will have about this domaine is likely not about their vineyards practices, inclusion of stems or even their oak regime, but rather – how to pronounce their name? – well that was the most important question for me anyway! For the record; ‘Dee-Joy-er’ works just fine.

Michel Digioia has been at the helm of this domaine, discreetly tucked dow a side-street in Chambolle, since 1999 after taking on the vines of his wife’s parents. It was his wife’s grandparents who established the domaine in the 1930s. In 2003 Michel decided to commercialise his own wine, his parents-in-law had kept only a small amount of bottles – maybe 20% – to sell, the rest had been sold as grapes or in bulk to the négoce. By 2004 he was commercializing 100% of the produce.

Vines and winemaking

All the domaines wines currently come from around Chambolle – 50% is regional wine, plus 50% communal (villages and premier cru) – but new in 2011 will a cuvée from Nuits St.Georges. So from 4.5 hectares owned just under seven are now exploited; 100% percent are commercialised by the domaine – which comes to roughly 24,000 bottles – of which 60% are exported. No market dominates the domaine’s sales, which certainly helped during the financial crisis of 2009-2010. The fact that the domaine mainly sells Chambolle also helped of-course “there’s never enough Chambolle” says Michel with a smile. Because Chambolle is such a compact village, Michel splits his wines between three different small cellars in the village.

Appellation Colour Area Vine Age ~Production
Bourgogne Rosé Rosé Rosé de Saignée 50 cases  
Bourgogne Aligoté White 0.28 ha 1950-2002 150 cases
Bourgogne Chardonnay White 0.20 ha 1970 150 cases
Bourgogne Passetoutgrain Red 0.7 ha 1960 300 cases
Bourgogne Rouge Red 1 ha 1970 500 cases
Chambolle-Musigny Red 1 ha 1965 500 cases
Chambolle-Musigny VV Red 0.69 ha 1930 200 cases
Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Groseilles Red 0.097 ha 1935 40 cases
Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Gruenchers Red 0.063 ha 1986 25 cases

Source: Le Serbet

I’m not on bio, today lutte raisonée often comes before bio – but not yet for me. I plough the soil, when I first started we used herbicides, I moved to only 50% use of herbicides before eventually abandoning them completely. We don’t really need insecticides in Chambolle as practically the whole village is working with the ‘confusion-sexuelle’ pheromones.

The domaine practices manual harvesting with 100% destemming; Michel keeps the grapes cool for 3-4 days so the fermentations do not start too quickly. There is more or less pigeage depending on the vintage, some remontage too. Elevage lasts on average 14-18 months using about 20% new oak – “I like to respect the terroir and the personality of the appellation so don’t like to use too much.” Remond and Rousseau supply most of the domaine’s barrels, but Michel is also testing some from Seguin-Moreau. Actually the premier crus are such small cuvées that Michel uses no new oak here.

The wines

Tasted in Chambolle, 12th July 2011.
Here is another domaine whose prices would be very reasonable – if they had any left to sell you – actually it is the premier crus which are always sold out, you may have some chance with the others – the 2010s were already 90% spoken for when I visited. Michel also makes a pretty, barrel-fermented, Bourgogne chardonnay but it’s not included here as it is long-since sold-out. Whilst showing balance, there is certainly the softness of the 2009 vintage to be seen in these wines – but what flavours! Michel has a preference for his 2009s versus his 2008s, but prefers his 2010s more – so far…

2010 Digioia-Royer, Bourgogne Rosé
This was a saignée from the bourgogne. The colour is an oeil-de-perdrix with fresh aromas that include a hint of strawberry. Nice underlying acidity and a hint of something red about the flavours and a little fat to the texture too. Actually I think this probably needs another 3-6 months in bottle to come together but there’s a lovely, long, red-fruited finish.

2009 Digioia-Royer, Bourgogne Passetoutgrains
No oak here, all the elevage done in tanks, made with 50% gamay, 50% pinot noir. There’s a deep and dark core of berry fruit on the nose. Flavourful and with a lovely acidity. Good flavour here.

2009 Digioia-Royer, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
The nose delivers a wide vista of ripe pinot fruit. Good acidity and tannin and quite enough fruit ‘glue’ to hold everything together. Some bitter chocolate tannin towards the finish.

2009 Digioia-Royer, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits
Vines from the plateau above Vosne-Romanée. The nose has a nice depth with a hint of musk and flowers. Fuller and rounder than the Bougogne Pinot Noir with more grain to the tannin – a nice wine this.

2009 Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny
From a number of parcels, with mix of vines of 45-50 years old. Ripe, high-toned fruit is supported by a baked fruit element. In the mouth the structure is currently slightly ahead of the fruit – but what elegant and pretty fruit it is – and it lingers beautifully.

2009 Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes
Versus the ‘regular’ Chambolle this wine is deeper toned and shows a hint of musky perfume – perhaps a little heavy but quite compelling. Finer tannin here and very good flavour that widens across the palate, filling all the nooks and crannies of your mouth. Long with just a little mineral flavour. Very nice wine.

2009 Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Gruenchers
The vines are 25 years old this year. Here the aromas are wider and finer than the VV but with less impact. Good acidity and a cushioned texture. Nice mid-palate complexity whose flavours take quite some time to fade – again the last notes being quite mineral.

2009 Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Grosseilles
Auto suggestion? Okay it’s anyway very nice fruit on the nose even if there may or may not be some gooseberry – the nose has an almost velvet texture to it. Enveloping, cushioned texture – the structure seems quite soft. The depth of flavour reminds me of a Fuées. This is lovely.

Domaine Digioia-Royer
16 rue du Carré
21220 Chambolle-Musigny
Tél/Fax: +33 (0)3 80 61 49 58

10 responses to “Profile: Domaine Digioia-Royer (Chambolle)”

  1. Claes

    Hello Mr Nanson,

    Right about now I’m drinking their H-CdN 2010, really nice. Do you happen to know if they accept visits from non-buisness plebeian people like myself? And if so, do they have an e-mail address?

    Kind regards

  2. Jacob

    We have privatly visited this Domaine in May and have recieved a warm welcome by Mr. Michel Digioia and tasted high quality wines which are very reasonably priced. We were impressed already by the Pinot Noir but at this moment 2010 is sold out. For resale we have reserved 2011 (nice vintage too – as we’ve tasted the 1er Cru’s form barrel) which will be bottled in September.

  3. Claes

    Bill: At the Côte you’re a a-lister and you know it, you don’t have to pretend to be sluming it like the rest of us 😉

    Jacob: Sound very nice, and I have high hopes for the 2010 grosseilles. I have e-mailed them and then we’ll see…


  4. Claes

    Oh, and thanks for the link!

  5. Jacob


    If you are visiting in the near future, there will be not many wines for sale. Only:
    – Chambolle-Musigny 2010
    – Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Rouge 2010
    – Bourgogne Passetougrain 2010
    are available as far as I understood.
    You better wait until 2011 is bottled.

  6. Claes

    That they dont have any wine to sell is no problem, I have gotten some of their 2010:s already. We are mostly interested in having a nice day of bicycle riding, with some interesting pit-stops along the way.

    But, anyhow it doesn’t matter. It seems like I’m on the z-list. I have e-mailed six (non-trophy) producers and have gotten one reply (negative). I guess we’ll have to wisit some wine shop instead.

  7. Jacob

    OK, hope you get an answer – at Digioia you probally can taste 2011 from barrel.
    Another nice address would be Louis-Chenu in Savigny lès Beaune – English spoken.

  8. Nicola Iacopelli

    I would likt to talk with the domaine, due to doesn’t exist a mail where toi write. I have reserve some wine and I wuold like to know if is it read to be keeped.

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