Tasted with Alexandre and his father, Didier Rossignol, in Volnay 10 February 2016.
Domaine Rossignol Cornu et Fils
6 Rue de Mont
Tel: +33 3 80 21 61 48
This domaine goes back 5-6 generations to 1840 – “Before that there were far fewer domaines,” says Didier, “Because the ‘noblesse’ owned all the land. High above Volnay you find abandoned old vineyards that are now full of trees – here was the vin-de-table of the locals.”
Didier, now aided by his son Alexandre, has been responsible for this 5 hectare domaine since 1989. There are vines from Meursault to Pernand – the 1.5 hectares of Pernand coming through the maternal side – 10 different appellations to be found here.
High up in Volnay, here, they have plenty of space, though their reds still see elevage in an old cellar in the centre of the village.
Lutte raisonée, here, only a couple of ploughings per year. All is mechanically harvested here, then destemmed – “The machine gives an extra half degree of sugar compared to without as it leaves the unripe behind also those bunches with a dry rot are left behind.”
The fruit sees a cool maceration for about 10 days. Finish with a few days at 35°C to fix the colour. “We’re looking for fruit and freshness and a certain roundness of tannin…” Re elevage, the regionals are racked just before the harvest, the villages and 1ers wait until after the harvest. All the elevage is in barrel.
The domaine’s Bourgogne comes from 3 small parcels in the bottom of Volnay covering just over a hectare. Their villages Volnay was a blend of 2 parcels; Poisots and Grand Champs (next to Mitans and Brouillard), but since last year they have been separated and there are now two bottlings. 1er Cru Robardelles sits near the vines of Rossignol-Février, Champy, Glantenay and Jadot.
Markets are France, ‘of-course, Belgium and Japan,’ some is also sold to the négoce.
I’d like to be able to criticise the wines due to machine harvesting, but at most I can only point to some finishing bitterness and not the smoothest of textures – but both could easily be grounded elsewhere. Whilst not ‘great wines’ these are certainly good wines!
Deep, ample fruit, faintly herbed nose at the top. Muscled, concentrated and fresh, the flavours just faintly bitter and dry, but long finishing. A wine that I would wait some time to approach but there’s clearly lots of material here. After a few minutes in the glass, this really has a very nice and inviting nose – the call of the sirens…
2012 Volnay Grand Champs
Poisots was sold to the négoce – there wasn’t a lot. ‘Planted by father in the mid-eighties – when he took over it was almost only old vines so he had to do some replanting as the yields were so low.’
A deep and almost textured dark fruit nose, this is really inviting. Width, complexity, concentration, a certain higher herb character and then comes the tannin, but this a good wine. Finishes well, less of the bitterness of the last wine, just an accent in the finish. Certainly a wine to wait for but tasty all the same.
2012 Volnay 1er Robardelles
Perhaps a little less colour. This nose is less forceful, but finer, and shows a little floral action too. Nice in the mouth, wide and with presence – the flavour slowly growing, wider, more complex and involving. I find this a very nice wine. There’s a little tannin but really without hard edges – once more a modest bitter note towards the finish – it could either be the oak or simply concentration of solid material. But this is very good – a long, narrow line of stony fruit to finish.
Still a vibrant and deep colour. Ooh… This smells gorgeous, deep, sous bois, sweetness of fruit, a faint brown note – simply super wine! A direct wine in the mouth, with fine acidity, length, and still with a hint of velvet tannin. Almost a little fumé note in the finish. Really only modestly concentrated after the 2012s – but that’s the vintages speaking, and I could sniff this all day. Bravo!