Tasted in Saint-Denis de Vaux with Sylvie and Vincent Joussier, 26th February 2015.
Domaine de l’Evêché
71640 Saint-Denis de Vaux
Tel: +33 3 85 44 30 43
Domaine de L’Evêché has almost 13 hectares of vines, of which three hectares are in Mercurey. Despite that, the Joussiers need just two employees. Sitting up on the hillside, with their vines spreading out below, these building date from the 1800s but their very nice arched cellars, and the buildings behind date from the 13th century. The domaine’s main cuverie is actually at the bottom of the village. The family have a very old connection to the vine – the family of Vincent is from this village since at least the 1600s.
The domaine was purchased in 1985, so is already 30 years with these owners. It was bought with 5 hectares of land, part of which was farmed with fruit trees. Today the production is split to 15% whites, mainly of chardonnay plus some aligoté – the rest is overwhelmingly pinot noir.
The domaine’s vines see no pesticides or herbicides – rather ploughing – and for the last for 30 years too. Their approach is bio, though they are not ‘labeled’ as such. Typically they aim for just 6 or 7 treatments per year…
The red wines are fully destemmed and see a little maceration before the onset of Fermentation. They have a full 12 months elevage with about 15% new oak, “Perhaps a bit less for the Clos de l’Eveché”. The whites also see time in 500 litre barrels, one new one per year, plus others of 1+2 years old. The reds are all destemmed and then see a short, cold soak. White elevage can be anywhere between 6 and 12 months, “It really depends how they develop and taste.”
About 45% of production goes to the négoce, the rest is commercialised in bottle. About 15% of the bottled production is for export, 20% to cavistes and restaurants, the rest to individuals/visitors…
Despite being a very limestone-based terroir, this is pretty much the last outpost of vines for Chalonnaise, says Vincent “You can tell from all the local limestone walls, but you don’t have to travel far to see that everything becomes more granitic and less interesting for the vine.
Vincent on 2013:
“2013 is fruity and floral, despite hard work for the whole year and low yields – but fortunately there was good concentration…”
A nice selection here.
2013 Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Blanc
You hit the limestone already, 20-30 cm below the soil in this plot. This wine is vinified completely in tank.
Good freshness and a little mineral note below. Rather round and quite rich. The wine picks itself up in the mid-palate and shows a fine persistence of flavour to partially rescue itself.
2013 Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Reviller Blanc
From the same parcel as the last, but mainly with elevage in barrel.
More aromatic weight and depth – much of the depth having a vanilla base. I’m a little surprised because this seems less overtly rich, more lithe and mineral and with a nice line of flavour, versus the un-oaked version. Decent balance and a lot of interest here.
Vibrant, fresh red fruit. Round, supple and with good concentration. This has quite a mineral aspect, faintly salted. Really excellent for what it is.
2013 Côte Chalonnaise Clos de l’Eveche
A beautiful bright red fruit, mixed with flowers – this smells great. Lovely texture and growing intensity of fruit and minerality. Fine, wide, mouth-watering finish. The structure needs to soften just a little. Today I prefer the 12, but tomorrow…?
A narrower aromatic, but with high and bass notes, slowly but surely evolving a super-pretty cherry note. A little more sucrosity and good weight of flavour here. Round and very tasty, with a fine mouth-watering finish. Excellent!
2012 Mercurey Les Ormeaux
This nose starts much tighter, with delicate, well-defined darker fruit. Nicely growing weight of, again, darker fruit with a faint spice. Good structure here and fine mouth-watering flavour leaching from your tongue. A young wine but a tasty one.