Profile: Domaine du Clos des Poulettes


Hélène Michaut, 2020Tasted in Corgoloin with Hélène Michaut, 13 March 2020.

Domaine du Clos des Poulettes
103 grande rue
21700 Corgoloin
Tel: +33 3 80 62 98 02

With a few name changes – some more modest than others – here is a domaine of around 16 hectares that flies under the radar despite producing occasionally excellent wine. What was once Domaine du Poulette is now Domaine du Clos des Poulettes.

Hélène Michaut is the 7th generation of the family here, having taken on the responsibility for the domaine almost by accident – an unhappy accident – her sister was running the domaine but lost her life to illness in 2009. Hélène who had a career in IT, and despite living in Paris, decided to take on the role.

Hélène’s father was the first at the domaine to plant some whites, her grandfather only had reds. Hélène had, however, always been less impressed by the style of her father’s red vinifications – it was something which she was keen to change though it took until the 2016 vintage before she could do so – with extra, renovated, facilities in the village. Her father had used rotary fermenters – of the style previously used by Domaine Charles Thomas / Thomas-Moillard who were also known for wines of extraction and tannins that you had to be very patient with. Now with much softer extractions in ‘traditional’ (stainless) open-top fermenters, the resulting change is clear, and positive, from my tasting.

The ‘culture’ in the vines is raisonnée, rather than organic. Harvesting the domaine partly uses machines.

I’ve previously been impressed by certain wines from the domaine – their Bourgogne Côte d’Or, for instance – when tasting blind. Here’s my first look at their range of wine:

The wines…

An interesting selection of wines – certainly there’s a structural/textural progression since discarding the rotary fermenters. Some wines are excellent, others seem less exciting – this variability probably reflecting the mix of vintages that I tasted. I look forward to tasting again, a single vintage such as 2019. But some good wine to be found here.

DIAM5 is used for the Bourgognes, cork for the villages and 1er crus:

2018 Bourgogne Côte d’Or Blanc
Vines in Corgolion, direction Ladoix – not far from Ardhuy. They have another parcel in Ladoix, but it frosts every year, so have started to prune only in late March – ‘old style’ smiles Hélène.
A little roundness of aroma – modest. But in the mouth this roundness opens and becomes more mouth-watering, a little savoury too. Good length. Not a special wine for the label but an okay wine all the same.

2018 Côte de Nuits Villages Blanc
On the hillside above the cemetery of Corgoloin
That’s a much more interesting nose – of freshness and a little floral. A little more energy here too with decent freshness but also a richness of flavour. Delicious finishing flavour. Lovely.

Les Rouges:

2018 Bourgogne Côte d’Or La Corvée au Prêtre
This in the commune of Vosne, old vines with a little pinot-beurot mixed in.
The nose is very attractive, some floral notes, nice depth – a nice invitation. Direct, structural, fresh, no cushioning, lovely finishing flavour contained in a burst of flavour. This needs time but I think it excellent!

2017 Côte de Nuits Villages Vierville
2 ha in one block, keeping the highest part of the harvest for the domaine.
This nose is quite tight, red-fruited but not much more to offer. Easy, fluid, modest depth of flavour but pulled along with a nice energy. The (good) flavour lasts very well in the finish – it’s here where it’s at its most intense. A great finish, much more modest beforehand…

2016 Côte de Nuits Villages Vierville
Deeper colour – and the nose is deeper and a little more giving too – modestly floral. Bigger, more energy, lots of good structure – open, modestly tannic. A good finish, more saline, a nice lick of tannin too. Overall more interesting than the 2017 today.

2015 Côte de Nuits Villages Vierville
‘My father’s style of vinification – I started vinifying in my style in 2016’
A larger nose, more textural. Wide, more tannin, there’s freshness but not the same delicacy of fruit flavour. Nuits style, with a faintly spiced and saline finish. Structurally the previous two wines are more sophisticated.

2017 Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos de la Poulette
‘We have three walls and we’re the only ones inside hence ‘clos”
Much higher toned. In the mouth too – that’s a lovely complexity in the mouth – a wine that gets better and better – not unlike the style of the CdNV!

2016 Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos de la Poulette
A deep nose, like the 15 of the CdNV almost textural, but here becoming more floral too – that’s a very fine start. Plenty of structure but freshness too – nothing astringent. Nuits structure and a good complex finish – long finishing! For patience, but that’s lovely.

2015 Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos de la Poulette
Almost surprisingly versus the previous 2015 this has a much tighter nose. In the mouth this is relatively direct, a little herb, plenty of tannin though not too astringent. Long finishing – it’s a very good finish, but there’s not too much before that which I’d be looking to drink in the next couple of years. Have patience.

2017 Nuits St.Georges Les Vallerott
A much deeper nose than the Poulettes of 17 – attractive and becoming a little floral too. Silky, nice line of flavour, a lovely fruit and direction to this wine – this is excellent!

2017 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Vaucrains
This is like a junior version of the Vallerots – it has all the same characteristics but its more compact in all directions. Direct again, a little more structural – there’s a base of tannin but practically without grain. A textural finish from the tannin. Nice wine, but today some way behind the 17 Vallerots.

2017 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
0.25 ha Next to Lamarche – 50 metres from RSV
Not a big nose but attractively high toned. That’s quite striking in style – mouth-filling, very fresh but open in a structural way that reminds of Clos de Vougeot. It’s still not a big wine, or a great wine – but you can immediately see from the shape and really fine texture that this is from a great place. Easy to drink and appreciate in 2017. Good weight to the finish though!

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