Tasted and visited on two days in May 2021, with Mireille Malis who is responsible for the domaine and Hélène Troubat who is part of the team in their wineshop.
Domaine du Lycée Viticole de Beaune
16 Av. Charles Jaffelin
Tel: +33 3 80 26 35 80
It’s more than a few years since I tasted the range of wines from this domaine and I remember being quite impressed. Of course, this is the starting point for the majority of winemakers in Burgundy and indeed many regions of France and the world too but it also has its own domaine. This is not really a place where students can ‘practice’ winemaking before going out into the wider world – there’s proper, considered winemaking here. Anyway, I finally managed to visit!
The domaine is attached to the college here and has 8 salaried workers aided, here and there, by the students who are specialising in wines and mainly doing a BTS here. The college has around 400 students and there are adult learning courses too. It’s not just learning to work with, and in, the vines there’s a small cooperage here too where the art can be learned. Whilst the students may be learning, the domaine is not a place of experimentation, though that said, there are sometimes micro-vinifications with the professors but these will not be commercial wines.
The domaine boasts a very new looking cuverie – Mireille Malis who previously worked with Bouchard Père and also Cheval Blanc explains, “It’s about 5 years old with a blend of stainless steel tanks and some wooden fermenters – all thermo-regulated and equipped with a system of auto-pigeage. We’ve barrel elevage in the same building too. We definitely support the learning of the Lycée but profits from here are for the workers and investing in the domaine rather than supporting the Lycée in the manner of, for instance, the Hospices de Beaune. Though the recent early harvests are not the best for learning though as there are no students here for the August harvests! So all the work was mainly done by seasonal workers in 2020 and two parcels in Hautes Côtes were picked by machine due to their fast arriving maturity.”
The domaine covers 20 hectares of vines, not just in Beaune – though they have 6 different 1er crus – but also some Savigny, Puligny and Hautes Côtes too but, yes, mainly in Beaune. 4 hectares are owned and the rest are en fermage including some partnerships with the Hospices de Beaune.
There are two bottlings for each vintage, July and December, the latter for the wines with a longer elevage. They commercialise nearly 90,000 bottles per year. Their approach is classic Guyot pruning and one parcel of Teurons is managed organically today. Sales are to fairs/salons, even have some export – 10% – there’s a passing trade here too, the tourists less prevalent than regular local customers but there’s a nice shop where I managed to taste some recent wines. The only issue with the shop is access – it’s a school so the doors are locked – you will have to find somebody on the intercom to gain access.
Proper wines, delicious wines in 2019 – and a very fine value if you are passing.
Some of the 19s had been bottled when I visited and they have slightly updated labels from this year. The 1er cru Beaunes retail in early to mid-20s Euros from their shop.
It’s not a large number of parcels in here:
A depth of darker red fruit – slightly powdery red fruit. Sweet, supple, a nice first texture then a proper grain of tannin at the base. Some proper bitters in the finish that say ‘wait 1-2 years’ but with slowly mouth-watering flavour too. Good.
2019 Tastevinage Label, Savigny 1er Aux Gravains
A similar red-fruited nose, slightly powdery again but with an impression of better clarity here. Fuller, actually more generous, that’s got a lovely sweetness and depth to the flavour – still the fine grain of tannin but here is a super package, a little fewer bitters in the finish and a very drinkable wine. That’s a lovely Savigny.
2018 Beaune 1er Perrières
Ooh – that’s rather good – a vibrant fruit, quite pure too – that’s a lovely invitation. A silky shape, the characteristic (so far) fine grain of tannin in support. Waves of finishing flavour that’s a very lovely wine, practically excellent.
2018 Côte de Beaune
From Marconnets mainly but some other whites too
Ripe fruit but lots of freshness. There’s a texture that almost resembles the reds here with a fin(er) grain of tannin at the base. Quite a fine and intense finish – that’s a really super wine – Excellent CdB!
2018 Beaune Mosnières
From a the large parcel on the mountain of Beaune that faces Pommard.
The oak, creamy, is showing a little more yet this has also a finer more airy nose too. Wide, then slowly mouth-filling – a little mineral. That’s a very pretty wine – wait at least 12 months for the creamy oak to fade, but that’s a super and delicious wine – quite delicious mineral and citrus finishing.
Fermage with the Chamber of Agriculture and the Mairie of Puligny in La Voitte – they have an Aligoté also from Puligny.
The nose is completely different – more acidulated and citric. Lots of freshness, a faint creaminess of barrel but not so strong as the last. Incisive and with good energy – a little full in the middle but it doesn’t detract from how tasty this wine is. A delicious glass.