Tasted with Camille Thiriet in Comblanchien, 10 May 2021.
Maison Camille Thiriet
7 Chemin des Carrières
Tel: +33 6 08 91 86 83
Maison Camille Thiriet began life with four barrels of white wine and three of red in 2016. The journey towards making those wines started much earlier for Camille, having worked at some of the most illustrious of domaine names in Burgundy.
On the hillside above Comblanchien, the travellers of the RN74 will be familiar with the building marked ‘Fevre’ and the large château-like building, the Château de Comblanchien, at its side. The last time I walked around here, with my dog so that’s over 10 years ago, the large house was the home/workshop of a producer of ceramics – “Yes, that’s my mum!” says Camille, “So my parents were not wine-makers and when I was young I wanted to be a parfumier. My parents were passionate though and I tasted and smelled their wines for many years.
“I moved here from Paris when I was 18 and studied at the Lycée Viticole – though it was daunting to be surrounded by the sons and daughters of so many famous winemakers – they knew so much more! So I went to Bordeaux to do a Masters and then came back to work with Nicolas Potel, eventually persuading him to sell me 1 tonne of grapes. I added the Bourgogne Blanc – 7 barrels worth – but in my 20 square metres of cuverie there was no electricity in this first vintage, so the destemming was all done by hand – grillage!”
This is a small operation and Camille wants to keep it that way; I did just 3,500 bottles in my first year, then 6,000 followed by a jump to 18,000. My last couple of vintages were ~13,000 and my wish to stay with 15,000 or so. I wish to make ‘climat’ wines so I don’t want to be blending. Staying ‘small’ also allows me the time to do everything manually and everything in an organic way too – I want my vineyards to be like gardens – so ideally 2.5, maybe 3, hectares of vines – I bought 1 hectare in Corgolion and have half a hectare of pinot blanc and chardonnay in Chaux plus the aligoté near Pommard…”
Camille has worked in Australia, California and New-Zealand and even had the chance to work at DRC – “I was only picking grapes, but I have to thank Bernard Noblet for giving me some tips how to best work with the stems the year after he retired. I think of myself as an instinctive winemaker, certainly a lower sulfur user but always some…”
70% of Camille’s wines are exported from France and despite her modest production volume, already to 30 countries.
An engaging person with more than engaging wines – there is very high quality here – simply delicious wines – the Arbois too!
August bottling is planned for 2020 whites, the reds will be after the harvest. All the wines with DIAM when Camille started – “When I only made a couple of thousand bottles. Now it’s just the whites in DIAM together with a wax seal which is similar to a screwcap, this is fine for my whites but not what I want for my reds.”
2020 Bourgogne Aligote Du Jardin
‘This vineyard is like my garden,’ says Camille. I own a plot in Pommard in the direction of Nantoux near La Vache; 80-year-old vines, practically pink berried aligoté dorée, destemmed by hand while waiting for the second plot in Comblanchien to be picked – only 15 hl/ha for dorée. When the second plot is ready they are blended and crushed together.
Thats a big fresh nose, some citrus and sweetness Long and perfumed. Thats a great finish with just a faint bitterness from the skins. Super aligoté.
20% new oak. This cuvée was originally a blend from Puligny and Meursault ‘but in the end, it was more important for me to have organic grapes than ‘Meursault’ so now it’s from Chablis. I like fresh terroirs, hence, St.Romain, Vezelay, Chablis and so – it’s the combination of the roundness of the sun in recent vintages and the freshness of the places.
A vibrancy on the nose, lots of perfume here too. Silky, wide, very mineral. The shape is Chablis the flavour a bit less so but the barrel flavour remains discrete. Thats completely delicious Bourgogne. Bravo!
2020 St.Romain Sous Roche
No new oak
A great freshness of yellow citrus fruit. A wine with a different shape and more depth of flavour. Mineral length here too. That’s a super wine with lots of finishing complexity – very tasty.
‘My grandmother always had Vezelay so thats why I love it so much!’
A norrower nose, a ittle vibrance of citrus. Muscular, nicely structured. Again there’s a nicely mineral aspect to this. Super, with a bit of phenolic finishing texture.
And 2019s :
2019 Bourgogne Aligote Du Jardin
Here the nose is quite mineral but less florally expressive than the 2020 currently shows. Lovely direct shape, tasty, extra saline in the middle in finish. A great finish, though today it’s tighter to start…
A nicely punchy nose in this case – much more open. Wide, structural a fine intensity here – no hard edges but great shape. Slowly softening as the mouth-watering flavours come through. I like this very much.
To keep the AOC, it’s not allowed to move the pressed juice to Burgundy from the Jura before 15 December.
A slightly different colour. Thats a nice nose, faintly floral but very different to chardonay florals. A saline frame to the flavours here. Clearly mineral – I’m using all the same words to describe this wine but the flavour is very different.
A little red:
2019 Côte de Nuits Villages Les Retraits
Near wall of Clos de la Marechale. This vineyard/domaine has been sold so Camille will fight to keep her grapes but the way forward is unclear. This all whole bunch.
A vibrant, floral, perfumed nose, hyper-attractive – a rare wine that is pure strawberry. A slight grain in the texture. Lovely depth of flavour. Simply a very delicious wine.
All whole cluster again just a slightly quicker cuvaison. Same oak treatment as the last, basket pressed. Lots of millerandes here. Just a few pump-overs – actually just 5 or 6 buckets each night – rather than pigeage.
A completely different nose, some rose perfume yet the whole-cluster perfume is so subtle – you could miss it! A little textural touch from the tannin but practically no grain. A more direct and concentrated wine. Almost vibrant finishing – you won’t find a better Volnay in Comblanchien – delicious!