Tasted in Savigny-lès-Beaune with Vincent Guillemot, 26 May 2021
Domaine Pierre Guillemot
11 Place Fournier
Tel: +33 3 80 21 50 40
Vincent explains that ‘this is a complicated domaine!’
“I’m the 6th generation in wine. The family started as négociants – Philippe Guillemot – but on one side of the family came vines from a domaine and already here were the buildings of the négoce. My grandfather had the choice of going into the vines or being a négoce, but he preferred working on his own and not to deal with too many visitors – so the vines it was. He ended up working 8 hectares, starting only with Hautes Côtes and also worked the local vines of Robert Ampeau as well as those of his own domaine. It was he who bought up the local 1er crus etcetera – pricing was not cheap in those days you could say that the prices were, perhaps, equivalent to the pricing around 2010 it’s a good comparison.”
Vincent then erxplains his approach:
“It’s a long elevage – 12 months in barrels and then another 6 months in tank to aid the settling – as there’s no fining or filtering for the reds and just a small fining for the white which is needed as it’s a coplanting with pinot blanc/Gouges with the chardonnay. At one time it was all pinot blanc (1955 planted and first bottled on the 1960s) but they were wines for keeping – that was once an advantage – it’s almost a disadvantage these days – I’d say 10-15 years for a Savigny Blanc in this style. With the old vines red you can’t do too much to change the pruning but for the younger (under 30-years-old) vines we are already working them in Guyot-Poussard style. Since the 1980s there have been no herbicides here and we have been working the soil. We are completely organic, partly biodynamic but I don’t use the words, particularly organic because I think it has been totally devalued by all the marketing that surrounds it today. It’s a shame. But we are HVE-Biodiversity certified, we plant trees, we make places for the animals and the bees, even the bats.”
This 10 hectare (and a bit) domaine produces around 55,000 bottles in a normal year. Almost 90% of the wine made here is exported.
You can never know all the domaines but here’s one I feel ashamed not have visited before – such a great, great range of 2019 wines – and look out for the insider wine of Savigny – Gravains – it’s shown last here for a reason. There’s 30% new oak in many of the wines – but it is so well absorbed I really never noted the barrels, only the wine – you can’t give more positive than that. A super address to follow…
“I bottle at the (upper) limit of CO2 so that I can reduce the amount of SO2 that I use. I pay extra for the corks and NDTech Trescasses too, extra dense – though not the bourgognes.” All these 2019s bottled January-February:
2019 Savigny-Lès-Beaune Dessus Les Gollardes Blanc
‘We didn’t harvest too late – I like to keep the freshness – I don’t want a heavy wine in a restaurant’
That’s a lovely almost sizzling freshness of ripe citrus. Hmm, depth of flavour, a faint CO2 but also still some silkiness. There is concentration here. Long and considered but very delicious and quite mineral and perfumed finishing.
And for the fun…
Hmm, very different; rounder, sweeter, almost some sous-bois too. Wide, plenty of richness – like a 2009 or more like a 2005 – it’s actually 2006 Gollardes, from a half-bottle.
2019 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
All from the commune of Savigny – Prevots – except an anecdote that comes from Chorey – 0.13 ha. 30% whole cluster here – they use up to 50% in the grand crus. 10 days of cool prefermentation and then stepwise allowing the temperature to reach 32°C and hold at this temperature to further infuse – ‘a light’ daily pigeage – but nothing systematic.
Medium colour – vibrant, slightly graphite minerality – red-fruited. Round, lots of concentration for the label – this fills the mouth with delicious red fruit but also a small structural reminder that this is still a baby – fragrantly red-fruited in the finish too. Excellent wine…
Starting with 55-year-old vines
Again such a fragrant wine – it’s a lovely invitation. Hmm, that’s very lovely indeed – structural yet also with a small cushion to the texture. So mouth-filling and delicious – great villages. Mineral finishing too.
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Grands Picotins
Just a little extra brightness is showing here. Extra freshness and an extra width of flavour too – here is a wine that’s also extra in structure. It’s excellent but you should wait longer to harvest it from your cellar – very faintly grained with tannin in this case, almost a suggestion of the saline finishing.
A finer, less forward, nose starting with a first short-lived hint of reduction. Really very super. Energy, depth of beautiful red fruit – a small rasp of tannin. Depth of flavour. That’s not the greatest Narantons I’ve tasted (I’ll let you guess who that came from) but it’s damn fine – bravo wine!
Also could be labelled Dominode, below Haute Jarrons.
A vibrant aromatic – that’s just so good – even more transparent, almost a blood-orange impression to this great nose. Extra concentration – bright, fresh energetic – a little structural but oh-so-delicious. Insinuating flavour into the palate.
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Serpentières
Like the first 1er the first nose has a subtle reduction – but again it doesn’t hang around for very long – first becoming floral perfumed and then adding a fainter width of red fruit. Here is the most delicate but also detailed of these wines – the most mineral – a grain of tannin too – if you wish to search it out. Finishing with a fine width of minerality.
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Gravains
Much more stony here – and real stones – rocks that could be a metre in length. Mid-slope near the high part of Bouchard’s Lavières
More colour to this particular wine. Narrower but a vertical nose of height and depth – still accented in a perfumed style. Sweeping freshness, extra width, extra intensity – it’s clear why this is the last of these 1ers shown – a wine with some power, not too much grain but there’s structure here too. Beautifully constructed and vibrantly flavoured – keep this 5 years before returning – excellent wine, as a minimum!
Bought from Chateau Bligny and shared the parcel with Bruno Clavelier at that time.
Plenty of colour again. A beautiful nose – directly a layer of beautiful perfume over a fine, slightly darker-red fruit. Incisive, super depth and texture, just the tiniest impression of tannin – but no dryness. Always a slightly cool style and really great freshness here – bravo – there is much Corton that’s a bit hot/warm in recent years but this isn’t one of them – delineation, clarity and an openness to the flavour…
And for the road…
Medium colour – a little age too, it seems. A sweetness, still red-fruited but also with plenty of turned leaves and forest floor. Still plenty of tannin here, mouth-watering flavour – there’s good acidity but also energy and structure too. Serpentières 1986! Energy, still alive a little touch of finishing iron. What impresses me here the most is the precision vs other 86s I’ve tasted – including grand crus…