Tasted in Auxey-Duresses with Estelle Prunier and the end of June 2018.
Domaine Michel Prunier & Fille
Route de Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 21 21 05
Michel Prunier is a character that many visitors to the Côte d’Or may have unknowingly experienced as he is a favoured singer of ban-bourguignons and many ‘manifestations.’ Although Michel is always around at the domaine, it is daughter Estelle that is today front of house for the visitors.
Michel Prunier began working with his two vigneron brothers for his father, Jean – it was Jean bought this house and its 350 year-old cellars for Michel. All the wine had been sold to the négoce, but in the mid-1970s Jean decided to start some domaine bottling – just 2-3 thousand bottles per year – Jean began receiving the clients and the sons worked the vines – it was a good system for Jean!
So Pierre himself started with 2 hectares – one from his father and one rented – slowly growing the exploitation with purchases and further renting, today 12 hectares are farmed, 8 owned and 4 rented. Estelle’s mother was from Chorey, so that’s where these wines come from – her grandfather on this side was more of a farmer but some land was within the AOC.
Estelle did her studies in Davayé (Mâconnais) and Beaune, working in Bordeaux and Australia before coming back, full-time to Auxey – 2004 was her first ‘home’ vintage…
Vinification, due to lack of space, takes place outside of the village. Elevage here, sees the whites in barrel for a year, some new barrels (10-25%), though fermentations start in tank before filling the barrels. The reds take a little longer – 15-18 months. There’s no new oak for regionals. There’s, one racking after malo. There is also some crémant made here – Michel did his studies in Avizes – hence the bubbles! Part of the riddling is by hand, part by gyropallet. Aligote and chardonnay make up 40% of the blend and the rest is pinot.
Overall, the domaine commercialises about 40,000 bottles per year as they still sell some appellations to the négoce – mainly regionals. They lost about 35% of their usual production in 2016 – “So it wasn’t too bad here compared to some other areas,” noted Estelle.
Tasted in a nice tasting room, decorated with bottles. They have a large range of wines, two-thirds red, topped with a Volnay-Caillerets. The wines were very good, some were excellent, though some of the samples were not the freshest – it was a shame about the tiny tasting glasses though, they don’t help…
2016 Chorey-lès-Beaune Clos Margot Hautés Blanc
Bottle one was more oxidative – it had been opened previously. A new bottle was less oxidative, but still in this style…
A little colour, though less for bottle 2. A nose with a little oxidative style of the wine: Nothing oxidative in the flavours and behind is freshness and energy. Not my style, perhaps due to the Nomacorc…
2016 Auxey-Duresses Blanc
Multiple parcels assembled here. 10% new oak
Very different – almost a suggestion of oaky reduction. On the palate this is fine, open, and showing lots of flavour dimension. There’s a little structure and super length. This is excellent!
2016 Auxey-Duresses Vieilles-Vignes
Vines of 85 years old, no repicage, they are really all that old, so a little less yield here. 20% new oak.
More open and floral. Extra concentration with a little minerality, salinity and at the tip of the tongue, all wrapped with a little oak cushioning. Lots of flavour dimension again, mixed with sweetness. Wait for this one, the previous wine is better for drinking today, but there’s much potential here.
2016 Meursault Les Clous
From the higher section
A nose that doesn’t invite. In the mouth this is better, super texture and flavour that melts over the palate. Mouth-watering, good intensity, long. This is tasty, but the nose has some work to do.
The regional wines are also from the commune of Auxey-Duresses:
2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Vines above the village looking towards the red hillside. Quebec is main market for this.
A nice, bright pinot nose. Bright in the mouth too, with fine pinot fruit, sweetness, no harshness or astringence. Simply a very tasty wine
2016 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
A similar nose that’s bright and fresh with slightly narrower pinot fruit. A little more depth and amplitude to the flavours though – more complex – this is excellent bourgogne.
2016 Côte de Beaune Villages
Young vines from Auxey, plus other parcels in Chorey and Auxey.
Bottle 1 – open too long. Bottle 2 is much fresher, perhaps with a little pyrazine. In the mouth very different, a little more austere vs the first two wines, but this is super in mid-palate and finish.
2016 Chorey-lès-Beaune Les Beaumonts
A more compact nose, but with fine fruit. A nice combination of volume and fresh flavour – good attack in the mouth. More structural but nothing astringent – hardly. Mouth-watering, lovely wine.
Multiple parcels including Ecusseaux and Crais in the direction of St.Romain – three different soils
A more modest nose but with freshness. Wide, lovely texture – this is a big step up, lots of interest here – excellent, classy wine!
2016 Pommard les Vignots
Another modest but fine nose – probably the small tasting glasses to blame. More structural, certainly less width over the palate, but there’s a chewy depth of flavour here. To wait a little time for, lovely fresh complexity – wait two years.
2016 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru
From three different vines; Climat du Val, Grand Champs and Bas-Duresses.
Hmm, there’s depth and complexity here, a little herb in the complexity too – but not in a negative sense. Hmm, extra-fine texture slowly growing a little green, but with good mid-palate complexity and interest, and a flavour that persists – good flavour, very good wine.
2016 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Clos du Val
A modest but interesting width of aroma. More tannin, but also more dimension of flavour, here is a lot of drinkable fun – it’s young of-course but it’s still highly enjoyable!
Since the Pommard, there’s been a ‘small’ amount of whole-clusters in the fermentations – 50%!
2016 Beaune 1er les Sizes
Compact but still fresh – and with good depth of aroma. Hmm, super, luxury, layered flavour. This is simply excellent, with just a hint of structural tannin showing.
2016 Volnay 1er Caillerets
Hmm, a little reduction on the nose. A beauty in the mouth, complex, fine texture, changing, layered flavour – class. The nose is opening, becoming more floral – yum – super!