Tasted in Saint Romain with Franck Buisson, 13 June, 2014.
Domaine Henri et Gilles Buisson
21190 Saint Romain
Tel : +33 3 80 21 27 91
This domaine has 20 hectares, 8 of-which are in Saint Romain – home to this family since the Middle-Ages. 8 generations of the family have been vignerons here, and it was Franck’s grandfather, Henri, who in 1947 sold their first domaine-bottled wines. All the vineyards are now run as ‘Bio.’ Franck is mainly responsible for the commercial side of the business, and his brother Fred in the vines – Fred also does some vineyard consulting roles, such as with Pascal Marchand in Argentina.
Franck describes the Saint Romain area as “Basically, a south-facing valley with 2 sides – one east facing, the other west-facing. The valley closing at the top, and this is where the Saint Romain appellation stops – here is only Bourgogne. Saint Romain was about 50:50 red and white wine, but new planting and the general market now favours white wine and we have about 40:60 – red:white. Just for interest a dossier has been prepared that considers the promotion of some plots to premier crus.”
Fruit goes across a vibrating and traditional rolling triage table.
For their red wines they cool to 5°C to macerate ‘a little’ before the alcoholic fermentation, then macerate for another 4-5 days after the alcoholic fermentation before dropping (by gravity) into barrels.
2011 Bourgogne Rouge
Mainly from pinot that’s higher on the hill, with a little added, declassified Saint Romain.
The nose is discrete, but wide, with pretty fruit. It slowly widens but keeps the same fruit. Round in the mouth, with just enough sweetness and a lovely, growing, mouth-watering acidity. The flavour holds well – this is very nice, though possibly with just the faintest suggestion of pyrazine(?)
Normally there’s about 15k bottles of this – it’s made from 3 different cuvées that are eventually blended.
The nose is both deeper and has more density of fruit. More supple and concentrated in the mouth too. I like the growing intensity of fresh flavour, which is wrapped in a moderately plush texture. Fresh fruit in the finish before a long stony note.
2011 Saint Romain Sous Roche Absolut
A ‘natural’ wine. Keep below 15°C as there’s no sulfur used here!
The nose is rounder, with higher, rather-more diffuse notes. Round again in the mouth and sweet with slightly more obvious tannin. This is not a bit bizarre – it’s very drinkable, indeed very tasty!
2011 Volnay 1er Les Chanlins
There are more high tones and more low tones on this nose – it starts a little diffuse, but slowly comes together – quite nice it is too! Plenty of structure in the mouth but with a lovely energy and not an ounce of fat – I like. The last drops in the glass smell very pretty indeed. Yum!
2009 Corton Le Rognets et Corton
The nose has super depth, though more limited high-tones – big, but just a little lacking focus. Fuller, rounder and, not surprisingly, with a more tannic structure. Certainly more mid-palate density too. Fine enough Corton.
2012 Saint Romain La Perrières
There’s good width and a nice depth to the nose too – overall it’s modest, yet inviting. Soft, with a growing concentration, but fortunately the acidity grow in-tandem to provide balance – a nice agrumes aspect here. This wine starts so-la-la but finishes with real flair.
Frank notes that ‘Sous la Velle is the heart of the valley – we always taste this after the Perrières.’
The nose here is fresher and more interesting. In the mouth this is quite lovely – fresh and saline with a hint of mineral too. Really mouth-watering. Lovely, lovely…
2012 Saint Romain Sous la Velle Absolut
once more the ‘natural’ version.
The nose is surprisingly (to me) starts fresher than the un-natural version – though more malic and perhaps with some pineapple too – certainly with a more obvious, heavier fruit. Again there’s super freshness in the mouth, some mineral impression and, again, the pineapple. Direct, narrow, fresh and long. Certainly different!
Here are the oldest vines of the domaine – some are over 100 years old.
The nose is imposing despite modest density – it offers understated but very nice depth. Wide and just a little silky, there’s lovely intensity of flavour on the tongue, which grows wider and wider as you head into the finish. I find this really excellent!