Visited in St.Amour with Virginie Fournier and Grégory Barbet, 13 July 2017
This is something of a placeholder as I managed to get a tour of their ‘in-progress’ facility with a dinner too. So no real note-taking, particularly for wines as we were sat at the dinner table! But Lots of interest here and some very good wines – even the chance of GREAT wines to come…
Domaine de la Pirolette
71570 Saint-Amour Bellevue
This is an enviable location – Le Bourg sits quite high on the hill with almost 360° views to the Mâconnais in one direction and the Mont du Lyonnaise in the other. Couple, Virginie and Grégory are in progress to rennovate just about everything at this domaine. The previous proprietor used the house as a holiday home, and maintenance seemed to be low priority. The wine that was made was directly sold in bulk.
So-far it’s been a massive work in the cuverie – with 5 high arches the impressive building is reminiscent of a large train station. But as Virginie explains, the work is not just in the cuverie “We are now working the soils, changing the palisage (trellising) and with 15 hectares, this is a constant project. Since 2016 I’m starting to separate out the parcels so there will be a couple of cuvées from that vintage – but it takes time to appreciate the differences – particularly as they have such a diversity of soils and subsoils.”
Triage here at the domaine is done when receiving the fruit. There is some destemming and they use a grille to keep the cap submerged during fermentation. Versus most, it’s a longer cuvaison here followed by 1 year of aging – some in refurbished cement tanks, some in barrels. They started with just 6,000 bottles sold in their first vintage, then 12,000 in their second – they are slowly reducing the amount that they sell in bulk, though the cash is still needed to fund their infrastructure investments.
The 2016 vintage was bottled the same vintage that I visited. The wines are very good here – more later…