People have described Domaine Chevrot to me as ‘the DRC of Maranges’. So eventually I was lucky enough to get the chance to visit. The domaine is in Cheilly-lès-Maranges, with a commanding view of the Maranges hillside – from here you really do have a view similar to the hill of Corton.
There are records of Chevrots in Sampigny in the 1850’s, but there is said to be Irish blood in the family too – it wasn’t just the Mac Mahon’s (Duc & Domaine du Magenta) of Château de Sully who emigrated at that time. It was Paul and Henriette Chevrot that formed the nucleus of the current domaine, purchasing vines and the domaine’s current home in Cheilly. Catherine and Fernand were next in line.
This is really a family domaine; father Fernand Chevrot is no less visible (busying himself with ‘consulting and domaine PR’) despite now having handed the management of the domaine to his sons Pablo and Vincent – both of whom have gained experience at wineries around the world. Mothers, wives and children will all be found around the place. There are also the domaine’s two dogs, whose names show quite a sense of humour; as you would expect, a tiny dog with almost no legs would be called ‘Hermés’ and not un-naturally, another dog is named after a previous German stageur at the domaine – ‘Fraulein!’ 🙂
Vines and winemaking…
“The domaine ‘is’ Bio – we started this transition in 2004 with 4 hectares, ECOCERT certified in 2011. It really wasn’t easy working all those soils, but bit by bit… And you know, it’s not the same wine now; the precision and texture is different. Our eventual aim is to follow the Biodynamic approach – but we are not ready for that yet!”
Half the wine is exported. There is also a little négoce operation, but all of this goes to the Japanese market.
For reds, 10-15% whole clusters may be retained. Fermentations take place in a mix of stainless-steel and concrete tanks. The whole clusters are placed in the bottom of the tanks, and the destemmed material goes on top. There are no cold (or warm!) macerations here ‘So the fermentations can go quite fast’ smiles Pablo. There is (usually) just 1 pigeage per day, for 3-4 days. Pablo also notes that ‘very little’ sulfur is used here. Barrels are a blend from three producers, villages wines seeing 5-10% new oak, the 1er Crus more like 20-30%. There is normally a summer racking and again when the barrels are assembled (typically in November), bottling following ~2 months later.
Tasted with Pablo Chevrot in Cheilly, 30th Nov.2012.
Not tasted, but on the range are also an Aligoté and a Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune in white, plus Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune and two Maranges 1ers (Clos Roussots and Le Croix Moines) in red. You might also find a little Crémant and Rosé.
All the reds are deeply coloured and impressive-looking. No less impressive is the following that these wines enjoy – their 2011 Maranges blanc was bottled in September – it was already sold-out in November and I can see why… And a word from Pablo to the 2012s? For three years we’ve had no easy year, for instance the hail, frost and disease in 2012 – but we still made more than we did in 2010!
From the bottom of the hill, near the river, so gravelly soil.
The nose has high tones and a hint of spice. Mouth-filling with gorgeous acidity and an intense minerality. The finish with agrumes. 1st wine – brilliant.
This is the 4th year since replanting, this being the first commercial vintage.
The nose starts a little shy. Fullish, with slowly growing acidity. Quite pretty fruit flavour that becomes stony with the finishing extract. Good.
An important wine for the domaine accounting for 3.16 hectares, south facing plot on a gravely hillside. The vines were planted in the 1950s.
This smells gorgeous – a wide palate of dark fruits. Supple and concentrated – the fruit is dark here too. This isn’t super-long but it’s friendly and very characterful.
From 0.55 hectares planted in the 1960s.
Herbs and spices with dark fruits. Here there is more acid-led intensity – longer but narrower – another shape but no less characterful.
Another important wine for the domaine accounting for a 1.5 hectares of vines planted in the 1960s.
Deep and spicy dark fruit. Brash with a hint of tannin rasp. Dark-shaded fruit with a mineral aspect.
The domaine’s larges 1er Cru Maranges parcel, 0.80 hectares of vines planted in the late 1960s.
P2 and quite perfumed. More mineral with a little P flavour too and it’s a long line of flavour. A more stern character here.
Domaine Chevrot et Fils
19 route de Couches
Tel. +33 (0)3 85 91 10 55
Fax. +33 (0)3 85 91 13 24