Tasted in Meursault with Sylvain and Anne Caroline Dussort, 10 October 2019.
Domaine Sylvain Dussort
12 Rue Charles Giraud
Tel: +33 3 80 21 27 50
It was Sylvain’s father who started this Meursault domaine, though Sylvain’s grandparents were also connected to wine – they were coopers.
His parents stopped the barrel-making part but had some vines and a wine additives business, also selling bottles and corks. Sylvain joined them in 1983; “It was easier to buy vines on those days, so we bought Bourgogne Blanc – I have 6.5 hectares of vines and half of that is Bourgogne, though all is in the commune of Meursault. My parents didn’t bottle very much when I joined, which I thought was a shame, so I gradually increased the amount in bottle until everything was bottled. My battle horse has always been my Bourgogne because I really started with that bottling.”
Sylvain eventually separated his Bourgogne into 2 cuvées so the 5-year-old vines were no-longer mixed with those that were over 50. Coutures is the younger cuvée which sees more tank elevage, and is the fruitier style. Cuvée des Ormes sees more barrel and a longer elevage – “And it better values the cuvées too,” says Sylvain. The cuvée des Ormes has elevage like the domaine’s Meursault – 18-20 months – “I like the second winter with the wines in tank and then bottling the following spring. ”
Although the domaine started out producing only white wine, today there is some pinot ‘on the red soil in the commune of Meursault’ near Volnay, and also some in Chorey. About half of the domaine’s production is exported; the US, UK and Belgium being important export destinations. Sylvain’s daughter, Anne Caroline, is looking to take on the domaine, while his son currently works with an IT business in Beaune.
Sylvain on 2019:
“2019 delivered really magnificent grapes. We were not touched too badly by the frost – yes there was a cold zone but we weren’t grilled, for sure we had less grapes but it wasn’t a problem. We lacked water in the summer, so that had an effect. I don’t have the numbers yet, but we had 30-40% lower volume I think. I tend to harvest later than many at least if I watch my neighbours – but my grapes weren’t sufficiently ripe so… In the end, I had 13-14°, I don’t go higher! ”
Sylvain on 2018:
“In 2018 nature arranged the volume well for us – it was really a bridge between lower volume vintages. 2017 wasn’t bad for volume but most of those previous vintages before were low. It’s a charming vintage I think, there’s richness here too – a very tasty vintage. ”
Some of the wines were work in progress when I visited, but all the others showed a steady hand – in particular, the Bourgogne Côte d’Or wines are excellent and highly recommended.
Two wines are now bottled:
2018 Bourgogne Aligoté
In bottle 1 week – nearly! Lots of old vines, some 90 years old .
A saline nose, disturbed by the bottling. Wide, a depth of flavour, long, a little herbed intensity. In the finish eventually, a mineral line that’s very long – I’d wait for this to see what comes…
2018 Bourgogne Côte d’Or Blanc Cuvée des Ormes
In tank, no fining… 20% new oak normally
Hmm, that’s a nice nose; faintly mineral and attractive. A little barrel here in the middle, but this has lovely flavour with a great line of intensity through the core – lightly padded. Super!
2018 Meursault Vieilles-Vignes
Assembled from multiple locations of roughly 50-60-year-old vines, mainly bottom of the hill locations Again some new oak – maybe 30%
More intensity, depth of minerality, growing a fine citrus aspect. Fresh, wide, a wine of attack – growing, mouth-watering, slightly saline. Lime flavour, long, ooh that’s super. The oak is barely showing.
2018 Meursault Le Limozin
A nose that needs a bit more elevage, but aeration brings more width of a slightly riper fruit – more lemon than lime. A little extra depth of flavour, depth of texture too, but like the last this is a wine of energy and freshness. This is a fine showing with a great finish. I prefer the last today but this has super length again.
A little rouge:
2018 Bourgogne Côte d’Or
From Meursault – the Volnay side. All destemmed. 95% tank elevage, Sylvain is looking for a supple wine with pinot fruit. But didn’t destem in 2019 ‘The ripeness of the stems was better I think.’
Some depth of darker fruit here but with a very nice aromatic purity – aeration brings nicer higher tones too. I like the shape – mouth-filling, with depth of flavour, hmm – getting nicer and nicer in the middle. Not the longest but it’s certainly satisfying.
2018 Chorey-lès-Beaune Les Beaumonts
With all whole-cluster. Barrel elevage but none new. I note with DIAM10 Origine
A wine with more depth of aroma and fine purity of fruit, this is very appealing. Concentrated, a little textural padding but essentially very nice pinot fruit. A slight textural drag from the tannin but practically no grain, long, slowly mouth-watering – concentrated, contemplative and delicious.
Sylvain tells that DIAM is working well for his Bourgogne and the Origine version for the Chorey – “Never a problem – I don’t know why I haven’t changed the Meursaults yet! Maybe soon! ”
Already DIAM5 at this time – he began with his aligoté in 2007
Starts with a little mineral shimmer before a more open citrus freshness – still very young. Mouth-filling, fresh lovely depth of flavour, long, just the first hints of maturing in the finish, but not the aroma. Really great Bourgogne!