Tasted in Meursault Champs Lins with Brigitte and Thomas Berthemelot, 01 October 2020.
Domaine Brigitte Berthelemot
24 Rue des Forges
Tel: +33 3 80 21 68 61
This domaine was created by Brigitte Berthelemot in 2007, beginning with the purchase of the vines of Domaine Garaudet of Pommard. That was 8 hectares to start with, then another domaine from Beaune brought 4 more hectares. They took on a winemaker from Chanson Père et Fils at this time. In 2008 their barrel cellar in Meursault’s zone industriel Champs Lins was added.
It was about 3 years ago when Thomas Berthelemot joined, and about that time they increased the size of domaine again, now to today’s 15 ha covering at least 30 different parcels. Thomas says, “Our place in Champs Lins is not really in the heart to the vines, so we found a nice office in Rue des Forges in Meursault where it is more charming to receive groups, but all the action is here!” Indeed, they have plenty of space, vinifying 28 different cuvées – and all domaine wines – from Santenay to Gevrey-Chambertin.
From the beginning, the domaine was raisonné in the vines, 2018-2020 was a conversion period to organic viticulture so their labels will eventually show the ‘AB’ logo. Biodynamics is also being trialled in some vines.
In the cuverie, “We decant our whites for up to 36 hours and then wait for the fermentation to start before we place in barrel. Sometimes, like in 2019, we make 2 or 3 battonages too. We like to capture the fruit, for that reason our elevage is not ‘extended.’”
Brigitte and Thomas on 2019:
“2019 a vintage that started, at least flowered, quite late. We started harvesting 13 September after a warm summer. We had blocked maturities in some vines so needed to wait for phenolic maturity in a number of places – with quite high alcohols as a result – but the aromatics supported that quite well. A team of over 50 at the harvest was needed. The pinot in the Côte de Beaune was a ahead of that in the Côte de Nuits this year. The domaine has less white surface of vines – though it’s still close to 50-50 – but in terms of volume it’s typically more white that’s produced here – much more in 2020 due to the dryness, hence, lack of juice in those reds – 25 hl/ha in red, nearer 50 was our result in the whites.”
A producer that left a fine impression. There’s a delicious harmony to these 2019 whites, they lack for nothing and also have nothing in excess. I look forward to seeing their wider range the next time I visit.
The whites were bottled by before the harvest, only a Sous Fretille waited longer as the malo for this was later than the others. All the whites from 2019 are sealed with DIAM – 5 and 10 – we wanted more homogeneity – 54mm for the 1er crus.
A small snapshot of the 28 different cuvées of the domaine, concentrating on an enviable selection of Pulignys for the whites:
2019 Bourgogne Lepartie
From Puligny commune, a single parcel.
Hmm – that’s a forward and attractive nose, round but of nicely yellow citrus fruit. Lovely freshness and volume at the same time, with melting, mouth-watering, flavour. Long and mineral and delicious – you won’t have to wait long for this one.
An assembly of two parcels, in Les Meix and Ruochots – both in the bottom of Puligny.
A more compact nose but a little finer – more focused on the mineral and citrus. More clarity of flavour than the Bourgogne, a growing depth to the flavour and a finer structure too. The finish for now a little less delicious than the Bourgogne but clearly longer with just a hint of barrel too. A fine Puligny in a fine white vintage.
The oldest white parcel – 1947 of the domaine. Smaller grapes here which comes out in the aromas.
A wide nose, a clean nose – a very attractive nose! Again a little extra emphasis on the minerality – this a lovely wine, almost juicy. Playing deliciously over the palate – open, no density but full-flavoured with clarity and almost a touch of tannic texture right at the end of the palate – Bravo!
2019 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Garenne
Compact but deep – the fruit is at the base – ripe citrus but still fresh. Another step up in minerality – bubblingly complex, open, beautifully textured. Floral notes too, flinty and of finesse. Waves of fresh finishing flavour. This is excellent.
2019 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières
In the Ez Folatières climat next to Leflaive (above)
More aromatic volume here, a slightly textured, cushioned impression – faintly floral mixed with some minerality below. A little textural richness and silk, layered but still with energy – really a fine and more floral complexity. Waves of finishing flavour, a little riper and showing a little accent of barrel. I would wait longer for this as the flavours are more cushioned, less frank than the last wines – but with plenty of energy too. Excellent.
2019 Beaune 1er Clos des Mouches Blanc
There are 6 owners of Clos des Mouches white, this the first vine harvested in 2019 – but not in 2020 – plain south-facing
That’s a very forward nose, more floral than the Pulignys – but below you can feel (smell!) the limestone. Ooh – a different shape here – rounder but not fully mouth-fillng yet here is also direction and minerality. Layered and very mouth-watering, long too. I see a little more flavour dimension in the Pulignys but this has a very similar quality overall – simply excellent Beaune – even for Clos des Mouches! Excellent.
And two 2018 reds – the 19s not yet bottled:
2018 Beaune 1er Clos des Mouches
Sometimes a little whole cluster in the reds, but all was destemmed in 2018.
Lots of colour – no surprise. Deep, vibrant, ripe dark fruit – but still with a certain energy. Silky, concentrated, fine freshness. Really a mouth-watering aspect here and nothing volatile or excessive in the context of 2018. A big fruity wine but properly shaped and structured. The finish, couched with the faintest of tannin, is a very good one. That’s a lovely 2018, approachable but worth keeping too.
2018 Pommard Noizons
In part, the oldest vines of the domaine here. The largest parcel of the domaine too with practically 2 hectares.
A wider, slightly fresher aromatic – that’s very attractive and faintly floral too. A little more impression (visibility) from the tannin here – practically no grain but a faint touch of astringency. Long, mineral – almost a coal/graphite note – that is very, very persistent. A wine that’s very worth keeping.