Tasted in Beaune with Baptiste Guyon, 26 November, 2018.
Domaine Baptiste Guyon
48 rue Faubourg St Martin
Tel: +33 3 80 22 46 55
A neighbour of Beaune’s Parc Bouzaise, is Domaine Baptiste Guyon. Housed in the rambling but impressive old farm of the Abbey of Saint-Martin, that encloses the domaine’s monopole vines of the Beaune Clos de Foulot – a villages appellation which is effectively the garden of the domaine. My attention to this domaine came in the form of massive, gnarled old vines ion Beaune Grèves which you may have noted at the bottom left of the slope if you walked the small road to Bouchard Père’s Cabotte in the l’Enfant Jesus – but I didn’t know the owner. After the harvest in 2015 is saw an old guy cutting the vines down, ready for pulling them all out – I asked the him which was the domaine – he said Domaine Guyon by the Bouzaise.
This was once, 2 or 3 generations ago, a large domaine that covered over 20 hectares of vines, but today after much division and successions there remains just 2.5 of those hectares. Baptiste Guyon has increased that area considerably with contracts that he now exploits. The original family domine was founded at the end of the 1800s by a great-uncle of the grandmother of Baptiste – it traded for many years – right into the 1960s – as Domaine Voiret. The holding had grown considerably with the ‘help’ of phylloxera, when buildings and vines were readily available. The domaine didn’t just consist of vines, they had forests too. By 2010 only 2 ha was left and all the grapes were sold in bulk at that time. Baptiste recalls that he had to re-start everything, from a-z. He began by selling all the grapes, started to do some replanting, recovered some vines in Pernand-Vergelesses after 2011 so then had over 4 hectares – his first real vinification at the domaine here was in 2011.
Baptiste had studied at Beaune’s Lycée Viticole, but wasn’t sure that he would take over the domaine ‘As there really wasn’t much to take over.‘ He has been working some vines in Volnay and Pommard but is not the owner, much of that goes to the négoce, but managed to keep all of the grapes in 2016 – there wasn’t much after the frost! But all the work is done as they were his own vines… In total he’s working 9 hectares now, two-thirds of-which are red.
He’s doing a lot of replanting and repicage. Never commercialising much more than 6,000 bottles as there was hail every year since took over! In 2016 he found another domaine about the same size as his, with vines in Pommard and Volnay – so he also does the work there – he kept about half the harvest in 2017 – which tripled his production. He bottled a little less than that in 2018 as he needed the cash. Currently he does very little export, having just one customer who sells in England.
An embryonic domaine with some super 2017s and more hit and miss 2016s. Definitely worth following to see how things develop…
All whites are bottled and a couple of reds – the rest will be done soon.
2017 Bourgogne Aligoté
Bottom of volnay plus a second parcel in Pernand
Starts a little yeasty, but swirling brings a sweetness and fine open personality – very inviting. Plenty of richness – real depth of flavour – green and yellow fruit. Long and quite mineral – yum!
2017 Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc
Multiple parcels assembled.
Hmm – this is nice, pure and fresh – inviting again. Good volume, a little richness again, long and with a balanced richness of flavour. Vibrant in the length again – excellent!
2017 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er En Caradeux
Hmm – tight but with a very fine line of slightly floral aroma. Supple, more concentrated and deep, that reductive-agrume style of Pernand with fine texture, a little richness again and ample depth of flavour – good weight of flavours here. Really quite long. Perhaps a hint of wood spice, but nothing remotely resembling vanilla for instance.
2017 Beaune Clos de Foulot
Really the ‘garden’ of the domaine – and more is classed that could be planted – part is also planted to red.
A little more open aromatics, plenty of pretty higher tones – attractive. Supple, rich, layered wine – lots of depth, more massive than the Pernand, really rather good in a luxurious style. Mineral too – I’d like a bit more tension but you get a lot of wine with great length here. Good!
All harvesting is by hand, triage, mostly destemmed.
2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
I didn’t know the vines and got them quite late in the vintage and worked the elevage like I would my Beaune and Pernand, so it needs a bit of time yet!
Plenty of colour. The nose is deep, faintly spiced – not giving up any particularly attractive notes. In the mouth this has energy and line, depth of fresh concentration, the tannin is very fine. A ripe and saline wine that just lacks a little delicacy for now – just the finish is starting to become a little more attractive…
2017 Pernand-Vergelesses Vieilles-Vignes
More than 60 yo vines
Ooh – a bright beacon of fine fruit – yes! Supple, energetic – the layers of flavour are bright, fruit-forward, but not too facile – this is excellent, showing just a touch of tannin in the finish!
A little more depth of aroma here, darker fruit – simmering cherries. Hmm, mouth-watering, growing in intensity, much more serious, wide and layered. This is properly structured and complex wine that will reward some cellar time – but I find there is some reward already today – bravo!
2016 Beaune 1er Cru
Due to frost assembled the greves and the young vine teurons
Deep colour. A wide and quite pure-fruited nose. Supple, concentrated, a fine line of tannin at the base – a richness that reminds of the style of the whites – but really that’s the low yield of the vintage. A lot of wine here, but for the energy and flavour I prefer the 2017 En Caradeux. This is very long though…
2016 Beaune 1er Clos des Avaux
Almost 18 months of elevage here.
A deep colour with a deep nose to match – but there is more interesting aromatic complexity than the last wine here. More drive and freshness – depth of flavour too. A big wine but very well-balanced – rich finishing with depth and depth of flavour. This is super with the domaine’s characteristic fine tannin in the finish…
2016 Volnay Vieilles-Vignes
Grand champs and Grand Poisots – all the higher parcels were frosted.
Deep colour again. A little floral mix. Fresh, with drive and energy – ooh this is good – long, energetic, plenty of very fine tannin again. Lots of freshness and energy but with a fine concentration of flavour that balances well – leave it a couple of years, but this is very good.
2016 Volnay 1er Cru
Pitures, Carelles and Chanlins assembled…
Some freshness to note but this is a tighter nose. Wide – quite vibrant and going deep-flavoured with fine textured tannin again. The villages is certainly easier today, but here is a depth of fine saline complexity in the finish. Long, long though majoring on the tannin elements. Good but have 2-4 years of patience…
2 parcels blended, Chanlins Haut and from the direction Nantoux so high vines here. Pre-fermentation maceration, cold, for 5 days, likes to do some pigeage but the Pommard was more remontage.
High vines but plenty of colour. Hmm a big, deep and I have to say, very attractive nose almost trying to liberate some floral notes too. Big, fresh, deliciously energetic – so much wine here, and so much to be patient for too, yet, there is also so much that’s being delivered – complex, deep dark fruit, touched by tannin but not oppressively so – this is simply excellent!