Grapes: Pinot Noir
Region: Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France
Viticulture: Biodynamic + Organic
Soils: Limestone + Clay
Vinification: 50 year old vines - 25% whole-cluster
Aging: Mix of 2 to 10yo barrels plus several old demi-muids
Fining or Filtering: None
Sulfur: Minimal added at bottling
Notes from the Importer: Born and bred in Marsannay, although not from a winemaking family, Sylvain had to start from scratch to get a domaine of his own. From a young age he knew he wanted to be a vigneron, inspired by his grandfather and father while helping to vinify a few barrels "pour la consommation familiale". He went to the wine school in Beaune at age 14 and then to the wine university in Bordeaux in order to become an oenologist. And Sylvain explains, "since my parents didn’t have any vines or domaine, my plan was to travel and make several harvests a year. Instead, I got a job at a lab in Beaune (with Kyriakos Kynigopoulos), where I stayed from 1997 to 2001. I learned a lot but it was quite superficial – you try the wines during vinification and aging, and after that you don’t exist anymore. The wines are not yours and the guy who made them has forgotten about you. I really needed to create something that I could call my own."
Sylvain carries out new plantings of all the vineyards by massal selection with clippings from growers like Jean-Marc Roulot, and he uses a good number of low yielding rootstocks (strictly no SO4) to add complexity, planting at very high densities of 12-14,000 vines per hectare. Yields average a low 35hh, he uses an old vertical press, presses very slowly over 6-8 hours for both whites and reds, varies the percentage of stalks used for the reds, and carries out élevages of up to two years, in a mix of cuves, fûts, 350ltr and 600ltr barrels. The percentage of new oak rarely goes above a modest 20%, and many of the whites are only aged in older 7-8yo 350ltr barrels. Only the bottom 15% of vats are filtered for the whites, and sulphur use is minimal with total levels of around 30mg/l for whites (added after racking and before bottling) and 20-25mg/l total for reds. He decides on the bottling dates by taste, whenever the wines are ready.
Tasting Notes: The medium-bodied palate offers mulberry and red plum notes, moderate acidity and meat juices infusing the red fruit on the ample finish.