At the business’ peak well over 100,000 bottles per year went into the cellars – the problem was that not enough left – this precipitated difficulties both for the business and between the brothers. In the end Bernard and Francois decided to sell. Unusually the purchasers were from ‘another place’: a consortium including Ann Colgin and husband Joe Wender were named as the new owners in January 2002. The well-known Beaune merchant Becky Wasserman of ‘Le Serbet’ was named as managing director.
The grapes here are crushed by a hand-operated pre-1920’s wooden press that offers very fine adjustment. The ownership and the winemaker like their old press very much and say they find it a little gentler than pneumatic versions.
Camile Giroud is available exclusively at Metrovino.
The Dufouleur family’s first records date back to 1596, the baptismal date of Gilles Du fouleur, son of Pierre Du fouleur, winegrower in Nuits. This makes them one of the oldest families in this area, and each succeeding generation has been directly associated with wine and winemaking.
The Dufouleur family has chosen to remain a family business, preferring to sacrifice size in order to guard independence. They do this so they can remain close to the vines while keeping long-term vision, the only way to guarantee and maintain the dedication required in the elaboration of great wines.
Defouleur Freres is available exclusively at Metrovino.
Domaine Benjamin Leroux
Benjamin Leroux, the gifted manager/winemaker of Domaine Comte Armand started his own label in 2007 and now has a brand new winery in the center of Beaune that he shares with Dominique Lafon. The operation is small, specializing in Puligny, Chassagne and Volnay but with many other appellations also covered. Leroux works with vineyards he manages, and owns and he will also buy fruit (never juice or wine) from growers with who he can work closely; growers that produce the quality of fruit to match Leroux’s exacting standards.
Half of the the vineyards are currently organic (this percentage is growing) and 100% of the sites are ploughed with no herbicides or pesticides used at all. In most cases the tiny volumes are between one and five barrels of each.
Domaine Benjamin Leroux is available exclusively at J Webb Wine Merchant.
Domaine Comte LafonThis winery dates back to the mid-1800’s when Jules Joseph Barthélémy Lafon married into the Boch family. The Boch clan was known in the area as respected wine merchants and estate developers so it’s perhaps not surprising the direction the Lafon family headed. The estate has been handed down from generation to generation and now is managed by Dominique Lafon who took the helm in 1984. The 16 hectare estate Lafon oversees is comprised of some of the most famous ‘Crus’ in the region. Meursault, Puligny and Montrachet are planted with Chardonnay, and Volnay and Monthélie with Pinot Noir. Lafon elects not to use fertilizer but instead makes use of compost to be more environmentally friendly. Grapes here on the estate are harvested by hand in time honoured tradition.
When tasting the wines of Domaine Robert-Denogent, it is essential to put aside any preconceived notions about the young, over-cropped whites of southern Burgundy. These are wines of a much different class, whose reflection of terroir is one more likely found farther north in the prestigious Côte d’Or.
Jean-Jacques Robert took over five hectares of his grandfather’s vines in the Mâconnais just outside the village of Fuissé after finishing law school in 1988. Though most of the harvest had always been sold off to the cooperatives, the small parcels that made up the domaine were already understood to enjoy unique microclimates, producing Pouilly-Fuissés of great pedigree.
The Roberts’ individual vineyard parcels are planted with old vines (remarkably so!) on varied soils of granite, schist, limestone, clay, and gravel. Naturally reduced yields imbue the grapes with terrific concentration. The wines undergo a long, slow élévage in barrel that lasts anywhere from fifteen to eighteen months. They are bottled after two winters in barrel, a treatment more common (yet still far from the norm) in the Côte d’Or, and something that really sets them apart in the Mâconnais.
At a fraction of the price of the appellations of Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, to which they are often compared by aficionados and critics alike, the wines of Robert-Denogent offer tremendous value, wonderful richness, and impressive complexity. An added attraction for some—they age sooner than their counterparts to the north.
Domaine Robert-Denogent is available exclusively at J Webb Wine Merchant.
In 1914, Joseph Matrot and his wife Marguerite Amoignon and their three children took up residence in Marguerite’s family home, which is today the seat of Domaine Matrot, and the family decided to develop and extend the estate.
Their son, Pierre, began working as a winegrower in 1937. He also bought vineyards, modernised the estate and, together with is wife Simone Bonin, had five children. Pierre’s son, Thierry soon entered the family business, getting a degree in winegrowing and oenology and eventually Thierry’s own son Pascale would also join them.In January 2000, Thierry and Pascale Matrot established and developed a company allowing them to buy and sell the harvest of the vineyards of “Héritiers du Domaine Joseph Matrot”. The father son duo believes a wine must be the reflection of its terroir and its vintage. The first step, they say, in preserving all of the different characteristics of the Matrot wines is to carry out careful and attentive work in the vineyards. To that end the vineyard began growing organically in the year 2000.
Domaine Matrot is available exclusively at Metrovino.
Domaine Armand Rousseau
A substantially younger winery than many others in this region, Domaine Rousseau was started at the beginning of the 20th century by Armand Rousseau who, at the tender age of 18, inherited several vineyards. Even so, Rousseau had an affinity for the wine business, as his family were known in the area for their work as vine growers, coopers and local wine merchants.
This is truly still a family business to this day since even a century later, several descendants of the Rousseau line continue to manage and work in the winery today.
The wines of Domaine Armand Rousseau are available exclusively at Metrovino.
Magnien Henri et Fils was founded in 1987 at the retirement of Henry Magnien leaving the management of the estate to his son François.Traces of vine culture in the family date back to around 1700. The family’s farm is located in the upper village of Gevrey-Chambertin, near an old Castle. Today is Charles who took over management of the family estate of 6 hectares (since 2009) behind his father François Magnien.
Henri Magnien is available exclusively at J Webb Wine Merchant.