Savigny Lès Beaune, Aux Vergelesses, 1er Cru, 2017

  Genot Boulanger

Savigny Lès Beaune, Aux Vergelesses, 1er Cru

Contains Sulphites.

About Genot Boulanger

It is not every day we come across a 22ha domaine in Burgundy we have never encountered before that are producing wines of outstanding quality. So we were taken aback during our visit to Genot-Boulanger in Spring 2018, a tasting which proved startling for its consistent brilliance for both white and red wines. The Domaine began its history as the life-long dream of two Parisian pharmacists, Charles-Henri Génot and his wife Marie Boulanger, that was realised when they moved to Meursault and purchased vineyards in Mercurey in 1974. They began to gradually build up the Domaine with further acquisitions in the Côte d'Or including Meursault, Volnay and Chassagne. In 1995 the Domaine expanded again into the Côte de Nuits, Corton and Aloxe-Corton Clos du Chapitre. By 1998 Francois Delaby had inherited 22 prime hectares of vineyard area in Burgundy. He was joined by daughter Aude and son in law Guillaume Lavollée who, in turn, took over the running of the Domaine in 2008, becoming the fourth family generation of the estate's history. Aude and Guillaume were clear on their mission from the off - to produce wines that express the complexity and finesse of their great Burgundian terroirs - recognising the quality of the vineyard to be the most important factor to get right. So they began their tenure by concentrating on viticulture and the health of the soil, starting conversion to organic farming - a process that ended with full certification in 2018. Winemaking follows a non-interventionist approach. For reds whole bunches are included during fermentation to a small degree when appropriate, or equally berries are completely de-stalked depending on the vintage. Fermentations are with indigenous yeasts and extractions are gentle. The wines are aged with 20% new oak barrels for 12 months followed by 6 months ageing in tank. The whites undergo the same process, the only difference being no sulphur is added to them until after malolactic fermentation. Rather like Aude and Guillaume themselves the wines are precise, composed and elegant. These are beautiful, noble burgundies that effortlessly give plenty of pleasure and can be considered among the Côte's greats.

Appellation: Savigny-Les-Beaune

A town just north west of Beaune, as lès (Old French for near) implies, with its own appellation for red wine and a small amounts of white. The reds are fruity, approachable and at their best can rival those of Beaune itself, but don't usually quite have the intensity or complexity of a good Pommard or Volnay, communes that aremore prominently sited on the limestone escarpment of the Côte de Beaune.

The village is divided by a river. Vineyards on the southern side, including premiers crus Les Peuillets, Les Narbantons, Les Rouvrettes, and Les Marconnets, are on sandy soil and produce wines similar in style to those of Beaune. Those on the other side, towards Pernand-Vergelesses, including Les Lavières and Les Vergelesses, are on stonier soil and produce more sturctured and mineral wines.

Grape Type: Chardonnay

Chardonnay is one of the most widely-grown and versatile of all white grape varieties. As a relatively neutral grape, it offers a near transparent map of winemaking style, climate and terroir. It is the ideal grape variety for Burgundy, where it serves to mirror the complex nuances of the myriad of terroirs found in this hallowed land. Chardonnay produces a variety of wines from the minerally and unoaked styles found in Chablis, the fatter nuttier examples in Meursault, to the tropical fruit-driven versions found in the New World. It is also the major grape variety in Champagne, where it produces lively floral wines, namely in the Côte de Blancs. It can be found throughout Europe and the New World thanks to its versatility. As a non-aromatic variety, it has an affinity with oak, whether new or used, French or American.