A 2ha clos that is divided between Aloxe Corton 1er Cru for the lower part and the higher part which is Grand Cru. This latter part makes up a quarter of the surface area. The slope here is steep, and and is one of the sunniest and earliest flowering Pinot vineyards on the hill. The soil is very shallow. The result is a 2014 of power and density. The structure is evident yet the tannins leave a soft velvet coating on the mouth, there is plenty of fruity and complex savoury characteristics, too. Racy cherry notes mixed with hedgerow fruit, undergrowth and bramble. A well balanced, confident and accomplished wine.
In 1996 Alberic Bichot became the 6th generation to take over the management of this historic Burgundian house. Bichot have always had impressive vineyard holdings and been one of the most important negociants in the region but the wines were all too often disappointing. Alberic’s mission was to transform the estate’s quality and reputation. One of his first moves was to bring in Alain Serveau as chief winemaker. Vitally both of Bichot’s Cote d’Or domaines, Clos Frantin in the Cotes de Nuits and Domaine du Pavillon in the Cote de Beaune, have their own vineyard and winemaking teams as well as their own wineries and cellars with Alain overseeing the whole production. When asked at a tasting of the fine 2014s what the most essential changes have been during his near twenty year reign, Alain pinpointed a lowering of yields and increased flexibility, ie adapting to each plot and vintage rather a systematic approach. Well the wines have improved immeasurably, the last three vintages in particular have been excellent for the Domaine wines, to the point that we could finally not resist the beautiful 2014s. By and large the grapes are de-stalked, undergo a long slow and gentle cuvaison of up to thirty days and then age in barriques for between 14-18 months depending on the wine and vintage. New oak is far from excessive, going up to a mximum of 60-70% for the top Grand Crus.
The commercial hub of Burgundian wine giving its name to the Côte de Beaune section of the Côte d’Or, Beaune was originally founded as a Roman camp by Julius Caesar, later becoming the seat of the Dukes of Burgundy in the fourteenth century. It is the Côte d’Or's third largest commune after Gevrey-Chambertin and Meursault. Its band of premiers crus, of which there are 44, stretches from Pommard in the south to the boundary with Savigny in the north. The soils are complex and varied and therefore so are the resulting styles of wine, however it is true to say that in general its Pinot Noir vineyards are usually some of the first to ripen in the Côte de Beaune, at least outside of the vinyeards on the Corton hill, and produce rich, ripe sturdy wines that may lack the finesse of the Volnays or Chambolle's of this world but compensate for this by showing a great deal of guts and character.