Robert Ampeau for decades ran one of the most respected estates in Burgundy, many of the top growers in the region to this day have great bottles of his Volnays, Meursaults or Pulignys, nestled away in their cellars. Robert gradually passed the running of the Domaine over to his son, Michel, until passing away in 1994. Michel took on his father’s great and unique work. The vines are immaculate, grass is left between each row to control the vines’ water consumption (Robert Ampeau was a pioneer of this practice.) This is not Burgundy’s most high tech Domaine, that is its charm, but the work is hard and the search for quality is meticulous. Domaine Robert Ampeau is unique in bottling its wines up early then ageing the wine in bottle, released when deemed ready for drinking. Quite how, financially this is achieved, particularly when their pricing is so reasonable, is impossible to comprehend. As they do the ageing themselves in bottle it also means a lot of energy and effort is spent on sourcing only the best quality of cork. The wines are fermented, without stalks, in cement cuves followed by ageing in barriques (largely used oak) for 10 months. The wines are usually bottled the summer following the harvest. The cellar here is wonderful, an impressive sea of mature bottles that will offer some of the greatest Burgundian drinking experiences you will have. This is truly one of the regions great treasures.
A hamlet that lies between Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, Blagny is situated higher up than either of its neighbours just underneath the forest at the top of the hill. The views are fantastic and the atmosphere wild and tranquil. Blagny is an appellation in its own right for light fruity red wines. Some more serious white wines are produced, but these divide themselves between the Meursault and Puligny communes. Those lying in the boundaries of the former are called Meursault-Blagny, whilst those in the latter are known purely as Puligny-Montrachet. The Blagny vineyards within these two communes are the highest in either Meursault or Puligny and as such benefit from tremendous natural acidity levels. There are eight premier cru vineyards up here, split between Meursault and Puligny. The potential of the white wines is only just starting to be realised, with the Domaine Martelet de Cherisey leading the way.