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Domaine Joseph Voillot

In July of 2014 Joseph Voillot died in the house he grew up in, just i...

In July of 2014 Joseph Voillot died in the house he grew up in, just in front of Volnay's thirteenth-century church. Joseph was a vigneron through and through, the fourth generation of his family to manage the estate, and he represented the old breed of Burgundian growers. On the day of his funeral, Volnay overflowed with those paying homage.

Much as Joseph, son-in-law Jean-Pierre (pictured) came up steeped in Burgundian culture. His father managed grower relations and wine selections for the then family négociant firm of Bouchard Père et Fils, and it was a natural for Jean-Pierre to study enology. After his degree, he embarked on a stint as a courtier, or local broker, of wine in Beaune, and fell in love with one of the three daughters of Joseph Voillot. That marriage put him at the right hand of Joseph, and for fifteen years the two worked together until Joseph's retirement in 1995. During those years, Jean-Pierre joined the staff at Beaune's viticultural school and taught winemaking to all manner of students, both French and foreign.

In the late 1990s, shortly after becoming managing director at the domaine, he undertook a series of small steps that came to be systematic changes. In the vines, he moved to sustainable farming. In the cellar, he did away with fermenting with a percentage of stems because he liked the essence of fruit. He did trials on the length of barrel ageing, and came to bottle his premier crus after roughly sixteen months in wood followed by a month in steel (fourteen months in barrel for the Villages; twelve to fourteen for the Bourgogne—with both classes also receiving a month in steel to rest and clear before bottling). The two Meursaults moved to a roughly fourteen month barrel regimen (Joseph left the wines of both colors in barrel significantly longer).

Jean-Pierre has also shied more and more away from new oak, moving from around 30% new barrels for the premier crus to today using 10-20%. He lowered the sulfur additions. He experimented with filtration systems, and for several vintages bottled the premier crus without filtration. Eventually, he settled on one very light filtration at the mis, if necessary, because for him this gave the wine just that extra little touch of lift and purity. No fining for the reds; a light fining of the whites.

He's an old soul, Jean-Pierre, one quite committed and modest. Elegant in argument and clear in vision, he has no truck with tra-la-la. He cares deeply about Burgundy's traditions and the structure of the family domaine, and the cultural and artistic diversity that such things inspire (which is why this deeply pragmatic man won't go for strict organics in what is a wet, northern climate: the first rule is to have a harvest to survive; everything else flows from that).

He is, as Neal Martin has written, the proverbial winemakers' winemaker, known above all for purity of fruit, finesse, and clear expressions of terroir.

Today the domaine farms parcels spread across Volnay and Pommard (plus a piece in Beaune's 1er cru Coucherias, which is partially declassified into the Bourgogne). All of the Villages parcels are farmed the same, and all of the premier cru parcels are treated the same; ditto for how these wines are treated in the cellar. The differences come from the sites.

69 Items
69 Items
  • Domaine Joseph Voillot Bourgogne Rouge 2001
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    • Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay 2000
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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      • Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Premier Cru Les Champans 2001
        Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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          Domaine Joseph Voillot Pommard Premier Cru Les Rugiens 2005
          Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          • Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Fremiets Premier Cru 2000
            Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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            • Domaine Joseph Voillot Pommard Clos Micault Premier Cru 1999
              Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                Domaine Joseph Voillot Pommard Vieilles Vignes 2016
                Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Domaine Joseph Voillot Beaune Aux Coucherias 2000
                Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                • Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Fremiets Premier Cru 1978
                  Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                    Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Vieilles Vignes 2012
                    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                    • Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Premier Cru Les Champans 1978
                      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                        Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Vieilles Vignes 2011
                        Pinot Noir from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                          Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Les Fremiets Premier Cru 2016
                          Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                          • D93
                          • BH91
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                          Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Les Champans Premier Cru 2016
                          Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                          • D94
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                          • RP92
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                          Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Premier Cru Les Champans 2012
                          Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                          Domaine Joseph Voillot Pommard Premier Cru Les Rugiens 2011
                          Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                          Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Premier Cru Les Champans 2005
                          Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                          Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Les Brouillards Premier Cru 2010
                          Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                            Domaine Joseph Voillot Meursault Les Chevalieres 2011
                            Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                              Domaine Joseph Voillot Meursault Premier Cru Les Cras 2005
                              Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                                Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Vieilles Vignes 2010
                                Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                                  Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Vieilles Vignes 2009
                                  Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                                    Domaine Joseph Voillot Pommard Les Pezerolles Premier Cru 2013
                                    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                                      Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Vieilles Vignes 2014
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                                        Domaine Joseph Voillot Domaine Joseph Voillot Pommard Vieilles Vignes 2008
                                        Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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