Albert Bichot Volnay Les Santenots Domaine du Pavillon Premier Cru 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Since 1350, the Bichot family has called Burgundy home. But, it was in 1831 that Bernard Bichot founded a merchant house bearing his name in Monthélie, a couple of kilometers south of Beaune. At the end of the 19th century, his grandson Albert Bichot took the family business into a new direction and created the winery, Maison Albert Bichot as we know it. The family heritage has been perpetuated from father to son since then. The family crest, consisting of a deer and antlers, has been synonymous with the winery since its inception.
Since 1996, Albéric Bichot has represented the 6th generation managing the winery. The winery’s mission is to utilize the best fruit possible to create the best wine and best expression of terroir. In the constant pursuit of accomplishing this mission, Albert Bichot has acquired 250 acres of vineyards in the most reputed growing areas throughout Burgundy. In addition to this expertise as a wine-grower, Albert Bichot carefully sources grapes with an extremely hands-on approach, in order to vinify many of its regional and village wines, enabling them to supply high quality wines with continuity. For these grapes sourced from our partner growers, quality, and a close partnership, are of the utmost importance.
Albert Bichot owns 6 Domaines set at the heart of 5 great vinicultural regions that make up Burgundy: Chablis, Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise, and Beaujolais. Each estate consists of vineyards cultivated with sustainable practices, as well as facilities, cellars and dedicated winemaking teams devoted to wines of that Domaine and region.
The 6 estates include:
- Domaine Long-Depaquit in Chablis
- Chateau Gris in the Cote de Nuits (Nuits-St.-Georges)
- Domaine du Clos-Frantin in the Cote de Nuits (Nuits-St.-Georges)
- Domaine du Pavillon in the Cote de Beaune (Pommard)
- Domaine Adelie in the Cote Chalonnaise (Mercurey)
- Domaine du Rochegres in Beaujolais (Moulin-à-Vent)
On the hillsides between Pommard and Meursault, Volnay is one of two villages in the Côte de Beaune of Burgundy that is recognized for its extraordinary Pinot Noir. Pommard is the other; the rest of the villages are most known for some of the most exceptional Chardonnay in the world. While Volnay Pinot Noir tends to be light in color and more delicate than that of Pommard, they typically stand on par with each other in regards to quality and demand.
Volnay can’t claim any Grands Crus vineyards but more than half of it has achieved Premier Cru status. Volnay Premiers Crus vineyards stretch across the entire village from northeast to southwest, abutting and actually falling “into” Meursault. Where they merge is a vineyard called Les Santenots. Pinot Noir grows in this Meursault Premier Cru but since that village is most associated with stellar whites, the Pinot Noir from Les Santenots, takes the name Volnay Santenots. Immediately above it are Volnay’s other prized Premier Cru, Le Cailleret, Champans, Clos des Chênes and Le Cailleret.
Volnay Pinot Noir are earthy with red or blue fruit. Aromas such as smoke, herbs, forest, cocoa and spice are common and on the palate they are gorgeous and concentrated with finesse but won’t truly charm you without some age.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”