Domaine Bernard-Bonin Meursault Vieilles Vignes 2013
Since 1998, Domaine Bernard-Bonin has been run impeccably by Nicolas Bernard and Veronique Bonin, a daughter of the well-known Michelot family. The talented couple own and cultivate seven hectares, including vineyards in Meursault, Meursault 1er Cru, and Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru. Nicolas follows time-honored winegrowing traditions; hand-harvesting, respecting the phases of the moon, and employing minimal intervention in the cellar. Each wine expresses a personality derived from its terroir, its character fashioned by the climatic variances of the year, with the premier cru vineyards harvested last. The wines are aged in oak barrels for 15–18 months. During this time, each barrel is tasted individually to determine the optimum exchange between wine and lees, with no sulfur additions, only active CO2 to protect the wine in the barrel. The lees are stirred at the beginning stages of malolactic fermentation, which keeps the lees in suspension, and the wine reaches approximately 3g/L of residual sugar. There is no racking of the wines during élevage, and only one racking before going into tank in December for four months before bottling in March. Once the lees settle entirely, there is no more bâtonnage after April/May.
In synchronization with the lunar calendar, the wines are racked just before bottling to ensure a natural crystal clear and stable state, thus avoiding fining and filtration. The long barrel aging process allows for fully dry wines below 1g/L r.s. The wines continue to mature in the bottle, and the results carry the characteristics of the finest wines of Meursault: exquisitely fresh, rich, mineral, and vibrant.
Known to offer a magical balance of smoothness and freshness, Meursault's quality is hard to rival. The village lies in the middle of Côte de Beaune, just south of Volnay. Meursault is said to mean “mouse’s jump” because in the past the plots producing Pinot Noir and those producing Chardonnay were no more than a mouse’s jump from one another. Today the village is almost exclusively Chardonnay. A tiny bit of Pinot Noir is produced here with the best coming from Les Santenots on its northern side near Volnay.
While there are no Grands Crus, Meursault’s numerous acclaimed Premiers Crus can compete with any other top-notch white Burgundy. Some to know are Les Perrières, Les Genevrières, Les Charmes, Le Poruzot, Les Bouchères and Les Gouttes d’Or.
Meursault produces outstanding village level wines as well. In general great Premiers Crus and even village level Meursault (Chardonnay) have enticing aromas of lime peel, tropical fruit, crushed rocks, spice and hazelnut. On the palate there is a wonderful balance of brightness and a seductive length with flavors of white peach, pineapple and citrus.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.