Domaine Charles Audoin Fixin Le Rozier 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Domaine Charles Audoin is an estate that is largely responsible for putting Marsannay on the map. Initially considered a less-favorable terroir and not even given its own AOC until 1987, winemakers like Charles Audoin have shown that this is an appellation that is well worthy of recognition.
Representing the fourth and fifth generations of vignerons, Charles and his son Cyril, who currently helms the estate, had overseen an explosion in growth and quality since the 1970s – when Charles began expanding the estate from two and a half to 14 hectares, selecting some of the best vineyard locations in Marsannay. Cyril continues the work his father started, as he continues to vinify in a very traditional manner, all in service of keeping the focus on the elegance and refinement that have become hallmarks of this estate. Farming is entirely organic with certification as of the 2018 vintage. As part of his legacy, Cyril has shepherded the move towards even further consideration of the environment when winemaking decisions are made.
The lineage here is clear, beginning with Charles identifying the highest-quality terroir in the 1970s and continuing today. Cyril has recently invested in a new winery to improve the wine quality further. This estate has championed Marsannay among the most celebrated appellations in the Côte de Nuits. Widely recognized as a standard-bearer in the region, you need to look no further than the wines of Domaine Charles Audoin for the very best that Marsannay has to offer.
Inhabiting the northern reaches of the Côte de Nuits of Burgundy, the Pinot Noir vineyards of Fixin abut Gevrey-Chambertin and produce wines of similar character. The appellation is full of well-reputed Premier Crus that offer some very fine Pinot Noir, even if not quite delivering the exact precision and elegance—nor price tag—of a Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Cru. These are Les Arvelets and Les Hervelets, Clos de la Perrière, Clos Napoléon and Clos du Chapître. A classic Pinot Noir from Fixin will be rich in dark fruit, underbrush and exhibit good structure and minerality.
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.”