Domaine Roulot Auxey-Duresses Premier Cru Rouge 2015
The nose presents a harmonious medley of dark berries and spice, while the palate echoes the taut, crystalline character of the domaine's white wines.
Guy Roulot, a legendary producer of some of the finest Meursaults, if not some of the world’s finest white wines, took his family’s small production domaine to stardom. Guy’s marriage to Geneviève Coche and his own hard work added more prime parcels to the family’s holdings, which he vinified and bottled separately – a novelty for a domaine which had been distilling, rather than vinifying, their grapes just a generation before. As a result, Domaine Roulot has become the master of the lieu-dit, not to mention the five premier cru parcels they farm in Meursault and Monthelie. Guy’s sudden death in 1982 left the family in transition, as his son, Jean-Marc was in Paris pursuing a career in acting. A series of three winemakers aided in the changeover until 1989, when Jean-Marc was at last ready to take on the direction of the estate.
Since then, Jean-Marc’s progress has brought even more notice to a domaine that had already enjoyed a great reputation. The wines of Domaine Roulot are now among the most sought after wines in all of Burgundy. Jean-Marc has been successful in fine-tuning the domaine’s particular, stand-out style. While Domaine Roulot had once pioneered the single-vineyard bottlings of Meursault, they were now influencing other domaines to follow suit, thereby raising the stakes in this exalted appellation. What sets the domaine even further apart is Jean-Marc’s commitment to a bright, chiseled, thoroughbred style of Meursault, while many other wines of this village tend towards richness and concentration. Jean-Marc’s wines certainly express a certain depth and sumptuousness thanks to the appellation’s terroir, however his wines also show focus and restraint. Their elegance and amazing precision lend themselves to long aging in the cellars. Jean-Marc loves cooking believes the strong mineral backbone of his wines and their fresh acidity marry well with food. This is why one is more likely to find their wines in restaurants rather than in wine shops.
Perched in the western uplands alongside the famous Chardonnay-producing village of Meursault, Auxey-Duresses is a small but substantial wine-producing sub-appellation in the Côte de Beaune of Burgundy. Its vineyards cover both sides of the valley (called a combe in French) that cuts through the low hills just west of the lower Côte de Beaune villages of Meursault and Volnay. Cooling winds flow through this basin during the growing season and result in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a touch of charming rusticity. They are also more approachable in price compared to their Volnay or Meursault counterparts.
The village does include some Premiers Crus vineyards. Les Duresses and Le Climat de Val climb the southeastern slope of the Montagne du Bourdon.
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.”