Domaine Tollot-Beaut Beaune Premier Cru Clos du Roi 2012
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Tollot family represents a long lineage of winegrowers dating back to the late 1880s when François Tollot began planting vineyards in Chorey-lès-Beaune. His son, Alexandre Tollot, continued in his father’s footsteps and married Aurélie Beaut. In 1921, Tollot-Beaut became one of the first to bottle their wines under the domaine and started exporting their wines to the U.S. shortly thereafter. Today, cousins Nathalie, Jean-Paul, and Olivier Tollot are in charge. The wines of Tollot-Beaut are well-known for their serious but pleasing style across a range of appellations from Bourgogne to Grand Cru. The Tollot-Beaut cellar is in the center of Chorey-lès-Beaune on the rue Alexandre Tollot, named after Nathalie’s great grandfather who was once the Mayor of Chorey. Parts of the meticulously kept cellar are over 250 years old. Chardonnay is pressed pneumatically and starts fermentation in stainless-steel tanks before finishing alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel. Pinot Noir is almost entirely de-stemmed. The wines of Tollot-Beaut were once made with more new oak but in recent years the oak influence has become subtler. Village and regional wines receive about 20% new oak while the Grand Crus receive about 60% new oak.
While the city represents the epicenter of wine production in Burgundy, the term, “Beaune” also refers to the specific sub-appellation of the greater Côte de Beaune, whose vineyards climb up the pastoral slopes that border the city to its west. Originally founded as a Roman camp by Julius Caesar, the city of Beaune eventually became the seat of the dukes of Burgundy until the 13th century. Today it is home to top négociants such as Louis Jadot, Joseph Drouhin, Louis Latour, and Bouchard Père et Fils.
The appellation, dominated by Pinot Noir plantings, represents a lovely and charming place to begin to understand red Burgundy. Its sandy soils create light and supple, floral driven Pinot Noir. These wines are designed to be enjoyed within five to 10 years. The vineyards of Beaune span a broad swath of Premier Crus from Savigny-lès-Beaune to its border with Pommard.
Chardonnay acreage here has been increasing here in the more recent years.
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.”