A et P Villaine, Bourgogne, Cote Chalonnaise, Les Clous Aime Blanc 2013

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By C4

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Directly across the road from Domaine Chanzy sits the domaine of Aubert et Pamela de Villaine. It’s a very discreet operation and that’s reflected also in its reception facilities – it’s really just a working office of box files, a few cobwebs and the occasional empty beer bottle – there are no pretensions here. Aubert and Pamela bought an 8 hectare domaine in 1971 to call their own – and I assume it was a place of sanctuary away from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti – particularly as that iconic domaine was still far from profitable at that time. Today the domaine is 21 hectares, almost half of which is the aligoté d’orée grape of Bouzeron. Organic and eventually biodynamic methods have been followed in the vineyards, with some certification since 1986. It is Pierre de Benoist, Aubert’s nephew, who since 2000 directs the domaine – Pierre originally hails from a domaine in Sancerre. On stems, Pierre notes that “There’s a slight austerity to wines from Mercurey, but all our pinots retain at least half their stems – more if the vintage allows. How we ferment depends entirely on the quality of the grapes that come into the cellar.”

Pierre on 2013:

2013 a little atypical, we lost about 45% of our expected harvest, but only due to the poor weather during flowering. I think we have a slightly different aromatic quality in 13. Vines are something of the earth that aspire to the heavens – 13 is a vintage of the earth!


2013 Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Le Clous Aimé

Chardonnay from multiple parcels in Bouzeron with a little more depth of soil, mainly south, south-west facing. A more discreet nose, perhaps faintly salted below. Fuller, rounder, but with plenty of balance – good acidity. A mineral impression and good ingraining flavour. Almost a suggestion of tannin in the finish. This is very lovely!

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