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CÔTE DE NUITS

  • Nuits Saint Georges  Aux Saints Jacques
  • Hautes Cotes de Nuits Les Valençons
  • Hautes Cotes de Nuits  Les Martennes

CÔTE DE BEAUNE

  • Savigny les Beaune  Les Petits Picotins
  • Ladoix Les Ranches
  • Côte chalonnaise Bouzeron Vieilles Vignes
  • Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc
  • Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé

 

Julien Cruchandeau

Julien Cruchandeau started making wine in 2003, and was one of the pioneers of Bouzeron. He has since moved up into the hills above Nuits St Georges to pursue what has become an incredibly dynamic career, marking him as one of the great winemakers of his generation.

Julien champions the lesser-known appellations.  And has taken on the Aligote grape as a badge of honor. So it was really no coincidence that he chose Bouzeron as his starting point.  Appellation Bouzeron (as opposed to every other Burgundy appellation, bar one), chose Aligote over Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, as the appellation's grape. It was a radical move, spearheaded by an elder statesman of Burgundy wine, Aubert De Villaine of Domaine Romanée-Conti, meant to give Aligote the respect and reputation it deserves.  And now, 20 years on, we are seeing the results, not only in some truly magnificent Bouzerons, but also in the quality of Bourgogne Aligote in general.

In 2009 when he moved his winery from Bouzeron to Chaux, a tiny village in the Hautes Cotes up behind Nuits St George. Here he took on another underdog, appellation Hautes Côtes de Nuits. In retrospect, it was a prescient move. The buzz phrase in Burgundy these days, especially after several recent years of drought, is the 'quality is moving up the hill'. In other words, the perfect Burgundian growing conditions are at a higher altitude these days than they were a decade ago.

Julien champions lesser-known appellations.  And has taken on the Aligote grape as a badge of honor. So it was really no coincidence that he chose Bouzeron as his starting point.  Appellation Bouzeron (as opposed to every other Burgundy appellation, bar one), chose Aligote over Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, as the appellation's grape. It was a radical move (spearheaded by the elder statesman of Burgundy wine, Aubert De Villaine, owner of Domaine Romanée-Conti) meant to give Aligote the respect and reputation it deserves.  And now, 20 years on, we are seeing the results, not only in some truly magnificent Bouzerons, but also in the quality of Bourgogne Aligote in general.

The back story is fascinating.  Julien worked in the early 2000s for a domain in Bouzeron, so he learned the subtleties of the grape from many of the Burgundian masters.  And of course he crossed paths with Aubert De Villaine who has a domain in Bouzeron and whose crusade to promote Aligote was gaining ground.  The Domaine De Villaine's Aligote vineyards are planted in what are known as 'massale selection' vines. As opposed to 'clones', massale selection vines are produced with wood taken from old vineyards that were planted in the days before clonal planting. This preserves the variations of the older vines which were selected for their superior quality production.  Vineyards planted in massale selection have significant varietal variation, which adds depth and dimension to the resulting wine.

So when Julien bought his first vineyards in Bouzeron, he wanted to plant the best quality plants he could get his hands on.  So he turned to Aubert De Villaine, who, wanting to further promote Bouzeron and help the younger producers, offered Julien vines from his massale selection.  To this day, Julien's Bouzeron is called 'Massale', and is one of the shining stars of the appellation.

Flush with the success of his Bouzeron 'Massale', Julien took on a substantial parcel of Aligote when he set up in the Hautes Côtes de Nuits in 2009.  His Hautes Cotes Aligote is from a large single vineyard named 'Le Village' and is model of what Bourgogne Aligote can be.

 

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