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Type
Red Wine

Domaine Joliet Fixin 1er Cru 'Clos de la Perriere' 2021

Appellation
Fixin
Region
Côte de Nuits
Vintage
2021
In Stock
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$145.00
 
SKU: EPER01R-21
Overview

Pale ruby red, this Fixin at 13% alcohol is anything but your stereotypic Fixin rustic. Very elegant, sweet fresh raspberry fruit, then cherry. There’s richness and intensity, ripeness and purity, a tension that tells you it will age well. Complex and seductive, long and exciting.

Winemaker

FIXIN

COTE DE NUITS

The Clos de la Perriere in Fixin, founded by the Cistercians in 1142, is, as the name implies, a walled-in vineyard that the monks way back when knew made an exceptional wine. Inside those walls however, the vineyard is composed of 4 distinct parcels. And while each of these 4 parcels on its own produces an interesting wine, the four together make magic.

That the monks knew this back in the Middle Ages is not, in itself, extraordinary. They had time, and plenty of ‘ora et labora’. And as, over time, they came to know where the best vineyards were, they put walls around them.

There are lots of vineyards called ‘clos de something-or-other’ in Burgundy. The best known of course is the Clos de Vougeot. But where the Clos de la Perriere is different, unique even, is that it has never been divided up. If the idea of putting a wall around a vineyard was to enclose various parcels of land that are component parts of one great wine, then dividing and selling off parcels within the clos can only dim the original vision.

In 1855 Dr. Lavalle classified the Clos de la Perriere as ‘tête de cuvée’, as he did most of the present-day grand cru vineyards. Two years previous, the Joliet family bought the Clos, and it has been in their family since. 6 generations, with Benigne Joliet at the helm today. Perhaps because the wine at the time was not up to its potential, perhaps simply because it is Fixin, who knows, but when the modern classifications were made, the Clos was relegated to premier cru.

But Benigne Joliet knows that it is a grand cru. Perhaps the only vineyard of grand cru stature still intact that was laid out by the monks in the Middle Ages. And he is fighting to have it recognized as such, both with the AOC people and in the cellar.

I have had the pleasure of tasting the 2013 in its component parts, 4 cuvees from the four parcels inside the walls. Benigne Joliet presented it dramatically. Cuvée #4, the oldest vines from the parcel the furthest to the north was alive, like only wine from well-tended vines can be alive. Depth and density. Cuvée #2, the youngest vines gives vivacity, a bright acidity over soft tannins. Cuvée #1 from the parcel the furthest south, and hence the earliest harvested, gives you the fruit, a big burst of fruit. And Cuvée #3, from the edge of the wall near the forest at the top of the vineyard gives the bottom, the edge, the tannin.

But like four notes in a chord, when Benigne blended together the approximate assemblage that will be 2013 Clos de la Perriere, the wine sang. Bright, peppery, alive, with big yet subtle fruit and a long, long finish.

Fixin 1er Cru ‘Clos de la Perriere’ from Domain Joliet. Relatively unknown. Poised again for greatness after nearly 900 years!

APPELLATIONS

WHITE

Fixin 1er Cru ‘Clos de la Perriere’

RED

Fixin

Fixin 1er Cru ‘Clos de la Perriere’ *

*Within the Clos de la Perriere are lieu-dit parcels:

Queue de Hareng

Bas de Chemin

Vierge Jeune and Vieille

Parc Bas and Haut

Quatre Peupliers

PRINCIPLES

Benigne Joliet has radically changed production methods at the Clos de la Perriere during his stewardship. Each of these lieu-dit parcels listed above is picked and vinified separately. And 4 separate cuvees are eventually assembled before bottling. Yields have been greatly reduced. Harvest follows the maturity of each individual parcel, the grapes are picked as late as possible. The grapes are sorted and destalked, then fermented with a minimum of handling. Each cuvee is considered separately in terms of manipulations, punching down or pumping over. The wines are raised in 15% new Troncais oak for 24-36 months with no racking.

Vintage
​​

BURGUNDY 2021

Nothing abides. Just as we Burgundy purists begrudgingly acknowledged the vitality and variety of the three previous hot-weather vintages, along came 2021, classic Burgundy with its frost, damp and low yields.

​​

Way back when, in pre-climate-change conditions, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay would struggle, year after year, to come to maturity in what was this, the northernmost spot in Europe where grapes could ripen enough to make still wine. That struggle was, in fact, the very definition of viticulture in Burgundy (chaptalization notwithstanding).

But then weather patterns started to change, not drastically, but gradually: milder winters and earlier springs; hotter summers and earlier autumns. By the time we got to 2018, then 2019 and then 2020, those mild winters were breeding grounds for mildew, the early springs were prone to killer frosts, those hot summers forced ripeness onto reticent grapes varieties, and early autumns left little time to the winemaker to sort it all out.

​​

If this all sounds like an accident waiting to happen, hang on to your hat; it’s all perspective.

​​

2018 was wet, wet, wet through winter and up to mid-April. Then an explosive bud-burst sent the winemakers scurrying to control the vegetation. But then it got hot, hot, south-of-Spain hot, and mildew never stood a chance. Early harvest, no health issues. Big crop. Great vintage.

​​

2019 was wet through the winter. Early bud burst, then frost took part of the crop. A warm set up flowering, but cold weather set in, taking another part of the crop. Then it got hot and very dry. Well-tend vines and, especially, old vines did well because there was last winter’s water in the water table, and good vines can go deep for water. Hot, healthy harvest.  Great really ripe vintage.

​​

2020 was precocious. Mild wet winter. Bud burst in mid-April. From that point on, there is not much to report weatherwise. It was hot and dry from June through to the end. Harvest started in August. Indeed, there was more stress on the winemakers than there was on the vines. When to pick? Overall, great vintage both white and red.

See a pattern?

​​

And 2021…well in 2021 things returned to ‘normal’ (if such a thing is possible in Burgundy!) First came devastating frosts in the early part of April, which were followed by a cool May, leading to a damp summer with the ever-present threat of hail.

​​

Chardonnay was more affected than Pinot Noir in that the red grapes come into leaf later. What all this means for the Burgundy harvest is that it will be a story of low yields (miniscule in places) and a late harvest.

​​

When the older winemakers talk about what to expect this year, words such as ‘historic’ are used and comparisons are drawn with the harvest of 1970.

​​

Some say we could be down 30% on 2020s already low yields. But it isn’t all bad news. Winemakers are nothing if not hardy, and their optimism cannot be shaken that easily. Fewer grapes on the vine means that those which have survived should have an intensity of flavor which sets them apart and may mark this harvest out as extraordinary. There may be other upsides, too: because the harvest is later, the grapes have had more ‘hang time’ which could mean good phenolic maturity.

Appellation

FIXIN

COTE DE NUITS

You can see the upper reaches of the Fixin vineyards as you leave Dijon heading south. Only the vines of Marsannay separate Fixin from the modern commercial zone that sprawls out into the plain. And along with Marsannay, Fixin seems at times to have lost its identity in the hub-bub of suburbia. For some reason these appellations are seen as the rustic cousin of Gervey-Chambertin. But look closely and carefully and you will find not only substance and tradition, but also some interesting undiscovered gems.

Fixin is a ‘village’ appellation of the Côte de Nuits. This appellation includes 6 Premiers Crus Wines from within the area of this appellation (including the villages of Fixin and Brochon) may also be known as Cote de Nuits-Villages.

Wines

Fixin produces mostly red wines from Pinot Noir but there are some plots of Chardonnay. The reds are generally considered ‘gutsy’ and require some aging before opening. They can be a deep purple color, but more modern wines tend to a classic Burgundy ruby or garnet. The nose is floral, often violet (not unlike wines from further south in the Cotes de Beaune). There are classic Burgundy blackcurrant and black cherry fruits, and the nuttiness of cherry pits. They are often marked with animal and peppery notes. Usually considered to be tannic and hard in their youth, but this is a function of the winemaking and use of oak. With age Fixins have a rounded attack and solid structure, with remarkable fullness and surprising finesse.

Terroirs

Fixin is very similar in soil make-up to Gevrey-Chambertin, but lower, and with more alluvial soil in the lower reaches. The premier cru parcels are on homogenous brown limestone with east to south-east exposures at 350 to 380 meters of altitude. In some spots the soil is more marly. The remaining plots are on lower ground at the foot of the slopes and the soil is a mixture of limestone and marl.

Color

Reds - Pinot Noir

Whites - Chardonnay

Area under production

1 hectare (ha) = 10,000 m2 = 2.4 acres

Reds : 91,76 ha (including 17.12 ha Premier Cru)

Whites : 4,25 ha (including 0.5 ha Premier Cru)

Food

Red wines dominate appellation Fixin, and these are generally muscular wines with a tannic structure that make them ideal for braised meats, roast pork, beef rib, or traditional stewed poultry like coq au vin. Cheese combos tend towards hard mountain gruyere or comte.  Rarer white Fixin partners well with the Burgundian specialty of cold-cuts like jambon persillé, as well as with firm-textured goat cheeses.

Appellations

On the label, the appellations 'Fixin' and 'Fixin 1er Cru' may be followed by the name of a specific vineyard, known as a climat.

The following climats are classified as premier cru:

Arvelets

Clos de la Perrière

Clos du Chapitre

Clos Napoléon

Hervelets

Le Meix Bas

The following climats are village wines from a single-vineyard, known as a lieu-dit.

Aux Boutoillottes

Aux Brûlées

Aux Cheminots

Aux Herbues

Aux Petits Crais

Aux Prés

Aux Vignois

Champs de Vosger

Champs Pennebaut

Champs Perdrix

Clémenfert

En Chenailla

En Clomée

En Combe Roy

En Coton

En Créchelin

En l'Olivier

En Tabeillion

Fixey

La Cocarde

La Croix Blanche

La Place

La Sorgentière

La Vionne

Le Clos

Le Poirier Gaillard

Le Réchaux

Le Rozier

Le Village

Les Basses Chenevières

Les Boudières

Les Champs des Charmes

Les Champs Tions

Les Chenevières

Les clos

Les Crais

Les Crais de Chêne

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$145.00
 
SKU: EPER01R-21
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