Domaine Chicotot - in Burgundy, La Côte de Nuits, Nuits-Saint-Georges
A variety, a climate, a terroir and a family of wine-growers altogether.
A few years back, at my friend’s O.R., I was lucky enough to drink a Nuits-Saint-Georges 1990 from Domaine Chicotot. ‘Les Saint-Georges’, the most famous Premier Cru of the Appellation (which may one of these days legitimately be upgraded Grand Cru, the question is examined). When I tasted it, the perfect balance between richness and lightness, tension and suavity has brought me a rare emotion.
The brilliant and intuitive Georges Chicotot has recently passed the baton to his excellent wife Pascale’s hands (who had already vinified for many years, notably the very elegant ‘Les Vaucrains’) and to their son’s, Clément.
The Domaine, 14 acres today, mainly situated on the Appellation Nuits-Saint-Georges, has been owned by the family for eight generations, its origins dating as far back as 1678.
The vineyard is now under the reins of Clément, with greatest respect for the terroir: organic fertilizers, grass grown between vines to limit erosion, limited systemic treatments, no herbicides
Vinification is Pascale’s domaine, with indigenous yeasts, minimal interventions in order to preserve berry integrity, and breeding on lees without racking in a magnificent 17th century cellar.
Wines are never in contact with new wood and bottling takes place without filtration or fining. Here, all is done to produce sincere and noble wines with due respect to the prestigious terroir of La Côte des Nuits.
In the palette of the Domaine, I have selected a remarkable ‘Village’, ‘Les Plantes au Baron’, which can be drunk in its youth, and two of the finest Premiers Crus of the Appellation, ‘Les Vaucrains’ and ‘Les Saint-Georges’, to lay down, even if compared to the Bordeaux these grands vins de Bourgogne open out faster. After a few years in a cellar, they will develop tertiary aromas of great quality (leather, truffle, rose).
To create a balanced cellar, let me remind you the rule: two thirds of wines to drink young and one third of wines to age.