Domaine Guillemot – Michel, Marc et Pierrette Guillemot – Clessé
Before I left Calce, Jean-Philippe Padié had kindly dropped in my game-bag a bottle of ‘Quintane 2008’ from Domaine Guillemot. Once home I did not wait long to taste it, the wine was so full that it did not last long either, which is always a good sign.
Let us go to Clessé to know more about this Domaine, whose name was so often quoted by my most enlightened informants.
We are in Southern Burgundy, between Mâcon and Tournus, in a 12 acres vineyard planted with Chardonnay by Pierrette Guillemot’s grandfather and father. The average age of the vines is about 50 years.
Marc Guillemot (homonym and fan of the unlucky skipper of Vendée Globe 2012-13) and his wife Pierrette have withdrawn the totality of the Domaine from the ‘cave coopérative’ as soon as they settled, in 1985, decision which has provoked ostracism towards them from the local vinicole community. This was only their first feat of arms, for they quickly converted the vineyard to organic farming (certification in 1992) then to biodynamic (‘Demeter’) agriculture the following year. But the chart of the couple goes a lot further than certifications: natural alcoholic fermentation by indigenous yeasts, no chaptalisation, no addition of compost or manure. Wines never see wood and fans of vanilla will have to go elsewhere. The vineyard of the Domaine being regrouped on geologically homogeneous subsoils, Marc and Pierrette have chosen to produce just one cuvée, which is rather rare these days.