This is a fifth generation, 6.5 hectare estate, predominantly based in Pommard, with a few vines in Beaune, Meursault and Volnay. It’s predominantly a red wine estate, but we have bought a little Beaune Blanc and Meursault. Thank you to Edouard Confuron for the introduction. It was a great recommendation. They are certified organic. In addition to their own vines, Thierry has some informal arrangements with neighbours and friends to buy fruit. This has been particularly helpful during the recent small vintages prior to 2017. So two of the premiers crus: Pommard Arvelets and Volnay Santenots are technically négociant wines.
The estate is run by Thierry and Estelle Violot-Guillemard. Their son Joannès slowly taking over as Thierry eases into retirement. After so many lean years recently in the Cote de Beaune, the relative abundance of 2017 and 2018 required cellar improvements to accommodate the extra wine, though the finished wine disappeared very quickly.
They make wines which suit me perfectly. From such a warm vintage, the wines are light, delicate and fresh. The 40% new oak used for the reds never looks obtrusive, and the elegance and delicacy of all the reds belie the Pommard stereotype. Joannès appears to share winemaking philosophy with his father who says proudly about his approach to winemaking ‘je ne fais rien’. He exaggerates, of course, but makes the point that extraction work on the must is kept to a minimum.
All the reds are wines with lovely mouth perfumes, and there is no hint in any of them of hot vintage characteristics or Pommard rusticity. The wines look charming at a young age, which perhaps explains their success with many top French restaurants. But Epenots and Rugiens in particular are both wines with a pedigree to keep them improving for years.
We’ve bought a little of a new wine: a very pretty Beaune Rouge ‘En Lulunne’ in the 2018 vintage. It’s a new parcel for them, comprising 0.33ha farmed organically. Whites here are very good too, even if overshadowed by the reds. Tight, firm and modestly reductive in style.