Villages like Marsannay, Fixin and Brochon are sadly overlooked, but perhaps even more below the radar are Corgoloin and Comblanchien. Yet the most prominent of these little-regarded appellations is Ladoix-Serrigny, the entrance to the Côte de Beaune just north of Beaune and below the beautiful Corton hill.
Aloxe-Corton gets plenty of fame and glory from the Corton hill, perhaps sharing it with Pernand-Vergelesses. But not much is rubbing off on the village of Ladoix, sitting as it does in a sort of RN974 limbo.
One of the major estates and producers in Ladoix is Michel Mallard – a talented and surprising vigneron. He is the winemaker at Domaine d’Eugenie in Vosne-Romanée, while at the same time running the family domaine in Ladoix.
Ladoix … below the big hill
Domaine Michel Mallard was founded in 1952 by Michel Mallard – the grandfather of the current nameholder. The estate has 13 ha around the Corton hill, producing 16 appellations in total. It is located in the center of Ladoix-Serrigny on the RN974 – the main road through Burgundy – just south of where Côte de Nuits meet Côte de Beaune.
Michel Mallard took over from his father in 2005 and is now running the family estate with his parents’ help – while also making the wines at d’Eugenie.
I first met Michel at d’Eugenie in the morning for a tasting, but after work we were back in Ladoix to meet him for another visit. Clearly, he is enthusiastic about both hats he wears – and his drive is a strong force for each estate. It was a pleasure to encouter this strong passion.
The core quality of the wines is the same, as the pure and structured style is the basis – meaning the structure and framework of the wines are evident, yet they are refined and delicate, creating joyful and enjoyable wines. The oak is well balanced, but clearly Michel is cautious about the influence of new oak, as he now is working with larger barrels in the Michel Mallard production, as these do seem to refine the influence of new oak.
Michel Mallard was very eager to show his domaine wines, and I found the 2017 wines both charming and forward – elegant and with a lovely stylistic element. There is a line of consistency in the wines or, if you like, a connection that binds the wines together – balance and harmony springs to mind.
We tasted quite a number of wines at Domaine Michael Mallard – so to keep track I have focused in this article on the 2017s.
Domaine Michel Mallard, Ladoix 2017
The Ladoix 2017 is on the darkish side with plum and some earthy notes – giving the wine a nice mineral expression. It’s medium weight and quite cool for the vintage – showing a window even for short-term drinking. It will be approachable after 3 years and will be drinkable after 6 years. This has fine Ladoix balance with vivid acidity and charming 2017 fruit.
(Drink From 2023) – Good – (86 – 87p) – Tasted 23/05/2019
Domaine Michel Mallard, Chorey-les-Beaune Les Beaumonts 2017
Same style and expression, yet a lovely mid-palate tension and intensity. A quite cool expression – fine energy in the rather generous finish. On the enjoyable and richer side; more pleasure than intellectual exercise. But then again, what’s wrong with pleasure?
(Drink From 2023) – Good++ – (86 – 87p) – Tasted 23/05/2019
Domaine Michel Mallard, Ladoix Corvees 1er cru 2017
This is a delightful Ladoix and a step up from the first wines. This 1er cru is from the northern part of the village – a bit up the hill from the RN974. The nose is quite detailed – some impression of oak spicing things up with some notes of red cherries, violet, plum and some earthy nuances. Nice intensity and punch to the finely detailed flavours that caress your palate. The finish is firm and reveals that this will take some time fully to unfold.
(Drink From 2027) – Very Good – (88 – 89p) – Tasted 23/05/2019
Domaine Michel Mallard, Aloxe-Corton 2017
The Aloxe-Corton is rather elegant – a cool nose showing red cherries, raspberries and hints of violets – with the discrete oak underpinning doing fine work. On the palate rich and generously flavoured, offering a delightfully harmonious feel. Clearly a bit more openly knit than the Ladoix Corvees; lighter and more approachable.
(Drink From 2024) – Good+ – (87p) – Tasted 23/05/2019
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- Exploring Ladoix and surroundings – visiting Domaine Michel Mallard Villages like Marsannay, Fixin and Brochon are sadly overlooked, but perhaps even more below the radar are Corgoloin and Comblanchien. Yet the most prominent of these little-regarded appellations is Ladoix-Serrigny, the entrance to the Côte de Beaune just north of Beaune and below the beautiful Corton hill. Aloxe-Corton gets plenty of fame and glory from the ...
- Visit Domaine Michel Mallard in Ladoix Lets face it my visits to Ladoix are rather rare and too few – a big error to be honest. Winemaker Michel Mallard of Domaine d’Eugenie is from Ladoix-Serrigny where the family estate is located – and I had the plaesure of visiting Michel on his home turf on RN974. Let me just say that the ...