Bernard Zito is not a rookie in the wine business. He has worked with vineyards and viticulture – more specifically organic and biodynamic viticulture – for years.
He was employed from 1987-2005 at the Boisset group, owned by Jean-Charles Boisset, where he worked on the implementation of biodynamic viticulture at various estates in the group.
He is, and has been for years, working for Louis-Michel Liger-Belair implementing and running the biodynamic side of this prominent estate. Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair was certified biodynamic in 2012. He’s also helping Charles Lachaux of Domaine Arnaux-Lachaux put biodynamic practices in place.
Bernard Zito is certainly a competent – and unconventional – guy, even when it comes to producing his own wines. He works mainly as a consultant, but on the side, he makes his own wines at the custom-crush facility Château de Bligny-les-Beaune. His production is limited, but I’m delighted to say it includes some truly gorgeous wines, especially in 2019.
Château de Bligny-les-Beaune: for vignerons
The Château de Bligny-les-Beaune is a large facility located in the eponymous town just southeast of Beaune itself.
The people behind the chateau – amongst others Dominique Lafon – decided to make a “wine studio,” where young winemakers and negociants could have the opportunity and facilities to make wine.
It offers joint facilities for its users, and the idea is that the producers can share equipment, knowledge, and experience.
Bernard is part of the group of vignerons making wines at this fine facility. I think in total there are between eight and twelve producers making their wines there.
Bernard Zito’s wines
He is only producing a few wines – and those in quite limited quantities, as he is still working as a consultant.
While they can be difficult to find due to the small production, I nevertheless recommend searching for these wines, as the quality is excellent given the terroirs, and the wines are furthermore delightfully energetic and vibrant.
And as at other estates, Zito’s 2019s are remarkable.
Bernard is clearly an experienced and talented winemaker who knows what he’s doing. The reds are tremendously juicy and energetic, with inherent qualities that many producers struggle to find even in great years. They offer fine intensity and concentration without crossing that border where concentration becomes density, lacking life and energy. The 2019s have tremendous energy.
His reds are very good indeed, and his whites show fine balance and energy.
Bernard Zito Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2019
From vines in Clessé in the Maconnais, planted in 1961, this is matured 70% in stainless steel and 30% in oak, with 30% whole clusters included in the vinification. It is light and lively, juicy and enjoyable. Very lightly extracted, one can enjoy this with a light summer lunch – or get wasted in the sun! Points are pointless; just enjoy!
(Drink From 2021) – Good – Tasted 15/06/2021 –
Bernard Zito Gamay Noir 2019
A complex and truly delightful wine. The juice comes from three plots: one in the Côte de Brouilly that’s vinified with 100% whole-cluster inclusion and matured in stainless steel; the second from Clessé (lieu-dit La Bussiere), with 50% whole clusters aged in stainless; and the third from Flagey-Echezeaux, across from the Clos du Vougeot (50% whole clusters). This wine was bottled on May 19, and it is energetic and vivid – a vin de soif if there ever was one. The exuberant fruit is lively, with an appealing juiciness. It has much more substance than the pinot noir above, as well as more complexity and hedonistic pleasure. I adore this wine for its charm and decadent fruit. Again, points are pointless, but here they are.
(Drink From 2021) – Very Good (88p) – Tasted 15/06/2021 –
Bernard Zito Saint-Romain La Périère 2019
From 70-year-old vines, this is vinified with 40% whole clusters and aged in oak – none new. A lovely, perfumed wine, this shows fine salinity with intense and energetic fruit. Mineral and vivid, this has all the 2019 fruit intact charm-wise.
(Drink From 2026) – Very Good (88-89p) – Tasted 15/06/2021 –
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