Passion is all …. wine made without passion is merely a agricultural product … but the energy and passion transferred to the wine can elevate a wine to something more than just fermented grape juice – it can become an expression, a desire, a statement and reflection of a personality.
Axelle Machard de Gramont is not making wine because she has too – she is making wine because she decided to do so .. when she moved back from Paris in 2004 – taking over her fathers estate gradually.
The estate is now certified organic – AB (Agriculture Biologique) – and this does underline the passionate approach to viticulture and wine making at this estate. Axelle has not taken the easy road – and in a year like 2016 im truly impressed by vignerons like Axelle, that fight on for their beliefs in Organic viticulture.
I really enjoy visiting estates with a mission and a passion, and somehow many of these estates are those who has taken the Organic or even the Biodynamic road.
Not to point fingers at those who are not yet organic – sometimes it can be very difficult to implement these things across generations in Burgundy .. and for a grower managing perhaps vineyards for three generations of the family the decision can be both complex and even prove to be impossible.
A bit of background on Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont
Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont is a relatively small estate originating from Nuits-Saint-Georges. The estate has 6 ha in total located mainly in the Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation – but also with plots in Vosne-Romanée and Vergy.
The estate is related to the Machard de Gramont estate in Premeaux and the Chantal Lescure estate in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
The estate was established in 1983 by Bertrand Machard de Gramont, when the family estate was split in three parts. Bertrand until then worked the family estate after a stay at Domaine Vogüé in Chambolle-Musigny presumably working under Alain Roumier the old régisseur at Vogüé.
Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont – The wines
The wines are very pure and terroir driven wines, and the do have a organic touch to the fruit. They do however also have a dignified or even slightly regal quality – these are not your typical local wines from the Cote – but rather more refined and precise in their expression.
A part of this stylistic element reminds me a bit of the wines of Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé … where one also find this purity and regal element.
I’m not saying that the wines here remind me of the de Vogüé wines – but they do have class and refinement not found in many wines from small estates. If this relates to Bertrand Marchard de Gramonts time at Vogüé, or it justmreflects the current winemaker – who knows .. but refined they are the Bertrand Machard de Gramont wines.
Tasting notes from November 7th 2016
First out is the Bourgogne Rouge Les Grands Chaillots 2015 – just racked to tank and prepared for bottling. It’s made from a plot in the Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation below the road and Chailots. It’s a lovely entry level wine with a fine generous fruit and even a hint of the appellation. Most importantly good freshness and ample fruit for this level – Good (85 – 86p).
Next up one of the most exiting wines in the portfolio – the Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Terrasses de Vallerots – located above Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Vaucrains. It’s a 2 ha parcel planted on terrasses in 2001 – on soil not planted with wines after the phylloxera epidemic. Bertrand Machard de Gramont created this terroir within the village terroir Les Vallerots. The soil is stony with clay and a high percentage of limestone. The soil and the relatively young wines give this wine a forward and lightfooted expression – it’s beautifully balanced and energetic offering a very vibrant fruity expression of Pinot Noir. Love the energy and the immediacy in this wine .. perfect for light food .. hedonistic with no regrets. Very Good (87 – 88p)
Next and above Les Terrasses one find Les Vallerots – a 0.5 ha plot on the top of the slope. Wines planted in 1984 – so quite a lot older. This is a more substantial wine but still with a clear reference to the limestony soil. It’s deeper and more powerful than the Les Terrasses de Vallerots – with the fruit offering more depth and power. It’s a bigger and better wine – but perhaps lacking the immediacy of the former wine. I do however like these limestone infused pinots from the top of NSG – a very good effort (88 – 89p).
Now to a more classic NSG – Les Hauts Pruliers 2015 – vines planted in 1965 on a steep and shallow soil – just above Ronciére and Les Pruliers. It’s a more serious wine – more densely constituted with a slightly dark and rich expression. It’s a Very Good (88 – 89p) wine – I do however prefer the two wines from Vallerots, as they seem to offer more energy and tension. One is feeling the hot year slightly more in this wine.
The Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Allots 2015 – just south of Aux Lavieres. More on my home turf here … and first and foremost more energy. This is made from very old vines – so have obviously coped well with the draught in the summer. This is – in my mind – a more feminine and refined wine – it offers a lovely energetic mid-palate fruit – quite some millerandage grapes adding a juicy pomegranate fruit to the wine. Love the vibrant and energetic mid-palate, the refinement and the delicate balance – Very Good indeed (89 – 90p).
The Vosne-Romanee 2015 offer a fine expression of Vosne minerality and depth. It’s a more intensely constituted wine than the Aux Allots, but stille juicy and elegant. It’s from the village terroir Aux Ormes and a few more plots. It’s a very complete Vosne village – its elegant, vibrant and detailed offering a lovely balance and freshness Very Good (89 – 90p).
The last wine produced is the Bourgogne Aligoté – made from a “parcel” located on the “Colline de Vergy” in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, at the foot of the ruins of the Abbaye de Saint-Vivant. It’s planted on a clay and limestone soil, rich in marl. This is a adorable Aligoté – so pure and balanced – with a lovely cool and detailed fruit even in the 2015 vintage. This is the kind of Aligote I adore .. so balanced, fresh and lively – Good+ (86 – 87p).
These are lovely wines, and should be considered when you stack up the 2015s in the cellar. They are organic wines, that offer some quite unique terroir expressions – the Aligoté almost from inside the Abbeye de Saint- Vivant on the Colline de Vergy, Les Terrasses de Vallerots with it’s lightfooted limestone driven minerality … unique wines.
The wines are pure, lightfooted and transparent – and first and foremost refined … wines you want to enjoy.