Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Localization: Burgundy, France
Tasting Notes: This premier cru, at the northern end of Chambolle-Musigny close to Morey Saint-Denis, conveys a structured character in its wines. That shows in this ripe wine, with cherry fruits and tannins still coming together.
The Domain: The Guyots are one of the oldest families in Marsannay-la-Côte. Louis Guyot was a small farmer/wine-grower and used to complement his wine growing business by raising horses that were used to help in the vineyards.
In 1951, his son Albert took over the family business. Most of the vineyards and fields were located in the village of Marsannay-la-Côte and his wines were mainly sold on to negociants.
In 1962, Albert married Odile Guyard, the eldest daughter of a large family. Odile’s father, Georges Guyard was a small landowner and nurseryman. He decided to rent out some vineyards and then bought some to enlarge his own estate bit by bit.
To save his horses the journey between the two villages (7 km), he swapped his Gevrey-Chambertin Grands Crus (Lavaux St-Jacques) for land in Marsannay-la-Côte!
Since 1990, Olivier Guyot has been in sole charge of the estate that nowadays stretches from Marsannay-la-Côte to Gevrey-Chambertin. The estate comprises a number of small plots covering about 15 hectares. Pinot Noir is the only grape variety used for red wine and Chardonnay the only grape variety for the white. Each plot is different in terms of soil composition, depth, height and aspect – the epitome of the richness and individuality of the Burgundian terroir.
Great Wine can only be made with top quality grapes and Guyot farms using biodynamic cultivation methods. Vineyards are ploughed the traditional way, with a carthorse. All the grapes are entirely hand picked.
Active yield management and rigorous grape selection are implemented in order to use outstanding wines.
He is considered somewhat eccentric by some of his neighbours, as he has sold his tractor and gone back to organically horse farming his vineyards. He feels it is better for the land, and that he gets better fruit from doing so. The grapes are hand-harvested, of course, and the wine is bottled without filtration. The domaine has passed from father to son since the 16th century, and the vines are 35 to 40 years old. Olivier punches the wine down 2 to 4 times per day for 14 days during fermentation to encourage maximum extraction and color. They show supple, ripe tannins, very dark and rich, with lots of density for a Bourgogne.
Only 60,000 bottles are produced each year at the estate.
Outside Marsannay the domaine owns a few premier crus parcels, the premier cru Champeaux in Gevrey Chambertin and les Fuées in Chambolle Musigny.
Two other grand crus in Morey St Denis, Le Clos St Denis and le Clos de la Roche complete the holdings with a parcel in Clos Vougeot.