Big Addresses, Little Addresses-The Painstaking Work of Burgundy

March 17, 2017

We recently asked Matthieu Gille of Domaine Gille where he finds his work as a vigneron most challenging; we were expecting the answer to be some old, irregularly flowering vine in the Côte de Nuits somewhere, and we were surprised to hear that it was the plot of Pommard that he farms. The Gilles work an older section of a lieu-dit called Chanière, situated upon a cool strip of northwest-facing, steeply-graded slope. It must be worked by hand, or a horse if you have one. There was an obvious sense of pride in Matthieu’s recounting of this difficult vineyard.

It got us to thinking, when’s the last time someone asked to see a Pommard?

There was a time when Pommard was all the rage. This address carried a certain regal bearing to it. But in the last decade or so, it seems to have fallen out of vogue.  Perhaps the devastating hailstorms that have plagued this area for the last few years have something to do with its recent scarcity. Maybe it is too big; Pommard takes up about 337 hectares worth of land, while its red wine-producing neighbor Volnay only about 200. However, most Burgundy authorities do agree that the best Pommards come from vineyards planted on a bit of elevation with good drainage, such as Chanière. 

If you are still not in the mood for a Pommard, please know that the Domaine Gille also makes a stunning host of other wines, including a Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru and a profoundly good Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru.  Like many do in tiny Chambolle, this premier Cru is composed from micro parcels of Les Fuesselottes 1er Cru, Les Chabiots 1er Cru and Le Musigny Grand Cru. Whatever you choose, though, it’s hard to go wrong when the table is set like this:

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