Domaine

Petitot

Domaine Petitot

A Perfect Marriage

When we talk about the wine we often find ourselves talking about relationships; between a variety and the soil, it’s planted in, between a slope and its angle to the sun, or between vignerons and their family traditions. In the case of the Domaine of Natalie and Hervé Petitot, the key relationship is between a husband and wife who work together seamlessly to produce beautiful, vibrant Burgundies. Hervé takes the lead in the vines, while Natalie, who like Hervé is a trained oenologist, manages the cellar. But the Petitots seem to balance each other in life as well. While both of them are warm, friendly people, Hervé’s drier more reserved sense of humor is a perfect counterpoint to Natalie’s vivacious and outgoing personality. This yin and yang carries through into their wines which are a fantastic blend of classic delicacy, and powerful fruit expression.

Hervé’s parents, Jean and Michèle, bottled the estate’s first vintage in 1975. Although Petitots have been farming in Burgundy for five generations, before the Domaine was founded they primarily grew grains. Hervé began working at the estate with his father in 1990 and took over in 1994. The Petitot’s home and cellar is located in the town of Corgoloin, about 15 minutes from Beaune, centrally located amidst their parcels in the Cotes de Nuits and the Cotes du Beaune which total a mere 8 ha. They hold tiny parcels in Nuits-St-Georges “Les Poisets,” Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru “La Coutière,” Ladoix, Savigny-Les Beaune “Pimentiers,” and Pommard. But perhaps their most prized terroir is 0.5 ha of vines in Cote de NuitsVillages – “Les Vignottes.” This parcel of 80 year old pinot vines lies just across the Route Nationale from “Clos Maréchale,” one of the great vineyards of Nuits-St-Georges. Other than four lanes of traffic, the only thing separating the two terroirs is a slight drop off of elevation caused by an ancient fault line, and of
course, price.

In the vines the Petitots plow as frequently as possible to eliminate the need for herbicides, and use no insecticides. Hervé and Natalie believe that a wine is “photography of the year” in which it was grown so all their work is focused on allowing the terroir and the quality of the vintage to shine through. But of course there is always the goal of making wines that give great pleasure and don’t require extensive aging. After all, the key to a perfect marriage is to make sure you have some fun

The Wines

Côtes de Nuits-Villages 'Terres Burgondes'

45 year old vines, a blend of different plots of Côtes de Nuits-Villages on the hills of Corgoloin (3 ha); marl and chalky clay soils. 250 meters elevation. Destemmed. Indigenous yeast fermentation. 3 days cold maceration, 8-12 day fermentation in cement tanks. Cap is punched down twice a day to start, then pumping over to activate yeast. Matured 1 year in oak barrel, 15% new oak, the rest in 1-5 year old barrels. The wine is fined but not filtered. The name ‘Terres Burgondes’ comes from archeologists having found vestiges of the Petitot’s ancient ancesters the ‘Burgondes’ in one of the parcels.

Côtes de Nuits-Villages 'Les Vignottes' Vieille Vigne

80 year old vines located in the village of Premeaux-Prissey across the street from Clos de la Maréchale (.6 ha); marl and chalky clay soils. 240 meters elevation. Destemmed. Indigenous yeast fermentation. 3 days cold maceration, 8-12 fermentation in cement tanks. Cap is punched down twice a day to start, then pumping over to activate yeast. Matured 1 year in oak barrel, 15% new oak, the rest in 1-5 year old barrels. The wine is fined but not filtered.

Ladoix 'Vieille Vigne'

50 year old vines (.65 ha); chalky-marl soils. Indigenous yeast fermentation. 200 meters elevation. Destemmed. Indigenous yeast fermentation. 3 days cold maceration, 8-12 day fermentation in cement tanks. Cap is punched down twice a day to start, then pumping over to activate yeast. Matured 1 year in oak barrel, 15% new oak, the rest in 1-5 year old barrels. The wine is fined but not filteredoak barrel before bottling.

Nuits-Saint-George 'Les Poisets'

50-year-old vines (1 ha), clay and rocky chalk soil. Indigenous yeast fermentation. Matured 1 year in oak barrel, 15% new oak, the rest in 1-5-year-old barrels.

Savigny-Les-Beaunes 'Les Pimentiers' Vieille Vigne

60 year old vines (.17 ha) East facing ; ferruginous argilo-limestone and old alluvial soils. 230 meters elevation. Destemmed. Indigenous yeast fermentation. 3 days cold maceration, 8-12 day fermentation in cement tanks. Cap is punched down twice a day to start, then pumping over to activate yeast. Matured 1 year in oak barrel, 15% new oak, the rest in 1-5 year old barrels. The wine is fined but not filtered.