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Domaine Louis Boillot

louis-boillot.jpgDomaine Louis Boillot will be at once familiar and yet unknown to many - even passionate - Burgundy lovers.  The region is notorious for the confusion resulting from the multitude of similarly-named producers and domaines, and the boillot name is a common one with numerous incarnations or strands of the complex, intertwined family tree.

Domaine Louis Boillot was established in 2002 when his father's Gevrey-Chambertin-based estate (Lucien Boillot et Fils) was split between Louis and his brother, Pierre, who continues to run it.  Henri Boillot, based in Volnay and who produces stellar whites, is Louis' cousin.  Louis set up his cellar in Chambolle-Musigny where he lives with his wife, famous and highly-respected winemaker Ghislaine Barthod.  Both ghislaine's and Louis' wines are made in the same cellars (underneath their house) and whilst each make their own wines individually, both are remarkably similar in style and quality - unsurprisingly husband and wife share the same winemaking philosophies.

Farming a total of just over seven hectares, Louis Boillot is one of only a handful of Cote de Nuits domaines to have significant holdings in both the Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune - he has premiers crus vineyards in each, as well as excellent villages holdings too.  And when a prestigious plot of Chambolle-Musigny became available a few years ago - in the 'Beaux Bruns' vineyard which is classified both premier cru and villages - he and his wife split the plot so that Ghislaine bottles the premier cru portion under her label, and Louis the villages under his.  Such is family!

The vines are rigorously pruned for low yields, with further fruit dropped during the season as necessary.  The domaine is run following organic principles (since 2002).  A strict selection is undertaken at harvest in the vineyards, with less-than-perfect fruit and bunches discarded, ensuring only fruit in optimum condition arrive at the cuverie.  The fruit is 100% de-stemmed, and allowed two or three days' pre-fermentation maceration.  The ferment itself is gentle, with no pumpovers - Louis prefers the more gentle remontage technique.  The wines spend two winters in barrel - Louis believing the extended elevage contributes to the elegance of the wines.  The wine is racked only once prior to bottling, and no fining or filtration is utilised.