‘ The domaine is in skilled and conscientious Roulot hands. Until Jean-Marc is called away for further extensive film making, it remains one of the finest sources of Meursault.’ The Great Domaines of Burgundy
We’ve long been in awe of the Roulot wines from Meursault in Burgundy, as they sit at the pinnacle of the chardonnay hierarchy.
These wines are masters of conveying their terroir with clarity, depth and exquisite detail.
They dispel the old fashioned image of Meursault- big and buxom – instead, they capture the intensity of their sites in a composed and crystalline framework.
Jean-Marc Roulot and his sister are the sixth generation to take the helm. Roulot is an accomplished actor who returned to the estate in 1989 to take on the role as winemaker. With him a sense of purity and fragility has been brought to the wines without compromising on concentration. For more background information on Roulot we strongly recommend you listen to the very entertaining New York sommelier Levi Dalton’s podcast ‘I’ll Drink to That’, episode 55.
The Roulots have been protagonists of domaine bottling their vineyards separately, a practice relatively unheard of in the 70’s. Guy (Jean-Marc’s father) was avid in terroir exploration and raised the premise and market perception of lieux dits (single vineyard wines from Village classification level).
With minuscule amounts of both 2011 and 2012 vintage on offer, there’s no doubt Roulot is producing some of the most compelling and exalted white wines around. Both these vintages suffered from small yields, so act quickly if you’d like to secure your wines.
While retaining the practices of the estate learned from his father, Jean-Marc has fine tuned a few techniques with regards to winemaking and viticulture.
Winemaking & Viticulture
Lighter pressings of the grapes, extracting only the premium share of the juice gives the wines a pure edge. Another advantage is the quality of the pressings which are used to make their infamous eaux de vie and brandies; pear, apricot and raspberries. This tradition of distillation has been passed down through the family since its inception in 1866. Jean-Marc has also extended the elevage time of the wines, holding them for an extra 6 months which he says ‘adds a silky texture to the wines, a deepness.’
The estate has worked organically in the vineyard since 2000, with 2013 being their first certified vintage. To ensure the quality of vines plantings are only from massale selection, as opposed to clones. Jean-Marc’s father was avante garde with this practice in the 50’s, holding them in good stead for a prosperous future and longevity.
According to Jean Marc, ‘the wines have great terroir expression, and I like them a lot.’ More bâtonage was carried out to enrich the wines in order to support the high levels of acidity. He thinks they are more in line with the 2007 vintage, a great vintage for ageing. To support this, Jean-Marc has bottled more magnums than usual as he thinks this is a vintage that will age very well.
Yields were down 60%, hence the scarcity of these wines and our very small allocation. According to Allen Meadows at Burghound, ‘in short, Roulot’s 2012s are among the best wines of the vintage.’ They offer purity and precision that’s rare in the 2012’s. More approachable than the 2011 vintage in their youth, they too are certain to be long lived wines.
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