The Bichot family, which has been established in Burgundy since 1350, and has been making wine since the 19th century, owns estates across the region and has been named both the Red Winemaker of the year (in 2004) and White Winemaker of the Year (in 2011) by the International Wine Challenge (IWC). Albéric Bichot, who took over in 1996, is the sixth generation of Bichots to run the House.
Located at the heart of Burgundy's Côte de Beaune, Meursault is one of the region's best-known villages. The soil here is clay-limestone based with white marls and the slopes face east/south-east. The average age of Bichot’s vines is 30 years old, but it isn’t rare to find 60 year old vines in some of their single vineyards such as ‘Le Clos des Ursulines’ in Pommard. Each year, they replant approximately 2 to 3% of the vines, so that in the long term they are always in perfect health when they reach their optimal age. Each estate has its own vineyard team, who manages both the vines and the soil, and who have intimate knowledge of each parcel and of the vines that are planted there.
Each estate also boasts its own winery and cellars where a dedicated team vinifies each cru, under the direction of Alain Serveau, the Cellar Master (reds from the Côte de Beaune are vinified at Domaine du Pavillon).
Made with purchased grapes or musts (the grapes are pressed by Bichot’s partner growers), they vinify this exceptional wine in oak barrels, of which 75% are new. The diverse origins of the barrels (the Tronçais, Allier and Vosges forests), their particular degree of toasting and their age all contribute to Bichot’s quest for bringing out the aromatic complexity that this special terroir has to offer. Alcoholic fermentations are long, lasting from six weeks to two months, and are carried out at cellar temperature using indigenous but not aromatic yeasts. In their centuries-old cellars, they age the wine for 14 to 16 months according to tradition in oak barrels (35 to 50% new oak). During this time, it acquires structure and complexity through stirring of the lees, malolactic fermentation and the influence the barrels have on the drink.
This Meursault boasts a beautiful pale yellow colour with golden highlights. With a base of toasted notes and a touch of vanilla the nose opens up to a pleasing fruity-floral bouquet with nuances of white peach and hawthorn. This well-balanced, structured wine is long on the palate with a hint of sucrosity and gorgeous minerality. Try with scallop carpaccio with hazelnut oil.