Domaine Marchand Grillot
Translation of the article about Domaine Marchand Grillot in Vigneron magazine – N°34 Autumn 2018, written in French by Denis Hervier. Web site of VIGNERON
Domaine Marchand Grillot
Stones after stones, generation after generation, the Marchand family are working in their plots and transform the unique grapes into wine for our delight.
The families Marchand and Grillot have both their roots into the vineyard of Bourgogne. 7 generations before, the first Marchand was in Morey-St-Denis and the first Grillot was in Gevrey Chambertin. In 1950, the marriage of both family created the domaine Marchand-Grillot, which settled definitely in Gevrey-Chambertin. Jacques Marchand, ahead of the domaine, is building a true knowledge and a solid experience. At that time, Burgundy was producing wines which were not up to the expectations. This visionary and cultivated man is working hard in his plots and try to enhance each of them. His nickname is « the poet », he gives shape and life to the terroirs in his wines. Today, he is slowly letting the leadership to his two children : Marion for the commercial part and Etienne for the vineyard and vinification. Etienne is still full of ideas from his studies. « The studies helped me built my knowledge especially my practices in estates of Oregon. » Since 2009, Etienne si fully in charge of the technical management and gives a new dynamic while respecting the past : « I change slowly some things, small details which matter a lot. »
The Guyot pruning is more adapted to the vine growth : « It is the best compromise in terms of quantity of grapes per foot and the rightful ripeness. » To have less vigor, they also use the Royal pruning : « This technique allows us not to do any green harvest, because the vine could compensate the next year and be too generous. »
To work the soils, they plough regularly : « All the chemical products are strongly reduced except for the fungicide because they help us fight against the mildiou. When the weather allow us, we work with organic product such as 2015 vintage. My father started this method and I’m pursuing it even more. »
The sorting our of the grapes is done mainly in the vineyard and then on a vibrating table in the cellar.After the malolactic fermentation, they do only one racking by hand. « We use less intervention possible and the softer ones, this allows use not to fine the wines. »
All the Gevrey are aged for 18 months with 30% of new oak. The difference is in the sourcing of the barrels : they use 3 different coppers. « We like Rousseau, settled in the village, for the quality of the grain and the respect of the fruit. Ermitage will give more roundness and sugary notes. As for Billon, it help with the tannins. »
Whole bunch is used for the 100 years old vines of Champerrier and for the Ruchottes Chambertin. For the Champerrier is gives energy and a seductive smokiness. As for the Ruchottes, you have the chalkiness due to the mother rock which shows on the surface. This Grand Cru is intense and persistent with soft and spices at the finale and a bright energy.
The collection of the village cuvées is one of the most impressive of Gevrey. Jouise, south of Gevrey, next to the national road 74. The soil is alluvial on the down slope of Combe Lavaux with a lots of gravels and sand. The wines will be gourmand.
En Songe, north of Gevrey, middle slope, next to the cemetery, the soil is very poor with yellow marl and chalk. The wine have peppery tannins and will be full-bodied.
Le Créot, Brochon side, chalky soil. The wines are lovely and mineral.
Au Vellé, west side, red clay soil and cold area. The wines are dense and have a good aging capacity.
After with the Premiers Crus, we find more intensity. La Perrière is based on an old quarry with pure chalk. La Petite Chapelle, iconic wine of the domaine, is seductive with spice and a velvety texture. Perfect expression of the marly soil (Ostrea Marl).
Away from the press, this domaine is working with serenity and the wines are right.