Domaine Gaëlle et Jérôme Meunier, Côte Chalonnaise
|Country & Region||France, Burgundy|
|Producer||Gaëlle et Jérôme Meunier|
I n 2005 Gaëlle et Jérôme Meunier rented their first parcel of vines and so embarked on their path together. The parcel comprised just under two acres in the commune of Bouzeron, and they sold the harvest to the négoce. At the time, Gaëlle was busy as a mother—a son came in 2005; twins arrived in 2006—while Jérôme was busy carefully adding several parcels in Mercurey to their stable of vines. It wasn’t until 2007 that they made and bottled their own wine. They scraped together funds to buy a small building in Mellecey, a village near Mercurey, and they converted it into a winery where they made their first vintage. The photo below documents the 2014 vintage by their then seven-year-old daughter.
From 2007 to 2010 Gaëlle handled all the vinifications and did the cellar work. Her daytime job was as a manager at an enology laboratory, which she quit in 2009 to go full time at the domaine. Meanwhile Jérôme managed the business of Domaine Maroslavac-Tremeau in Puligny until 2010, when the proprietress took her retirement and the domaine closed its doors. This allowed Jérôme to join his wife full time at their nascent estate in 2011.
Madame Maroslavac-Tremeau bid Jérôme a gracious farewell by giving the couple the chance to rent over ten acres of her vines, predominantly in the appellation of Puligny with a little in Santenay. Today, the Meuniers work approximately 45 parcels, totaling 30 acres from Puligny down to Rully. Of that acreage, one-third of the crop is delivered straight to the co-op; what they bottle comes from almost 20 acres. They farm sustainably and aim to produce vin de terroir that emphasizes fruit above all—wood strictly plays a supporting role—through low yields, spontaneous ferments, and rarely any chaptalization at all. They typically do not fine their wines and filter lightly. Production averages 2,000 cases but has dipped considerably below that in recent short years.
|Bourgogne Blanc||Chardonnay||From just under one acre of old vines of 50+ years of age in the commune of Mercurey. Native yeast, full ML naturally, raised in older barrels for 9-10 months and bottled without acid additions, cold stabilization, or filtration (only a light fining with clay). Beginning with vintage 2024, this parcel will return to its owner and Gaëlle will shift her production of Bourgogne Blanc to a parcel of similar size named La Corvée in the commune of Saint Martin Sous Montaigu in Mercurey's southern zone.|
|Mercurey rouge ||Pinot Noir||What Gaëlle and Jérôme look for in wine is purity of fruit. This comes from two parcels, each with a surface of about two-thirds of an acre, and each with an average vine age of 65 years. They prune these vines diligently in order to get good ripeness so that they don’t have to chaptalize. The grapes are de-stemmed but not crushed, ferments are spontaneous, aging in barrel is a short eleven months, and use of new wood for their village Mercury represents 10% of the total. This wine is what savory Burgundian Pinot Noir is all about. Production averages 150 cases.
|Mercurey 1er Cru rouge||Pinot Noir||This premier cru also comes from two parcels. The first is Sazenay, with close to an acre of vines averaging 50 years of age; the second is Clos l’Evèque, with a third of an acre averaging 70 years. Like with the classic red above, Gaëlle and Jérôme prune for low yields so they don't have to chaptalize. The grapes are de-stemmed but not crushed, ferments are spontaneous, aging in barrel is for 14 months, and use of new wood represents about 30% of the total. Depending on the vintage, this can be quite rich or lighter and driven by finesse, but it's always about purity of fruit. Production averages 200 cases.|