Côte de Beaune
The 1er Cru Chardonnays are barrel fermented and aged in French oak barrels (10%-30% new). The wine spends between 12 and 18 months in wood with regular lees stirring for added texture. Says Bernard, “The spirit of our winemaking is to not touch the wine too often. For Chardonnay our aim is to produce very clean and precise wines which are not too austere. We like the minerality and purity.” Alex usually picks the first day of harvest to keep freshness and zest. Sugars rise very fast on Chenevottes and the wines can get too alcoholic. The vines have lots of chicks and hens (milendange). The sugar levels of smaller berries can jump more quickly. If this happens, you lose acidity. Alex does not have much trouble getting lower alcohol and excellent acidity, but he must monitor the grapes very closely. The result is a wine of elegance and restraint, but is immediately approachable.