Fine, even bubbles. Berries (blackcurrant, raspberry) on the nose with a touch of citrus, followed by a delectable palate bursting with vivacity and freshness.
By Burgundian standards, Maison Albert Bichot is a large producer: smaller than Jadot, larger than Drouhin, perhaps similar in size to Bouchard Pe8re & Fils. In its own right it owns 100ha (250 acres) of vines spread from Chablis to the Cf4te Chalonnaise. The company has been family-owned since 1831, and Albe9ric Bichot is the sixth generation to lead it. Approachable, open, and slightly mischievous, he is intimately acquainted with all of his company’s wines.For many years, Maison Bichot was described as an “underachiever”-if, indeed, it was described at all-because a significant proportion of its production was bottled under the labels of the multiple domaines it owned: Domaine Long-Depaquit in Chablis, Domaines du Clos Frantin and Lupe9-Cholet in Nuits-St-Georges, and Domaine du Pavillon in Pommard. Because of these many identities, Maison Albert Bichot was rarely in a writer’s focus.So in 1996, when Albe9ric Bichot took charge, he decided to change the way they worked. To increase the quality of their ne9goce wines, they chose to take as much control as possible in the vineyards-the raw materials would be everything. Although there are no official figures, Bichot, having moved away from buying must or wine in barrel, may now be the largest buyer of grapes in the Cf4te d’Or. The wines are vinified close to their vineyards by a local winemaker under the ever-watchful eye of Bichot’s head winemaker Alain Serveau, brother of Bernard in Morey-St-Denis. There is traditional vinification in open wooden vats, occasional wholecluster fermentations, and, wherever possible, the moving of wine by gravity-even for some of the generic Bourgogne cuve9es. For the domaines of the Cf4te d’Or, it is Christophe Chauvel who is responsible for Bichot’s approach in the vineyards. A veteran of Domaine Pierre Morey, where he also worked closely with Domaine Leflaive, his aim is simple: to deliver the best possible starting materials to the cuverie. Target yields are 35hl/ha for the crus, produced with an organic approach, though without certification as yet.PROPERTIES07Chablis – Che2teau Long-Depaquit – 165 acresAlbert Bichot is one of the most important producers of Chablis, under its Domaine Long-Depaquit label. Owned by Bichot since 1968, there are 65ha (160 acres) including 10 per cent of all the Chablis Grand Cru vineyards. Here you will meet the eighth grand cru climat of Chablis-Moutonne-a monopole 2.35ha (5.8-acre) block of vines spread across grands crus Vaude9sir (predominantly) and Les Preuses. The INAO sanctioned the use of the name La Moutonne Grand Cru, instead of Vaude9sir, as far back as 1952, though it remains more of a brand than an official grand cru climat. Overall, the quality here is very high.Domaine Long-Depaquit was founded in 1791 and has built a reputation as one of the top estates in Chablis.The harmonious lines of the Che2teau itself date from the 18th Century. The outhouses are home to the fermentation tanks and underground cellars, while the Orangery is used as a reception area. Timeless moments can be spent sitting or walking in the calm surroundings of the rose garden and the park, with its hundred year old trees.It is at Che2teau Long-Depaquit, situated at the heart of the village of Chablis that the grapes from the estate’s 160 acres of vines are vinified.The Grands Crus (10% of the total Grand Cru surface area of the appellation) and the 37 acres of Premiers Crus are grown according to environmentally friendly practices. Restricted yields and non- interventionist winemaking help to create authentic, mineral and elegant wines. Barrel ageing is used sparingly to best preserve the expression of each terroir.07Cf4te de Nuits – Domaine du Clos Frantin A Nuits-Saint-Georges – 32 acresDomaine du Clos Frantin is Bichot’s main outpost in the Cf4te de Nuits. Acquired from Grivelet in 1969, this 13ha (32-acre) estate produces a roll call of Cf4te de Nuits greats: Chambertin, Eche9zeaux, Grands-Eche9zeaux, Richebourg, and Clos de Vougeot, plus the second-largest holding of Vosne-Romane9e premier cru Les Malconsorts.The Domaine du Clos Frantin covers 32 acres, including 20 acres of Premiers and Grands Crus. The respect of the soils, rigorous pruning and green harvesting when necessary helps to obtain the best quality fruits, also limiting yields.In a historical building located at the entrance to Nuits-Saint-Georges, we vinify our estate wines and red wines made from purchased grapes, the majority of which come from the Cf4te de Nuits.In our “cuverie” the use of gravity has replaced mechanical procedures in view of respecting the grapes quality and aromatic potential. The vaulted cellar which dates back to the Middle Ages houses 700 barrels at a constant temperature of 13b0C with perfect humidity levels for optimal ageing conditions.07Cf4te de Beaune – Domaine du Pavillon A Pommard – 43 acresFor the Cf4te de Beaune, the label is Domaine Clos du Pavillon, a 17ha (42-acre), 90,000-bottle operation based in Pommard. Purchased in 1993, this has become the site for vinifying all of Bichot’s Cf4te de Beaune wines, which range from Meursault to Corton and include a red Meursault as well.Our Domaine in Pommard (3 kms south of Beaune) extends across 43 acres, including 20 acres of white wines. The estate is characterised by an environmentally friendly approach to growing, a respect for nature, and a limited production. The winemaking cellar is situated at the heart of a 10 acres property – Clos des Ursulines – at the edge of Pommard.Red wines from the Cf4te de Beaune are vinified at the Domaine du Pavillon winery. They are then aged in a cellar one hundred years old that boasts perfect architectural proportions.