2018 Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Meursault "Clos du Cromin", Burgundy, France
ABOUT THIS WINE
The Bitouzet holdings in village Meursault sit in the northern section of the village of Meursault but, in this instance, higher on the slope than the neighboring “Les Corbins”. Their parcel is 0.37 hectare with vines planted in 1951. The soil has a high natural acidity, harvest usually occurs later than in “Les Corbins”. The resulting wine has excellent penetration on the palate and is normally dominated by its firm minerality which brings more rigor and complexity than the “Corbins”. It needs time but develops into a round, well-balanced wine with a long finish and a hint of pear skin to the fruit. Two barrels are dedicated to the US market (600 bottles) per annum.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Vincent Bitouzet’s ancestral roots in Burgundy cover at least the last two centuries. His great-great grandfather, M. Gillotte, arrived in Auxey Duresses in 1802 and was mayor of that village. In 1804, the Bitouzet line settled in Volnay. The Bitouzets were one of the first of the family domaines in this region to bottle their wines. Vincent’s grandfather had already garnered medals for his winemaking talents in 1860. Vincent’s wife, Annie Prieur, has equally distinguished antecedents. Her family (both Prieurs and Perronnets) was long established in Meursault and Ladoix. The resulting “merger” of the Bitouzet and Prieur family holdings has created a domaine of distinction and breadth. Francois Bitouzet, the only son of Vincent and Annie, is now working hand-in-hand with his parents as he maintains the deep Burgundian roots of his ancestors.
Vincent and Francois Bitouzet rigorously tend their vineyards, practicing organic viticulture that includes practices such as “sexual confusion” to reduce insect infestations, the use of organic compost when necessary, no herbicides or pesticides and severe limitations on the use of copper sulfate. Harvest is done manually. Classic Burgundian vinification is practiced at this traditional domaine. Only indigenous yeasts are used. The whites are fermented and aged in barrel. There is extensive lees contact to develop richness and complexity. Usually not more than 20% of the cuvée will be exposed to new oak. The whites are normally bottled between 15 and 18 months after harvest. For the reds there is a brief cold maceration, the grapes are completely destemmed, and there is a cuvaison of approximately 2 weeks. Bitouzet effects a “pigeage” twice a day and seeks to maximize the temperature during fermentation at 35 degrees Celsius. However, the “pigeage” is done less often if the character of the vintage indicates that a lighter hand will produce more well-balanced wines. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel. The reds are bottled between 20 and 24 months after harvest. Bitouzet’s wines (both red and white) are particularly age-worthy. We have been importing the wines of this very special domaine with great pride and satisfaction since the 1976 vintage.