Letting great terroirs express themselves
Craft the best possible wines
Let Nature take its course, carry out as few operations as possible, but with precision
The grapes for the Clos du Cellier aux Moines are picked from the vines surrounding the Cellier and immediately brought to the sorting table. Depending on the year, between 5 and 30% of the grapes are removed during sorting. The healthy, ripe grapes are then destemmed and macerated in temperature-controlled oak casks. By being kept at a low temperature for several days, the best aromas and tannins are extracted.
When this prefermentation maceration is judged to have completed its optimal phase, the temperature of the casks is raised so that the indigenous yeasts start alcoholic fermentation, which lasts for several days, again with continuous monitoring of the temperature.
When fermentation is complete, after the minimum of operations, such as punching down and gently pumping over, there is another period of low temperature maceration before the wine is drawn off. The objective is to obtain the best expression of the harvested grapes and the terroir.
Vinification in small 40 hectolitre casks enables each plot in the vineyard to be kept separate, so that the quality of the wine produced by each hectare in the Clos can be accurately monitored. This has enabled a highly localized replanting of part of the Clos with very well suited selections of Pinot Noir "fins" and very "fins", grafted onto rootstock that is appropriate for the rocky limestone-rich soil and subsoil. The wines are then matured for a year in the coolness of the Cellier's cellar. The property works with several coopers selecting barrels with specific degrees of "toast" to enable precise maturing that respects the wines' natural characteristics and their delicate tannin structure. Approximately 30% of the barrels are renewed every year. Malolactic fermentation takes place naturally in the spring when the cellar warms up.
After maturing, each barrel is tasted. If the barrels are not of sufficient quality to be used in the blend for the Premier Cru du Cellier aux Moines, they are downgraded to Givry.
To produce a grand vin that truly expresses the terroir requires as little "interference" as possible in its production; however, it must be protected from external elements, and hygiene must be obsessive at every stage.
The white grapes come from plots in Mercurey, and Premiers Crus in Santenay, Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. An initial sorting of the grapes takes place in the vineyard. The plots are harvested early in the morning. Having cooled during the night, the bunches are picked and immediately transported to the Cellier in small ventilated crates, protected from the heat, to be pressed while they are still cold. A second sorting is eventually carried out on arrival at the Cellier, before immediate pressing in a pneumatic press which gently extracts the juice without any undesirable tannins.
After cold settling, the musts are transferred to barrels and alcoholic fermentation starts naturally. The choice of barrels and coopers, and of the proportion of new barrels, is made very carefully for each appellation, in order to enhance the expression of each terroir and respect each wine's personality.
Maturing continues for ten to twelve months, with the minimum number of operations, just occasional stirring, and then fining with egg white and/or light filtration, before bottling at the Domaine.