- Bourgogne Aligote
- Bourgogne Chardonnay
- Bourgogne Chardonnay ‘Clos de la Carbonade’
- Bouzeron ‘Les Tournelles’
- Rully ‘La Chaponniere’
- Santenay ‘Clos de la Comme Dessus’
- Santenay 1er Cru ‘Les Gravieres’
- Chassagne-Montrachet ‘Vieilles Vignes’
- Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Chenevottes’White
- Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Clos St. Jean’
- Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Morgeot” White
- Puligny-Montrachet ‘Vieilles Vignes’
- Puligny-Montrachet ‘Charmes’
- Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Champs Gains’
- Meursault ‘Narvaux’
- Bourgogne Pinot Noir
- Santenay ‘Vieilles Vignes’
- Santenay 1er Cru ‘Beauregard’
- Santenay 1er Cru ‘Clos de la Comme
- Santenay 1er Cru ‘Les Gravieres’
- Chassagne-Montrachet ‘Champs de Morgeot’
- Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Clos St Jean’
- Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Clos de la Boudriotte’
We remember the exact day that we met Pascal Borgeot. It was January 28 1989. There’s a poster on our wall to mark the occasion. Not the meeting, but the day.
It was a frigid Saturday in Santenay, and the village was festooned in paper flowers to celebrate the feast of the St. Vincent Tournante, a Burgundian tradition honoring the patron saint of winemakers. The festival changes village every year, and the Burgundians take it very seriously, working for much of the year leading up to the event in preparation.
Pascal was 29, and with his wife Christine (also from a wine family), was building a small domain in the village of Remigny. They were fixing up an old winemaker’s house that backs onto the Canal du Centre in one of the most beautiful spots in the Cote d’Or. And they were starting a family. Daughter Coralie, who now makes wine in her own right, was just a babe.
We were running our hotel-barge Papillon at the time, so we knew lots of people in the barge world. And some of them knew Pascal, because they had moored their barge just behind his house and did wine tastings there with their passengers. So on St. Vincent day, we were taken by friends to meet the Borgeots for the first time.
Since then, over the years, their wines have held pride of place on our lists, both in red and white. And their touch with white Burgundy from the ‘golden triangle’ of Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet and Meursault is among the most delicate you will find. Don’t look for oak and buttered toast. Borgeot wines are floral and lemony in their youth, with spice and honey-drops as they develop.
The Borgeot brothers, Pascal and Laurent, are fourth generation winemakers. Their village Remigny is in the departement of Saone et Loire, so they are not in the Cote d’Or phone book, a source of eternal consternation for them, especially with the village of Santenay in site across the fields. Together, they work 48 acres of vines, half in red, half in white. The majority of these vines are 30 years old or older, with parcels of Santenay ‘Les Gravieres’ and Santenay ‘Vieilles Vignes’ older than 50 years. For over twenty years, their vines have received only organic fertilizers. They work the soil in winter to keep down weeds and increase micro-bacteriological activity. Where they have replanted, they have chosen strains of vines that are low yielding. All of these policies are aimed at bringing the harvest to full and perfect maturity as often as possible.
The fact that the Borgeot brothers use only organic fertilizers, pay close attention to soil conditions and strive to limit vine yields naturally shows a primary concern for the health of the grape crop. Without this, no amount of winemaking skill, technology or special equipment can produce great wine. This said, the brothers are perfectionists, and every step in the winemaking process is carefully studied. The excellent quality of their harvest is brought to its potential using traditional methods and modern understanding.
The Domain Borgeot that Pascal and Laurent Borgeot founded in 1985 with a few key parcels of Santenay vines that they inherited from their father, has grown into one of the most respected wineries in the Cote de Beaune. Through clever vineyard acquisition and investment, they now have an impressive list of ‘appellations’ and with a modern micro-negoce alongside, are able to propose their wines for export. Their reputation locally, however, is such that more-famous producers often send their children to apprentice at the domain.
During the harvest, the principle aim is to bring the fruit to the winery intact. When ripeness has been assured, individual parcels are picked by hand, and the grapes are sorted on a moving belt before being put into fermentation tanks. Handpicking and sorting avoids unnecessary stems and leaves getting into the crush. The harvest is then completely destemmed, again to avoid green tannins from stems and vegetation. Vinification is ‘traditional’, meaning cold maceration for 10 to 12 days leading up to fermentation.
The classic ‘floating cap’ is pumped over and punched down twice a day. A modern pneumatic press and temperature control equipment play an essential role in the outcome of the wine. The goal is to preserve the fruitiness of the harvest, while bringing out the individual minerality of the various parcels. All of the wine, except the Aligote, is oak-aged, the amount of oak and the age of the barrels depends on the wine and the vintage ( 25% new oak is average). After a light filtration, the wines are estate-bottled under anaerobic conditions.