While there are as many expressions of these unique sites as there are vignerons making them, some of the purest, most vivid Meursaults come from the cellar of Domaine Roulot.
And Jean-Marc Roulot uses this intense, delineated style to give voice to a particularly wide array of different Meursault sites, with the unique characters of his four premier crus and six village lieux-dits delivered with stunning definition.
Roulot has long been a lieu-dit specialist, as Jean-Marc’s father Guy Roulot, both through purchases and through marriage to Geneviève Coche (of Meursault's celebrated Coche family) built up the domaine's number of choice villages parcels, bottling them separately to showcase their singular personalities.
Today, Jean-Marc upholds the Roulot tradition of championing the diversity of their terroirs while refining the domaine’s classic restrained style; in so doing he has earned a reputation as one of the Côte d’Or’s finest winemakers for the beautiful purity, elegance, complexity and individuality of his Meursaults.
All of Roulot’s Meursault holdings are on the slope south of the village, home to Meursault’s best terroirs—the soil mixes are the same; the only distinction between the 1er crus and the village climats is a difference in exposure—and they offer a compelling study in site character.
Highest on the slope and facing south is Tillets, floral and mineral; north of this site, at a slightly lower elevation and facing east, is Vireuils, rich yet racy.
Further north and lower yet is Luchets, round with great length; Roulot’s newest lieu-dit is Narvaux, adjacent to Tillets, yet quite different with a generous, lush character.
The last two village sites lie to the north of the premier crus and at the same elevation. Meix Chavaux is opulent and ripe, while Tessons “Clos de Mon Plaisir” is quintessential Meursault from the heart of the appellation: powerful, long and complex.
From north to south, lying at the mid-slope "sweet spot," the 1er crus present a similar comparison, yet with even more depth and complexity. Bouchères, on shallow, stony soil is silky textured, medium bodied and elegant; next in line is Porusot, with similar characteristics, yet fuller in body.
The last two lie on the Puligny border. Charmes, from 70-year-old vines, is round, fleshy and ripe, yet mineral and complex, with great depth of flavor; Perrières, directly above Charmes, is Roulot’s grand cru, a complete Meursault that perfectly balances richness with raciness, great grip and length without heaviness.
Such crystalline expression of terroir is realized in all of these wines through low yields from old vines and Jean-Marc’s sensitive and highly detailed winemaking. The vines have been farmed organically since 1989 and the soil worked by hand to encourage the roots to go deep, maximizing site expression.
Fermentation with indigenous yeasts follows an extremely gentle pressing for the highest quality juice. The wines are then aged on their lees in barrel for a period of 12 months, followed by 6 months in tank. The amount of new oak used ranges from 10 to 30%, depending on the character of the wine and the vintage.
Roulot is not a strong advocate of lees stirring, a popular technique in Meursault to gain richness. He tells author Clive Coates, “It does, I admit, create richness, but it also creates heaviness, and one loses purity.” Jean-Marc therefore stirs a maximum of six times, only in years of high acidity and never after the malolactic fermentation.
In addition to his Meursaults, Roulot also produces a fine Aligoté, as well as Monthelie blanc Champs Fuillot 1er cru, Bourgogne Blanc and strikingly pure Bourgogne Rouge from Auxey-Duresses and Monthelie.
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