Domaine Collotte Burgundy, France.
Created in 1987, the Marsannay Villages appellation is a relatively new one in Burgundy but an ancient and well respected source of fine wine. Located on the southern outskirts of Dijon at the northern end of the Côte de Nuits, Marsannay missed out when the first Villages appellations were handed out in 1930. But it wasn’t because the terroir was deemed inferior. It was simply that there was very little Chardonnay or Pinot Noir planted.
The terroir of Marsannay is based on the same complex Jurassic limestone-based geology that runs the entire length of the Côte d’Or. But for the previous hundred years or more, Marsannay’s winemakers had been focussed on the growing suburban population of Dijon. A task made much more commercially successful with wines made from Aligoté and Gamay.
The Collottes have been grape growers in Marsannay for four generations, but it wasn’t until 1981 that a young, 16 year-old Philippe Collotte bottled the first wine under the name of Domaine Collotte. He subsequently purchased some mature vineyards of about 40 years of age in both Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny, to further expand the domaine’s repertoire.
In 2013 Philippe was joined by his daughter Isabelle, who had just completed her viticulture and oenology studies at the Lycée Viticole de Beaune. Whilst Isabelle focusses particularly on the production of the domaine’s white wines, there is no doubt that her addition to the team has helped refine the quality of the wines across the board. Today Domaine Collotte farms 17ha of vines (16ha currently in production) in Marsannay, Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny.
This a source of very attractively priced Burgundy.
The Proposed 14 Premier Crus of Marsannay
Having successfully campaigned for the upgrade to Villages status in 1987, the winemakers of Marsannay focussed their attention on improving wine quality and identifying those terroirs that produced superior fruit.
Now, after 30-odd years of hard work and extensive geological surveys, an application has been submitted to INAO for the promotion of the following Marsannay Lieu-Dits to Marsannay Premier Cru status. Domaine Collotte currently releases five of these lieu-dits as single vineyard bottlings: Les Boivins, Les Grasses Têtes, Le Clos de Jeu, Au Champ Salomon and En Combereau.
Le Clos du Roy
En La Montagne
La Charme Aux Prètre
Les Grasses Têtes
Le Clos de Jeu
Au Champ Salomon
Aux Genelières (which is proposed to include En Combereau)
Aligoté is a full sibling of Chardonnay and when well-cared for can produce a good facsimile in terms of volume and texture, yet with a trademark crisp and refreshing acidity. At Collotte the fruit is hand-picked at optimum ripeness, then whole-bunch pressed and fermented in stainless steel, to produce a wine of delicious flavour and volume, finishing with that bright acidity. A wonderful introduction to the wines of the Collotte family and a great value wine.
2016 Bourgogne Blanc
Raised 100% in stainless steel tank to retain freshness and precision. This comes substantially from Champ Forey to the east of the village, with a small proportion from En La Caillée, just to the south of the village. Very expressive, fresh and lively with even a hint of exotic fruits, finishing bright and crisp with zesty acidity.
2017 Marsannay Blanc
Shows excellent ripeness and generosity with complex barrel ferment characters and wonderful finesse and detail on the palate. Brilliant. Comes from 20-40+ year vines in 3 different terroirs of Les Etalles, En Blungey and Le Poiset and is raised 50% in oak barrels (10% new) and 50% in stainless steel. It has ripe and citrusy aromas with hints of peach skin and dried apricot. The palate has surprising richness and generosity opening with touches of dried mango and pear skin, fine acidity with long fresh finish.
2017 Marsannay Blanc Les Champsalomon Cuvée Isabelle (Sold Out)
Just a few barrels produced of this rich, intense wine which includes a little Chardonnay Rose (a rare, colour mutation of Chardonnay). Intense aromatics and great texture allied with ample structure to carry the fruit intensity. The French market wants all of this wine, so be very quick to get any of the small number of bottles that we have to plead for each year for our market. Just 3 or 4 barrels of this remarkable wine produced in a good year - always the first wine to sell out each year.
2018 Marsannay Rosé
’...the rosés, made from pinot noir, are among the very best in the world with clean, fresh, crisp fruit and flavors with solid balancing acidity and a bone dry finish.’ Burghound.com
Beautifully perfumed showing hints of strawberries and cream. Shows lovely texture and depth with more weight and character than one often finds for such a ‘northern’ Rosé.
”Bright orange. Ripe red fruit, floral and herb scents, along with a subtle licorice note in the background. Broad and fleshy in style, offering warm raspberry and cherry preserve flavors that tighten up and turn spicier on the back half. Finishes smooth and gently sweet, with repeating spiciness and a hint of florality.” 89 points Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media August 2019
Red - Bourgogne and Marsannay Village
2017 Bourgogne Cuvée de Noble Souche
From vines planted in 1947 in Champ Forey to the east of the village. The fruit is hand-picked and 100% de-stemmed and fermented in stainless steel to produce a fresh, vibrant style. The palate shows a generosity and depth rare for this level. Ripe, stylish and beautifully balanced for enjoyment now. Very limited.
2016 Marsannay Vieilles Vignes
Made from old vines and in most years is a blend of five individual vineyards in Marsannay: Les Etalles, Les Grasses Têtes, Les Favières, En Combereau and Les Boivins. 100% de-stemmed and matured 50% in tank and 50% in barrels. Isabelle Collotte favours a lighter vinification to produce a finer, fresher style for early to mid-term drinking. Fresh and lively on the palate with particularly fine tannins. A delight to drink in the first 5 years.
Red - Proposed 1er Cru Marsannays (From North to South)
The winemaking approach for all the top reds is the same. All fruit is hand-picked and hand-sorted, then 100% de-stemmed followed by a one-week cold-soak at 10°C, gradually warming to a natural ferment over a couple of weeks. Extraction is via pigeage (plunging) to begin with then moves to lighter remontage (pump-overs) at about the half way stage. All the wines are matured in 25% new oak barriques for 12 months and bottled without filtration. Collotte uses a single cooperage and barrel specification, the aim being to allow the different terroirs to express themselves consistently. All the barrels are Tonnellerie Rousseau Allegro barriques.
2017 Marsannay Les Boivins
From 50+ year-old vines located higher on the slope and based largely on the hard Comblanchien limestone. This shows fine firm tannin structure with beautiful integration of all the elements. Always a very generous and beautifully balanced wine, showing sumptuous fruit and fine, silky tannins.
2017 Marsannay Les Grasses Têtes
From two parcels of old vines; one based on Crinoidal limestone (known in France as Calcaire à Entroques), the other Comblanchien. This wine is very perfumed and pure with real depth, yet showing a lovely minerality and elegance, finishing with great length and very fine tannins.
2017 Marsannay Le Clos de Jeu
From 40+ year-old vines in an outstanding site located just above the village and based on Crinoidal limestone, rich in fossilised starfish and sea urchins and the same geology as that which underlies the Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Crus of Charmes, Latricières, Griottes and Chapelle, as well as the entire hillside of the 1er Crus Clos Saint-Jacques and Lavaux Saint-Jacques.
2016 Marsannay Les Champsalomon
From 45 year-old vines planted on ostrea acuminata marl, rich in fossilised oyster shells and with a significant clay content (in the order of 50%), giving a bigger, richer wine.
Red - Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny
2017 Fixin Les Champstions
Made from vines planted in the early 1980’s this wine shows lovely aromatics and remarkable finesse for the appellation. Fixin is reknowned for producing sturdy, rich Pinots yet here we have a wine with much more finesse than one usually expects. A beautiful introduction to the wines of Fixin and great value too, for this appellation just to the north of Gevrey Chambertin.
2017 Fixin Les Crais de Chêne Cuvée Vieilles Vignes
Very old 80+ yo vines giving painfully tiny yields, producing fruit of such intensity as to give an almost sweet impression to the wine. This is always the richest and deepest wine of the cellar. This would give many Gevrey Chambertins a run for their money for depth and generosity and most likely beat most of the competition.
From vines planted in 1955 located high up above the village on the combe in Les Evocelles and En Champs just below the 1er cru Champeaux vineyard. The wine shows lovely fine perfume and real finesse in the finely detailed tannins. Very attractive style and one of the best vintages yet of the Gevrey.
2017 Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes
Substantially from 40-50+ yo vines planted just beneath 1er cru vineyards in the lieu dits of Les Échanges and Les Athets, with a small proportion from the adjoining Les Chardannes and Les Herbues. Deep rich and intense a remarkably generous village wine that punches well above its weight for both character and intensity.
As well as the newly arrived 2017s and 2018s, we also have available a limited range of prior vintages of many of these wines, perfect for more immediate drinking. Contact us for the full list.
2015 Marsannay Les Boivins
”I happened to run across this lovely effort from Philippe Collotte and despite it being a 2015, it is still in the market place at a very reasonable price. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
A notably ripe yet still very fresh nose speaks of earth and spice-inflected poached plum, cassis and a hint of wood. There is excellent richness to the dense, delicious and solidly intense medium-bodied flavors that are shaped by firm but not hard tannins on the lingering and ever-so-mildly rustic finish. While there is a hint of backend warmth, overall this is quite well
balanced and is a wine that could be enjoyed now for its fruit or held for mid-term cellaring. Worth checking out. 90/2023+” Burghound.com, January 2019