The Puligny comes from three plots, Enseignères (85 yr old vines below Bâtard), Levron and Rouselle, all well regarded village sites. Harvested by hand, the grapes are whole bunch pressed in a vaselin press and the juice is then settled before being put into barrel for fermentation with 20% new oak. After fermentation the wine is racked just once before spending a year in barrel on its lees. No bâtonnage is carried out post the Malolactic fermentation. As much CO2 is retained post Malo as possible to provide natural anti oxidation protection. The fermentations are not temperature controlled. Florence says she prefers to listen to the fermentations. If they get too hot, they need less oxygen, too cold, more.
About the Domaine
Florence Cholet is an exciting prospect. Widely travelled, she has worked across France, the US and Australia, and has now returned to tiny Corcelles les Arts to take on her family domaine.
She told us that picking date was key in 2020, as she thinks it always is. She doesn’t use much technical analysis, she knows her vineyards, tastes the grapes and looks at the skins when she’s deciding when to harvest.
The domaine no longer uses pesticides or herbicides, the vineyards are ploughed, and all picking is done by hand. The domaine’s old vines give naturally low yields and grape selection, in the vineyard and winery, is severe. Wine making is traditional, using a minimum of technology – new oak is used very sparingly, fermentations happen with natural yeasts and are left to run their course. Florence has increased the length of her white elevage – her whites are now bottled around January, so 13-14 months post-harvest. She does no battonage after the malolactic fermentation to retain freshness. Instead, Florence leaves more lees in the wine – a better way of gaining richness and complexity without oxidation.
Florence’s whites display the vintage’s character with style and energy – she’s outperforming some big names from her seemingly humble sites. Her reds are transparent, perfumed wines which I love to drink young, though something about their balance and energy suggests to me that they will surprise us in the cellar.