Chandon de Briailles

  • Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France
Domaine Chandon de Briailles
  • "... for my money, these are among the small handful of wines that realize the true potential of the hill of Corton—to say nothing of the domaine's reference-point wines from Savigny-lès-Beaune and Pernand-Vergelesses." - William Kelley, Wine Advocate

  • "The proprietors, the de Nicolay family, make natural, pure, delicious whites and reds that reward aging. They do make grand cru Cortons, both white and red, but most of their production is village and premier crus from Savigny-lès-Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses and Aloxe-Corton. The reds are spicy and expressive. Highly recommended."  —Eric Asimov, New York Times

  • “This domaine is quickly becoming one of the very finest to be found anywhere in the Côte D’Or...these are great, classically styled, terroir-driven red and white Burgundies that age brilliantly, and are among the treasures to be found in the Côte de Beaune for those adventurous enough to try a few bottles.” - John Gilman, View From the Cellar.

This historic estate was established in 1834. Claude de Nicolay took over from her mother as winemaker in 1988 and crafts traditionally styled wines from one of the Côte d'Or's great terroirs, the hill of Corton and its surrounding villages. Corton is just north of Beaune and it's easy to spot, as it's a big hill with a forest on top. It's a limestone outcropping that is set apart from the main "côte" of the Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits. It is a bit of an anomaly in the Côte d'Or as the Grand Crus are named after the hill, rather than attached to a specific village. Three villages have vineyards that are a part of Corton: Aloxe, Ladoix, and Pernand-Vergelesses. Corton is the only place with red Grand Cru in the Côte de Beaune. 

Already in the early 1980's Nicolay's mother, Nadine, stopped using any herbicides or pesticides in the vineyards and the vineyards have been organic since 1998. Francois de Nicolay, after running a wine shop in Paris for several years, joined his sister at the domaine in 2001. Through his experience of tasting wines from all over France, he became interested in biodynamic farming and by 2005, the vineyard management was fully biodynamic. The brother and sister team are incredibly curious and always making trials to acheive the best soil health and expression from their terroir. They were the first in Burgundy to treat oidium with milk instead of a copper sulfur mix and it's now a permissible treatment for certified organic agriculture. They own 13.7 hectares and "every vine is touched." Since 2014, they have been working with training the vines higher and longer, which gives the vines protection from the sun / shade for the grapes, and also allows for more photosynthesis, giving the plant more energy. They own three horses now and eventually would like to use horses entirely instead of tractors. They are also working with herbal infusions to boost the health of the vines and soil. 

In the cellar, no enological products are used (except for sulfur in very small quantities), no tartaric acid, no exogenous yeasts, no tannin powder, no enzymes, etc. The winery itself has also been certified biodynamic since 2012. When most people mention biodynamic, they are referring to the farming. It's a separate certification for the cellar. The Chandon de Briailles wines are quite unique in the fact that there is a negligible amount of new oak for aging and most wines are made with a whole-cluster fermentation. For many years, Chandon de Briailles used 100% whole clusters every year on every wine, but their style has gradually changed and since 2011 they adapt the amount of whole clusters according to the wine and vintage. If possible, they do still often work with 100% whole clusters. Fermentations start naturally a few days after harvest in cement tanks for all of the wines, except the grand cru, which are fermented in wooden fermenters. In 2015, the winery used a new stainless steel vertical press, which is incredibly gentle. It's considered the "Rolls Royce" of presses because it simply gives the most perfect and gentle press. Pleased with the results, they now only use the vertical press, changing the texture of the tannins. Aging is carried out in mostly used barrels (up to eight years-old). The maximum amount of new oak, even on the grand cru wines is 20%. All of the wines are bottled without fining or filtration. For more than ten years, they have been working with low sulfur and bottled no sulfur wines to see how they would age and travel. For the first time, for the 2017 vintage, they released a limited amount of wines bottled without any added sulfur. 

The Chandon de Briailles wines are truly gems within the Côte d'Or. They are not quite like any other Burgundy. When destemming, extraction, and new oak were the fashion, they were bottling all of their wines with 100% whole clusters and no new oak. Even today, with a max of 20% new oak, it's very low for grand cru Burgundy. Nothing quite stands still here and the only constant is the unending quest to learn more and experiment to achieve the best expression possible of Savigny-les-Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses, and Corton, irrespective of fashion. - Michele Peters, Bowler French Portfolio Manager

You can visit the very nice and informative website here.

 

BOWLER E-Zine Issue 1 | Q4 2020: Burgundy - The Evolution of Chandon de Briailles
Image Producer PRODUCT Description Country / Region

DB6624-08
Biodynamic
Chandon de Briailles Corton Blanc Grand Cru
2008
Chardonnay
The winemakers' mother, Nadine, decided to plant Chardonnay in the Corton Bressandes vineyard because she wanted to have some Chardonnay to... Read More
France

DB6624-18
Biodynamic
93WA, 90-92 WA, 90-92 BH, 91-93 VM
Chandon de Briailles Corton Blanc Grand Cru
2018
Chardonnay
The hill of Corton is famous mainly for it's reds, the exception being white Corton Charlemagne. However, any chardonnay planted outside of... Read More
France

DB6624-19
Biodynamic
B:90-92 VM:90-92 WA:92-94
Chandon de Briailles Corton Blanc Grand Cru
2019
Chardonnay
The hill of Corton is famous mainly for it’s reds, the exception being white Corton Charlemagne. However, any chardonnay planted outside of... Read More
France

DB6804-19
Biodynamic
Chandon de Briailles Corton Blanc Grand Cru Sans Soufre
2019
Chardonnay
A barrel selection that did not see any sulfur during winemaking, aging, or bottling! The hill of Corton is famous mainly for it’s reds,... Read More
France

DB6626-19
Biodynamic
B:91-94 V:92-94 WA:93-95
Chandon de Briailles Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru
2019
Chardonnay
Magnificent terroir of white marls high on the hill-side and facing south. Very calcareous ground, with good drainage, allowing harvests at... Read More
France

DB6629-17
Biodynamic
(90-92) VM
Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses
2017
Chardonnay
Clay and limestone; more clayey at the bottom of the parcel and very calcareous at the top. Elevation mid-slope.
France

DB6629-18
Biodynamic
90-92 BH, 91WA
Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses
2018
Chardonnay
Of the four hectares that Chandon de Briailles owns in Île de Vergelesses, one hectare is planted to Chardonnay. It's a clay and limestone... Read More
France

DB6629-19
Biodynamic
WA:90-92
Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses
2019
Chardonnay
Of the four hectares that Chandon de Briailles owns in Île de Vergelesses, one hectare is planted to Chardonnay. It's a clay and limestone... Read More
France

DB6632-18
Biodynamic
90WA, 90WS
Chandon de Briailles Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc "Les Saucours"
2018
Chardonnay
From a .6 hectare parcel with a limestone soil that used to be planted to Pinot Noir and blended into the Savigny Villages Rouge. 2018 is... Read More
France

DB6632-19
Biodynamic
Chandon de Briailles Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc "Les Saucours"
2019
Chardonnay
From a .6 hectare parcel with a limestone soil that used to be planted to Pinot Noir and blended into the Savigny Villages Rouge.
France

DB6802-18
Biodynamic
Chandon de Briailles Savigny-les-Beaune Blanc "Saucours" (sans soufre)
2018
Chardonnay
From a .6 hectare parcel with a limestone soil that used to be planted to Pinot Noir and blended into the Savigny Villages Rouge. 2018 is... Read More
France

DB6650-19
Biodynamic
Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Blanc "La Vie Est Belle"
2019
Pinot Blanc
A playful cuvée which diverges from the traditional wines of the domaine, this is a pinot blanc from Pernand-Vergelesses Ile des... Read More
France

DB6623-18
Biodynamic
Chandon de Briailles Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Les Valozières
2018
Pinot Noir
This Premier Cru lies beneath the Corton Bressandes and next to the Corton Paulands, both Grand Cru. Chandon de Briailles owns .28 hectare... Read More
France

DB6623-19
Biodynamic
B:91 V:90-92 WA:90-92
Chandon de Briailles Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Les Valozières
2019
Pinot Noir
This Premier Cru lies beneath the Corton Bressandes and next to the Corton Paulands, both Grand Cru. Chandon de Briailles owns .28 hectare... Read More
France

DB6625-12
Biodynamic
95 JG, (92-94) IWC, (92-94) BH
Chandon de Briailles Corton Bressandes Grand Cru
2012
Pinot Noir
This cuvée comes from 4 parcels situated mid-slope and spread in homogenous fashion over the whole appellation. The soils are deep and made... Read More
France

DB6625-18
Biodynamic
94WA, 92-94 WA, 90-93 BH, 93-95 VM, 93 WS
Chandon de Briailles Corton Bressandes Grand Cru
2018
Pinot Noir
This cuvée comes from four parcels which total 1.12 hectare, situated mid-slope and spread in homogenous fashion over the whole appellation... Read More
France

DB6625-19
Biodynamic
B:94 V:94-96 WA:90-92
Chandon de Briailles Corton Bressandes Grand Cru
2019
Pinot Noir
This cuvée comes from four parcels which total 1.12 hectare, situated mid-slope and spread in homogenous fashion over the whole appellation... Read More
France

DB6801-17
Biodynamic
Chandon de Briailles Corton Bressandes Grand Cru (sans soufre)
2017
Pinot Noir
This cuvée comes from four parcels situated mid-slope and spread in homogenous fashion over the whole appellation. The soils are deep and... Read More
France

DB6627-18
Biodynamic
95WA, 94-96 VM, 93-95 WA, 91-94 BH, 94 WS
Chandon de Briailles Corton Clos du Roi Grand Cru
2018
Pinot Noir
Clos du Roi, one of the most famous vineyards of Corton, is just below the Le Corton lieu-dit of Corton Charlemagne,  a terroir high on the... Read More
France

DB6627-19
Biodynamic
B:94 V:92-94 WA:93-95
Chandon de Briailles Corton Clos du Roi Grand Cru
2019
Pinot Noir
Clos du Roi, one of the most famous vineyards of Corton, is just below the Le Corton lieu-dit of Corton Charlemagne, a terroir high on the... Read More
France

DB6628-17
Biodynamic
93WA, 92 WA, 91 W&S
Chandon de Briailles Corton Les Maréchaudes Grand Cru
2017
Pinot Noir
Maréchaudes is a part of the Aloxe commune, which is tiny with only one hundred residents! Located just below Corton Bressandes, the... Read More
France

DB6628-18
Biodynamic
92-94 WA, 91-93 BH, 92-94 VM
Chandon de Briailles Corton Les Maréchaudes Grand Cru
2018
Pinot Noir
Located just below Corton Bressandes, the vineyards have east-southeast exposure; Claude explained that here, you begin to see some... Read More
France

DB6628-19
Biodynamic
B:93 V:93-95 WA:91-93
Chandon de Briailles Corton Les Maréchaudes Grand Cru
2019
Pinot Noir
Located just below Corton Bressandes, the vineyards have east-southeast exposure; Claude explained that here, you begin to see some... Read More
France

DB6141-18
Biodynamic
92-94 WA, 90-92 VM, 91-93 VM
Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile des Vergelesses
2018
Pinot Noir
Many argue that Île des Vergelesses should be classified as a Grand Cru. It's true that in the best years, with it's eastern exposure and... Read More
France

DB6141-19
Biodynamic
B:91-93 V:90-92 WA:92-94
Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile des Vergelesses
2019
Pinot Noir
Many argue that Île des Vergelesses should be classified as a Grand Cru. It’s true that in the best years, with it’s eastern exposure and... Read More
France

DB6631-18
Biodynamic
90-92 WA, 92WA
Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Les Vergelesses
2018
Pinot Noir
In Remington Norman and Charles Taylor's book, The Great Domaines of Burgundy, Les Vergelesses and Île des Vergelesses are described as top... Read More
France

DB6631-19
Biodynamic
B:91 WA:90-92
Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Les Vergelesses
2019
Pinot Noir
In Remington Norman and Charles Taylor’s book, The Great Domaines of Burgundy, Les Vergelesses and Île des Vergelesses are... Read More
France

DB6040-17
Biodynamic
Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses
2017
Chardonnay
Clay and limestone; more clayey at the bottom of the parcel and very calcareous at the top. Elevation mid-slope. Vintage notes from the... Read More
France

DB6640-18
Biodynamic
89-91 BH, 90-92 WA
Chandon de Briailles Savigny-les-Beaune "Aux Fournaux"
2018
Pinot Noir
Starting with the 2018 vintage, the domaine chose to blend the 1er Cru Fourneaux into the village wine and it's now labeled Savigny-les-... Read More
France

DB6640-19
Biodynamic
Chandon de Briailles Savigny-les-Beaune "Aux Fournaux"
2019
Pinot Noir
The Fournaux vineyard is classified as 1er cru and village depending on the parcel. Chandon used to make a Fournaux 1er Cru, but as of 2018... Read More
France

DB6805-19
Biodynamic
WA:90
Chandon de Briailles Savigny-les-Beaune "Aux Fournaux" Sans Soufre
2019
Pinot Noir
A barrel selection that did not see any sulfur during winemaking, aging, or bottling! Starting with the 2018 vintage, the domaine chose to... Read More
France

DB6635-18
Biodynamic
91-93 WA, 90-92 VM, 91 BH
Chandon de Briailles Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er cru Les Lavières
2018
Pinot Noir
Mid-slope and predominantly limestone. Lavières comes from the word "lave" which in this case has no volcanic reference, but was the term... Read More
France

DB6635-19
Biodynamic
B:90 WA:90-92
Chandon de Briailles Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er cru Les Lavières
2019
Pinot Noir
The vines, planted in the 1950's are mid-slope and predominantly stoney limestone soil. Lavières comes from the word “lave” which in this... Read More
France