Chandon de Briailles

Domaine Chandon de Briailles
  • "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, September 2019

  • “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. And they are 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. The domaine has cut back on its use of whole cluster fermentation since 2011 and adapts vintage to vintage. The Savigny-les-Beaune village is typically de-stemmed and the premier cru and grand cru will have up to 100% whole cluster in a sunny year with good phenolic maturity. Fermentations start naturally a few days after harvest in open top cement tanks for all of the wines, except the grand cru, which are fermented in wooden open top 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. Aging is carried out in mostly used barrels (up to eight years-old). The maximum amount of new oak now, even on the grand cru wines is up to 20%, as of the 2017 vintage. 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. - Michele Peters, Bowler French Portfolio Manager

You can visit the very nice and informative website here.

Image PRODUCTsort descending Description

DB6623-17
Biodynamic
Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Les Valozières
2017
Pinot Noir
Very Limited; Please Inquire. This Premier Cru lies beneath the Corton Bressandes and next to the Corton Paulands, both Grands... Read More

DB6624-16
Biodynamic
Corton Blanc Grand Cru
2016
Chardonnay
The winemakers' mother, Nadine, decided to plant Chardonnay in the Corton Bressandes vineyard because she wanted to have some Chardonnay to... Read More

DB6624-17
Biodynamic
Corton Blanc Grand Cru
2017
Chardonnay
The winemakers' mother, Nadine, decided to plant Chardonnay in the Corton Bressandes vineyard because she wanted to have some Chardonnay to... Read More

DB6625-12
Biodynamic
95 JG, (92-94) IWC, (92-94) BH
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

DB6625-16
Biodynamic
94 WA
Corton Bressandes Grand Cru
2016
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

DB6801-17
Biodynamic
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

DB6626-16
Biodynamic
Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru
2016
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

DB6626-17
Biodynamic
Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru
2017
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

DB6627-13
Biodynamic
(91-94) BH
Corton Clos du Roi Grand Cru
2013
Pinot Noir
Very close to Corton Charlemagne, this is a terroir high on the hillside, very steep and made up of clay-limestone marls containing a... Read More

DB6627-17
Biodynamic
(91-93) VM, (93-95) WA, 92 BH
Corton Clos du Roi Grand Cru
2017
Pinot Noir
Very close to Corton Charlemagne, this is a terroir high on the hillside, very steep and made up of clay-limestone marls containing a... Read More

DB6628-14
Biodynamic
(90-93) BH, (90-91) VM, 94 WS
Corton Les Maréchaudes Grand Cru
2014
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

DB6628-17
Biodynamic
92 WA, 91 W&S
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

DB6650-17
Biodynamic
Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Blanc "La Vie Est Belle"
2017
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

DB6650-18
Biodynamic
Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Blanc "La Vie Est Belle"
2018
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

DB6141-17
Biodynamic
(91-93) VM
Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile des Vergelesses
2017
Pinot Noir
In Remington Norman and Charles Taylor's book, The Great Domaines of Burgundy, Les Vergelesses and Ile des Vergelesses are... Read More

DB6800-17
Biodynamic
Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Iles des Vergelesses (sans soufre)
2017
Pinot Noir
These vines are found mid-slope on a slight incline facing east and their soil is shared between clay and limestone in medium deep ground,... Read More

DB6631-17
Biodynamic
Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Les Vergelesses
2017
Pinot Noir
Situated on the lower, predominantly clay, part of the slope, this parcel faces east and was planted in 1954 in deep, iron-rich soil. 

DB6040-17
Biodynamic
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

DB6640-17
Biodynamic
Savigny-lès-Beaune
2017
Pinot Noir
Located in the northern vineyard of Savigny-lès-Beaune, the vineyards are found between the villages of Savigny and Aloxe-Corton. Limestone... Read More

DB6635-17
Biodynamic
Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er cru Les Lavières
2017
Pinot Noir
Mid-slope and predominantly limestone (Lavières comes from the word "lave" which here has nothing volcanic about it but was the term used... Read More

DB6632-17
Biodynamic
Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc "Les Saucours"
2017
Chardonnay
From a newly acquired parcel that used to be planted to Pinot. Sandy and chalk soil. This is the first release!