Niellon, Michel

Domaine Michel Niellon
  • As I wrote last year, Niellon's son-in-law, Michel Coutoux, is routinely producing wines of impressively consistent quality and style... This is a domaine in fine form today, and readers who have fallen out of touch with the wines are advised to reacquaint themselves with this excellent producer. - William Kelley, Wine Advocate. 

Michel Niellon, who began working with his father Marcel in the 1950's, has crafted more than fifty vintages of extraordinary wines. The father-son team began domaine-bottling in the 1960’s and soon after, their four hectare estate was considered one of the very best in the village. Since 1991, Michel has shared vineyard and winemaking duties with his son-in-law, Michel Coutoux. Recently, Michel’s grandson Mathieu Bresson joined the winery as well. 

Today the winery has seven and a half hectares of vines, all in Chassagne-Montrachet. “We plow the vineyards for weed control and don’t use herbicides. For pest and mildew control, we practice lutte raisonnée,” explains Coutoux. Niellon does not like to wait too long before harvesting the grapes: it is preferable, he says to pick earlier rather than later.  “We take acidity into consideration first. Often we are the first in the village to pick at harvest time,” Niellon. 

Fermentations happen spontaneously in stainless steel tanks. After the primary fermentation, the wine is moved to barrels for malolactic and aging.  About 25% of the barrels are new and the total amount of new oak ranges from 20-30% depending on the cuvée. Niellon is a benchmark producer in the village of Chassagne and the wines have a classic style, expressing the terroir of each vineyard while striking a balance of crisp minerality with rich and ripe fruit.

"Coutoux describes the 2018 vintage as "another Burgundian classic," much the same terms he applied to his excellent 2017s, and this is one address where 2017 and 2018 are more first cousins than distant relations. As readers may remember, house fingerprint here is distinctive, with a touch of toasty oak from Saint-Romain's Tonnellerie Gillet marking each cuvée and the wines dependably distinguishing themselves with lovely texture and concentration." - William Kelley, Wine Advocate, January 2020.

Image PRODUCT Description

DB1427-18
Sustainable
Bourgogne "Chardonnay"
2018
Chardonnay
A relatively new cuvée. Planted in 2010, the first harvest was in 2013. Total production is 2,500 bottles.  

DB1424-18
Sustainable
92 WS
Chassagne-Montrachet
2018
Chardonnay
Sourced from several parcels, totaling just under two hectares; Michel is often the first to pick in his area, preferring good acidity for... Read More

DB1422-18
Sustainable
94 WS
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Maltroie
2018
Chardonnay
Selected from a parcel of vines planted in 1977, half to Chardonnay and half to Pinot Noir.

DB1425-18
Sustainable
93 WS
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos Saint-Jean
2018
Chardonnay
This parcel is located at the top of the slope west of the village, next to a large limestone quarry.

DB1421-18
Sustainable
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Champgains
2018
Chardonnay
Champgains sits at the crest of the slope between Chassagne and Puligny; the plot is just under half a hectare, planted in 1988. Clay and... Read More

DB1426-18
Sustainable
95 WS
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Vergers
2018
Chardonnay
Les Vergers is on the more gentle part of the slope north of the village of Chassagne, with clay and gravelly limestone soils. This climat... Read More

DB1429-15
Sustainable
Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
2015
Chardonnay
This is Michel's favorite plot. Purchased by his maternal grandparents, the parcel of 12 vinerows was planted by his father in 1927. It... Read More

DB1428-18
Sustainable
97 WS
Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
2018
Chardonnay
This famous grand cru has soils so rocky that Michel had to use small explosives when he replanted his plot of 28 rows of vines in 1970.... Read More

DB1458-18
Sustainable
Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge
2018
Pinot Noir
A blend from two parcels that total one hectare, Concis du Champs, in the center, and Les Battaudes, bordering Remigny. The average age of... Read More

DB1458-16
Sustainable
Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge
2016
Pinot Noir
A blend from two parcels that total one hectare, Concis du Champs, in the center, and Les Battaudes, bordering Remigny. The average age of... Read More