Having just returned from a recent week of tasting in Burgundy where I met with more than a hundred producers and personally sampled (what seems like) nearly a thousand wines, I am now embarking on organizing my notes. As this process will undoubtedly require several days to complete – and considering how excited I am to begin rolling out some of the details – I’ve decided to share some of the discoveries in a sort of “Burgundy of the day” format.
For my 1st installment, I’d like to introduce everyone to one of my long-time favorites:
Domaine Bertrand Ambroise
I met with Bertrand’s daughter – Ludivine – while tasting the Domaine’s 2009 Corton Le Rognet at the GJDB event in Ladoix on March 23rd.
Ludivine describes her family’s wine-making methods as “sustainable” (horse plowing, very minimal use of herbicides and pesticides, and no tractors in the vineyards). And as the photos of her vineyard plots attest, this move to a more natural way of wine-making has rejuvenated the soils as well as old vines in her Domaine’s holdings. Hand-pruning, extensive green harvesting (Vendanges verte), the traditional method of burning the old vine cuttings via the incinerateur de roues, fermentation in oak, as well as barrel ageing all attribute to wines of unquestionable age ability, structure, and intensity. And while Ambroise has made a move recently to slightly more refined wines, these remain some of the most robust wines in their respective appellations.
As for Bertrand himself, he is very much the lead wine-maker here at his eponymous Domaine – having arrived in Burgundy (Beaune specifically) a few years before taking over at what would later become Domaine Bertrand Ambroise. The original Domaine upon which Ambroise would be established in 1988 dates back to the 18th century. But it wasn’t until Bertrand and his wife Martine took over that the Domaine began to attract global attention. Bertrand and his wife Martine – daughter of the man who owned the Domaine until his death in 1987 – worked the 20 acre estate alongside Martine’s father, encouraging the move to sustainable farming as well as improvements in the cellar.
Now totaling 42 acres, Domaine Bertrand Ambroise is a true family-run estate. Bertrand is joined by his son Francois – who is also a wine-maker – as well as Ludivine – who handles the business affairs of the Domaine. In 2007, Bertrand became a grand-father when his grand-daughter Eloise was born, and a new label was launched in her honor. Three generations of Ambroise now daily may be found on the grounds of this outstanding Domaine, ensuring top quality for many years to come.
For details on currently available offers from this estate, please visit:
And remember to check back often, the 2010s are just around the corner!