AC Tollot-Beaut, 2019
|Origin:||Frankreich / Burgund / Côte de Beaune|
|Ripening potential:||5 to 15 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Coquilles Saint Jacques on lentils, Giant crevettes, grilled langoustines, Risotto ai frutti di mare|
France – Philosophy in a bottle
According to French philosophy, wine should be an expression of the soil and climate. They use the word “terroir” to describe this. Terroir makes every wine different, and many especially good. French wine is regarded worldwide as an expression of cultural perfection. The French believe that humans are responsible for the quality of the berries, the vine variety for their character, and nature for the quantity. This philosophy can be expressed succinctly as: “the truth is the vineyard, not the man.”
Burgundy: home of the crus
Burgundy and Bordeaux are France’s most prestigious wine regions. Nonetheless, they are completely distinct in character: while Bordeaux, as the land of the chateaux, enjoys an aristocratic image, Burgundy has retained its rustic agrarian structure. Burgundy stretches for over 200 kilometres, from Dijon in the north to Lyon in the south. In a highly complex jigsaw of the most diverse of terroirs, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir demonstrate the subtle ways in which they embody their sources.
Côte de Beaune
Côte de Beaune: guarantor of elegance
The city of Beaune is the cultural and economic centre of Burgundy. The prestigious vineyard sites, stretching in a band from Santenay (located about 20 kilometres south of Beaune) to the village of Aloxe-Corton (five kilometres north of Beaune), form the Côte de Beaune. Legendary, uniquely expressive crus originate here. In fact, the most prestigious Chardonnay growths in the world are produced around Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault.
Domaine Tollot-Beaut / Nathalie Tollot
This fine family domaine has existed since the end of the 19th century. Initially, there were only a few vineyards in the village of Chorey. As time went on, it developed into 24 hectares in the communes of Beaune, Savigny and Aloxe-Corton. The estate is now run by cousins Nathalie, Jean-Paul, and Olivier Tollot.
On the approximately 30 different plots that are exclusively planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Jean-Paul and Olivier are very busy using traditional methods: the soil is tilled with a hoe, weeded and naturally everything is harvested by hand. No fertilisers are used at all. Knowledge and experience pertaining to the individual plots have been passed down to them across the generations. This is how they manage to express the particularities of each individual location through their wines.
The domaine is one of the most prestigious in Burgundy, with wines featured on the wine lists of the finest international restaurants. This is in no small part due to the lively and charming Nathalie, who is responsible for marketing and sales. When you pass through the low, seemingly small cellar, you will be greeted by her contagious cheerfulness and charmed by the purity of these wines – whether it’s a simple Bourgogne rouge or blanc or a complex and elegant Grand Cru.
King or beggar?
Hardly any variety of vine shows such a broad spectrum of quality as the Chardonnay. Its wines range from faceless neutrality to breath-taking class. It is an extremely low-maintenance vine, which explains why it is grown around the world – even in places where it probably should not be. The aromas of the Chardonnay variety are not very pronounced: a bit of green apple, a little hazelnut; in warmer latitudes, also melon and exotic fruits. The wines are often defined by maturing in casks. They develop more or less subtle notes of butter, toasted bread and vanilla. The grapes achieve their highest expression in their region of origin, Burgundy. Its heart beats in the Côte de Beaune: one might think of the plant growth of Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet. With their finesse and complexity, they can survive for decades. Chardonnay also achieves first class in some Blanc-de-Blancs champagnes. It additionally yields great wines in the Burgundian Chablis, and increasingly in Australia and Chile. A simple rule of thumb for pairing with food: When butter and cream are involved, you cannot go wrong with Chardonnay.