"One of Burgundy’s most exciting small domaines is hiding in plain sight." William Kelley, Wine Advocate
The wife and husband team of Anne-Marie and Jean-Marc Vincent is a remarkable force in Burgundy. During our trip to Burgundy in March 2023, one of the highlights was visiting their domaine located in Santenay. Their passion for growing grapes and producing wine was palpable. Their unwavering commitment to cultivating the finest fruit in harmony with nature was truly inspiring. Jean-Marc’s boundless enthusiasm was contagious and left a lasting impression.
Jean-Marc is always seeking new ideas, helped in part by his close connections with fellow vignerons Olivier Lamy, Bruno Lorenzon, Thomas Bouley and Sylvain Pataille. They share concepts and challenge the limits of contemporary viticulture. One of their most important experiments has been high-density plantings (more vines per hectare), which resulted in their discovering that after five years, younger vines could yield the same results as older vines. Most of Jean-Marc’s vineyards are now currently planted between 14,000 to 17,000 vines per hectare.
Soils at the domaine are also carefully worked. Ploughing is no longer done with a heavy tractor to avoid soil compaction. Chardonnay vines are now hand-trimmed and tressage (weaving) is employed on the Pinot Noir as opposed to hedging. The results have increased the surface area of the foliage, protecting grapes from the sun and improving water management. Grass is grown in every other row to promote soil health and natural flora. Shoots are separated one by one to aerate the clusters throughout the growing season.
Harvest consists of several tris (passes) through the vineyard picking for optimal maturity. Sorting is done in the vineyard before the harvest arrives in small boxes at the winery. All handling is done by gravity without crushing the grapes. While Jean-Marc avoids using sulfur during fermentation, and then keeps adjustments to a minimum during the and just before bottling.
Chardonnay grapes are pressed immediately after harvest under low pressure. Gravity then transfers the must to oak casks for a cool, long fermentation with native yeast. The white wines are aged in 10% new oak for an increasingly prolonged duration, now upwards of 18 months. Another sign of Jean-Marc’s continual tinkering is his gradual shift from 350L barrels to larger 500L demi-muids. Lees are stirred 3 or 4 times per month up until spring and then left on their lees until aging is complete.
For the Pinot Noir up to 100% of whole clusters may be used, depending on parcel and vintage. The grapes undergo a slow, cool, temperature-controlled maceration for 20 days before fermentation. Then the wines are aged in 20% new wood for a minimum of 15 months. The reds are never racked during their élevage, until they are transferred to stainless-steel vats to settle for six months before bottling without fining.
As Burgundy prices continue to increase, these wines are worth their cost due to their exceptional quality.
Pithy, vibrant, and highly expressive for a Bourgogne blanc. I would consider this a step above charming, as the palate has a fair amount of persistence and complexity. - Kimberly
45 year-old vines
Pretty pale yellow with a light green tint. The nose suggests weight and power behind. A bright rich and full mouthful, reasonably persistent. - Jasper Morris MW
Made from a blend of 1er cru Passetemps, and Prarons, using a fine clone of chardonnay planted at 14,000 vines per hectare. Mid yellow colour. Rich, almost buttery, plenty of fruit volume, a nice touch of acidity behind, with a saline note. Overall, though, there is a breadth and depth of fruit which is unusual in 2021. - Jasper Morris MW
Chardonnay, Le Beaurepaire is a terroir on a steep hillside from 11-year-old vines planted in high density on marl and limestone soils. Two plots, with thinner and poorer soils, are blended in this cuvée.
The wine has a distinct mineral essence that is noticeable on the nose. It features notes of pear and lemon tart, which are accompanied by mouthwatering natural acidity. Despite being only 11 year old vines, the vines are high-density and offer an impressive level of complexity, length, and elegance. The flavor profile is immediate and highly enjoyable, with a noticeable tension and depth. Overall, this is a delicious and impressive wine, especially considering the young age of the vines. -Kimberly
Jean-Marc believes that Aligoté’s true potential is achieved through moderate yields, high maturity, and extended aging, which is why he has created this non-vintage blend. This blend, which started in 2018, consists of several vintages of Aligoté aged in 500-liter barrels. After five years of patience, the first bottled batch is set for 2022, with only 15% of the total volume being drawn off.
This is a project that began in 2018, a solera of Aligoté. The fruit is coming from Rully and Meursault. This first release incorporates 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 vintages. This wine is complex and an entity unto itself. The color glows bright, and the palate is fresh and crunchy, loaded with mid-weight power and salinity, a mild touch of reduction. The finish is lengthy and intriguing. A really stellar bottle. - Kimberly
From Auxey-Duresses, with some declassified Santenay, given a short vinification with a third whole bunch, after really strict sorting. Similar to the Bourgogne blanc, this wine from Jean-Marc is more than just charming. It is an entry-level cuvée that boasts an abundance of joy with its fresh and persistent fruit flavors. Additionally, it offers a welcome hint of floral aromatics and light grainy tannins that add an unexpected level of complexity to the wine. -Kimberly
30% whole bunch, and includes a bit of Gravières. Quite a full deep purple, dark fruit on the nose, and quite concentrated behind, with some slightly firm tannins for the moment. Medium length behind. - Jasper Morris, MW
2020 Gravite is akin to drinking ultra traditional Barolo from a slow ripening vintage with its mineral core and dusty natured tannins. The wine is forceful and the tannins are chalky with lift and floral aromatic intensity. It is a wine Jean-Marc is incredibly proud of, but it will require a few years in the cellar before it is approachable. The extra time in barrel has integrated the oak well. The power behind this wine is impressive. - Kimberly