An exciting new arrival on the scene in the Côte de Beaune is Alvina Pernot, granddaughter of Paul Pernot of Domaine Paul Pernot and cousin of Philippe Pernot of Domaine Pernot Belicard. After working for three years at her grandfather’s domaine, Alvina and her husband, Philippe Abadie, set up a tiny domaine & maison in Puligny-Montrachet. In fact, all of their 2018 vintage was produced from Alvina’s share of the Pernot family holdings, but only the Puligny-Montrachet La Rue Aux Vaches is harvested and pressed in house, as the rest of the cuvées come from Domaine Paul Pernot in must. That still permits some influence, however, as Alvina and her husband favor earlier-picked fruit and higher-altitude parcels within the large Pernot holdings. In the future, they hope to have full control of the press themselves, and we discussed their vision for press cycles and their views on “foulage,” or crushing before pressing. In the debut 2018 vintage, none of these wines saw any new oak, and they matured on the lees until they were racked for bottling in used barrels, mostly from François Frères. In 2019, some new cuvées from Caillerets, Pucelles and Corton-Charlemagne will enter the portfolio, the result of an exchange with another grower. And some barrels from Tonnellerie Rousseau, pre-used at Domaine Paul Pernot, will enter the “parc a fûts.” This accomplished set of 2018s, in a style that’s precise, elegant and delicately reductive, certainly bodes well for this new producer. Alvina and her husband seem to have a good sense of what they can achieve; and, backed by the Pernot inheritance, they have an enviable canvas of appellations on which to realize it. I will be following their evolution with interest and intend to report on their 2019s in the near future.
A classic source of exceptional Chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir, the Côte de Beaune makes up the southern half of the Côte d’Or. Its principal wine-producing villages are Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. The area is named for its own important town of Beaune, which is essentially the center of the Burgundy wine business and where many negociants center their work. Hospices de Beaune, the annual wine auction, is based here as well.