It is always a pleasure to find a vigneron that has been under the radar and is just beginning to hit their stride; Rodolphe is one of those. The path to his current level of quality took its time coming off learning the ropes with his grandparents, a generation that was under the influence of technology and strong conventional work in the vineyards. After starting in 1992, Rodolphe has amassed 8 hectares of vines in the Côte de Beaune and has upped the ante on everything he is doing. These days, there are no chemical treatments for herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers. He follows the rhythm of the lunar cycle when moving his wines and making picking decisions. He plows his vineyards by horse and tractor to aerate the soils and to take out grasses and weeds. His cluster selection is made early in the season to concentrate the energy of the vines to fewer clusters in the pursuit of quality over quantity. All is done by hand and under severe scrutiny. Rodolphe Demougeot has arrived and has begun turning heads in Burgundy, even the heads of the most revered estates in the region.
Lay Of The Land
Rodolphe’s estate is based in Meursault but he also has holdings in Pommard, Beaune and Auxey-Duresses. The commune of Meursault is devoted mostly to white wine, due to the perfect mixture of marl and chalk, where Chardonnay thrives. Compared to its mighty neighbor to the south, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault can more approachable in its youth. Pommard, one of the most northern communes in the Côte de Beaune, sits between Beaune, to the north, and Volnay, to the south. The soil here is often reddened from the presence of iron oxide, which encourages wines to be a bit more mineral and powerful. Whereas, Auxey-Duresses, a commune that stands at the entrance to a valley running east to west, is dominated by pebbly marl-limestone mix, a mix that often lends itself to a more elegant red with softer tannins.