Rodolphe Demougeot

The Story

The path to Rodolphe Demougeot’s current level of quality took a while after he took over the family domaine in 1992. Since then, he’s amassed eight hectares of vines in the Côte de Beaune and year by year upped the ante on his attention to detail in the cellar and vineyard, raising his own personal bar and capturing the attention of the his illustrious neighbors with more enviable vineyard stables in Meursault and Pommard.

Rodolphe says he “learned how to do perfect chemical farming from his family and had to deprogram his vineyards and himself, which has taken a lot of time to achieve,” something that takes courage and an evolved sense of self and humility to admit. Another telling quote of his candid and honest character is that he said he needed to learn to be a good farmer first, and then he had to learn to improve his performance in the cellar. If only everyone approached life with this kind of blatant and unflinching honesty about their own process!

Read more

Lay of the Land

So much is written about Burgundy that it seems silly to try to add more clay to that never finished sculpture. Even more absurd is to rewrite what’s been written in so many books on the subject that thoroughly cover each of its communes and their subsections as well as most of its 1er Cru vineyards and certainly its Grand Crus, ad nauseam. A summary will suffice here for where Rodolphe’s vineyards are and in the product descriptions you will likely find some details you may not find in the books.

Rodolphe’s family vineyards are principally between Meursault and Pommard, with only a single 1er Cru site in Pommard (Les Charmots) and many favorable village parcels between the two. In Meursault, all three of their parcels are on the south of the appellation in fabulous spots above (one site) and below (two sites) the great 1er Crus, Perrières, Genevrières and Charmes. They have a small collection in Beaune in both red and white, as well as a village and 1er Cru in Savigny-lès-Beaune. Also, there is an exceptional Bourgogne Blanc all sourced below many of Meursault’s vineyards on the south of the appellation, and compelling Bourgogne Rouge from a single parcel of old vines in Chassagne-Montrachet. Additionally, they have a Auxey-Duresses and Monthélie, both fine and savory wines for those moments you need a break from the fruit with a stroll through the wet forest and all of its lovely fresh smells.

Don’t forget to check out the write-ups for each of the wines, which are sometimes extensive in detail and perspective. -TV

Demougeot Auxey Duresses Les Clous

Rodolphe Demougeot - 2017 Auxey Duresses, “Les Clous”

Price: $68.00
Size: 750ml
Availability: 

24+ in stock

Type of Wine: Red
Style: Rustic, Medium Body

The Wine

Like most of Rodolphe's red wines, the fermentation is made without stems and lasts two to three weeks depending on the vintage. The wine is lightly extracted using the "infusion" approach, which is to say very little is done to disturb the grapes during the fermentation and maceration. Once pressed and put into barrels the wines aren’t moved until bottling. As he does with the white wines, the first sulfite addition is made at bottling and they are spared the excessive use of new oak during the aging, with 80-85% old oak barrels used on this wine with the remainder in new ones.

INFORMATION DISCLAIMER

Terroir: The Auxey-Duresses “Les Clous” comes from a single acre of Pinot Noir planted in a direct south exposition—perfect for this sometimes cooler appellation when compared to the rest of the Côte. Tucked into a small valley back to the west of Meursault and scrunched between Monthélie and Saint-Romain, this is a smart buy in warm and healthy years (meaning not so much rain and rot), which makes its future bright in the face of climate change (save the hail), at least for a little while. The soils are limestone and clay, but are very well drained due to the ample mix of small and large stones deposited by the small creek that once flowed through this valley like a river many millennia ago. Earthy and foresty freshness are the lead characteristics for this wine coming from these vines planted in 1949. Rather the opposite of a fruit bomb, it’s more restrained and savory—a lovely match for food.

Vinification: 100% of the grapes are destemmed and placed in cement and inox vats. The grape must is chilled down to eight degrees and then allowed to start the fermentation spontaneously and usually lasts about two weeks. Once pressed, it’s settled in a tank overnight and gravity fed into old French oak barrels with about 85% old French barrels.

Aging: Aged in 85% previously used French oak barrels (between 1-6 vintages of use) for 14-16 months. The first sulfite addition is made just before bottling and the wine is lightly filtered but not fined.

(Subjective and based on young wines)

General Impressions:

Forest, Earth, Wild Berries, Fresh, Mineral, Savory

Mineral Impressions:

Lightly SaltySaltyMetalMineralWet StoneFlintGraphiteReductivePetrol

Ageability:

Drink YoungShort-Term BenefitsLong-Term BenefitsUnknown

Technical Precision:

NatureModerateNurture

Intensity:

SubtleVigorousElectric

Core:

LitheMediumDense

Acidity:

LightMediumFullElectric

Texture:

LitheMediumDense

Body:

LightMediumFull

Tannin:

NoneLightMediumFull

Wood Presence:

NoneSubtleNoticeable

The Vineyard

Soil:

A high concentration of limestone alluvium (70% of the topsoil composition) and clay.

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

Rodolphe practices organic culture in all of his vineyards and some are now under biodynamic culture. He carries no certifications. (2019)

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

Planted 1949

Altitude (meters):

240

Aspect:

South

Slope:

Medium steepness
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Enological Additions:

Sulfites

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

12.5-13.0

Notes compiled in 2019 by Ted Vance (The Source) and Rodolphe Demougeot

About The Wine

Like most of Rodolphe’s red wines, the fermentation is made without stems and lasts two to three weeks depending on the vintage. The wine is lightly extracted using the “infusion” approach, which is to say very little is done to disturb the grapes during the fermentation and maceration. Once pressed and put into barrels the wines aren’t moved until bottling. As he does with the white wines, the first sulfite addition is made at bottling and they are spared the excessive use of new oak during the aging, with 80-85% old oak barrels used on this wine with the remainder in new ones.