The wine style of
Chandon de Briailles
Expression all in finesse
Vinified and aged in the purest Burgundian tradition, their wines express themselves with great freshness and reflect their terroir and their climat of origin.
Wines without artifice, generous and well-constructed, that gain in complexity through ageing.
Wine as close as possible to its origins
Our desire is to restate the expression of "climat" through our wines
Our doctrine is to produce wines for keeping that may be tasted and appreciated at all moments of their life. Each climat can produce, as a function of the specific vintage, a thoroughbred wine that will go well with different dishes. We want each of our wines to express its terroir and its vintage, through its aromatic expression but also through its texture and the quality of its tannins.
Natural vine-growing allows the expression of our "climats" to be emphasized
This is why we decided to change over the entirety of our domain to bio-dynamic growing in a single operation and from the 2008 vintage.
From balanced approach vine-growing to bio-dynamics
Towards a respect for Nature
When Nadine de Nicolay commited herself at the domain in the early 80s, she quickly understood the damaging effects of chemical growing.
Chemical supplements, "Agent Orange" herbicides, "yellow oil" pesticides and insecticides developed from wartime industry "mustard gas" seemed to her inappropriate for vine-growing.
So she decided to re-equip the domain with ploughs, rakes and other materials for working the soil. Spray treatments were only used when needed, and there were no more systemic or preventive methods.
Step by step, the Domain used less and less copper in its sprayings. Synthetic molecular products were only used in cases of extreme urgency.
On the way to natural: the stages
François de Nicolay succeeded his mother, with his sister Claude. His experience, during a few years in Paris as a wine-merchant and distributor, had allowed him to take part in the conversion of the wines of certain domains to bio-dynamic production. He very quickly realized the level of quality of the wines achieved thanks to this method and decided to convert the family domain.
The domain cultivates its 13.7 hectares according to totally natural methods. This represents a lot of effort in manual labour and important personal commitment.
Not only is all use of synthetic products excluded, so therefore no herbicide, no pesticide nor insecticide... but this new method also stimulates plant immunity and takes its environment into account.
This gives birth to grapes that are well-balanced, very ripe and full of energy that will be capable of making excellent wines, faithful to their appellations, pure and seductive.
The regulation of yields happens naturally and it is no longer necessary to carry out green harvesting. Via the deep rooting of the plant that it encourages and its completely natural aspect, bio-dynamic growing gives the wines inimitable texture on the palate and aromatic complexity.
The wines are thus amplified and are of incomparable elegance and charm. This painstaking work allows the aromatic identity of each climat to be revealed with precision.
The aim is not to be heavily involved in the process of vinification and ageing of the wines, but simply to guide Nature.
The principal desire is to remain faithful to the unique terroirs of Burgundy where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay powerfully express the best of themselves. That is to say: with charm, finesse and great aromatic complexity.
Bio-dynamics for the domain is also a growing method that preserves our terrestrial universe and it is durable. Through this method, the domain passes on to future generations parcels of land that are unpolluted and alive, capable of producing wines of great quality.
This is not a phenomenon of fashion, but a conscious decision.
Certification via ECOCERT and DEMETER testing began in 2008.
Consequently, our wines are fully certified from the vintage 2011.
A neo-classical Burgundian style
The quality of a wine is an amalgam of details from tending the vines right through to bottling.
For reds as well as whites, vinification is characterised by a neo-classical Burgundian style.
The method is faithful to tradition, but the advantages of modern oenological knowledge - laboratory analysis, new materials - allow more precision in our actions. Awareness of the need for perfect hygiene has added much to the purity of the wines.
For reds and whites: respect of the Grape, of Nature and of ancestral "savoir-faire"
The thoroughly sorted harvest is put in open-top vat, partly in whole bunches, partly de-stemmed.
Proportions change as a function of the specific vintages and the climats. No oenological products (other than sulphur in very small quantities) are used (no tartaric acid, no non-indigenous yeasts, nor tannin powder, nor enzymes...). Only certain rare vintages have needed light chaptalization, in which case organic sugar has been used.
When harvested grapes are too hot when received at the vat-house, they are slowly cooled (to around 18°C), so as to avoid rushing into fermentation and temperature excesses that would deprive the wine of its finest aromas.
Fermentation starts off naturally a few days after harvesting. This is followed at the beginning by daily pumping over, then by manual punching-down.
All the cuvees are tasted regularly and closely watched over (density, temperature...). They are devatted after 15 to 20 days, decanted via settling vats then taken down still warm into the cellars, for the barrel ageing period.
Here again, the harvest is thoroughly sorted. Grapes are pressed directly then the must placed in a settling vat for around 48 hours.
Then, the must is filled at 200 litres per barrel and fermentation starts gently. This fermentation lasts a long time and does not rise above 22°C in temperature. This will give a lot of fresh aromas and complexity to the wine.
When the sugars are finished, the wines go down into the cellars for ageing.
In our ancient cellars from the XIIIth Century
It is in our ancient XIIIth Century cellars situated under the vat-house that the barrels rest for 14 to 18 months.
For the respect of substance
Neither filtering, nor fining
Once vinification is finished, the wines go down to cellar in already-used barrels for long ageing on their lees, for both reds and whites. They are regularly checked by tasting and analysis.
After this first period, they are delicately racked "au clair" for a second phase of ageing, separated from the lees so as to refine the wines. This allows them to be bottled without filtration or fining. They are bottled by gravity-feed, without filtration.
In this way, the wine is returned as near as possible to its origins, faithful to its terroir and climat. All this takes between 14 and 18 months.
The wines of the Domain are also wines for laying down and keeping, that amaze and delight, year after year.