ierre Thibert is a man of two worlds. Being located in Corgoloin half his domaine is in the Côte de Nuits and half is in the Côte de Beaune.
– Wine has always been my passion. But since I don’t come from a family of winegrowers I had to create my own domaine. Step by step I created my own while I was working for Jean-Pierre Diconne in Auxey-Duresses.
Corgoloin is the southernmost village in the Côte de Nuits. Immediately to the south is Ladoix-Serrigny and the Côte de Beaune. Corgoloin does not have an appellation of its own. Instead, it shares Côte de Nuits-Villages with Comblanchien, Premeaux, Fixin and Brochon.
Domaine Pierre Thibert is a relatively small domaine, even by Burgundian standards. Total surface area is a mere 3.5 hectares. Appellations include regionals, Chorey-lès-Beaune, Côte de Nuits-Villages and Nuits-Saint-Georges, both village appellation and premier cru.
– In 1989 I had enough vines to concentrate fully on my own domaine. Prior to that I had been tending to my vines evenings and weekends. Up until then I had been working out of Chorey-lès-Beaune, from a place across the street from Domaine Tollot-Beaut.
At the time the domaine covered four hectares. There was a large portion of regional appellation land up in the Hautes-Côtes. Pierre Thibert did not feel that the vines there performed very well, so over the coming ten year period he sold all of it. The red Bourgogne he produces today comes from a parcel in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
– It’s a plot called Les Bouffales, not far from Jafflin and the sports stadium at the southern end of Nuits-Saint-Georges, explains Pierre Thibert. It’s a Bourgogne, but it’s a Bourgogne from the Côte de Nuits, from Nuits-Saint-Georges, which means you still have some Nuits character in the wine. It’s clay and limestone. Deep soil with lots of small stones. My grandparents used to live there and there is a lot of truffles there. Very good soil for reds.
Pierre Thibert’s Chorey-lès-Beaune comes from two parcels in Les Beaumonts and Les Champs Longs. At the moment all is red, but there is some white Chorey-lès-Beaune on its way from newly planted chardonnay vines.
– The parcel in Les Beaumonts, I don’t know if it is the oldest in Chorey-lès-Beaune, but it is very old. More than 100 years. I will uproot part of it because it was planted with horses in mind, with just 75 centimetres between the rows. So when I go there with my tractor I tend to uproot the first vines in each row. But I will keep the lower part of the parcel because it produces very good wine.
– Les Champs Longs is on the other side of the road. West of the route nationale. My parcel is close to the road. It is 0.20 hectare, while the one in Les Beaumonts is 0.27 hectare.
Compared with the other village appellations in the Côte d’Or the Côte de Nuits-Villages appellation is relatively unknown. Wine from the different villages within the appellation may be blended. In practice the northern villages – Fixin and Brochon – are rarely blended with the southern villages – Corgoloin, Comblanchien and Premeaux. Pierre Thibert has chosen to bottle his two Côte de Nuits-Villages vineyards, both from Corgoloin, separately. There is La Montagne and, a more recent acquisition, Aux Guillandes.
– La Montagne is higher up on the slope, close to the forest, says Pierre Thibert. The soil is thin with lots of stones. It is not very easy to plugh up there. Aux Guillandes on the other hand is down by the village, just behind the houses along the route nationale. The wine is lighter, with much more focus on the fruit.
When it comes to the work in the vineyards Pierre Thibert describes his philosophy as ”a bit of everything”. He is not organic, more like lutte raisonée. He is not using herbicides, unless it is really needed.
– I try to keep my vineyards as clean as possible, he says, to limit spraying to only when necessary. You have to respect the vines and you also have to understand their needs. Not all vines are the same. Some need more attention than others. Much of the work I do is timed to the phases of the moon. When I bottle, plough etc. It is the same thing in the cellar. The vinification process is never standardised.
Pierre Thibert calls his village appellation Nuits-Saint-Georges a real Nuits-Saint-Georges. The Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation spills over into Premeaux-Prissey, but in this case the vines are just north of the town of Nuits-Saint-Georges.
– It is a small parcel in La Petite Charmotte, with premier crus on one side. This and my Nuits-Saint-Georges premier cru, Rue de Chaux, are the only wines seeing new oak. I always try to keep the freshness. Not too old barrels, but not many new ones either. A normal year I only buy two new barrels. One for each of the wines from Nuits-Saint-Georges.
Nuits-Saint-Georges, Rue de Chaux, is a premier cru just south of the town. As the name suggests it is just next to the road that leads up to the village of Chaux.
– My parcel in Rue de Chaux comes from a great-uncle of mine. It is on a gentle slope. Some stones. Always easy to work there, it is a dream really. It is well-drained, always dry.
© 2016 Ola Bergman