Bertrand Chevillon at Domaine Robert Chevillon in Nuits-Saint-Georges, Burgundy.
– L

es Saint-Georges has the finesse of Les Cailles and the power of Vaucrains.

Even if Les Saint-Georges very well could be Nuits-Saint-Georges’ first grand cru in a not too distant future, Bertrand Chevillon at Domaine Robert Chevillon prefers to place his Les Saint-Georges after Les Cailles, but before Vaucrains, at tastings.

– Vaucrains is more about power, all thanks to the soil, Bertrand Chevillon continues. All the wines benefit from this tasting order. Vaucrains is a very muscular wine. The soil is very stony. So much that it is really difficult to dig holes for the vineyard posts.

Les Saint-Georges and Vaucrains in Nuits-Saint-Georges.Domaine Robert Chevillon is tucked away in the back streets of Nuits-Saint-Georges. One can trace the roots of the domaine back to around 1900 when Symphorien Chevillon started out with 30 ares of vines around the town. Since then the domaine has grown to cover 13 hectares, all located around Nuits-Saint-Georges. It carries the name of Symphorien Chevillon’s great-grandson, Robert, who is the father of Bertrand and his brother Denis.

– When our father arrived at the domaine in the 1960s only part of the production was bottled here, says Bertrand Chevillon. Like all growers at the time part of the wine was sold off to the négociants. Today we bottle everything ourselves and between 80 and 90 per cent is exported. Very little is sold in France, but that’s the way it’s been for the past 30 years.

Les Saint-Georges and Vaucrains in Nuits-Saint-Georges.It was in 1990 the two Chevillon brothers joined forces. Bertrand had been in the army, while Denis had been tending their grandfather’s vineyards. Together with their father they brought all the family vineyards under the Domaine Robert Chevillon name.

– Both our grandfather and our father had been buying land and planting vines. The last acquisition we did was in 2000, when we bought the parcel in Les Cailles. It was a parcel we had had as métayage. When the owner died we decided to buy it, even if it didn’t come cheap. Well, at the time prices were still ”reasonable” and the parcel is 1.10 ha. Today prices are insane. For young winegrowers it is impossible to create something of their own unless they have a family domaine.

Clos des Porrets-Saint-Georges and Les Roncières in Nuits-Saint-Geoirges.All three premier crus mentioned – Les Cailles, Vaucrains and Les Saint-Georges – are located at the southern end of Nuits-Saint-Georges. The appellation Nuits-Saint-Georges spills over into Prémeaux, but these three are still in the commune of Nuits-Saint-Georges. Les Cailles and Les Saint-Georges are mid-slope, side by side. Vaucrains is just above.

– Les Cailles always produces a very feminine wine, says Bertrand Chevillon. Very soft and silky. The soil is very stony and the vines have an average age of 80 years. Lots of finesse here.

Les Roncières, Clos des Porrets-Saint-Georges, Les Maladières and Les Brûlées in Nuits-Saint-Georges.The parcel is a large chunk right in the middle of Les Cailles, running from the bottom to the top. In Les Saint-Georges the domaine also has its parcel in the middle. The whole of Les Saint-Georges covers 7.52 ha and has 13 different owners. The parcel of Domaine Robert Chevillon covers half a hectare. As in both Les Cailles and Vaucrains the average age of the vines is 80 years.

Over the past years the owners in Les Saint-Georges have worked together trying to have this premier cru promoted to grand cru status. An application has been sent to the INAO (Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, France’s appellations authority).

Domaine Robert Chevillon in Nuits-Saint-Georges.– We have put in a lot of work. There has been many tastings, soil analyses and other things. Now we can only wait and see. Time and patience.

– If the INAO approves it will be an important change for the village. It will be that little extra, our first grand cru. Unfortunately the price of the wine will change as well.

At Domaine Robert Chevillon the focus on Nuits-Saint-Georges is obvious. You’ll find all their vineyards in Nuits-Saint-Georges. There is a total of eight different Nuits-Saint-Georges premier crus here, which provide for very interesting side by side tastings. Apart from the three already mentioned there is also Les Chaignots, Les Bousselots, Les Roncières, Les Perrières and Les Pruliers.

– Les Chaignots is on the Vosne-Romanée side of Nuits-Saint-Georges, says Bertrand Chevillon. We have about one hectare and a half. One younger parcel and one older. This is a wine with focus on the fruit. At tastings we always start with this one because it’s more aromatic than the others.

Bertrand Chevillon at Domaine Robert Chevillon in Nuits-Saint-Georges, Burgundy.Not far from Les Chaignots is Les Bousselots. While their parcel in Les Chaignots is at the beginning of the slope the parcel in Les Bousselots is all flat. Les Chaignots is a bit more stony.

– Les Bousselots is a parcels from our grandfather. The soil is deeper. It produces tiny millerande berries every year. Always very concentrated.

– The vinification process is the same for all wines. There is cold maceration during one week. The temperature depends on the year. The vinification takes two three weeks and after that the wines are put into barrels for 18 months.

The remaining three premier crus – Les Roncières, Les Perrières and Les Pruliers – are all on the Prémeaux side of Nuits-Saint-Georges, but not as far south as Les Saint-Georges. Around here you have many old quarries.

– Les Roncières is a one hectare parcel, says Bertrand Chevillon. Part of it is flat, part of it is at the beginning of the slope. It’s very close to our parcel in Les Perrières, which is very different in character thanks to its stony soil. You can taste the stones. Les Perrières is much more mineral.

– Just north of Les Roncières you have Les Pruliers. It’s always a powerful wine, a wine which requires more time in the cellar.

© 2018 Ola Bergman