Founded in 1864 by Pierre Bourée, Vallet Frères is now in the hands of the fourth generation of the family, Bernard and Jean-Christophe Vallet. The family owns vineyards in Gevrey-Chambertin, in the Beaune Premier Cru of Les Epenottes, and in the Grand Cru of Charmes-Chambertin, as well as the entire monopole vineyard of Clos de la Justice, also in Gevrey-Chambertin. Vallet Frères is also a négociant, and sources the best grapes from growers in other areas, with whom it has worked closely for decades.The wines it produces are complex, fine and authentic examples of Burgundian Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Vallet Frères Santenay 1er Cru Les Gravieres 2017
This delivers attractively ripe Pinot flavours – lightly smoky with plump red fruits, vegetal earthiness and a twist of acidity on the finish.
Grapes are selected from vines of a minimum 15 years of age; whole bunches are fermented in open top wooden vats using only natural yeasts and no temperature control; the grapes are left on their skins for at least 20 days and the ‘cap’ is trodden down by the oldest method – by feet! All this extracts as much colour, tannins and fruit as possible but in relation to ripeness and quality of the appellation. The wine is then put into French oak barrels where it matures for a minimum of two years with racking off two or three times a year (to gently remove natural deposits). They don’t have a fancy bottling line here – usually a pipe is inserted into each barrel which is joined to four taps, and the wine flows by gravity straight from barrel into the bottles without any filtration and just a candle to check that it’s clear!