Juliette Chenu of Louis Chenu Père et Filles tells her family's story of more than a century of grape growing in the heart of the Côte d'Or in Burgundy, France. Starting with a small parcel in the Premiere Cru site of Les Lavières purchased in 1915 and currently led by the fifth-generation sisters, Juliette and Caroline the family has built a reputation for offering tremendous value and quality.
Their certified organic viticulture involves hands-on work by the sisters, who can be found in the vineyards throughout the growing season, tending to tasks such as pruning, tying, and treatments.
Pinot Noir is the red grape at the estate, as is to be expected. Juliette and Caroline make a number of Savigny-Lés-Beaune Premier Cru wines including:
Aux Clous - This vineyard is cultivated at mid-slope close to the village and adjoins the cemetery. It includes different types of terrain, comprising of deep, red earth on the upper level and stony ground on the remaining three-quarters. The vineyard is perfectly south-facing. These very pleasant, fairly tender and pleasing wines possess a beautiful color. Less full-bodied but more precocious than the Lavières, they develop a violet fragrance and are very feminine. (Domaine Louis Chenu Père et Filles)
Les Lavières - The Lavières get their name from the stone found in their sub-soil, which is covered with a very fine layer of stony brown earth (30 cm). This premier cru is very fragrant when young and remains so with age, which is typical of this appellation. It makes a tender, elegant and pleasant wine when young due to its finesse. It gives off several aromas of red fruits and also violet. It remains very firm with age. As it ages, it develops a soil taste that is reminiscent of the smell of gunflint or smoke. It can easily be kept for around fifteen years. (Domaine Louis Chenu Père et Filles)
Haut Jarrons - The Hauts-Jarrons (Jarrons meaning tree branches) are located in the middle of the slope under the Mont Battois hill heading towards Beaune. Their deep and sandy soil is similar to that of the Beaune-Bressandes. Likewise, the wines are more like those from Beaune than Savigny. Very full-bodied and tannic, they have good aromas but remain closed when young. They require a few years before reaching fullness and are favorable to a long ageing process. (Domaine Louis Chenu Père et Filles)
The wine-making process at Louis Chenu follows classic Burgundian techniques. The grapes are destemmed for the reds and undergo a short cold soak before fermenting with native yeast at cool temperatures for about two weeks. Daily cap manipulations help achieve the desired tannin and color extraction. The wines are then aged in barrels for 18 months, with only a small percentage of new oak, and are typically unfiltered before bottling. The elusive whites at Louis Chenu are made by directly pressing the grapes, fermenting with native yeast in used barrels, and being kept on lees for 12 months before filtering at bottling.
Savigny-les-Beaune is the third-largest appellation in the Côtes de Beaune, with 22 Premiere Cru vineyards located on two hills at the southern end of the region, adjacent to Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, and Beaune.
Perhaps surprisingly, the family’s Chardonnay is enhanced with roughly 10% of old vine Pinot Blanc. A small amount of Aligote is grown and made into a stand-alone wine.
Les Saucours : The Savigny whites come from so-called “white” soil, which comprises in part of marl. Only 5% of the Savigny vineyard is made up of white grape varieties (mostly chardonnay). The most favorable ground is situated at the entrance to the village on a slightly sloping hillside facing north (Les Saucours) and at the exit of the village heading towards Bouilland on a hillside this time facing south (Les Vermots). The Savigny-Lès-Beaune white wines are well-structured, dry, quite rounded and are an attractive golden-green color. The main chardonnay variety gives the roundness, the aromas and the finesse. The pinot blanc (around 10%) provides the touch from the vine.(Domaine Louis Chenu Père et Filles)
Video link below, presented by Alex McNeely of Candid Wines.
Louis Chenu Père et Filles is a family-run winery nestled in the heart of Savigny-lès-Beaune, founded in 1915 and .