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If you're a fan of these elegant white burgundies, here's an overview of Francois Carillon.
Domaine François Carillon is a Burgundy wine estate based in Puligny-Montrachet, focusing on wines made from Chardonnay. It was formed in 2010 when François and his brother Jacques decided to divide their father's estate, Domaine Louis Carillon, which had been regarded as one of the very finest in the village. The Carillon family's history in winegrowing in the area can be traced back to at least 1700.
The estate consists of around 6.5 hectares (16 acres) of vineyards, around three-quarters of which are in Puligny-Montrachet. This includes parcels in four Premier Cru vineyards, including in Les Champs Gains and Les Folatières, as well as a few precious rows of Chevalier Montrachet. Carillon also has plots in Chassagne-Montrachet and Saint-Aubin, as well as making Puligny-Montrachet village wine, and Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc wines.
François Carillon's cellars are situated in former family houses in the heart of Puligny village – they are not underground because of the region's high water table. The white wines are all made using the same methods, initially fermenting for four to six weeks, and then spending a year in barrel. Only the proportion of new oak (up to 25 percent) varies with each appellation.
Everything starts in the vineyard. To get the best grapes as possible, François is deeply committed to a precise and environmental-friendly approach of vine-growing. The vines are thus managed as naturally as possible.
Since 1992, weeds in all the parcels of vines are removed by plowing by tractor or horse, and no weed-killer is used. The Winery's head of culture has been taking care of the same vines for almost 30 years and has an exact knowledge of each parcels and can conduct specific actions so that the grapes can reflect precisely the terroir they grow on. Respect for the environment and living organisms is something François deeply believes in.
Only natural-origin products are used, and only when required. Moreover, instead of burning vine shoots as it is often the case in Burgundy, they are processed into small chips, compost and spread them in the vines. Coupled with horse manure, they enrich the soil without using chemical fertilizers. The vineyard density is around 10000 vines per hectare, enabling them to extract plant food and water from the terroir of Puligny. Pruning of the vine is performed manually (“Guyot” pruning) and yields are strictly controlled via disbudding as well as green harvesting. Grapes are harvested manually every year.
As to the 2018 vintage, Carillon states "the growing season was complicated due to the dryness which provoked some hydric stress in our vines. It was definitely hot, but it was really the dryness that caused some grief. The difficulties were exacerbated by the huge production, which obviously means that the vines have to find water to keep the berries from wilting as well as to drive the photosynthetic activity to bring such a large number of bunches to proper maturity. The picking occured from the 26th of August to the 6th of September, which is longer than normal because picking took place only in the morning. There were two picking teams of 50 and 40 people respectively and even with such large teams and impeccably clean fruit, it still was a slog to get everything into the cuverie. The Winery expected a larger volume but virtually everyone was surprised by the rendement en jus (volume of juice). Otherwise, there were no trouble with the vinifications or malos overall. And the winery is extremely happy with the results."
Grapes are harvested manually, usually at the beginning of September, depending on their ripeness. After a soft pneumatic pressing, grapes musts are clarified before undergoing their alcoholic and malolactic fermentations in oak barrels (between 10 and 15% of new oak).
They remain there for about twelve months, during which the wines are matured on on lees, with occasional stirring. The wines are then transferred in stainless steel vats during six months to guarantee freshness and tautness, prior to bottling, which takes place between January and April.
A great deal of attention is given when corking the wines. From the village appellations to the winery's best Premiers crus, the best cork available are used to guarantee a impeccable ageing in bottles. For Bourgogne Chardonnays, Ardea Seal stoppers are used, thus guaranteeing a good ageing in bottles as well as no organoleptic defects.
For more information, or to purchase our 2018 François Carillon Wines, visit the Domaine François Carillon Collection.
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