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Domaine de Villaine is co-owned by Pamela and Aubert de Villaine and their nephew, Pierre de Benoist, who has managed the domaine for over 20 years.

Domaine de Villaine En Primeur 2022

Domaine de Villaine is co-owned by Pamela and Aubert de Villaine and their nephew, Pierre de Benoist, who has managed the domaine for over 20 years.

The domaine has two bases: the original domaine buildings in Bouzeron, which were bought by Pamela and Aubert de Villaine in 1971 and, as of 2017, a property in Rully. The latter had been known since the 19th century as Domaine Saint Michel. Pierre de Benoist had in fact made the wines here in the 2004 and 2005 vintages. We are including the 2021 Rully premier cru in this release as, in that frost-hit vintage, the tiny quantities meant that Pierre was forced to blend all six Rully vineyards into one cuvée.

The Bouzeron holdings include some 150-year-old Aligoté vines. The domaine also has parcels in neighbouring Mercurey. The estate has been managed organically since 1986 and certified organic since 1997. The wines are vinified in barrel and large oak foudres, with barely any new oak.

Including the Rully vines, Domaine de Villaine’s holdings extend to 29.33 hectares.

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    RULLY 1er CRU

    Due to the tiny quantities in the frost-ravaged 2021 vintage, Pierre has chosen to make a blend of all six of his premier cru sites in Rully. This, therefore, contains 1ers Crus Rabourcé, Cloux, Raclot, Montpalais, Grésigny and Margotés. Although the family’s ties to Rully stretch back to 1991, it was the acquisition of the ex-Domaine Saint Michel in 2017 that enabled Pierre to make six individual crus. Compared to Les Saint-Jacques, this is a step up in both intensity and precision, with a whiff of flinty reduction on the nose. The palate is salty and granular, textured stone-fruit finding a fleshiness and generosity on the mid-palate, coming to a fine point on the long, poised finish. Very impressive – just a shame that there is so little to go around. Just 10,000 bottles were made, compared to the usual 30,000.

    Corney & Barrow Score 18
    Recommended drinking from 2025–2035



    The domaine’s 17 parcels of Aligoté Doré vines cover nine hectares, of the domaine’s total 30. Bright apple and pear fruit aromas. The palate is pure and luminous, the orchard fruit and white peach flavours culminating in a point of crunchy definition on the finish. Vinified for 10-12 months in old oak foudres, the volume of each tailored to the individual plots. As Pierre says, this shows both the terrestrial and the aerien sides of 2022.

    Corney & Barrow Score 17.5
    Recommended drinking from 2024–2027+



    This is a 1.7 hectare plot, on the plain, at the north of the appellation, south-east facing, on deep, rich soils. This tends to be the most flamboyant of the domaine’s Rullys. As I had hoped, this is expressive and exuberant on the nose, full of verve and energy. The palate is unashamedly fruit-driven and pliant, offset against a freshness which comes as much from the bitter phenolic energy as from the acidity. The yields here are very low – Pierre retains just 3-4 bunches per vine, with thick skinned berries. Vinified in one foudre, with the remainder in barrels, all old oak. This will drink early.

    Corney & Barrow Score 17-17.5
    Recommended drinking from 2024–2026



    Following the first vintage of this wine in 1991, the domaine replanted this iron-rich plot in 1999 with top quality clones from Nuits-Saint-Georges. Inky, wild strawberry and crème de mur aromas lead into a palate of pliant forest fruits and fine earthy minerality. This has a nice polish and energy to it, making for an elegant Mercurey which will drink early but also evolve in bottle. 40% whole bunch fermentation, with a short period of cold pre-fermentation maceration. 2025 will be the last vintage of this much-loved wine, so buy it while you still can!

    Corney & Barrow Score 17.5+
    Recommended drinking from 2025–2030



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