There is a saying that the best things come in threes and that is certainly ringing true in the case of Domaine Truchetet, a small winery in Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits wine-growing region that is garnering a lot of critical acclaim thanks to a talented family trio.
Julie and Morgan Truchetet are the brother and sister team behind Domaine Truchetet representing the family’s 6th generation. They took over the family business from their father Jean-Pierre in January of 2019. Julie is the viticulturalist and spent the last decade working closely with her father, while Morgan the winemaker graduated from the Beaune wine school Lycée viticole with a degree in oenology and viticulture gaining much of his winemaking experience working at Domaine Lescure also in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
Morgan’s wife Pauline Genot is the final piece of the trifecta. She also grew up in the wine industry and looks after the business side of things. Together they have big plans for innovation and expansion at Truchetet in the years to come.
Pauline greets us warmly showing us around the small but bustling winery that is full of activity given Harvest was recently completed. After providing a basic background of each person’s role, she remarks how their current size at 6.5 hectares is perfect in order to manage everything between them.
“While each of us have our specialities—Julie, the viticulturalist, Morgan the winemaking, and me with the business side, we help each other with all the aspects. We are very complimentary in what we bring to the Domaine and have a very similar vision.”
Harvest at Truchetet is all done by hand and typically starts early in the morning around 7am finishing around 2pm every day in order to ensure fresh grapes before it gets too hot. “We prefer cold fermentation and not to have fermentation start too rapidly. This year afternoon temperatures reached as high as 35 degrees Celsius, so we keep a very close eye on things.” Once the grapes come into the winery, the 3 of them with the help of another person or two, sort all of the fruit by hand. Once the grapes are in tank, cold maceration then takes place over 8-9 days and each morning they decide together on whether to do nothing, do pump overs, or do some pigeage—a practice where the skins are manually tamped down to better extract colour and tannins during fermentation.
One of the more innovative things they’re testing in the winery is a type of infusion in the tank for their reds.
They have two tanks where the cap has been pushed down so it’s sitting in the juice but it just sits there—they’re never going to punch it around, try and mix it up, or do pigeage. It has juice above and juice below and is left to steep.
But it’s the vineyard where they place their primary focus and where they spend 90% of their time. Since taking over in 2019, Julie and Morgan are moving the winery toward becoming formerly certified organic, though they’ve been unofficially organic with their farming practices for many years. Morgan gained valuable experience while at Domaine Lescure, honing his knowledge of organic principles and they both feel strongly that being organic will continue being a key philosophy moving forward.
Pauline explains that the health of the soil is paramount so that the wine can represent the fullest expression of each special parcel of terroir. To prove her point on the latter, she takes us down to the cellar to taste through a selection of their wines where Morgan joins us. We taste through a variety of wines starting with an Aligoté through to their pinot noirs. To complete the experience, Morgan takes out the wine thief and we do some barrel tastings.
The three family members also created a negociant together so they could buy grapes from not only other winegrowers but also from the property Pauline inherited from her family plot. The negociant wines are made under the Morgan Truchetet label. Pauline’s family plot currently consists of 1.37ha and in November 2023, she will receive the rest of the plot that is currently under contract. The balance is made up of 4.5ha that is planted and another 2ha not planted yet.
The additional vineyards will require expansion both in terms of people, likely 1-3 more vineyard workers, along with more space required in the winery. With the current winery at capacity, they have found some space about 5 minutes away allowing them to take advantage of their imminent growth opportunity.
Our first trip to Burgundy was an eye opener on many levels, not the least of which is that high quality and relatively obscure winery gems like Domaine Truchetet not only exist but are ridiculously good value anywhere, not just in one of the world’s most recherché wine regions. Though given the quality they’re producing, it is our prediction that it’s simply a matter of time before their wines will be extremely difficult to get as they continue on their current trajectory of receiving well deserved critical acclaim.
2017 Truchetet Aligoté
Aligoté can sometimes come across as lacking complexity or dimension, but not in the hands of Truchetet. This is a complex, multi-dimensional take on the variety that shows citrus notes along with melon and hints of saline or brine. Medium + body and medium acid make for a wine with very pleasing texture. Very Good+
2018 Bourgogne Chardonnay
Moving up the quality scale but not much more in price is their regional level Chardonnay. This shows real body, much more than one has the right to expect from a wine at this price point.
There is a slightly creamy, leesy aspect to the texture that makes us think of Corton. Acidity on the back end give focus and punctuates the citrus elements in the wine. (€17 at the winery). Very Good/Excellent
2018 Haute Côte de Nuits (Blanc)
Flavours of ripe pear take added complexity from the almond notes that are nuanced and in the background. With a bit of air we pick up other stone fruits. Medium+ body with medium acid, this wine is textured and long. A real achievement at just €18! Excellent
2020 Coteaux Bourgogne
A blend of 50% Gamay and 50% Pinot Noir, this wine was surprisingly dark in colour. Fruit forward with blueberry and cherry flavours dominating. Spice notes infuse the finish and add a second layer to the fruit. The tannins are dry but ripe. Give it a year or two in bottle. (€15 at the winery). Very Good/ Excellent
2017 Bourgogne Vielle Vignes
With its black cherry and spice notes and pepper on the finish, the Vielle Vignes was showing classic Burgundian typicity. A concentrated wine with medium body and medium+ acidity, this is a gastronomic wine and has the stuffing to go with most meat dishes and should provide great drinking over the coming decade. Excellent
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