Winemaker Spotlight: Domaine Buisson-Battault
Carrying on with our theme of the excellent ageability of white wine, especially white Burgundy, we thought it fitting to introduce you to one of most-loved producers who have proven - now for five generations - how long-lived and vibrant their wines can be.
Nestled in the depths of the Côte de Beaune, in the much lauded village of Meursault, lies the family-run estate of Buisson-Battault. Once an insider’s secret and a go-to for locals for top-notch Meursault, their reputation is now growing, at pace, outside of France. To give you a little bit of context as to the family’s deep roots to the region; the fifth generation, Francois has been at the helm of the estate since 1991, but had worked alongside and learnt from his father, Andre, who himself had been the winemaker there since 1945. Their work together saw a constant connection and negotiation between tradition and innovation which has had a huge and positive effect on the wines that Francois produces today.
Heritage and longevity really are at the heart of the family’s work and they cherish their old vines which were planted in some of the most enviable plots of Meursault by Francois’ grandfather at the turn of the century. As well as owning parcels in four of Meursault’s premier crus, the family have also spread their wings into Puligny, Beaune and Pommard.
Different to the caricature that Meursault has almost become - overtly bold, oaked and unctious - Buisson-Battault has remained fast stead in its creation of wines that are pure, mineral-driven and are the perfect conduit for the terroir that the family is so embedded in. To taste them is to understand the restraint that is used in the cellar; the wines are fermented and go through malolactic fermentation in oak barrels, of which only 20% is new. The wines spend one year in barrique on their fine lees, but Francois chooses not to carry out any batonnage. Following the year in barrel, the wine - with its lees - is moved into tanks. Francois strongly feels that this extended lees contact offers a very gentle style of batonnage and helps to add depth and supple richness to his wines. The great thing about these wines is that they are both immediately drinkable and will age impeccably in bottle for years to come.