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Domaine Coche-Bizouard

Domaine Coche-Bizouard

This family-run domain, based in Meursault, was created by Julien Coche in 1940 and began as just one hectare of vines. His son Alain took over from him and earned a high reputation from the vintages he produced in the 1980s and 1990s, and Alain's own son Fabien has been involved since 1995 and now oversees the day-to-day running of the domaine.

The family now has 12 hectares, located not only in Meursault but also Pommard, Auxey-Duresses, Monthélie, Saint-Romain, Saint-Aubin and Puligny-Montrachet. Impressively, 60% of the vines are over 60 years old. The vines are trained to a mix of guyot simple and cordon de royat.

The vines are planted on a mixture of limestone, clay and marl, with chalkier soils found on Meursault's east-facing hillsides. No herbicides have been used since 2004, and rye grass is planted in between each row of vines to encourage higher competition.

The new winery, just over the railway line from the vines, was completed in 2007, and contains state of the art machinery such as a pneumatic press. The white grapes are whole-bunch pressed, cold settled, and fermented and matured in barrels for about 12 months, before ageing for a further period of six months in stainless-steel tanks, and are bottled 18 months after the vintage. Barrel size ranges from 228 to 500 litres.

While some reds are also produced (which age for a year in barrels, producing fruity wines for relatively early drinking), it is the whites that have given this domaine its reputation - particularly the four village Meursaults which come from separate lieux-dits. The one we usually buy is L'Ormeau, which comes from early-ripening grapes planted on warm gravel soils just behind Alain's house.

The two Meursault premier crus produced - Les Charmes and La Goutte d'Or - come from 75 to 80 year old vines and are aged in 20% new oak, in contrast to the 15% new oak used to mature the village wines.

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