The charismatic masters of the lieu-dit
Guy Roulot pioneered single-vineyard bottlings in Meursault and a winemaking style marked by distinct minerality and filigreed aromatics. Following his premature death, his son Jean-Marc, then pursuing an acting career, took the helm of the estate. Jean-Marc would consolidate Roulot’s iconic status by building upon his father’s legacy and committing to pure and expressive winemaking. No wonder their wines are considered some of the world’s finest.
Location: Meursault, Burgundy, France
Viticultural standards: Organic certified (and biodynamic practices)
Total area under vine: 16 ha
Interesting fact: Even though Jean-Marc returned to Meursault to embrace his father’s legacy at Domaine Roulot, he didn’t completely abandon his acting career. He has consistently appeared on screen and on stage, featuring in multiple TV productions, feature films and documentaries. He makes a brief appearance in the Netflix series ‘Call my Agent!’ (season two, episode three). See if you can spot him!
Domaine Roulot Wines
Taste the wines of Domaine Roulot blind and you might struggle to place them in Meursault, such is their restraint and Chablis-like precision. This is the style that has propelled Roulot to stardom, setting a new benchmark for an appellation mostly known for fat and creamy wines.
The story of the domaine started when Guy Roulot decided to use the grapes from his family’s vineyards to make wine instead of for distillation. His marriage to Geneviève Coche added a number of prized plots to the domaine’s holdings. The quality of their vineyards, the couple’s hard work and Guy’s novel approach, vinifying and bottling each plot separately, firmly established Roulot as master of the lieu-dit. His wines quickly turned heads for their flinty minerality, vibrant acidity and aromatic restraint, a profile no one thought the vineyards of Meursault could deliver.
Guy’s sudden and unexpected death in 1982 left the Domaine in a limbo. His son, Jean-Marc was in Paris pursuing an acting career and had little interest in wine. However, his father’s death made him rethink his priorities. After a transition period of seven years, during which three contract winemakers kept production going, Jean-Marc returned to Meursault in 1989, sure of his ability to take the helm of the Domaine. “When I left at 22 years old to follow acting, I had no real opinion on wine, but when I came back to Meursault eleven years later, I knew exactly what I wanted to make,” explains Jean-Marc. He consolidated the domain’s reputation, firmly establishing its iconic status, and fine-tuned his father’s winemaking style.
Roulot’s pioneering single-vineyard Meursault bottlings are now considered some of the world’s finest white wines, with their trademark focus and precision in perfect balance with the sumptuousness of the appellation’s fruit. Jean-Marc is fully committed to a terroir-driven approach that keeps winemaking influence to a minimum and lets the purity of the fruit shine. All his wines are fermented and aged in barrel for 12 months, with only 20 to 30% new oak so as to keep the wood influence in check. They then spend 6 months in stainless steel prior to bottling. Even though bâtonnage is common practice in the Côte D’Or, Jean-Marc shies away from it, as he believes it imparts an unnecessary heaviness and obscures the elegance he seeks.
The wines from Domaine Roulot are unique in that they are such quintessential expressions of their terroirs while departing from the rich style the Meursault appellation was known for. They show unparalleled structural elegance, acid verve and aromatic subtlety. They are, just like Jean-Marc, authentic, uncomplicated and unpretentiously complex.