Neal Martin on Nicolas Rossignol

Here is Neal Martin's glowing review of Domaine Nicolas Rossignol from '2017 Burgundy: A Modern Classic'.

'Though Rossignol’s new winery is located on the outskirts of Beaune, I continue associating this producer with Pommard, since Nicolas Rossignol has several holdings in this appellation, not to mention that his heart clearly lies here. He is garrulous, erudite and passionate when talking about wine, always armed with the insider’s gossip about what is really going on in Burgundy. More importantly, I rate him as a superb winemaker, and his wines have progressed since he relocated from the winery shared with his friend Benjamin Leroux.

“I started picking around September 5,” Rossignol told me. “Everything was perfect during the growing season. You just had to be careful about not leaving too many grapes in the vineyard and control the yields, so we took off some bunches. You can feel the terroirs in 2017. Generally, it will be a vintage that you can drink more quickly than others, except for a few wines like Les Epenots and Santenots. There is sweetness in these wines, though they are not heady. Here in this winery I have to manage 50 vats, but I never tired of tasting the 2017s, as the wines were so rich and deep, which was not the case in 2015.”

Now, this is a winemaker who deserves much higher status, and perhaps that is just a matter of time. Maybe if he had a couple of Grand Crus he would gain a higher profile. In the meantime, there are some absolute gems amongst his broad range of 2017s that focus on the Pommard-Volnay axis. Rossignol’s Pommard Les Epenots completely floored me with its precision and coiled-up energy; it is possibly the finest Pommard of the vintage. Les Chanlins, a lesser-known Pommard Premier Cru, had a propitious year and Rossignol’s comes highly recommended. Switching over to Volnay, two Premier Crus really stand out: Les Chevrets, Rossignol’s personal favourite, and also Les Fremiets. Most of Rossignol’s wines feel approachable and yet possess the substance to suggest they will mature nicely over the next couple of decades.


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Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

After hail and frost had savagely cut the production here in four out of the previous five vintages, it was smiles and relief all round this year. In 2016 Nico had just five barrels of 'Village' Volnay, but the 'perfect' 2017 vintage has yielded 39 barrels form the same ground. How Nico has managed to keep smiling through the last few years is anyone's guess, but that's Nico. It can only be hoped that with the only slightly smaller 2018 harvest now in barrel, these troubles have come to an end. Now in its second year, he could not be happier with his new winery. A fantastic bespoke build, admittedly in a ZI (Zone industrielle) on the outskirts of Beaune, which he recognises is not ideal for the folklore aspect, but it is a perfect tool for the job, and does have a good view of all 'his' bits of the Côte - from the roof.

As we wrote last year, the wines in this cellar reflect his bounding optimism - they are generous and bouncing with energy. He describes the 2017 vintage as 'Gourmand, Friand, Fruité', which is marvellous, but at least partly untranslatable - come on chaps, we need a word for gourmand that is better than 'greedy', and another for friand which does not involve a long explanation - but 'easy to love' might do. But you get the idea. It's delish. 'Not the density of 2015, but just as well-balanced', as Nico went on to say, and 'a vintage which respects the identity of each terroir. The kind of vintage you can drink from the word go, and at any time for ten years, but which will surprise if you then find a bottle you've forgotten in the cellar, when you see it has aged brilliantly - like the 2002s'. From a Bourgogne you can drink now, through to an incredibly serious Grand-Cru-level Pommard Rugiens, this is a great set of wines.
2017 BOURGOGNE Pinot Noir Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 BOURGOGNE Pinot Noir Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

Mineral nose joined by a little toast. Sweet cherry fruit on the palate with gravel evident in the background. The Bourgogne has a lovely mouth feel, light and crisp with no hard edges. VeryMineral nose joined by a little toast. Sweet cherry fruit on the palate with gravel evident in the background. The Bourgogne has a lovely mouth feel, light and crisp with no hard edges. Very attractive - a great all rounder that won't break the bank. 60% aged in wood, 40% in tank to retain freshness. Drinking range: 2018 - L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 SAVIGNY LES BEAUNE 1er Cru Les Fourneaux Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 SAVIGNY LES BEAUNE 1er Cru Les Fourneaux Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

Tried from two barrels. The first was an old oak barrel: Lovely cherry fruit, tightly knitted with chalky tannins. The second sample was from a new oak barrel: The cherry fruit was much fuller,Tried from two barrels. The first was an old oak barrel: Lovely cherry fruit, tightly knitted with chalky tannins. The second sample was from a new oak barrel: The cherry fruit was much fuller, richer and rounder. A bold and rich-fruited wine with solid tannins under, in need of a little more élevage when we saw it, but should be excellent.L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 POMMARD Vignots Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 POMMARD Vignots Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

The Vignots is perched higher up on the Côte where the soil is thinner and is dominated by white rock (limestone and chalk). A tighter feel. Lovely refined fruit. The chalk is evident in theThe Vignots is perched higher up on the Côte where the soil is thinner and is dominated by white rock (limestone and chalk). A tighter feel. Lovely refined fruit. The chalk is evident in the mineral frame. It has a cool, slender feel to it. There is enough fruit to see it home. An attractive, genuine Pommard. L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 BEAUNE 1er Cru Reversées Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 BEAUNE 1er Cru Reversées Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

Always a popular option on the shop shelves at L&S the 2017 Reversées is a level up in concentration, with deep colour an intriguing rich dark fruit character framed by mineral rock. The fruit isAlways a popular option on the shop shelves at L&S the 2017 Reversées is a level up in concentration, with deep colour an intriguing rich dark fruit character framed by mineral rock. The fruit is sweet and attractive. Some spice too. Good volume and concentration balanced by fresh acidity.L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 POMMARD Noizons Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 POMMARD Noizons Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

After the Village wine this has more charm, soft and ripe. An easy to love Pinot that puts you at ease immediately. As Nico explains, Noizons is really a Pommard for people who don’t like Pommard!After the Village wine this has more charm, soft and ripe. An easy to love Pinot that puts you at ease immediately. As Nico explains, Noizons is really a Pommard for people who don’t like Pommard! Great fruit red and supple with gentle spice, but without the Pommard bones. The vines here are on clay - which helps give that easy and sexy style. A real smoothie. Drinking range: 2019 - 2025L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 VOLNAY 1er Cru Clos des Angles Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 VOLNAY 1er Cru Clos des Angles Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

The Clos des Angles is made with 50% whole cluster giving a lovely juicy feel to the wine. Straight laced at this stage. There is a plump and weighty feel that is kept in check by fresh acidity and aThe Clos des Angles is made with 50% whole cluster giving a lovely juicy feel to the wine. Straight laced at this stage. There is a plump and weighty feel that is kept in check by fresh acidity and a tingle of tannin. Complexity should come in time. I look forward to trying this again once bottled. L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 BEAUNE 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 BEAUNE 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

100% de-stemmed. So silky and classy - a slippery feel, saline then intense with flavour, a real lift of mineral - there's a lot of iron in the soil here. Very moreish.100% de-stemmed. So silky and classy - a slippery feel, saline then intense with flavour, a real lift of mineral - there's a lot of iron in the soil here. Very moreish.L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 VOLNAY 1er Cru Santenots Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 VOLNAY 1er Cru Santenots Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

Two hectare plot which is divided in to 4 different parcels - each vinified separately. The vineyard is dominated by large limestone rocks in a soil with a lot of ireon oxide. There is wonderfulTwo hectare plot which is divided in to 4 different parcels - each vinified separately. The vineyard is dominated by large limestone rocks in a soil with a lot of ireon oxide. There is wonderful primary black fruit which marries well with the oak. Gamey and earthy notes too. Rich, powerful and masculine. Good structure with the tannins building towards the finish. Classy and pronounced. Drinking range: 2021 - 2029L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 POMMARD 1er Cru Charmots Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 POMMARD 1er Cru Charmots Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

Unusual for Pommard because of its easy charm. There is lots of clay in Nico's parcel here - which is near his 'Noizons' a wine in 2017 that is unnervingly gentle.! Delicious. Pretty. Dark redUnusual for Pommard because of its easy charm. There is lots of clay in Nico's parcel here - which is near his 'Noizons' a wine in 2017 that is unnervingly gentle.! Delicious. Pretty. Dark red fruit. Soft and doux for Pommard. Really lovely. Great acidity - super balance. That pitch perfect mix of weight and ripeness with the lovely freshening acidity is joyous. Drinking range: 2020 - 2026L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 VOLNAY 1er Cru Roncerets Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 VOLNAY 1er Cru Roncerets Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

'Roncerets' literally means 'Blackberry Bush' and Blackberry is certainly evident in the wine. Sweet dark fruit dominates the palate. It feels quite fat until the chalky tannins start to build and'Roncerets' literally means 'Blackberry Bush' and Blackberry is certainly evident in the wine. Sweet dark fruit dominates the palate. It feels quite fat until the chalky tannins start to build and the structure becomes more apparent. There is a good balance of elegance and power. Plenty of energy and brambly vigour. A lovely, bold Volnay. L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 VOLNAY 1er Cru Chevrets Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 VOLNAY 1er Cru Chevrets Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

The soil is made up of limestone and clay. Old vines. 50% whole cluster. Very silky and luscious on entry with black and exotic purple fruit - the weight is immediately apparent. Lots of rich darkThe soil is made up of limestone and clay. Old vines. 50% whole cluster. Very silky and luscious on entry with black and exotic purple fruit - the weight is immediately apparent. Lots of rich dark fruit kept in check by noticeable acidity. Ripe tannins grow towards the end. The limestone becomes apparent at the finish with a hint of rocky mineral.L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 POMMARD 1er Cru Argillières Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 POMMARD 1er Cru Argillières Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

Tasted after the Clos de Vergers - this is darker and more spicily toasty on the nose. The parcel is within part of Clos de Vergers. More tannic and serious. Yet still supple and ripely done.Tasted after the Clos de Vergers - this is darker and more spicily toasty on the nose. The parcel is within part of Clos de Vergers. More tannic and serious. Yet still supple and ripely done. Dense. More limestone here, and so it is no surprise the structure is good, mineral and sculpted well. Lovely dark aromas. Charming Pommard. Drinking range: 2021 - 2027L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 VOLNAY 1er Cru Caillerets Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 VOLNAY 1er Cru Caillerets Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

The vineyard name 'Caillerets' translates as 'Small Stones' in English. The soil is made up of clay with small lumps of limestone. There is a feminine aspect to the wine - smooth on entry the wineThe vineyard name 'Caillerets' translates as 'Small Stones' in English. The soil is made up of clay with small lumps of limestone. There is a feminine aspect to the wine - smooth on entry the wine has attractive fruit with lots of mineral flavour woven around it. It is well balanced - the weight of juice is well supported by noticeable tannin and acidity. Great finesse. L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 POMMARD 1er Cru Épenots Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 POMMARD 1er Cru Épenots Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

The Épenots parcel is made up of vines that were planted 112 years ago (75% of the cuvée) with some that are 50 years old. The oldest vines are a little plot owned by Vincent, who works for NicolasThe Épenots parcel is made up of vines that were planted 112 years ago (75% of the cuvée) with some that are 50 years old. The oldest vines are a little plot owned by Vincent, who works for Nicolas and trusts him to make the best wine with them. The result is Grand Cru quality. Very rich and complete on the nose. A mineral core. Red, black fruit and spice. The deep fruit is joined by mouth-coating velvety tannins. Slightly closed at this stage but the tension and energy is apparent and hugely impressive. Drinking range: 2026 - L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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