Wines of Domaine Jean Touzot

by artfuldiner on October 21, 2022

in Artful Diner Mini Review, Breaking News, Opinion, Wine

Jean Touzot - Frederic TouzotThe Touzot family domaine is located in the northernmost part of France’s Mâcon region of Burgundy, just south of the Côte Chalonnaise. Their 209+ acres of vineyards are planted with 70% chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir.

In 2002, after graduating from the Lycée Viticole in Mâcon and completing a stage of education in South Africa, Jean’s son, Frédéric, took over the management of the family estate and immediately dedicated himself to moving the Domaine’s viticultural practices to sustainability. He ended systematic vineyard treatments and now only does so when absolutely necessary He also discontinued the use of herbicides and regularly plows the soil to ensure its health and helping the vine roots to sink deeply into the limestone subsoil. Frédéric also believes that careful pruning in winter, leaf stripping, and bunch thinning in abundant years enhances the quality of his wines. He utilizes organic fertilizers only when deemed necessary by tests of the soils. As a result, he observes that his grapes are now both healthier and riper at harvest time.

Environmentally friendly practices are also used inside the winery, such as the recycling and purification of rinse water before it is drained away. “I try to be more observant and attentive to the needs of vineyard,” Frédéric notes, “rather than habitually using the same practices every year. By respecting nature, I better understand my profession.”

The Touzot Mâcon-Villages is a benchmark of this appellation. The estate’s potential was already recognized in 1996, when the Revue du Vin de France proclaimed: “At last a wine with fine acidity, with a lively expression of terroir and of fruit, which departs from the general surrounding mediocrity.”

Jean Touzot 2020 Chardonnay…And the 2020 Domaine Touzot Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes Mâcon-Villages certainly bears witness to this assessment. The chardonnay grapes are hand-harvested and then quickly pressed in a state-of-the-art pneumatic press, in order to extract all the fruit and aromas while avoiding any bitterness. After two days of cold stabilization and a light clearing of the juice (débourbage), the wine is slowly fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel coves for ten to fifteen days. The wine is aged on its lees in tanks and undergoes full malolactic fermentation in January. It is then bottled in April.

The 2020 is a textbook example of Mâcon-Villages… the marvelous aroma of green apples that extends over onto the palate… the crisp and beautifully balanced acidity… the subtle hint of melon on the finish… and the more than reasonable price tag: $18.99 at Pennsylvania State Stores.

The Touzot Bourgogne Rouge comes from a south-facing parcel of old vines. The grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and given a two-day cold maceration before fermentation begins. The winery does two punching down operations per day over four days and circulates the juice over the cap once per day to attain optimal extraction. The wine is then aged in casks (10% new; the balance 1-5 years old) for twelve months. The wine is lightly filtered and is not fined before bottling in early spring. The production is about five hundred cases. The wines exhibit the color, taste and texture that are similar to the more expensive Pinot Noirs produced in the Côte d’Or.

Jean Touzot 2018 Pinot NoirThe 2018 Domaine Touzot Bourgogne Pinot Noir is a rustic, concentrated Pinot Noir with significant fruit intensity. Pale ruby in color, medium-bodied, dry & tart, with subtle tannins and balanced acidity, the 2018 is mellow but powerful, with a decided hint of bitterness that is quite pleasing to the palate. The price is also rather pleasing as well… $19.99 at Pennsylvania State Stores.


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