|The Aux Guettes vineyard overlooking Savigny-Les-Beaune|
The return leg of our trip to the Alps gave me the chance to visit a domaine I have always wanted to visit in a village that has become my favourite on the Côte d'Or. Domaine Jean-Marc et Hugues Pavelot is on the northern edge of Savigny-les-Beaune, next to the lieu-dit 'Guetottes' and produces a range of wines, mainly from within the Savigny appellation. We tasted a range of wines from the 2010 vintage...
Bourgogne Rouge €9
From a vineyard in lower Aloxe-Corton from 50 year old vines. Pleasant fruit driven nose. Drink immediately after vintage. A bargain, bursting with bright fruit. 2* 8/ 10
From a variety of parcels in the village and 40 year old vines. Not much more than the Bourgogne, with very similar nose and a short finish. Drink 2-3 years after the vintage. 3* 6.5/ 10
Savigny-les-Beaune, 1er Cru Aux Guettes €20
From a vineyard with 25 year old vines opposite the domaine, named after the watch tower (tour de guet) in the vineyard. An instantly captivating nose, definitely a step up from the village wine. Slightly deeper fruit while still maintaining the house style (or was it the vintage style?) of pure, bright fruit with a touch of mineral tension. Drink 5 years after the vintage. 4* 8/ 10
Savigny-les-Beaune, 1er Cru La Dominode €24
La Dominode comes from a section within the premier cru Les Jarrons, and is named after a previous owner, a Monsieur Domino from Pommard. The vines are on average 35 years old and up to 80 years old. Madame Pavelot told me that only four growers make wine from this vineyard (I make it five: Bruno Clair, Jean-Marc Pavelot, Louis Jadot, Chanson Père et Fils, and Jean-Claude Boisset). A similar nose to Aux Guettes with extra depth on palette from velvety fruit. The tannins, although not huge, need a couple of years to mature and bring balance to the wine. The Pavelots recommend drinking this wine from five years after the vintage but say it can be kept for up to 15 years. Finally, at €24 a bottle, this is a serious bargain both relative to other cellar door prices (Bruno Clair's La Dominode is €46) but also relative to what you'd pay for it in the UK (it's 45% cheaper than the £37.50 Berry Brothers sell it for). 4* 8/ 10
These were all very good wines characterised by their translucent, yet dark cherry colour as well as very pure fruit (blackberries, raspberries & cherries) and sublime balance with little evidence of oak.