The Old Fire Station, Old Market, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Pernand Vergelesses, 1er Cru, Sous Fretille, Domaine Berthelemot

Berthelemot is a young domaine, created as recently as 2006, as a result of the merging of the mature holdings of the Jean Garaudet and Yves Darviot estates. As well as initial acquisitions in Beaune, Pommard, Monthélie and Meursault, in 2012, the estate purchased established plots in Puligny, Chassagne, and again in Meursault to meet the demand for its white wines. The success of the domaine is down to the hard work and talent of its founder, Brigitte Berthelemot, together with her estate manager and winemaker, Marc Cugney. The vines are planted in limestone soils in very good. Regular analyses of the soil and the vines allows for the bare minimum of herbicides and other artificial, chemical intervention.

As well as the Agriculture Raisonnée certification awarded in 2009, the domain is committed to the specifications of the HVE (Haute Valeur Environnementale) programme and it attained Level 3 in 2015. In 2018 Berthelemot started conversion to organic agriculture and from the 2021 vintage onwards wines will be certified organic.

Fretille is old French for summit and this vineyard, a 1er Cru for whites only since 2001, is on the slope of the ‘mountain’ of Fretille, adjacent to the hill of Corton. The soil is meagre and mainly limestone and the Domaine’s 67 ares of vines are all south facing which is important at this higher altitude. Grapes are hand-harvested, vinified and aged in oak barrels, 25% new. The cellar is temperature controlled to ensure fermentation is slow and even. Regularity of batonnage is decided based on tasting and the wine rests on its lees until June following the vintage.

The Pernand Vergelesses, 1er Cru, Sous Fretille has warm aromas of ripe citrus and vanilla with a full-flavoured, generous palate, fine balance and long finish.

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