Parceled vineyard ownership can make Burgundy’s Côte d’Or seem chaotic. But this allows small, family growers like Fougeray de Beauclair to produce twenty-one wines from the Côte de Nuits and de Beaune. Founded in 1978, Fougeray de Beauclair grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay across 45 acres, from straight-forward villages like Marsannay and Fixin, to prestigious Bonnes Mares, to richly structured Puligny-Montrachet. Patrice Olliver has been growing and making wine at Fougeray de Beauclair, created by his parents-in-law, for over two decades. Synthetic fertilizers were abandoned, and the sorting of grapes takes place in the vineyard and at the winery. Quality becomes a matter of pride at a domaine of this size. The wines get oak in the proportion they deserve: 15 months in 30% new for the Gevrey-Chambertin, 18 months in 100% new for the Bonnes Mares, 6 to 8 months in 50% new oak for the Puligny-Montrachet. Barrels come from the Bertrange forest, and are made by master tonnelier François Frères.
Fougeray de Beauclair makes around 90,000 bottles a year. Forty percent of their wine sells in France, but after meeting with Patrice and tasting his wines, we’ve managed to stock a few that we’re pleased to offer. For casual dinners, for late-afternoon sippers, or for special occasions, Fougeray de Beauclair has a wine, and they’re ready for drinking today. – Daniel