Michel Gay and his brother, François, split up the family’s 6.5 hectare estate in Burgundy in 1992. Michel’s son, Sébastien departed for viticultural college in 1993, and returned to the domaine in 2000. The vineyards were primarily located in Chorey-lès-Beaune, and surrounding villages including Savigny-lès-Beaune, Aloxe-Corton, and Beaune. Today, these are still the focus regions, but the domaine is now around 15 hectares.
Sébastien’s father retired in 2001, and he was then joined by his brother, Laurent, as the oenologist. The brothers have carried on making wine as their father did, improving methods and modernizing over time.
Chorey-lès-Beaune is a only a few kilometers from Beaune, but in the wine world, it is a newby, having received its own appellation in 1970. Even after that, it still was decades before it started to garner the respect it deserved. Well into the 1990’s producers would opt to relegate their Chorey-lès-Beaune wines to the broader Côte de Beaune-Villages. Today, it is sought after, not as a cult wine, nor a collectible. Rather, Chorey-lès-Beaune have a reputation for being a great value, and for producing a solid, consistent Burgundy. Given the price points, some consider it an excellent gateway Burgundy in an era where such a thing is increasingly difficult to find. This honesty can be attributed to the inherent limitations. Chorey-lès-Beaune is relatively flat, and as such has poor drainage, and is therefore susceptible to mildews and root stock and fruit rot. These challenges mean reputable producers such as Domaine Michel Gay have to pay extra attention to every detail, which in turn means better vineyard management, and ultimately better grapes going into the wine.
The region of Beaune-Coucheria is a Premier Cru Climat, planted to both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the latter being considerably smaller in volume. The vineyard sits to the west west north of the town of Beaune, higher up on the hillside of Les Mondes Rondes, at an altitude above 250 meters. The vineyard faces south to southwest, allowing for optimum sunlight exposure. As production is small, Chardonnays from this climat are highly sought after.
Chorey-lès-Beaune Pinot Noir 2018
Moderate tannins, soft texture, yet rich in red fruit. Blacker fruit emerges on the mid palate, with hints of licorice. This is a sturdy wine, but still every bit Burgundy.
Beaune-Coucherias 1er Cru Blanc Chardonnay 2018
This is an elegant, refreshing Chardonnay, with enough body and complexity to pair with sophisticated dishes and still hold its own. Beneath the minerally surface are citrus teasers, fleeting moments of appley, summer, sexiness.