The Domaine Barthod-Noellat was founded in the late 1920s and obviously is a fusion of the work of two families: Noellat & Barthod. Gaston Barthod, whose family originated in the Jura, married into the Noellat family and took over the direction of the domaine after his military service concluded in the 1950s. We commenced our love affair with this domaine in 1981 when we first began to import its wines into the United States. In many ways, Gaston Barthod served as our mentor in the early stages of our work in Burgundy and we remain deeply grateful for, and respectful of, his sage advice. At the outset of our relationship, Gaston declared only his Chambolle Musigny “Les Charmes” as a 1er Cru and all the rest of the wine bore the same “Chambolle Musigny” label. For our initial shipments of “Les Cras” and “Les Fuées”, two lovely 1er Crus, we had Gaston mark the boxes in crayon with a “C” or an “F” so that we could keep them separate and treat them differently when they arrived stateside!
The joys of “terroir” are no more evident than when tasting in the cellars of this small, but important, estate. Ghislaine, Gaston’s daughter, began an intense apprenticeship with her father in the 1980s. She has brought new vigor and a distinct touch to every area of concern from vineyard management to vinification but always with the profound regard for the purity of pinot noir and the character of the wines of Chambolle. Under her leadership, the reputation of this estate has deservedly grown internationally. The Domaine Ghislaine Barthod is now a standard bearer for the great wines of Chambolle Musigny.
Limestone gravel covers the surface and the layer of topsoil is very thin. As a result, the wines of Chambolle are noted for their finesse and delicacy.
Ghislaine Barthod’s holdings cover 5.86 hectares in the commune of Chambolle and in neighboring Gilly-les-Citeaux. The soil of Chambolle is more spare than that of neighboring Morey and Gevrey. Limestone gravel covers the surface and the layer of topsoil is very thin. As a result, the wines of Chambolle are noted for their finesse and delicacy. The average age of the vines on the Barthod estate is over 30 years old. Yields are always modest; a vigorous pruning and occasional “green harvest” are practiced.
The vineyard holdings encompass the very top sites in this esteemed village. Fuées, Cras, Baudes, and Veroilles virtually surround the great Bonnes Mares, each giving a partial taste of that Grand Cru; the centrally-located Charmes seems to fuse all the elements of Chambolle; and, the friendly Beaux Bruns and rigorous Châtelots serve as counterpoints one to the other. Ghislaine has recently added a small parcel in “Aux Combottes” to round out the holdings of the estate.
Ghislaine follows traditional methods of vinification and carefully ages her wines. The grapes are partially destemmed before going into the fermentation vats. Only natural yeasts are used. The more sluggish start encountered when working with wild yeast gives the must a natural period of maceration before fermentation begins. The length varies from 2 to 5 days and is dependent upon temperatures. After fermentation, the wines are racked into small barrels (about 20% to 25% of which are new) and aged for about 20 months. These wines are particularly ageworthy and offer the rare privilege of deeply exploring the terroir of this singular village.
Practicing organic since 2002
Only copper sulfate
Annual ploughing of the vineyards to maintain soil health
Average 30 years old and are all planted in Guyot.
Severe pruning, and debudding control yields, with an occasional green harvest if necessary.
Entirely manual, with sorting in the vineyard and loading into small crates
Entirely estate fruit
Following a natural 3-4 day pre-fermentation cold soak, wines ferment spontaneously in stainless-steel tanks for c. 3 weeks.
Pumpovers and some punchdowns, depending on the nature of the vintage
Chaptalization when necessary
Occurs spontaneously in barrel in the spring
After fermentation wines are racked into small barrels (20-25% new), where they age for c. 20 months.
Wines are racked after malolactic and prior to assemblage, and thus spend 18-20 months on their lees.
FINING & FILTRATION
No fining; no filtration unless totally necessary
Applied at harvest, after malolactic, and before bottling.