The Cellier aux Moines climat is surrounded with walls like a lot of great Burgundy terroirs, it is situated in the north of the Givry appellation overlooking the village. For centuries it has been considered by the Cistercian monks as one of the flagships of Burgundy vineyards; it benefits from a due south exposure. This geographic position is rather special and quite rare for this appellation. The domain's vines (12 acres) are planted both at mid-slope and on the top of the hill, at the very place where the monastic cellar was built in 1130 or so. Sheltered from the north winds but still well aerated, the grapes reach beautiful maturity without any risk of rot. The clay-limestone geology that is shared by all the great Burgundy vineyards is obviously present here. The soil is rather deep at the top part of the Clos (50 to 70 cm)then it gets a little thicker as the slope is more pronounced, remaining slightly stony though. As clay and silt are dominant there, the ground has a real draining effect: the vine plants don't stay for long in a humid environment when it rains. Deep in the soil, a marl vein can be found that protects the vines from water stress when drought is persistent.
Since 2006, a stringent parcel work has been carried out on the domain and a replanting program has been set up as early as 2008 on half of the Clos. Fine and very fine Pinots Noirs have been selected for their perfect adequacy with the soil and the sub-soil. The vine grower's skill consists above all in creating a perfect harmony between the soil and the plant. This osmosis enables high quality standards whatever the weather and climatic conditions could be.
"Simplex natura", the Cistercian monks would write in their wisdom. Nature has simply to be accompanied to show the full extent of its creative. Indeed winemaking at Clos du Cellier aux Moines doesn't rest on any dogma. The grapes are handpicked thus respecting the integrity and freshness of the fruit. They are brought to the winery in small openwork cases, then they are thoroughly sorted out on a vibrating table before being finally poured by gravity into oak vats. A variable part of the harvest is left in whole bunches (no de-stemming) depending on the vintage and on the plots. What is absolutely essential is to vat almost intact berries to preserve all their aromatic and tasting potential. After a period of cold pre-fermentation maceration, the result is obtained thanks to the action of natural yeast exclusively. Maturing is carried out from 16 to 18 months in oak casks (one third of them being new oak). The winery benefits from a four- level structure enabling to handle the harvest by gravity from the arrival of the grapes to the bottling operation, without any pumping.
2014 was a year full of contrasts. After a mild and humid winter, spring was definitely sunny. June rapidly took on summer looks. A 35° heat peak was registered on the vines as early as the beginning of the month. Flowering started on the 5th of June or so in excellent weather conditions. During the summer, August rains aroused some worries but September was finally dry and bright. These conditions enabled sugar to concentrate in the bunches, however you had to be patient before launching the harvest. The beautiful late-autumn weather that is very often found in Burgundy, gave us the opportunity to harvest well-matured Chardonnays from the 17th of September on. Still, a stringent sorting out of the Pinots Noirs had to be done owing to a Drosophila suzuki-i attack on the berries. The 2014 vintage was bottled on December 10th 2015.
The subtle expression of Pinot Noir backed up by a very good acidity is outstanding, for this grape variety is at home here on one of its favourite terroirs. On the domain they were patient enough to pick the grapes at optimal maturity.
This can be perceived both on the visual aspect (a deep coloured robe) and on the nose. The range of black and red fruit aromas (blackcurrant, strawberry, black berry) displays its fragrances quite openly. On the palate, the balance between smooth tannins and freshness, without any excessive warmth, gives delicious proportions to this vintage, all in harmony.