Domaine Charles Francois and Fils, Nantoux

On our first tasting we were welcomed by Pascals father, Francois. When Pascal arrived, he took us into a tiny tasting room under his parents house. Due to lack of time, we decided to focus on his reds and were impressed by both his Volnay and Beaune wines, typical expressions of their terroir. Our pick from the cellar included both his Volnay wines and his Beaune Les Epenottes, a very impressive and stylish wine. This is a domaine we hope to follow more closely in the coming years.

The domaine Charles is nested in Nantoux, a classical, relatively untouched village, in the high slopes above and west of Beaune. Although the domaine has existed for six generations, it was primarily build up by the current owner’s parents during the 1960s with the purchase of new plots and bottle sales. In 1988, Pascal Charles and his wife Isabelle joined his father, Francois, until his retirement. Subsequently, Pascal and Isabelle Charles have managed the domaine on their own with the help of two employees and a little help from his parents. Today Pascal and his daughter, Pauline, manage the domaine. A new tradition has been implemented by Pauline: La Table de Pauline which offers a typical Burgundy menu accompanied by tasting of a selection of the domaines wines. Vineyard holdings make up a total of 14.5 hectares, and the domaine markets some 60.000 bottles across 18 appellations. Major attention is given to the vineyards and production of healthy grapes. Vinification is traditional. For many years the domaine has managed to engage the same team of people for the manual harvest. This is important, since the triage only is carried out in the vineyard. Pascal Charles still carry out a light kieselgur filtration which he claims has no negative impact on the wine.

Appellations rouges include Beaune 1er Cru Les Boucherottes (0,21 ha) and Les Epenottes (0,61 ha), Volnay Clos de la Cave (0,45 ha) and Volnay 1er Cru Les Fremiers (0.60 ha), and Mitans (0,09 ha), Pommard (1,4 ha), Hautes-Côtes de Beaune (largest holdings) from which five different cuvées are made: Hautes Côtes de Beaune, Hautes Côtes de Beaune vieille vignes, and Hautes Côtes de Beaune La Combotte, Menhir and Terra Cotta.

Finally, a generic red Bourgogne is made in addition to Bourgogne Passetoutgrain. Les vins blanc include Meursault village, Hautes-Côtes de Beaune and Bourgogne Aligoté.