Jean-Baptiste Lebreuil owns 2.5 hectares of Bourgogne Pinot Noir vines spread across 3 parcels, each with distinct soils and microclimates. The interplay of these 3 origins gives this cuvée its exceptional complexity, flavor and style. The average of the vines is 35 years. The largest Bourgogne holding is located in the upper part of the village of Savigny, at an altitude of 300 meters. Lebreuil trains these vines high to give the grapes maximum exposure to the sun. All harvesting is done by hand. This parcel is picked last, 7-10 days after the smaller parcels at lower altitude and on richer soils, which are the first sites to be picked.
The fruit is entirely de-stemmed and given an 8 day cold maceration period to enhance the wine’s color and aroma. Lebreuil then raises the temperature to 22 degrees C. to allow the alcoholic fermentation to begin naturally, without added yeast. It lasts 7 days, with only one pumping over per day to avoid over-extraction and harsh tannins. Similarly, Lebreuil pressed the solids very lightly and then allowed the juice to clarify naturally in tanks for 2 days. The wine is then aged 50% in neutral barrels and 50% in tank for only 10 months, to ensure its fruity and accessible qualities. It is a classic Burgundy which tastes of its elegant Savigny-les-Beaune pedigree.
About the Producer
The Lebreuil family estate dates back to 1935, when present winemaker Jean-Baptiste Lebreuil’s grandparents purchased two hectares of vines. Pierre, Jean-Baptiste’s father, enlarged the property to seven hectares and acquired a bottling line to ensure that he would be able to bottle the majority of his production. After stages in Bordeaux and abroad, and a degree from the Lycée Viticole in Beaune, Jean-Baptiste joined his father in 1999. The domaine became officially known as Pierre and J-B Lebreuil in 2001 and was further enlarged to its present size of 9.5 hectares, all based around Savigny-les-Beaune.
Jean-Baptiste Lebreuil quickly made technical improvements in the cellars, installing new equipment to ensure perfect cellar hygiene (“primordial for the realization of great wines” he affirms). His aim is to produce vividly fruity Savigny-les-Beaune wines with great finesse and soft tannins. Vinification and aging follow classic Burgundian practice as it is understood by today’s quality-oriented winemakers. The Pinot Noir grapes are transported to the winery in small plastic crates to protect the integrity of the fruit. After a full de-stemming, the grapes are given a cold maceration at 8 degrees centigrade with daily pumping over, to bring out the color and fruit aromas. The alcoholic fermentation lasts about 10 days, and very little press-wine is used. The wines settle and clarify in the fermentation tanks and are then transferred to barrels for 12-16 months of maturation.
Farming practices: organic. Intense pruning to reduce the yields and ensure healthy fruit. Lebreuil uses no herbicides and plows the rows 5 times per year to remove grass and aerate the soils, so as to encourage the roots to grow deeper. If the crop is deemed too large, Lebreuil green harvests at the time of véraison. In short, all measures are taken to ensure the harvesting of the finest quality fruit. Biodynamic practices have been started since 2011.
Pierre et JB Lebreuil
Click here: Jean-Baptiste Lebreuil Speaks About His Bourgogne Rouge , April 4, 2020