I visited Domaine Cyrot-Buthiau in Pommard for a 4:00 to 5:30 appointment. Oliver is a small producer of Pommard and Volnay, but his wine shop and cellars are in the small village of Pommard. His wife helps run the wine shop and also sells home-made stuffed toys such as adorable ducks, geese, and teddy bears. She told me that she likes to keep busy while waiting for wine customers, so her sewing machine and ironing stand are in the shop with the wine. Very charming, and a great place for tourists to stop and buy both wine and unique gifts.
Oliver immediately put me in his truck and we went out to visit all of his vineyards scattered around the town. He has 7 hectares ranging from a 1914 vineyard to 1938, and some newer ones. His vines are on the traditional Single Guyot with 4 to 6 buds per vine. While in the vineyard he picked up a handful of clay and limestone to show me what makes Burgundy soil so unique (see photo).
Next we visited the cellars and I saw that he was making all of his wines in the large wooden foudres and then aging in barrel for 12 months. We tasted 3 2007’s out of barrel and then went back to the shop to taste 7 more wines – 2006 and one 2005, that was fabulous. Of course, he is sold out of 2005.
We spend some time talking about the difference between Volnay and Pommard. He said Pommard is much more powerful and requires at least 5 years in bottle before drinking, whereas Volnay is softer with perfume and more feminine. The young Volnays I tasted here, and the next day, however, were not that soft. They were highly structured with strong tannins and high acid. Perhaps they were just too young. The Pommards were all big with strong tannins and dark fruit. I really enjoyed meeting with Oliver, his wife and daughter. They hope to export more wine to the U.S.