“I am much more smiley than last year,” said Nathalie Tollot beaming widely, referring to the disastrously small 2016 crop. The grapes were so healthy that they didn’t even need to sort them! It was a good crop but not overly huge and similar in quantity to 2009. The summer was hot and the ripening had, she said, become a little blocked by 2nd September. They were lucky to have 22 pickers ready to start, so began picking on 5th September and stopped on the 15th.
The almost 25 ha Domaine Tollot Beaut has long been a trailblazer for the wines Chorey-lès-Beaune, but also has important holdings in Beaune, Aloxe-Corton and Savigny-lès-Beaune. This geography was dictated by the distance easily reached in a horse and cart! Dating back to the 1880s, Tollot-Beaut was one of the earlier domaines to start estate bottling, in 1921, and this establishment theme continues with their address being Rue Alexandre Tollot. This street was named after the current generation’s great-grandfather and erstwhile mayor of Chorey-lès-Beaune. The style of the wines, with their pure bright fruit is modern, however, which is also reflected in stylish labels and bottles. This is the work of cousins Nathalie and Jean-Paul Tollot who run the commercial and production sides respectively and represent the sixth generation of the family at the estate. The slow descent of the service lift, with Nathalie carrying her pipette and basketful of glasses, is a ritual precursor to our tastings at the domaine. Ones emerges into extensive dark cellars, venerable mould-encrusted bottles maturing gently in their bins and stacks of barrels that wax and wane according to the generosity of each harvest. “Eighty per cent of the work is done in the vineyard,” says Nathalie, and the resulting wines are amongst our favourites and twice have been extremely well received at tastings conducted by charming Nathalie at Tanners.