DOMAINE ROBLET MONNOT
Perhaps before we introduce the Domaine, we should share some interesting facts about Volnay. Thanks to the Knights of Malta who owned the vineyards of Volnay since 1207, the wines from Volnay were the most famous wines of Burgundy region in the 1300s. In fact, King Louis XI even decreed that the entire production of vintage 1447 be acquired for his royal cellars. The hallmarks of Volnay are its sexy perfume and silky seductiveness. The wines are seldom ever rustic or unyielding. Many have called the wines of Volnay the twin sister of Chambolle-Musigny and it is often difficult to distinguish between the two in a blind tasting and even seasoned drinkers have been fooled!
Pascal Roblet hails from four generations of wine makers. He took over the family domaine in the late 1990s from his father, François.
The majority of Domaine Roblet-Monnot's holdings are in Volnay (6 hectares), he farms a parcel in the Pommard Premier cru Arvelet.
An early adopter of biodynamic viticulture, Pascal converted to biodynamic practices In 1997. He also decided on high density planting of 12,000 vines per hectare to foster competition among the vines and naturally restricted yields.
Always busy at work in the vineyards, he often forgets his appointments only to rush back after his sister calls him on his cell phone to tell him that his guests are already here.
In the Vineyard
Pascal is a devoted if not a fanatical winemaker who spares no expense at making sure that his vines are naturally healthy. Although it is costly to do so, Pascal plows his vineyards with horses in order to reduce compaction of the soil as compared to using a tractor.
In his vineyard the Volnay Taillepieds, he deliberately avoids trimming the vines in order to avoid stressing the plant and increase its foliage. This is a practice similar to what is done at Domaine Leroy and the amount of manual labour required is extremely intensive and expensive.
A strong believer in obtaining the best quality grapes from his vineyards, Pascal will do several passes in the vineyards during harvesting so that only grapes are cut at their optimal ripeness levels. The grapes are sorted twice during the harvest. Once in the vineyard and then at the cellar using a vibrating sorting table.
In the Cellars
If there is a cellar who can almost double up as a freezer, it must be Pascal's. This must be the coldest cellar in all of Burgundy! Pascal has a good reason for this. He deliberately keeps his cellars very cold so that the solid matter in the wines can sink naturally to the bottom of the barrel without fining or filtration. However, this take more time and as a result, he releases his wines 1 year after those of his peers.