Julien Guillot of Clos des Vignes du Maynes has continued a family tradition of organic farming and natural winemaking that his grandfather began, long predating fads for both methods. He makes the plausible claim that his property is the longest continually organically farmed estate in France. After taking the reins in 1998 and converting farming to Biodynamic (certified), the Guillot family wines soon thereafter became popular within the natural wine movement. His Cuvee 810 pays hommage to the more than one thousand year history of the local Abbaye de Cluny, where he recreates a traditional harvest exactly as it would have occured during medieval times - complete with transportation by cart and horse.
While his wines are undeniably trendy, Julien continues to work with his father, who learned from Julien's grandfather. Their ethos of respect for nature is genuine and long-lived, not merely a philosophy to trot out for wine reviewers. Winemaking is sensible and hands on, with concrete cuves and large format oak barrels used for fermentation and aging. Sulfur use is minimal, often only employed at bottling. Farming Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Gamay, all plantations have been carried out via selection massale.
Les Crays Bourgogne Rouge (tasted at Flor 11/30/23) reflects its limestone rich terroir in its tense energy, and finely textured tannins. A subtle touch of whole cluster fermention adds a savory element in balance with the bright, crunchy cranberry fruit - unusual for a the 2020 vintage in Burgundy. Its freshness is remarkable, as many producers both north and south of them have struggled to accomplish the same thing. It's plainly delicious red fruit profile and long, mineral-driven finish makes this difficult to avoid drinking too quickly!