Since the 1970s the vineyards have been worked according to organic principles. As of 2009, the estate has been officially certified organic by the ECOCERT organization. Vines are planted at a density level of 10,000 per hectare. Of the 19 hectares owned by the domaine, eleven are planted to red pinot noir and eight are planted to Chardonnay.
The vineyards of Saint Romain are often overlooked since they are located to the west of some of the most famous vineyards of the Cote de Beaune and are somewhat isolated in a valley tucked away on the road that runs from Meursault and Volnay through Auxey Duresses and then on to Saint Romain. This appellation, however, deserves considerably more attention as the exposure of the vineyards is excellent, the slopes are steep and the soil is a mix of clay, limestone and marne. The slightly cooler temperatures result in a longer growing season and wines that carry a pleasant and refreshing level of acidity. The Buisson domaine is a fine source of terroir-expressive wines that offer outstanding value.
We concentrate our efforts at the Domaine Buisson on their offerings from their home village of Saint Romain …
|Saint Romain Blanc La Perriere: This wine comes from a parcel of younger vines (15 years of age as of 2011) planted in a lieu-dit that is highly regarded for its Chardonnay. The soil is a classic mix of clay and limestone. The grapes are harvested by hand and then pressed and racked into barrel for fermentation and elevage. The oak regimen is 10% new with the remainder of the barrels being one to six years old. The wine is bottled by gravity and is lightly fined and filtered.|
|Saint Romain Blanc Sous la Velle: This second white from the Saint Romain appellation is more full-bodied and rustic than its neighbor « La Perriere ». In this case, the vines are quite old having an average age of 50 years (as of 2011). The soil of “Sous la Velle” is different from “La Perriere” having a greater proportion of marne mixed with the clay and limestone. The wine is, as a result, less elegant than its companion but it is more powerful and broad-shouldered. This wine is barrel-fermented and barrel-aged for twelve months after the harvest with 10% of the barrels being new.|
|Saint-Romain Blanc “Le Jarron”: A brand-new cuvee for us, “Le Jarron” is a southwest-oriented parcel located directly opposite “Sous le Chateau”. Buisson’s plot lies high up on the slope, where the topsoil is poor and the gradient quite severe. From their 15-20 year old vines here, the brothers produce their raciest and most linear white wine.|
|Saint Romain Blanc Absolu: From 50 year old vines in the “Sous la Velle” parcel, planted on clay over marl, the grapes that go into this cuvée are meticulously sorted in both the vineyard and cellar, necessary steps in readying the juice to be vinified sans soufre. Fermentation takes place in barrel, with temperature control and indigenous yeast, and the wine spends a year aging in barrels, 10% new, 90% used. In the old white Burgundy tradition, the wine is bottled in January, two winters after harvest, and with a light filtration. The wine has vivid notes of white flower and white citrus, hints of grapefruit, and the palate is full, saline, and pure. Crushed, vinified, and bottled with no added sulfur.|
|Saint Romain Rouge Sous la Roche: This vineyard planted to Pinot Noir faces the « Sous la Velle » vineyard on the opposite side of the valley. Also, on steeply planted slopes, the soil of this lieu-dit is a mix of limestone and marne. The vines are planted to a density of 10,000 per hectare. The grapes, harvested manually, are destemmed to 90% and the wine is aged in barrel for a twelve month period. The Pinot vines in “Sous la Roche” are of an average age of 50 years (as of 2011) with low yields and excellent concentration. There is great purity to this organically grown fruit and the ultimate wine is somewhat rustic in nature with notes of wild red fruits in the nose and flavors.|
|Saint Romain Rouge Absolu: From 50 year old vines in the “Sous Roche” parcel, clay over marl soils, this wine is left 80% whole cluster, and crushed gently before fermentation to avoid over extraction. As with its white counterpart, the wine is fermented as well as aged in barrel, 10% new, 90% between 1 and 6 years old. It is made without added sulfur, and bottled with a light filtration. This is soft, warm, inviting wine that is less structured than some of Buisson’s other offerings, with a broad, expansive palate, and plenty of smoke and spice. Excellent for drinking now, also for medium term aging.|
|Saint-Romain Rouge “Combe Bazin”: The Buissons own a plot of 12-year-old Pinot Noir in this due-south-facing lieu-dit. The 2014 is the first vintage of this cuvee we’ve imported, and it offers a fresh, mineral-drenched nose of pure red fruits. The palate is crunchingly fresh, with outstanding energy and drive, and it exemplifies the vibrancy and non-ponderousness of the best wines from this little valley.|
|Saint-Romain Blanc “Sous le Chateau”: The warmest climat of the trio of whites, “Sous le Chateau” offers an incredibly satisfying white Burgundy experience, with a presence and finesse one might mistake for Puligny-Montrachet if served blind. This wine shares a quinine imprint with Sous la Velle above, but with an intriguing note of white pepper and a bit more regal, less punchy sense of minerality. The tension between its ample fruit and tingling acidity is mouthwatering.|
Domaine Henri & Gilles Buisson’s 2015s: Saint-Romain’s Sweet Spot
It was clear with the 2014s we brought in toward the end of last year that brothers Franck and Frédérick Buisson had truly hit their stride. Having gradually assumed control of the family vineyards and cellar over the past decade, these young men—the eighth generation of Buisson in Saint-Romain—have sharpened and refined the impeccable vineyard
An Exploration of St. Romain
Generational shifts in Burgundy can be fraught with anxiety for both winegrower and consumer. The younger generation of vigneron attempts to balance a sense of duty toward tradition and history with a desire to execute a personal vision and philosophy. And the consumer waits with bated breath to see if wines she’s cherished in the