Domaine Rollin Pere and Fils

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We began working with Maurice Rollin in 1982 shortly after his son, Remi, had joined the family enterprise. It was Maurice’s father, Raymond, who first purchased vineyards in his local village of Pernand Vergelesses where, like his father before him, he was engaged as a vineyard worker. Maurice decided in 1955 to begin making and bottling wines from the family holdings and he developed a growing group of private clients to support his efforts. His success provided him with the resources to purchase additional vineyards, including a lovely parcel in the “Ile des Vergelesses”, the most exalted of the vineyards of Pernand. By the mid-1980s, the Rollin family had accumulated ten hectares of vineyards and by the mid-1990s, Maurice and Remi determined to bottle all the wine made at the estate rather than to sell even a small percentage to negociants. In 2003, Simon Rollin, Remi’s son, joined the estate as the fourth generation vigneron.

In its present state (as of 2011), the Rollin domaine covers twelve hectares of vineyards, eight of which are owned with the other four being rented via the system of metayage or fermage. The vineyards are spread over five separate communes (Pernand Vergelesses, Savigny les Beaune, Echevronne, Aloxe Corton and Chorey les Beaune). The estate produces approximately 60,000 bottles per year across fourteen separate appellations!

The vineyard work is meticulous and, although not certified organic, the methodology in practice is applied in a manner designed to maximize the expression of terroir by eliminating (or reducing to an absolute minimum) any treatments in the vineyards. All grapes are harvested manually and fermentations proceed with indigenous yeasts. The white wines are pressed gently and undergo long fermentations in barrel (except for the Aligoté which is raised in stainless steel tanks) and are aged on the fine lees for twelve to fifteen months. The reds are hand-sorted in both the vineyard and at the cellar before being pressed. The maceration is long and the elevage is in small barrel with the malolactic fermentation occurring therein. In almost every instance, neither the white wines nor the red wines are fined or filtered.

Our long history with the Rollin family has provided us with an ever-growing appreciation of the charms of the wines of this domaine and, most particularly, the enchanting terroir of Pernand Vergelesses, one of the villages in the Cote d’Or that produces wines of exceptional value.

rollin-Bourgogne-Aligote Bourgogne Aligoté: There is no better version of this modest white Burgundy than the one produced by Rollin. From very old vines (50 years plus) in a parcel of 1.7 hectares on the border of Pernand and the neighboring village of Echevronne, it carries the lively acidity that is part of the character of the grape but also the personality of the wines of Pernand. The age of the vines imparts density and body that shows this grape at its very best. We purchase fifty cases annually for the US market.
Rollin-Bourgogne-Blanc-2003 Hautes Cotes de Beaune Blanc: From a small parcel of Chardonnay planted in the western reaches of Pernand on into Echevronne, the Rollins produce a white of lively acidity but with a certain heft that comes from the strictly limited production levels required to achieve maximum maturity from grapes planted on these slopes that see less late afternoon sun.
Rollin-Pernand-Blanc Pernand Vergelesses Blanc: A consistently formidable wine that is sourced from four separate vineyard sites within the boundaries of Pernand. The average age of the vines (as of 2011) is approximately 35 years. A classic representation of the “taste” of Pernand with its intense minerality, hints of fennel and honey and broad-shouldered appearance. Aged on its lees for twelve months and bottled without filtration, it is particularly ageworthy. We buy five barrels per year (1500 bottles) for the US market.
Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc “Les Cloux”: “Les Cloux” is a well-situated lieu-dit on the north side of the hill of Corton, adjacent to the premier cru “Sous Fretille” (see below). It faces southeast on a high, steep part of the hillside, and a general lack of any direct breeze there encourages notable ripeness. The wine possesses a lower-pitched, deeper nose than the basic Pernand-Vergelesses above, but with an equivalent limestone intensity more solid in its character than powdered. The palate is richer and thicker as well, but suffused with the alert acidity typical of the Rollin style. Only 20% of the oak employed during the elevage is new.
Rollin-Pernand-Blanc-Sous-Fretille Pernand Vergelesses Blanc 1er Cru Sous Fretille: This vineyard is a relatively recent acquisition by the Rollin family (the 2000 vintage was the first to issue from the domaine) but it is a parcel of old vines in one of the elite lieu-dits of the village. The vineyard is situated on slopes overlooking the village and is just around the corner from Corton Charlemagne. A powerful wine that benefits from several years of bottle age … only 35 cases per annum are allocated to us for the USA.
Rollin-Corton-Charlemagne Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru Rollin-Corton-Charlemagne: The Rollin family for many years has exploited two separate parcels totaling about one-half hectare within the appellation of Corton Charlemagne. One parcel is on the Aloxe-Corton side within “Le Charlemagne” and the other piece is on the Pernand side of the hill known as “En Charlemagne”. The grapes from each parcel are harvested and vinified separately and are then assembled prior to bottling (after more or less fifteen months of elevage). From our personal perspective, the Corton Charlemagne from Rollin is one of the finest white wines in our portfolio, a true Grand Cru. We purchase two barrels a year … and a small amount of magnums are drawn for us annually.
Rollin-Hautes-Cotes-de-Beaune-Rouge Hautes Cotes de Beaune Rouge: The vineyards for this spicy and aromatic red are situated in Pernand Vergelesses and Echevronne (about 2 hectares or so). An energetic wine that captures the essence of the Cote de Beaune with its red cherry flavors and ebullient floral bouquet. Aged in small barrel (no new oak) but bottled a few months earlier than the other more substantial reds of the domaine to emphasize its fruitiness. An important member of our Burgundy portfolio, we purchase approximately 3600 bottles per annum.
Rollin-Pernand-Rge-99 Pernand Vergelesses Rouge: Like its companion village white, this wine is a standard bearer for the Rollin domaine, making a statement about the charm and tenacity of the best wines of this region. The grapes are sourced from several plots, the two most important of which are in the “Les Pins”(on the northern side of the village) and “Les Noirets” (on the southern side of the village) vineyards. Most of the vines are old and the resulting wine has significant backbone but, like the truest wines of Pernand, the color is more often ruby-garnet rather than a deep red. Approximately 1800 bottles are allocated annually for our use in the USA.
Aloxe-Corton: Aloxe-Corton is the weightlifter to Pernand’s runner. Always a bit more gritty, structured, and viscerally earthy than its neighbor, Aloxe-Corton can also take longer to come around in bottle. But the payoff is a wine of great substance and depth that tends to offer amazing value due to its relatively under-the-radar reputation. Rollin’s exceptional rendering of this appellation is definitely of a piece with their overall lineup in its precision and its mineral drive, but it shows the scrappier, more animale character of its birthplace. The family owns parcels in three Aloxe-Corton lieux-dits: “Les Boutieres,” “Les Caillettes,” and “Les Guerets,” with vines between 35 and 55 years old. Around 25% of the barrels each vintage are new.
Rollin-Pernand-Vergelesses-LES-Vergelesses Pernand Vergelesses Rouge 1er Cru Les Vergelesses:
The first of a trio of Premiers Crus from Pernand that are produced by the Rollins, the « Les Vergelesses » is the most tender and feminine of the group. The vineyard sits on a gentle slope in the southern sector of the village and just beneath the “Ile des Vergelesses” facing south-southeast. It is a wine of silky tannins and forward fruit. Production of this elegant wine is very limited at the domaine providing us with a mere one barrel (300 bottles) per year.
Rollin-Pernand-Les-Fichots Pernand Vergelesses Rouge 1er Cru Les Fichots: From a vineyard site directly north of « Les Vergelesses » and again beneath « Ile des Vergelesses », the Fichots makes a wine of substantially more structure than its neighbor “Les Vergelesses”. Another old vines parcel, the wine has firm tannins, deeper color than its companions and a more masculine mien; but, it nevertheless speaks clearly of the terroir of Pernand with its spice and red fruit flavors. Here, we purchase two barrels annually (600 bottles).
Rollin-Pernand-Ver--ILE-DES-Vergelesses Pernand Vergelesses Rouge 1er Cru Ile des Vergelesses: This vineyard is recognized by everyone as the prime site within the Pernand appellation. It sits at almost 300 meters altitude on a gradually sloping hill that faces southeast. The wines of the “Ile des Vergelesses” are consistently the most complex and satisfying reds of the appellation and present remarkable value. We always bottle this wine in magnums out of respect for its high quality and its ability to age gracefully. We are fortunate to have access to two barrels (600 bottles) each year.
Rollin-Savigny-Les-Beaunes-Rouge Savigny-les-Beaune Rouge Aux Grands Liards: This wine is the newest addition to the Rollin domaine. The first vintage produced was in the 2007 vintage. The vineyard is situated midway between the villages of Pernand Vergelesses and Savigny-les-Beaune as one moves in a southwesterly direction from Pernand. The first wines produced by the Rollin family from this vineyard show the wine to be surprisingly firm and structured with a density rare to find in the Savigny appellation. Again, an instance where we bottle a few magnums each year based upon our belief that this wine has significant capacity to grow as it ages. This small holding permits us the privilege of purchasing slightly more than a single barrel per year (300 bottles plus some magnums).

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