Producer Profile

Dom. Baron Thenard

Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France

Domaine Baron Thenard Givry, Burgundy, France Despite being virtually unknown in the U.S., Domaine Baron Thenard has been famous in Burgundy for over a century. Baron Paul Thenard founded the estate in 1842 and thirty years later he acquired two large parcels in Le Montrachet, totaling 1.86 hectares. Only the Marques de Laguiche family, with their single parcel of 2.06 ha, owns more. In the 20th century, the grand cru vineyards Clos du Roi in Corton and Les Grands Echézeaux in Flagey were added to the portfolio. These vineyard acquisitions made Thenard one of the most important estates in Burgundy, however the heart of the domaine remains in the humble village of Givry. The Thenard family have been landowners in this quaint French village since 1760. For the past several decades their estate, Domaine Baron Thenard, has sold some of its production to the négociant Maison Roland Remoissenet. Wine had always been bottled under the Thenard label for sale in France, but Remoissenet requested that the estate wines not be sold to the U.S. market. Thenard was released from this contract in 2005 Americans finally were able to enjoy the Domaine’s wines. The red wines of Givry, just south of Mercurey, are particularly famous. Thenard, whose deep, 18th century cellar is located in the center of the village, owns land in several of Givry’s best sites. The domaine’s largest holding is in the premier cru Les Bois Cheveaux, a powerful, expressive terroir that contrasts against the typical delicacy of premier cru Cellier Aux Moines. Also in Givry is the premier cru Clos Saint-Pierre, the domaine’s monopole. This vineyard produces the most structured, age worthy Givry. Three white wines are made at Domaine Baron Thenard. Givry Blanc is rarely seen, as most of the villages production is devoted to vin rouge, but Thenard’s mineral driven cuvée of 1er Cru Cellier aux Moines is a wonderful example. Far richer and more complex is the Chassagne-Montrachet, 1er Cru, Clos Saint-Jean. And, of course, Le Montrachet, the tête de cuvée is the domaine’s pride and joy. All their vines were planted between 1931 and 1972. The family has never been modernist in their approach, and not much changes from generation to generation. Years ago, when they sold off their wine, Remoissenet had first choice of barrels. Currently, content all is in his control, the Baron releases his own top cuvées as he sees fit. He does not destem his grapes, which are fermented in the large open vats typical of Burgundy. He eschews use of new oak in maturation, preferring to allow the expression of fruit and earth to dominate the aromas and flavors of his final product. His Givrys are quite accessible to the Burgundy neophyte, however these are firm, rustic, long-lived burgundies. .

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