Sylvain has spent the last few decades establishing his own domaine, Bastide du Claux, located south of Burgundy in the Luberon. His experience working on his own project, combined with the deep knowledge he gained working with his father, has matured Sylvain into a thoughtful and confident vigneron. He is someone who respects the traditional manner in which his father worked but also brings his own sensibility to the table. He plans to split his time between Chassagne and Luberon working in the romantic mold-filled cellar in which his father has always worked. Upon his first releases in 2014, his mark on the wines are evident. The wines have a bit more power than his father’s: they are more richly textured, while still retaining a firm mineral structure. As done before, fermentations for the whites and reds are done with natural yeasts; grapes are always de-stemmed; and the percentage of new wood is small (about 20%). Sylvain claims to be a bit more gentle in the cellar, and his tendency is to leave the wines alone, doing little to no batonage. He has also increased the aging of the whites to 18 months, rather than bottling after 12. These changes result in wines that are bit more resolved by the time they make it into bottle.
Sylvain is content with keeping his domaine small, currently working fewer than 3 hectares. Those of you who are familiar with the variety of wines Jean-Marc Morey produced might notice that Sylvain does not offer the same range. While he did split some particular parcels with his sister, they also divvied up a few whole parcels, since they were too small to split. Still, the bulk of Sylvain’s holdings are in Chassagne Montrachet, where he offers an impressive trio of whites: Chassagne Montrachet Blanc (.21 hectares from 2 parcels), Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru “Champs Gains” (.39 hectares) and Chassagne 1er Cru “Caillerets” (.34 hectares). In the reds, there are two Chassagne bottlings: Chassagne Montrachet Rouge (1/2 hectare from 2 parcels) and Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru “Champ Gains” (.16 hectares) and the always stunning Santeney 1er Cru “Grand Clos Rousseau” (.40 hectares).