Domaine Boisson-Vadot is one of the fine, outstanding small producers in the village of Meursault that are not particularly well known beyond their native France yet produce stellar examples of Meursault. The estate is currently run by the father and son team of Bernard and Pierre Boisson, who turn out between three and four thousand cases of wine per year. Pierre is now in his early-thirties and starting to take over more and more of the decision making in the cellars for the family estate, including a few wines under his own label from vineyard holdings on his maternal grandmother’s side of the family. Pierre Boisson is also an old, school-age friend with Raphael Coche, son of Jean-François Coche of Domaine Coche-Dury, and the two often discuss winemaking and viticultural philosophies.
The wines of Domaine Boisson-Vadot have always been excellent, with a classic, soil-driven and racy style not encumbered by excessive new oak or battonage. But, over the past decade or so, the wines have taken a notable step up in quality now that father and son Boisson are working side by side. The Boisson family have been vignerons in Meursault for more than two centuries, and the wines today are as fine as they have ever been in the long and illustrious family history.
Like so many of the top domaines in Burgundy, there are no secrets to the success of the Boisson-Vadot wines. Rather, the tried and true formula of a high percentage of old vines, careful vineyard husbandry each year to nurture the greatest potential of each vintage, and patient, careful winemaking in the cellars that allows the unique, underlying terroirs of each vineyard to take center stage in the finished wines. The wines are aged in a very modest amount of new oak- no more than twenty-five to thirty percent for the top cuvées, and less for the village wines and the Bourgogne Blanc bottlings. The wines are all fermented with indigenous yeasts and go to barrel with little or no settling of the lees, after which they receive a relatively long elevage of 19-22 months, which the Boissons feel helps give the wines additional depth and refinement. Before bottling, wines receive a light fining but no filtration.
Note: the wines of Boisson-Vadot, Pierre Boisson and Anne Boisson are all produced collaboratively at the family's cellars in Meursault. The hierarchy starts with the domaine’s excellent Bourgogne Blanc, from vines in the village of Meursault, which could easily be mistaken for a Meursault with its broad texture and hints of lime, nuts and honey. Pierre Boisson makes a village Meursault from his grandmother’s vineyards (30-50 year old vines in the lieu-dits of Criots and Perchots) that is a textbook example of the appellation, with the hazelnut-tinged fruit of the village coupled to lovely minerality and notes of lime zest. The domaine also makes three distinct village wine bottlings, from three of the best lieux dits in Meursault: Sous la Velle (under Anne Boisson); Grands Charrons (planted in 1988) and Chevalières (planted in 1982). The Grands Charrons bottling is the exhuberant of the three ("the most Meursault-y" says Bernard). The Sous la Velle is broad yet refined, perhaps a slightly toned down version of the Grand Charrons. Lastly, the Chevalières is racier and more mineral in profile, with a tighter fruit component in its youth. All the wines are excellent and quite age-worthy, and behave much more like top premier crus than they do village wines.
Domaine Boisson-Vadot also makes a beautiful example of Meursault “Genevrières”. The Genevrières is a classic example of this great vineyard (planted in 1975), with a power and quiet restraint that is a step above the villages bottling. The wine shows delicate nutty tones of Meursault tied to a beautiful fruit component redolent of pear and tangerine, and with a beautiful base of minerally soil that is rather rare for this most flattering Meursault premier cru. With less than a third new oak the great expression of Genevrières terroir stands front and center in this example from Boisson-Vadot, and this is clearly one of the best examples of this great vineyard to be found in the entire Côte de Beaune. The lineup is rounded out with a bit of Bourgogne Rouge, Auxey-Duresses and Pommard, and lastly, a tiny amount of Aligoté (from a block of 60 year old vines in the commune of Meursault) that Pierre Boisson also makes from his grandmother’s holdings, all of which are lovely examples of their respective appellations. A rising star in Meursault.