Amiot-Servelle's history begins with the establishment of the domain by Clement Tachot in the village of Chambolle-Musigny in 1920. Eventually, his son-in-law took charge of the estate, and the domaine operated under the name of Servelle-Tachot till the torch was passed to his daughter and her husband Christian Amiot of the Morey-St.-Denis family of Pierre Amiot. The next generation is in place with the arrival of Christian’s daughter Prune Amiot in 2011. She is an oenologist with two years’ experience working in Cote Rotie followed by three years of being in charge of the vinification at Maison Jaffelin in Beaune.
Introducing Domaine Amiot-Servelle
The domaine was run by Clement’s son-in-law Jean Servelle under the name Servelle-Tachot into the 1980's. In 1975 Jean’s daughter Elisabeth married Christian Amiot, son of the famous Morey St. Denis producer Pierre Amiot. Christian began working at the Domaine with his father-in-law and, because Jean Servelle refused to use herbicides, Christian spent many backbreaking days in the vineyards each year armed with a hoe. When Jean passed away in 1989 it was Christian who was passed the torch and Domaine Amiot-Servelle was born. In 2003, because the vineyards had essentially been farmed organically for decades Christian decided to go 100% organic. All of his wines are certified organic as of the 2008 vintage. Today Amiot-Servelle remains the only certified organic producer in the village.
For the past 25 years Christian has maintained the same 7 hectares of historic family vineyards in Chambolle only adding a single additional hectare that he inherited from his father, split between Village Morey St. Denis and the two Grands Crus of Charmes-Chambertin and Clos St. Denis. Today there is also a small amount of Puligny-Montrachet produced from some purchased organic Chardonnay. But it is really the Chambolle-Musigny that Amiot-Servelle is famous for. They produce a village Chambolle from 2.3 ha of vines located mostly in the excellent lieu-dit Les Bas Doix underneath the 1er Cru Les Amoureuses. The Domaine makes 5 different premier crus starting with 3 tiny parcels in 1er Cru Derriere la Grange (0.26 ha), 1er Cru Les Plantes (0.39 ha) and 1er Cru Les Feusselottes (0.17 ha). Their largest holding of 1er Cru Chambolle, 1.27 ha, is in Les Charmes, a vineyard recognized as being the yardstick for classic Chambolle. The top producers make a wine that is medium bodied, ripe, juicy and elegant. Les Charmes does not produce Pinot Noir that can reflect the spices, roasted notes and intensity of some other Chambolle 1er Crus.
The best 1er Cru Chambolle produced by Amiot-Servelle is the vaunted Les Amoureuses. This vineyard is unchallenged as the best 1er Cru in the appellation and is universally recognized to be equal to the best Grand Cru vineyards in the Cote de Nuits. If a revision of the appellation were to take place no one refutes that Les Amoureuses would almost certainly be upgraded. The vineyard is 5.4 ha in size and lies on a series of terraces on an abrupt slope directly below Le Grand Musigny Grand Cru. The soil here is very poor and shallow. You almost immediately reach the hard yellow limestone with its micro crevices that force the roots to splinter deeply in order to find nourishment. The Amiot-Sevelle parcel is 0.45 ha in size and an average of 45 years old. Christian believes that maintaining this average is the key to making the best Amoureuses because the terroir cannot support very old vines. Although there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 different producers with bottlings of 1er Cru Les Amoureuses, the best ones come from the producers who own their parcels rather than from those who purchase the fruit. In all the respected publications on wines from Burgundy the same names regularly appear at the top. They are Amiot-Servelle, Robert Groffier, Comte de Vogue, Frederic Mugnier, Georges Roumier, Moine-Hudelot and Bertheau.
In the vineyard Christian Amiot likes to plant low yielding Pinot clones and train them in cordon de royat, a method that allows for more bunches per vine. Once a vine get of an age where yields begin to fall he retrains them in the guyot fashion. The vineyards are ploughed often and organic compost is used to feed the soil. A rigorous debudding is performed in the spring. Once harvested, the grapes are generally destemmed although Christian will use as much as 20% whole cluster in perfect vintages. The grapes are kept as intact as possible and undergo a 5-6 day cold maceration at 10⁰C in stainless steel vats after which fermentation begins. Christian seeks premium ripeness and is often the last to pick. For this reason, when the harvest is optimum and the skins and seeds are mature, he prefers frequent punch downs for extraction. If however, it has been a difficult vintage, he will perform pump overs instead. This gentler process ensures that he avoids green or harsh tannins in his wine. The decision when to take the juice off the skins is purely a function of taste. When Christian feels the wine is ready the free run juice is put in fresh tanks and the must is gently pressed. The press wine is almost always incorporated at which point the wines are put in barrel. The wines spend 18 months in barrels between 10%-50% new from Remond, Berthomieu and Taransaud. They are racked once after about a year and bottled in March or April without fining and usually without filtration.
Producer Tech Sheets
- Domaine Amiot-Servelle Chambolle-Musigny 12 x 750ML View Tech Sheet
- Domaine Amiot-Servelle Bourgogne Pinot Noir 12 x 750ML View Tech Sheet
- Domaine Amiot-Servelle Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru "Les Amoureuses" 6 x 750ML View Tech Sheet
- Domaine Amiot-Servelle Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru "Les Charmes" 6 x 750ML View Tech Sheet