Domaine Desauney-Bissey A little back story on how the Estate came over to the Bertrand’s Wines portfolio. It is good to have friends in life, and to get them to introduce you to family members. As much as Bruno Desauney-Bissey is very discreet and is always hard to get a hold of, our friends Arnaud Sirugue from Domaine Robert Sirugue and Domaine Sirugue-Noellat and Thomas Collardot from Domaine Coquard-Loison-Fleurot recommended that we reach out to their cousin in Flagey-Echezeaux who is producing wines from vines that are coming from the historical plots of the family in Vosne-Romanee and its neighbors. Together with his wife, Marie-Christine Bissey and his son, Bruno manages this small family domaine based in Flagey-Echezeaux that consists of 6 hectares, some of which is owned by the family, including prestigious old vine plots in Echezeaux and Grands Echezeaux, with additional plots farmed on a “fermage” basis. A fermage is a piece of land which is owned by someone other than the person cultivating it, or a farming tenancy in effect. It is estimated that in 2010, two-thirds of all French agricultural land was tenant-farmed. Because vineyard land tends to inspire affection in the families who own it, even when they have become involved in other activities, fermages are very common in French wine regions even though this may not necessarily be identified on the producer’s wine labels. With first vintages produced in 1975, it seems almost inconceivable that wines of this quality have managed to enter the market almost unnoticed, especially considering the current clamor and fervor of wine merchants to discover “the next big thing” in Burgundy. Over the years, some of the production was sold off to other Domaines and as recently as the mid-1990’s, several of Bruno’s valuable barrels of Grands Echezeaux were being sold to illustrious names like Dominique Laurent. The Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru appellation takes the shape of a triangle with its northern point orientated towards Musigny, its eastern flank bordered by the Clos Vougeot Grand Cru and its western flank by Echezeaux Grand Cru. The Desaunay-Bissey old vine parcel, planted from 1928 onward, is located on the point of this triangle. Since 2007 Bruno uses no herbicides or pesticides and all the soil is tilled. Bruno’s winemaking is very terroir-expressive, doing short pre-fermentation macerations, using only indigenous yeasts and crucially, not too much extraction. Barrel-aging is on average about 33% new except for the Grands Cru reds where a slightly higher percentage is used. Since the early 1990s, the wines are neither fined nor filtered. Bruno’s wines are normally only racked twice, once after malolactic fermentations and once before the assemblage. Bruno cultivates, together with his father-in law, Daniel Bissey, several other parcels of very old vines situated in Vosne (some 80+ years), Echezeaux (some 110+ years) Grands-Echezeaux (70+ years), Chambolle (90+ years) and Nuits St. Georges (60+ years).