François-Xavier Maratray and Marie-Madeleine Pouillot at Domaine Maratray-Dubreuil in Ladoix-Serrigny, Burgundy.

n Naget is a two-coloured monopole in Ladoix-Serrigny. Owned by Domaine Maratray-Dubreuil it is village appellation in red and premier cru in white.

– En Naget is at the top of the slope above Ladoix-Serrigny. It is the continuation of the Corton hill, says François-Xavier Maratray, who runs the domaine together with his sister Marie-Madeleine Pouillot.

Their father Maurice retired in 1997 and the domaine changed its name from Domaine Maurice Maratray to Domaine Maratray-Dubreuil, with Dubreuil being their mother’s maiden name.

En Naget, Ladoix-Serrigny, Burgundy.– En Naget is slightly more red than white, continues François-Xavier Maratray. It’s about 60 per cent pinot noir and about 40 per cent chardonnay. It’s an interesting lieu-dit where it is squeezed in between the Corton hill and Ladoix, Les Grêchons. En Naget is facing more straight to the south than Les Grêchons.

Being at the top of the slope, just below the forest, En Naget benefits from a slightly cooler micro-climate with more humidity. The vines are protected from the wind and the forest acts as a thermoregulator.

– There is a big difference between the top of En Naget and the bottom. It is all very chalky, but at the top you have a lot white marl, which is very good for the chardonnay. At the bottom of the parcel you have a type of limestone which is more brown. It’s all about finesse for the red and the white marl gives volume to the white.

Buisson, Ladoix-Serrigny, Burgundy.Recently close to one hectare was added to En Naget when part of the forest was cleared. The vines in this part are still young, but since this section of the appellation has been part of the forest for a long time the soil is healthy.

Domaine Maratray-Dubreuil covers a total of 19 hectares in the villages around the Corton hill – Ladoix, Aloxe-Corton, Beaune, Chorey-lès-Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses and Savigny-lès-Beaune. Not quite one third is white, the rest is red.

– Compared with the wines from Savigny-lès-Beaune the ones from Ladoix are slightly more austere, says François-Xavier Maratray. They need more time to open up. At least two or three years in bottle.

Ladoix-Serrigny, Burgundy.In Savigny-lès-Beaune Domaine Maratray-Dubreuil has a parcel in the premier cru of Les Vergelesses, where they have planted both pinot noir and chardonnay.

– Les Vergelesses is bordering on Pernand-Vergelesses, explains François-Xavier Maratray. It’s the northern limit of the appellation. It’s just above Ile des Vergelesses in Pernand-Vergelesses, the most well-known lieu-dit there. Les Vergelesses has a certain freshness and minerality that you often find in the Pernand wines.

– You have lots of limestone there. It’s mid-slope and it’s a parcel which has the shape of a large square. The mid-section of the square is a band of white marl, with much less clay than in En Naget. In some ways the soil is similar to Corton-Charlemagne on the opposite side, but the exposure and the sub-soil are not the same.

Pernand-Vergelesses, Burgundy.The reason they decided to replant part of the Les Vergelesses parcel was that in some cases the pinot noir did not express itself very well. As it turned out the band of white marl was very good for the chardonnay.

There are four grand crus at Domaine Maratray-Dubreuil, all on the Corton hill – Corton Les Grandes Lolières, Corton-Bressandes, Corton Clos du Roi and Corton-Charlemagne.

The white, the Corton-Charlemagne, comes from the Pernand-Vergelesses side of the appellation, from the part called En Charlemagne.

Ladoix-Serrigny, Burgundy.– The Corton-Charlemagne vines are 60 years old, says François-Xavier Maratray. We are next to Domaine Rapet and Bonneau du Martray is just above us. The élevage for the Corton-Charlemagne is long. Close to 18 months. It’s a wine which requires patience. One should always give it time. In order to gain fat it needs time.

The two main reds – the Bressandes and the Clos du Roi – are above each other in Aloxe-Corton, while the third, the Les Grandes Lolières, comes from a tiny parcel in Ladoix, so tiny that the domaine rarely talks about it because quantities are so limited.

The Corton hill seen from Chorey-lès-Beaune.– We only have nine ares of Les Grandes Lolières, or 0.0906 hectare to be exact, says François-Xavier Maratray. We only produce one barrel. Those who buy this wine are already familiar with it. They like its accessibility. Quite often I have heard comparisons with Chambolle-Musigny. There is no clay in Les Grandes Lolières. It is just behind the village and we are only three or four producers who bottle it separately.

Clos du Roi is higher up on the slope than Bressandes. The two parcels are not far from each other. Both have a soil profile rich in limestone, but there are some important differences in character.

– In Bressandes you have a band of clay, says François-Xavier Maratray. This produces a more austere wine. Clos du Roi is all about finesse and elegance. Bressandes has more power, more character.

There is also a Aloxe-Corton premier cru at Domaine Maratray-Dubreuil. There is no mention of a lieu-dit on the label. The premier cru parcels of the domaine in Aloxe-Corton too small to be turned into separate cuvées. Instead Les Valozières and Les Maréchaudes are blended together.

– In Les Valozières we are on a small hill. There is a lot of clay there. The clay is like a sponge, the water stays there. Les Maréchaudes on the other hand has a soil type which is more like Corton. You have more limestone. It is well-drained. Les Valozières gives the wine power and Les Maréchaudes brings finesse and structure.

© 2018 Ola Bergman