Laurent Mouton at Domaine Mouton in Givry.

tasting at Domaine Mouton is like a cross section of the Givry appellation. With four premier crus and three village appellation wines you get a good overview of this part of the Côte Chalonnaise.

– 20 per cent of the appellation is white, explains Laurent Mouton. About ten years ago it was as much as 30 per cent. But people come to Givry to taste red wine. Here in the Côte Chalonnaise we’ve got Montagny and Rully for the whites and Mercurey and Givry for the reds.

Givry, Burgundy.Laurent Mouton is the fourth generation of the Mouton family to tend vineyards in Givry. It all began with Eugène Mouton around 1870. All he had was one hectare of vines and what he produced was sold to négociants.

– My grandfather, Charles Mouton, didn’t bottle either, says Laurent Mouton. With him the domaine grew to three hectares. Then my father started bottling in 1976.

Gérard Mouton had taken on the domaine in 1968. He introduced the white Givry in 1975, got good reviews and decided to continue making it. He had a total of about five hectares of village Givry vines. Then in 1973 La Grande Berge, at the southern end of the appellation, was promoted and Domaine Mouton got its first premier cru.

Givry, Burgundy.– Then in 1990 he got the two premier crus Clos Charlé and Clos Jus. In 1996 he added Les Grands Prétans, also a premier cru. Today we have twelve hectares and produce 50 000 to 60 000 bottles annually.

Domaine Mouton produces two whites, both village appellation Givrys – the standard cuvée and the Excellence cuvée. Both are blends of several parcels. The vines in these parcels range from the relatively young – 15 years old – to the much older – 80 years old. The standard cuvée is all made in stainless steel, while the Excellence cuvée sees some wood; it is 25 per cent new oak, 25 per cent one year old barrels and the rest is wine from tank.

Givry, Burgundy.– What makes the whites of our domaine special is that they don’t undergo malolactic fermentation, says Laurent Mouton. The reason is that back in 2008 the malolactic fermentation wouldn’t start. I tried everything. I tried adding products. I tried raising the temperature. But nothing worked. So I decided to use stronger filtration and to bottle earlier. What I got was a wine with more freshness.

The red village appellation Givry comes from seven different plots around the village. The vines were planted in 1972, 1990 and 1999. No new oak is used for this wine. Instead, it’s 40 per cent in tank and 60 per cent in barrels which two or three years old.

Givry, Burgundy.– I am not using the same vinification for all wines, says Laurent Mouton. For La Grande Berge and Les Grands Prétans the élevage is longer in order to add more power to the wines. For the village appellation Givry it’s ten to twelve days. For La Grande Berge it’s 18 days.

When you arrive in Givry from the north you have Clos Jus on your immediate right. It is one of the highest parts of the appellation and this clos is split between seven different owners.

Givry, Clos Jus.– Clos Jus always needs time in bottle to open, says Laurent Mouton. It has a lovely minerality. It’s lots of limestone here. If you try to make a hole you hit the rock after 50 to 100 centimeters. It is really different compared with the other premier crus. The vines are 25 years old.

Just before the houses of the village, on your right side, is the other clos of Domaine Mouton – Clos Charlé. Laurent Mouton is the main proprietor here. There are only two more producers of Clos Charlé – Domaine Desvignes and Domaine Deliance.

– Clos Charlé is facing south. It always delivers a very delicate pinot noir, very easy to drink already the first years. It is always lighter than the other premier crus. Many restaurants buy this since it’s ready to drink very soon. It gets about 25 per cent new wood. 40 per cent are one year old barrels. The rest two year old barrels. For this wine I focus on the fruit. I don’t want to lose the balance.

Laurent Mouton, Domaine Mouton.Les Grands Prétans is a bit further south. Just behind the village, below Clos Salomon. Part of it, where the Domaine Mouton vines are, is classified as Givry premier cru and part of it just as Givry village

– With Les Grands Prétans I try to bring out the dark fruit of the pinot noir, just to show that it is possible to make something more powerful in Givry, says Laurent Mouton. It is more powerful than the other three premier crus of the domaine. You will need to keep it in order to let the aromas develop.

The last one of the premier crus at Domaine Mouton, La Grande Berge, is at the southwestern corner of the appellation, next to the hamlet of Poncey.

– The vines in Clos Charlé are 25 years old. In La Grande Berge they have twice that age, 50 years. This premier cru really produces a different wine, with more maturity. I use 50 per cent new oak and 50 per cent one year old barrels. It is rounder. It doesn’t have as much acidity as Clos Charlé.

There is a total of 38 premier crus in Givry. As elsewhere in Burgundy all premier crus are not considered equal. All are premier crus, but over the years some have been singled out as being slightly better than the rest.

– Yes, says Laurent Mouton, it’s the same thing here. You have Clos Jus with its limestone soil. And I really like Les Grands Prétans. Among the other premier crus Celliers aux Moines, Les Maroles and Crausot are considered as being very good.

© 2015 Ola Bergman