Domaine Rollin Pere and Fils
Rosenthal has been working happily with the Rollin family in Pernand-Vergelesses since 1982. Over the years, first with Maurice and his son Rémi, and today with Rémi and his son Simon, this rock-solid domaine has always provided wines of finesse, character, and startling purity—and at prices that put to rest the notion there is no value to be found in Burgundy anymore. It was Maurice’s father Raymond who first purchased vineyards in his local village of Pernand-Vergelesses where, like his father before him, he was engaged as a vineyard worker. Maurice decided in 1955 to begin making and bottling wines from the family holdings. He developed a growing group of private clients to support his efforts. His success provided him with the resources to purchase additional vineyards, including a lovely parcel in the "Ile des Vergelesses," the most exalted of the vineyards of Pernand. By the mid-1980s, the Rollin family had accumulated ten hectares of vineyards and by the mid-1990s, Maurice and Remi determined to bottle all the wine made at the estate rather than to sell even a small percentage to negociants. In 2003, Simon Rollin, Remi’s son, joined the estate as the fourth generation vigneron.
The Rollin domaine covers fourteen hectares of vineyards. The vineyards are spread over five separate communes (Pernand Vergelesses, Savigny les Beaune, Echevronne, Aloxe Corton and Chorey les Beaune). The vineyards of Pernand Vergelesses run at an “off-angle” to the main swath of east-facing, contiguous hillsides that comprise the bulk of the Côte d’Or. They are wedged into a narrow crevasse formed by the disjunction of Corton and the primary escarpment of the Côte de Beaune, and most of the key sites here face westward (or even northwestward). In bygone days of feebler temperatures and less precise vineyard work, wines from Pernand were commonly characterized as somewhat lean and rustic—its whites a bit angular, its reds more bare-knuckled. Now, however, these sorts of areas—vineyards less exposed to the glowering sun and which thereby undergo slower phenological maturation—regularly produce supremely compelling Burgundies: wines of tense equilibrium and striking complexity absent the surface flash of blatant ripeness.
The vineyard work is meticulous and, although not certified organic, the methodology in practice is applied in a manner designed to maximize the expression of terroir by eliminating (or reducing to an absolute minimum) any treatments in the vineyards. All grapes are harvested manually and fermentations proceed with indigenous yeasts. The white wines are pressed gently and undergo long fermentations in barrel (except for the Aligoté which is raised in stainless steel tanks) and are aged on the fine lees for twelve to fifteen months. The reds are hand-sorted in both the vineyard and at the cellar before being pressed. The maceration is long, and the elevage is in small barrels with the malolactic fermentation occurring therein. In almost every instance, neither the white wines nor the red wines are fined or filtered.