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Laurent Fournier, the winemaker, wants the character to come down to the plant (the vine) and not the process of what comes after. In the cellar, he begins fermentations in concrete vats and gravity feeds his free run and pressed wines to large barrels in the subterranean level of his two-tiered cellar, naturally maintaining a cool, damp environment. He uses thick 600L demi-muids of Austrian oak for Bourgogne level wines. Laurent believes that the Austrian oak is uniquely suited for his wine style because the raw wood is matured for over 5 years in a continental climate with real temperature variation so that the tighter oak grains allow just the right amount of oxygen exchange and tannin as he likes.
Both primary and secondary fermentations occur without inoculations and sulfur is only added in the smallest amounts after malolactic fermentation is complete. As for fining and filtration, Laurent would prefer clarifying and fining his wine through natural settling and bottling under the positive influences of high barometric pressure and the full moon.
With lively raspberry, cherry and alpine strawberry notes, the wine has a silky texture and fine, long finish.There are some intriguing smoky notes, with echoes of coffee and caramel. 2015 was a warm year and the ripeness of the fruit is evident.
This style of wine goes well with mild cheeses or charcuterie, but also with more complex dishes such as tuna with sesame crust, or even chicken or rabbit with creamy sauces.
The Fournier name is one of the oldest in the historical records in the village of Marsannay-la-Côte first appearing in the 17th century. The family (of Swiss origin) has been growing grapes for generations. But it wasn’t until the 1960’s that Jean Fournier created his domaine and started to bottle wine for commercial purposes. His son, Laurent, joined him in 2001 and assumed full responsibility for operations in 2003 at which point the vineyards began their conversion to organic farming. The vineyards were Ecocert certified organic in 2008. Domaine Jean Fournier is seen as one of the best producers of Marsannay and winemaker Laurent Fournier is certainly at the forefront of elevating Marsannay as a wine and as a community.