Behind the Label with Domaine Borgeot and Emma Sarjeant of Anthony Sarjeant Wines

The key takeaway from this tasting was that, despite the challenges of the 2021 vintage, which was beleaguered by frost and poor weather, Pascal and Laurent Borgeot continue to approach their wines with the perfect balance of calm consideration and joyful exuberance, which defines their wines.

Emma introduced the domaine to us with a summary of the 2021 growing season. Warm weather brought forward bud burst. Then a massive, three-day frost, which culminated in snowfall, caused huge damage to the delicate new growths. The buds that hadn’t been killed by frost were then at risk of sunburn from UV rays reflected onto them by the surface of the snow. Alternating rain and warm weather followed, lasting throughout the growing season. Yields are very low, but quality promises to be high in this more delicate, less bold vintage.

Being a small, family domaine, even in difficult vintages (or perhaps that should be especially), Domaine Borgeot focus on simply doing what they do best: producing quality wines with a sense of fun and joy. The class and liveliness of their wines came through in the four that we tasted.

Domaine Borgeot Bourgogne Chardonnay

This is a restrained style of Bourgogne Blanc; it spends 2-4 years in older oak barrels for gentle oxidation, rather than flavour extraction. This gives it nice weight on the mid-palate without going overboard on toast and vanilla spice. The wine goes through full malolactic conversion, softening more tart acidity and adding a creamy texture. I loved the concentration of fruit on the palate: there were notes of fresh citrus, orchard fruits, peach and tangerines, with a saline undertone. Refreshing, racy acidity transported tonnes of flavour on the finish, which just kept going and going.

One to have in the fridge door, I think.

Domaine Borgeot Puligny-Montrachet “Les Grand Champs”

There are 26 named vineyards in the village of Puligny-Montrachet, but you won’t see all of them mentioned on labels. Only a few, like Les Grands Champs, are of high enough quality to merit naming specifically.

Fermentation takes place in barrel with natural yeasts for a seamless integration of oak character in the wine and added complexity. The wine then goes through full malo for a rounded mouthfeel, and it is aged on the lees.

The result is a layered wine with lashings of complexity. I got notes of lemon, apricot, red apple, tangerine, sourdough, toast, hazelnuts, almond and oatmeal biscuits. That signature saline note danced across the palate in this wine too. In fact, I think it was more noticeable here than on the Bourgogne Chardonnay.

This wine could last 4-7 years in your cellar, gaining more hedgerow, verbena and nutty notes, if you can wait that long!

Domaine Borgeot Bourgogne Pinot Noir

This is a perfumed red made from 45-55 year old vines. When farmed correctly, vines of this age yield more concentrated fruit, as they do in this wine.

60% of the domaine’s Bourgogne Pinot Noir is aged in oaks barrels (25% new) for one year, so you get some toasty, smoky notes in the wine. I also tasted characteristics of bright red berried fruit, biscuit, raspberry seeds and something like forest floor, from some time spent ageing in bottle.

The verdict was that this is a great Sunday roast wine.

Domaine Borgeot Santenay Premier Cru “Les Gravieres”

This wine overdelivers for the price. It is toweringly complex, with notes of violet, red cherry, black plum, smoke, toast, cream, dried petals and dried herbs. On the finish, it is long and layered.

This was my favourite wine from the session, evident from my minimal note-taking as I simply luxuriated in the wine I was tasting!