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The Master Behind the Hill

M Rollin in full flow giving the low-down on his 2015 vintage
There are those bits of Burgundy to which one makes a beeline in the event of a sun-drenched vintage: soils that are, for one reason or another, naturally cooler.

One such is the Combe de Lavaux in Gevrey, where fresher airs are funnelled down from the Hautes Côtes via an alluvial combe. Another is Pernand Vergelesses. Here, hidden behind the Hill of Corton, one finds distinctly cool terroir. And here, one also finds a man who makes some of the finest wines from those soils: Remi Rollin.

M Rollin's village white Pernand is, in any given vintage, one of the best-value wines around. I have experienced vertical tastings of this wine at the domaine and a decade of bottle age does most vintages no harm whatsoever. Indeed, given three, four, five plus years in the cellar only serves to make this a more complex and captivating experience.

His Corton-Charlemagne is, in the opinion of many, one of the finest wines of the appellation.

And whilst perhaps more celebrated for his white wines, M Rollin's reds are pure, beautiful things and particularly so from such grand terroir as the senior Pernand 1er cru below...

I visited Pernand and the Domaine Remi Rollin in November 2016. What I found were wines that utterly enthralled me. Remi's '15s are really very special indeed.


The Wines
2015 Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc, Remi Rollin
£216 in bond a dozen  Drink 2018-22
Lovely the nose here, clean-cut, of salted green apples and nutty with a mineral aroma. The fruit on the palate is quite delicious. There's a hint of rhubarb to the flavours of Golden Delicious apples. A fine, fresh, mineral tilth emerges from within. A long wine of really elegant grip.

2015 Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc Les Cloux, Remi Rollin
£129 in bond per 6  Drink 2018-23
Wheaten aromas, dense and peary, to this wonderful white. The nose is dotted with spice. In the mouth, entry is rich, becoming quickly crystalline with a mineral structure that becomes increasingly fresh and incisive. There's more grip here, most evident right at the back. Delicious wine.

2015 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Remi Rollin
£396 in bond per 6  Drink 2021-30
Aromas are rich, dense, a touch nutty from the wood. Plus there's mineral spice here, too. Palate is rich and dense as well, but quickly starts exhibiting a piquant and upright mineral freshness. There's great, sustained grip that becomes increasingly incisive. Super-long wine that ends in a serious lemon lift. Lovely flavours right through this. A big, rich wine and a very delicious one.

15 Pernand Vergelesses Rouge 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses, Remi Rollin
£162 in bond per 6  Drink 2019-26
A big nose meets the taster: rich and nutty with spiced cherry/plum-dark fruit. There's lots here. Aromas are really fresh. Then there's a touch of creaminess about the dark entry. It becomes quickly linear, direct and fresh with a limestone density and freshness emerging and powering for the long finish. Big, fresh, tacky grip and really snappy fruit make this an exciting proposition.

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