A lawyer by training, meticulous winemaker Anne Parent is the matriarch of Pommard. Passionate not only about her wines but about the role of female vignerons in Burgundy, she founded the Women’s Winemaker Association in Burgundy and was its first president. Along with her sister, Catherine, she took over the Parent estate in 1998, becoming the 12th generation of winemakers in the family.
Parent is one of the great names in Pommard. The 25+ acre domaine boasts some of the finest parcels in the appellation, as well as holdings in Corton, Beaune, Ladoix, and Monthélie. Recent vintages have seen the domaine firing on all cylinders as they have moved towards an organic (certified 2013) and biodynamic approach to viticulture. Anne believes that these techniques help the soil regain its energy, and subsequently produce the most balanced fruit possible. Her aim is to make, “wines with character and personality, but also subtle, complex and sensual,” while maintaining the health of the environment and the people that work the vines.
In the vineyards, the harvest is done by hand. Attention to the quality of fruit is exacting with the grapes being sorted three times. Fermentation takes place with indigenous yeasts and the wine is moved by gravity in the Parent’s 200 year old cellar. These are traditional Burgundy wines.
The Parent family also has a unique connection to America. In 1787, just a few years before Thomas Jefferson served as the first U.S. Secretary of State, he made a grand tour of France. The tour included a five-day visit to the Côte d’Or, where he met Etienne Parent. Etienne would become a friend and adviser, as well as keep Jefferson stocked with the wines from Pommard and Meursault that he fell in love with during his visit.
Special prices based on purchase of 6-pack (mix-and-match).
~$35 “Selection Pomone” (Bourgogne Rouge 2016)
Anne calls the 2016 vintage a classic with wines that are elegant, precise, and energetic. “Selection Pomone” is from vines that average 30 years old in and around Pommard, including two barrels of Ladoix Premier Cru for the 2016 vintage. The wine is matured in 10% new French oak (demi-muids). One sniff and you know this is not your standard Bourgogne. Floral and cherry notes are entwined in damp earth and while it is not exactly Pommard-level concentration there is a fine structure that makes this one a hidden gem and one of the great value red Burgundies of the vintage.
$117 “Les Chanlins” (Pommard Premier Cru, 2015)
From 15+ year old vines in the “Les Chanlins” Premier Cru parcel, in the southwestern section of Pommard bordering Volnay. The wine was vinified with 40% whole-cluster fruit and matured in 30% new French oak barrels. Anne Parent calls 2015, “a very yum-yum vintage!” And when it comes to this particular wine we couldn’t agree more. Lovely scents of violet, ripe cherry, and earth form the bouquet while supple, concentrated, berry fruit fills the mouth.
$144 “Les Epenots” (Pommard Premier Cru, 2015)
From parcels in Grand Epenots with 25+ year old vines and Petit Epenots with 50+ year old vines. The Premier Cru vineyard has the distinction of being one of the two best in Pommard along with “Les Rugiens.” Closer to the village of Beaune, “Les Epenots” is known to provide a silky, earlier drinking wine yet with all the strength associated with Pommard. Maturation takes place in 30-40% new French oak barrels. The result is a wine with both power and finesse, full of vibrant fruit and deep earth — a classic red Burgundy that will give for years and years.