Exploring Bourgogne (7) Domaine Michael Sarrazin

Domaine Michel Sarrazin et Fils
26 rue de Charnailles – 71640 Jambles
Tel. +33 (0)3 85 44 30 57

This family estate is located in the heart of the Bourgogne winegrowing region on the Côte Chalonnaise, 30km to the south of Beaune. It was established back in the 17th century and is now in the hands of Michel Sarrazin, who took over from his parents in 1964 and started bottling the estate’s own production. His two sons, Guy and Jean-Yves, joined him in 1986 and 1992 respectively. The estate currently covers 35 hectares, producing reds, from Pinot Noir, and whites, from the Chardonnay or Aligoté varietals. All the wine produced by the family is bottled in the estate’s own cellars.

We met with Pierre Sarrazin, one of the grandsons of Michel.

Although this has been a family estate from 1671, the domaine really started with Pierre’s grandfather Michel in the 1960s, and Pierre’s father and uncle developed the estate into what it is now. They have 45 hectares of vines, with 43 of these in the Côte Chalonnaise, and  2 ha of Maranges in the southern part of Côtes de Beaune. They are HVE certified. ‘This year has seen big disease pressure,’ says Pierre, ‘and we also had some hail twice last week on Tuesday and Saturday.’ [We were there in mid-July 2023).

What about Aligoté, a grape I’m very keen on? ‘We really like this grape variety. It is so different to Chardonnay,’ says Pierre. ‘Lots of aligoté is made on the plain on less good plots, but this is old vines on the slopes, and we can control the yield per plant. Aligoté can produce big yields but it’s often not interesting. You need to control your yields.’ He also thinks oak helps Aligoté when used well. ‘With the barrel you develop the flavour of the Aligoté.’ 70 hl/ha is the yield allowed, in 2021 they just made 40 hl/ha. Normally they do 50 hl/ha.

‘I think it is really interesting to have a warm vintage for Aligoté,’ says Pierre. ‘You have complexity, it’s full of volume, and Aligoté always has its acidity. It’s easier to grow Aligoté than Chardonnay. It is more resistant to oidium.’ He also adds, ‘you really see the difference of the vintage in Pinot Noir. For Chardonnay it has less impact.’


Domaine Michel Sarrazin Aligoté Charnailles 2022 (barrel sample)
They have 3 ha of old vine (1975) Aligoté, Aligote Doré, south facing, clay soils with some limestone. 50% barrels (500 litres, of which half are new) and tank. Complex, intense and quite mineral with a stony edge to the powerful citrus fruit with a brilliant mineral edge. Nice concentration here with a lovely spicy structure. Lots of intensity. 93/100

Domaine Michel Sarrazin Bourgogne Aligoté Charnailles 2021
There’s a distinctive apricot and pear edge to the nose, with great concentration and minerality with a saline twist. There’s a great intensity to this wine with lovely intensity to the fruit. Really nice intensity here. 93/100

Domaine Michel Sarrazin Givry Blanc Sans Nom 2022
60% in oak, 40% in tank. Lovely depth and concentration here with mineral-laced pear and peach fruit, with a fine spiciness. Good definition and concentration with lovely fruit, showing some mealy richness. 93/100

Domaine Michel Sarrazin Givry Blanc 1er Cru Champs Lalot 2020
From the north of the appellation. Lots of limestone in this plot. Nice weight here with textured pear and citrus fruit, showing some mealiness and a fine-grained structure. Lovely citrus drive here with some nice mineral notes, as well as hints of cabbage and pear. Juicy and linear with a lovely mineral finish. Has a brightness at the end. 93/100

Domaine Michel Sarrazin Bourgogne Côtes Chalonnaises Rouge Charnay 2022 (barrel sample)
A plot from Charnay, near here. First vintage of this. Fermented in concrete tank with cooling, then goes to barrel. New 500 litre oak. Ripe, generous and bold with sweet cherry and raspberry fruit with some chocolatey richness, showing some barrel characters. Spicy and structured, showing lovely richness and boldness. 91-93/100

All red wines are in 100% new oak, and all François Frères. Many of the wines are picked by machine. They show really good terroir transparency. ‘In our wines you can see the differences in the terroir, and this is really important for us,’ says Pierre. These samples are from 10 barrels per cuvée to give a good representation of the final blend.

Domaine Michel Sarrazin Givry Les Dracy 2022
This comes from Les Gorgères and the neighbouring Champs Lalot (the bit which is just village, at the bottom). Some beetroot and cherry on the nose with firm structure and spicy oak. Nice intensity and concentration here with a sense of brightness. The oak is currently obtrusive but should settle down. Nice density and concentration. 92-94/100

Domaine Michel Sarrazin Givry Les Teppes 2022
A small 0.8 ha plot in the south of the appellation at high altitude. A ‘false’ premier cru. Fresh, vivid and bright with a lightness to the structure, good acidity, and bright cherry and raspberry fruit. There’s nice intensity here with some structure and focus. 91-93/100

Domaine Michel Sarrazin Givry Clos de la Roche 2022
On the top of Champs Lalot. Nice bright fruit with some sweetness and density, showing floral detail and nice generosity. Direct with some oak showing, showing good structure and nice balance. Very old vines, hand picked. 92-94/100

Domaine Michel Sarrazin Givry Rouge 1er Cru Champ Lalot 2022
Fresh, bright and linear with a stony, savoury, cedary edge to the black cherry fruit, as well as some raspberry crunch. Direct, vivid and showing nice concentration, with the structure to age mid-term. Wood certainly in the mix but should settle. 91-93/100

Domaine Michel Sarrazin Givry Rouge 1er Cru La Grandè Berge 2022
Great definition here with nice bright cherry and raspberry fruit, supported by spicy, cedary oak, good acidity and nice structure. Linear and vivid with nice spiciness, and potential for development. 92-94/100

Domaine Michel Sarrazin Givry Rouges Les Teppes 2020
Lovely structure and intensity here. Concentrated and powerful with vivid cherry and raspberry fruit, and even a touch of blackcurrant. Has great structure with well integrated oak, with some firmness on the finish after a wall of vivid berry and black fruits, with some salty detail. Such weight to this wine: it’s new world in style, almost, but with old world structure. 94/100