Jeff Welburn Selections


Domaine Henri Delagrange,
Côte de Beaune

The affable Didier Delagrange joined the family business in 1990 after completing his studies at the Lycée Viticole (aka La Viti) in Beaune. He became the sixth-generation of this prominent Côte de Beaune family to run the domaine when he took over for his father in 2003.

The philosophy he has embraced is simple: hard work by hand in the vineyard and minimal intervention in the cellar. He ploughs rather than spraying, uses only organic vine and soil treatments, de-buds to limit yields, defoliates by hand to prevent rot and harvests manually.

The pride of Domaine Delagrange is its prime parcel in the Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes, planted in 1939. Since taking over, Didier and his wife, Hélène, have also added a 55-year-old Pinot Noir parcel in Aloxe-Corton, a well-situated Chardonnay site in Meursault and a plot in the Volnay 1er Cru Les Champans to the domaine's holdings. While Delagrange's reputation may rest with the afore-mentioned wines, one should not overlook the domaine’s Hautes Côtes de Beaune blanc and rouge. Didier and his father had the foresight back in the ’90s to purchase and plant on this virtually unknown and untapped source. With today’s weak dollar and the increased global palate preference for Pinot Noir, this has proved to be a sound business move, as these wines are now among the best values in Burgundy.

Domaine Facts

Vines & Wines: 27 acres total of sustainably farmed (lutte raisonnée) vines
Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes: 1.6 acres (planted in 1939)
Volnay 1er Cru Les Champans: (first vintage 2007)
Volnay Villages (Vieilles Vignes): 4.3 acres (average 55-years-old)
Pommard 1er Cru Les Bertins: 1.1 acres (average 45-years-old)
Pommard Les Vaumuriens Hauts (lieu-dit): 1.5 acres (average 40-years-old)
Aloxe-Corton Les Caillettes (lieu-dit): 1.6 acres (average 55-years-old)
Meursault Village: 1.3 acres (average 30-years-old)
Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune (Pinot Noir): 8.2 acres
Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune (Chardonnay): 7.4 acres
Soil: Volnay and Pommard – reddish oolite limestone (containing iron) and marl
Hautes Côtes de Beaune – stony red marl slopes
Harvest: Manual harvest using small bins with strict selection in vineyard
Yields: 38 hectoliters/hectare for Volnay and Pommard 1er Crus, 40-44 hl/ha for village wines, and 50 hl/ha for Hautes Côtes de Beaune
& Elevage:
All fruit is destemmed. 15 to 18-day cuvaison for reds in thermo-regulated open tanks with pigeage on alternate days. Combination of new and older neutral barrels used for 10-15 months (depends on wine). No more than 20% new wood. Reds then racked and put in temp-controlled stainless steel tanks for three-month gravity clarification/settling period. Only bottom third of tanks filtered (coarse lenticular).
Annual Production:
75,000 bottles / 6,250 cases (Hautes Côtes de Beaune wines account for 60%)