Domaine Xavier Durand is operated by a young family who have tiny plots in several Burgundian, Village and Premier Cru appellations. The reasonably new cellars are built under his modern cement structure winery which is across a tiny courtyard from he and his wife’s family home.
Everything is changing in the world of wine, and it is the newly wine educated young winemakers such as Xavier who are at the cutting edge of these changes.
Rarely out of beaten up old clothes and largely unshaven, he struggles very hard with his wife’s help to eke out a living from a few barrels from this vineyard, a few barrels from that one, a few barrels from that one and perhaps a few extra barrels of the Cote du Nuits Villages’ more reasonable prices. There is no social welfare here! A poor vintage is a tragedy. JJ
“The domaine dates back to my grandfather Alexis,” says Xavier Durand. “He bought the vines in the Côte de Nuits-Villages, the Bourgogne and the Ladoix appellations. Then my father René added the Corton in 1984 and the Aloxe-Corton in 1985.”
Despite being located right in the middle of the Côte d’Or this is a relatively unknown village. Comblanchien and its two neighbours – Prémeaux-Prissey to the north and Corgoloin to the north – form the southern end of the Côte de Nuits. None of them has an appellation of its own. While Prémeaux-Prissey is the home of some of the Nuits-Saint-Georges premier crus – most notably the Clos de la Maréchale – the other two villages have to share the Côte de Nuits-Villages appellation with two villages at the top of the Côte de Nuits – Fixin and Brochon. Bergman’s Bourgogne
After taking over the family domaine at age 25, Xavier Durand, a third-generation winemaker, decided to abandon rented vines and concentrate instead on his family estate, where he could better control the vineyards’ health and quality.
Over time, he has carefully acquired small parcels of very high-quality vineyards. The domaine now spans 17 acres of central Côte d’Or, in famous appellations such as Corton or
Nuits-Saint-Georges, as well as lesser-known ones such as Ladoix or Côte de Nuits Village. All the vines at Domaine Xavier Durand are between 35 and 80 years old, giving his wines complexity and character. Cave to CellarThe vineyards of Domaine Xavier Durand are located along an eleven kilometre stretch of the Côte d’Or. From Aloxe-Corton in the south to Nuits-Saint-Georges in the north; in-between are Ladoix-Serrigny, Corgoloin, Comblanchien and Prémeaux-Prissey.
“Côte de Nuits-Villages is my largest appellation. In total I have 2.75 hectares of it planted with pinot noir. Part of it is sélection massale and part of it sélection clonale. The soil is very calcareous here. Very heavy and hard. I blend all of it into a single cuvée.”
The parcel in question is located at the northern end of Comblanchien, in a lieu-dit called Saint-Seine. Just across the Comblanchien/Prémeaux-Prissey border, only some hundred metres away, is the Nuits-Saint-Georges premier cru Clos de la Maréchale.
Despite being one of the lesser-known appellation of the Côte d’Or Xavier Durand does not find it difficult to sell. Lesser-known means a lower price, creating a, as he puts it, more honest price/quality ratio. Bergman’s Bourgogne
Domaine Xavier Durand Côte de Nuits Village ‘VI’ Vieille Vignes 2017.
Qty Avail. 228 – $56
Xavier, a young and modern winemaker, often gets some life and excitement – and some crowd-pleasing flavours and characters – into his wines. These are not traditional in style. This is pleasantly almost perfumed on the nose, and is soft, gentle and complete on the palate. It is round and balanced and will drink marvellously for its price range until 2025. This is round and balanced, and is serious value for money compared to its new world peers at this price and at 18.2 points. JJ