Young mademoiselle Erell Ninot is the latest in a very long line to take control of the family estate in the Côte Chalonnaise (the section of Burgundy just south of the Côte d’Or.) Many of our producers go back 7 or 8 generations. Domaine Ninot goes back to 1313! Yes, that’s 1313 – as in the middle ages – some 700 years ago. She took over from her father in 2005, and quickly began bottling most of the domaine’s wines under their own label. Her father and previous generations had mostly sold the wines in bulk to the large negociant houses.
I first became aware of Erell when she was nominated for the “Trophée de Jeune Talent” in 2008 – the annual award for the best young winemaker in Burgundy (which she subsequently won.) Erell is an energetic dynamo, in full charge of all viticulture and winemaking for the 29 acre estate. Their holdings are in the villages of Rully and Mercurey – each of which are capable of producing excellent quality, but most importantly exquisite value – in both red and white.
Erell keeps her yields way low (about 2 tons to the acre for the Pinot, under three tons for the Chardonnay), and uses a judiciously small amount of new oak – a maximum of 15% for the 1er Crus. The wines are supple and vibrant and pure and quite simply a delight. Erell’s younger brother Flavien has now joined the team as well, focusing on converting the vineyards to organic viticulture.