Red wine vinification
Domaine de Montille is known to craft wines with great aromatic purity, always favoring balance and elegance over power and extraction. The wines are classic expressions of Burgundy, produced in the most natural way possible and possessing an impressive ability to age, as the family believes only time can reveal the true potential of the greatest wines.
The domaine's current style remains faithful to Hubert's natural and idealistic approach, which demanded considerable patience while waiting for appropriate drinking windows for certain vintages. Etienne, however, has taken up the task to bring greater aromatic expression and silkier and more unctuous textures to the reds, allowing them to drink earlier, without compromising their ability to age. The domaine is known in Burgundy, among others such as Arlot, DRC, Dujac and Leroy, to regularly vinify using a significant proportion of whole clusters, varying by cuvée and by vintage.
Getting to know Brian Sieve, Chef de Cave at Domaine de Montille
Brian was born in Indianapolis, but at 30 he had already traveled the world. He more or less had tried his hand at everything, working: in ski patrol at a Colorado resort, as a fly-fishing guide, as a harvester and vineyard worker in California's Sonoma Valley and as an oenology student.... Passionate about terroir, Brian finally laid his hat in Volnay. After working for Domaine de Montille for a year, he became chef de cave in January 2010.
Is it like a childhood dream to live in the middle of Burgundy's great Pinot Noirs?
It's a fantastic experience for me, an American, to work and taste here, in the land of terroir. After studying oenology in the USA and some time in spent in California, my wife and I wanted to work in France. It is a unique opportunity and a dream to learn at a domaine like this.
What is your role as chef de cave?
I have to keep an eye on and work with the wines, especially after the fermentations, and be sure that everything is under control. From the sorting table at harvest to bottling, the chef de cave is the right (and left) arm of Alix and Étienne.
I have to make sure that everything goes well, and above all, to be sure the cellar is organized and ready for key moments like harvesting, racking and bottling. My role is to be in tune with the wines at all times, to understand what is best for them and their expressions of origin. A critical moment is the first phase of barrel maturation, between the two fermentations. That's when I must juggle the balance between the acidities and the loss of CO2 before racking. The job requires experience to understand how the wines will develop over the year.
What is your view of Burgundian wines?
Here, acidity is queen... it is incredible to realize that it is acidity that keeps the wines alive. Pinot Noir needs to be accompanied during its vinification. Étienne, Alix and I get on well because we share the same philosophy, which is to intervene as little as possible and to seek the purest expression of our terroirs. This will produce the most remarkable wines in our minds.