Burgundy Domaine Hubert Lamy
A visit to Olivier Lamy is always a masterclass in geology and its impact on the wines and, even more importantly, it is a masterclass in experimentation. Based in St Aubin, sandwiched between Meursault and Chassagne Montrachet, there have been Lamy’s working the vineyards of this southern tip of the Côte d’Or since 1640.
Since taking over from his father Hubert in 1997, Olivier has cemented his reputation as one of the new breed of Burgundian growers who are not afraid to mix innovation with tradition. Gaining experience and forming ideas from multiple stages worked in France and abroad, Olivier is always tinkering with various aspects of both viticulture and vinification in order to make his wines ever purer and more precise, and is now avoiding sulphur until absolutely necessary at bottling and reducing his reliance on new wood. Now farming over 18.5 hectares (the Domaine in 1973 was only 8 hectares) and 20 different appellations, they follow the lutte raisonné principle in the vineyard, and have not used chemical pesticides or fertilisers for over 10 years.
More recently, Olivier has been experimenting with high density plantings, with 30,000 plants per hectare, and the results have been so positive that he is beginning to double up in other vineyards, inter-planting between existing rows to create the same results – principally more intense flavours and purity of fruit. When we asked if he was going to put all of his vineyards over to high density, the answer was that he would love to but, as it literally doubles the work and removes all machines from the equation, not just now!
From a tiny parcel of the Grand Cru vineyard Criots Batard Montrachet to their Bourgogne Blanc, their whites are fermented by parcel in barrel, to retain their sense of terroir. We are lucky enough to offer you a selection of Olivier’s wines each year en primeur. If you can’t quite wait until our next offer, try his Bourgogne Blanc Les Chataigners, on our list all year round, a wine with a huge amount of natural energy and acidity, one of Olivier’s trademarks. This is a wine we regularly have to remind ourselves is ‘only’ a humble Bourgogne Blanc.