Rebels of Wine : Sylvain Pataille
Sylvain Pataille is one of the new breed of winemakers who first achieved the highest level of technical training before beginning to craft his own wines. A highly-regarded consulting oenologist, who still advises over 15 Burgundy domaines, Pataille has in very short order built up (mostly en fermage) a domaine of some 15 hectares, all in Marsannay, the northernmost, and most recent (1987) AOC of the Côte de Nuits.
Domaine Pataille currently produces 12 cuvées, including not only red, white and rosé Marsannay (Marsannay being the only appellation in the Côte d’Or permitted AC rosé), but also Aligoté, Passetoutgrain and Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge.
Domaine Pataille is farmed organically — in transition to completely biodynamic wine production. Accordingly, there are no chemical herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers; and only natural yeasts, no enzymes, are used. The fermentation, partially in fiberglass and partially in stainless steel, is relatively short — usually only 10-12 days — with temperatures held to a maximum of around 32°C. The wines are then racked into oak barriques (1/3 new) and then aged for up to 24 months (18 on average) before bottling.
(Image credit : Becky Wasserman & Michel Joly)