Jean-Pierre Charlot took over from his father in-law, Joseph Voillot, as the winemaker at Domaine Joseph Voillot in 1995. The estate had an excellent reputation for long aging, firm wines, but they could take many years to mature. Having taught at the Lycee Viticvole for many years, Jean-Pierre brought a more modern approach of the winemaking to the domaine, including complete destemming of the grapes. The wines released by Voillot today are still excellent, but more approachable when young. In addition to being a skilled vigneron, Jean-Pierre is one of Burgundy’s most generous characters. A visit to this domaine is likely to include the opening of an old, dusty bottle and possibly a lengthy meal. Fun loving and charismatic, Jean-Pierre Charlot is a skilled grower whose wines reflect his larger than life personality.
The estate owns an excellent range of vineyards from Volnay and Pommard. Fremiets (0.58 ha.) always produces the prettiest, most fragrant of Voillot’s Volnay premier crus. The Les Caillerets (0.14 ha.), considered by many to be the village’s finest vineyard, shows a firm, mineral backbone. Jean-Pierre, however, considers Champans to be his top cuvee. The old vines owned by the domaine in this vineyard contribute to the deep, full structure of the wine. Pommard is a village that tends to be overlooked today, but the wines can be age worthy and profound. From a parcel of old vines (1963) located in Clos Micault (0.14 ha.), which was the first vineyard purchased by the Voillot family in 1870, a big, muscular wine is made. Les Pezerolles produces a wine of great finesse. Les Epenots and Les Rugiens are often mentioned as candidates for promotion to grand cru status and examples of both can be found in this cellar. The two vineyards produce exceptional wines, but the Rugiens may have the edge. Voillot’s plot is located in the LesRugiens-Bas (0.25 ha.), which is generally considered the best section of the climate. The bottling from Voillot is full-bodied, structured and has a complex, long finish.
The wines made by Jean-Pierre are never heavy or over extracted. The Volnays are usually light in color, extremely fragrant and full of sweet fruit. Deeper and more rustic, the Pommards are classic examples of the village. Even in the most challenging vintages, the wines from Voillot retain a sense of charm and purity. Domaine Joseph Voillot has enjoyed a long history, but under the leadership of Jean-Pierre Charlot it has risen to an even higher level.