Albert Sounit is situated in Rully and Buxy where we are producing a range of Crémant de Bourgogne and white- and red wines from the Côte Chalonnaise.
The property has a long history dating back to 1781, when the family Jeunet established the company. Our current domicile was built in 1851 by the Jeunet family in a quarry and comprises large, vaulted cellars – ideal for aging the wines.
The era of the Sounit family started in 1945 and the company was the following decades an important negociant in the area.
In 1988 Knud Kjellerup, a Danish wine importer, started to import the wines from Albert Sounit – and in 1993 he bought the company together with two good friends to outlive a passion to produce high quality wines from Chalonnaise. We believe in the potential of the Côte Chalonnaise vineyards – there is no reason for not producing wines of the same quality level as Côte de Beaune. The terroir is there, – “it’s just to take care of the vines – and to use the best possible methods – both in the vineyard and in the winery”.
Albert Sounit has since that time undergone a tremendous development with huge investments in winery, vineyard and people, including the acquisition of Domaine Bernollin in 2005 and is today a 16,5 ha large estate, with vineyards in Rully and Montagny. The grapes from our own vineyards are harvested by Domaine Bernollin and vinified and sold by Albert Sounit.
On top of that we also buy grapes on long term basis from local wine growers.
Côte Chalonnaise is situated just south of Côte de Beaune – 17 km. south of Beaune. The area is 25 km. north/south and at the broadest approximately 7 km. Côte Chalonnaise covers 2.090 ha. of vineyards: 1.615 ha. of village and 1er Cru and only 475 ha. of regional wines.
5 villages bear its own appellation:
Rully (343 ha), Mercurey (646 ha), Givry (269 ha), Montagny (306 ha) and Bouzeron (only Aligoté: 51 ha.).
During decades and generations Côte Chalonnaise has been known for being an important source of “cheap wines of medium quality” for the larger négociant companies in Beaune. This has been an excellent bargain for the négociant companies, – but a misuse of a fantastic quality potential in the Côte Chalonnaise. Over the last decades this has however changed, and Cote Chalonnaise is now gaining reputation as a source of wines of high quality.
The slopes of Côte Chalonnaise are a continuation of the slopes of Côte de Beaune. The exposure is ideal, and the soil is adequate for producing Pinot-Noir and Chardonnay of excellent quality.
Viticulture & vinifiCation
Our philosophy is to grow our vineyards with maximum respect for the environment!
For that reason, the work in the vineyards have since 2005 followed the codes of “Agriculture Raisonnée”. In 2016 we made the first wine organic: The old wines of Montagny 1. Cru “Les Chaniots”, – and in 2019 we decided to roll out the organic work in all our vineyards.
All our grapes are hand harvested and sorting of grapes takes place both when picking and when emptying the buckets at the end of the row. A final sorting takes place when the grapes arrive at the winery.
We also buy grapes on long term relation from local producers in Mercurey and Rully, who share our quality view on the vineyard work. These grapes are in most cases harvested by our own harvest team – and all the grapes are vinified at the estate – exactly in the same spirit as the grapes from our own vineyards.
Our philosophy when it comes to vinification is to express the terroir with respect of the vintage.
It’s quite modern these days to say: “we intervene to the minimum and let the grapes speak”. This is not our style. We wish to intervene when we believe that we can support the wine. We wish to express the human part of the quartet: Terroir – Grape – Climate – Human.
We love fruits, elegance, minerality and soft tannins!
We use both stainless steel, barrels and foudre for fermentation depending on the style of the individual wine, and maturation takes place in barrels for most of our wines. Size of barrels, age, cooper, toasting level etc are just some of the parameters we play with to compose the best wine. We have a relatively long ageing of our wines before bottling, of course without filtration.
Hospices de Beaune
Albert Sounit has for some years been very active on the Hospice de Beaune Auction, which takes place every year in November. The Hospice was established in 1443 and has since 1859 mainly been financed through the charity auctions, where the Hospice sell their wines from their own vineyards just a few month after the harvest. We buy red as well as white wine – 1. Cru as well as Grand Cru.
When we receive the barrels from Hospice de Beaune the wine is far from finished. Ahead is 1 – 2 years of careful vinification and maturing before they are bottled. A period, where the wines gets our outmost attention. By that time most of the wine will already be sold to our clients, who wants to secure them at En Primeur prices.