Frederic Cossard is a larger than life character. He is a man with an infectious joie de vivre, with a real passion for life and a love of wine that runs deep. Fred wasn’t born into a family of vignerons and so had to start from scratch, no mean feat in Burgundy. Domaine de Chassorney was born in 1996 with a few hectares of vines rented in Saint Romain and Auxey Duresses and now comprises ten hectares of vines across several villages. He also acts as a négociant, which gives him access to fruit from some of the greatest vineyards in Burgundy (and in this case, the Jura). These wines are bottled eponymously, as ‘Frederic Cossard’.
The Cossard’s have worked organically from the outset and now focus on homeopathic treatments and remedies tailored to the needs of each site. When fruit is bought, they give the growers a guide for looking after the vines and join them in the vineyards to ensure that work is carried out to their own lofty standards. In doing so they ensure that only the most pristine fruit makes it to their cellars tucked away amongst the limestone cliffs of Saint-Romain.
Such scrutiny is necessary to make great wine with no additions and that is exactly what they do. Whites are pressed directly straight to barrel, where they rest on lees until bottling. Reds spend around a month on their skins as whole bunches in open top casks, before being pressed off to barrel, also resting on their lees until bottling. It sounds simple, but the attention to detail in the cellar is second to none and Fred produces Burgundy of rare liveliness, purity and detail.
Pinot from vineyard of fifty year old vines planted over volcanic soils not far from Rotalier. This year this saw a gentle extraction as the grapes’ skins were incredibly delicate after the frosts. The resulting wine is lithe and fragrant, with that almost weightless character that made everyone fall in love with red wines from the Jura in the first place. Only a handful of these special wines made it to the UK and we have just a single case.