Based in Vosne-Romanée, Domaine Gros Frère & Sœur is a relatively large estate for the Côte de Nuits with an impressive portfolio of wines including four Grands Crus (Richebourg, Clos de Vougeot, Echezeaux and Grands Echezeaux).
The Gros family has been making wine in and around Vosne-Romanée since 1830 when Alphonse Gros moved to the village and founded the original Domaine Gros. The property passed to his son Louis-Gustave and then Louis-Gustave’s son Louis, who also gave his name to the estate, Domaine Louis Gros. Following the death of Louis Gros in 1951, his four children ran the estate together until they split the holdings into three in 1963. Gustave and his sister Colette founded Domaine Gros Frère & Sœur, while François and Jean set up their own domaines. (François’s vineyards are now in the hands of his daughter at Domaine Anne Gros, while Jean’s plots are now part of Domaine Michel Gros and Domaine AF Gros.)
Gustave’s nephew Bernard Gros took over running the estate in 1984 and it is today managed by his son Vincent.
The property consists of 20 hectares, half of which are newly acquired sites in the Hautes-Côte de Nuits. The remaining 10 hectares or so are historic holdings in some of the most prestigious vineyards of the Côte d’Or. The top wines are the four Grands Crus of Richebourg, Echezeaux, Grands Echezeaux and Clos de Vougeot. The latter was until recently labelled as “Clos Vougeot Musigni”, bearing the name of its lieu-dit, next to Grand Cru Musigny – arguably the finest part of this vineyard; however, they are no longer allowed to use the name on the label.
They produce two Premiers Crus from Vosne-Romanée, a single site Les Chaumes and a multi-vineyard cuvée including declassified grapes from younger vines in Grand Cru Echezeaux. Alongside a village Vosne-Romanée, they also produce a Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and a Bourgogne Rouge.
Yields in all the sites are kept very low with a strong ethos running through the estate that this is critical to produce both concentrated wines and a fruit-forward character. With de-budding and successive passes in the vineyard thinning the crop, just a few bunches are left on each vine by harvest.
The winemaking at the domaine has changed in recent years. While once known for its intense colour, high percentage of new oak and flamboyant style, the team today produces a much less glossy and more delicate style of Pinot Noir. The move away from new oak was especially notable in 2020, with just 10 new barrels used across the entire cellar.
They aim to work with the ripest fruit possible. Everything is de-stemmed and fermented with indigenous yeast. The Richebourg and Clos Vougeot are generally aged in 100% new oak, while the other Grands Crus see only 50%, with the remainder aged in one-year-old barrels.