François Servin’s family can be traced back to the very first marriage records in Chablis in 1654, but their roots stretch even further. In 1537 the Monks of the Abbey of Pontigny established a list of the owners of vines in Chablis and the Servin’s name is inscribed there. This uninterrupted succession of generations of passionate winemakers has created an important legacy of old vines and a profound understanding of terroir.
The consistent high quality of the Servin wines soon made their way to the best tables in Paris with Le Taillevent, Prunier and La Tour d’Argent being their first clients. The first major export partner was Alexis Lichine (American of Russian origin – Château Prieuré Lichine in Margaux), who will open the doors to the US market. The Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York will be Marcel Servin’s first overseas customer, with a Chablis Premier Cru Montée de Tonnerre 1943 on its prestigious wine list.
Since 1998, the bright, dynamic, François Servin, has managed the Domaine Servin estate and is a fervent advocate for the ageing capacity of Chablis, “I remember tasting legendary vintages, such as 1959, 1947 and 1929, with my parents and grandparents. These wines were spectacular. It surprises me when I hear people say that white wines can’t age. I have the proof in my cellar that they can. I want my wines to be “real” Burgundy wines like the ones of my forefathers”.
These older vintages guide him in his winemaking, which he says is a delicate mix of modern-day technology and a respect for his family’s heritage. Servin strives to achieve a true reflection of the typicity of each parcel. More than half of his vines (average 40 years old) are non-cloned, using a variety of rootstocks. Soils are tilled and organic fertilisers used sparingly.
François Servin studied at Beaune (Côte d’Or) in 1978-1980 and obtained his Diploma as an Agricultural Technician. He then left for 2 years in Montpellier (South of France), to prepare for the Superior Agricultural Technician – Option Viticulture-oenology.
François took his personal vines from the family domaine, Domaine Servin, to create Domaine Marcel Servin. The name, Marcel Servin is in respect for his father, grandfather and great grandfather who were all named Marcel. François strives to achieve a true reflection of the typicity of each parcel.
Servin’s knowledge of older vintages has convinced him that later bottlings and malolactic fermentations increase the ageing capacity of his wines. Oak is used cautiously in order to add weight, rather than flavour. As a result, Bougros and Les Clos are aged in barrel, Les Preuses, a blend of barrel and tank and Blanchots is entirely vinified in tank.