Premier Cru Les Croix Noires lies below Les Rugiens and close to Les Fremiers with a similar soil profile. The Domaine de Courcel owns more than half of this 2.5-acre climat. The wines have strong aromas leaning toward very ripe black cherry, and marked tannins.
The soil is ploughed to favor biological activity and encourage assimilation of the minerals. Each vine is pruned. De-budding and green harvesting in early August. The final harvest is done relatively late so that the September sunshine increases the sugar intensity. The management of the vineyard aims to limit the output to around 25 hl/ha (30,000 bottles a year) and to work towards optimized ripeness.
The winemaking is done over a period of one month. After a thorough selection, grapes are delicately deposited in a wine vat. Cold maceration followed by low-temperature fermentation enables a better extraction of the aromas of the wine. The process ends with a final post-fermentation carbonic maceration adapted to each cuvée. The maturing is done in carefully selected oak barrels, which are replaced each third year. After a one month extraction, the wine is matured during a period of 21 to 23 months. After racking, the wines are bottled without any treatment or manipulation.