I was never the biggest fan of the 2007 vintage – the reds anyway! A bit too ripe and missing the clarity of 2005, 2006 or even the 2008 wines – sometimes with a soupy style to the flavours. 2009 was a little better for my palate – but not a lot! I bought much less 2007 than in either 2006 or 2008 and massively less than in 2005. The rare bottles I open at home seem to have plateaued for a number of years now, they have been ripe and easy but far from special – or indeed, hardly worth the amount I paid for them 13-14 years ago – so let’s not talk about their current pricing! I hoped for a bit more from this one – it turned out not too bad:
2007 Lucie & Auguste Lignier, Clos de la Roche
A famous parcel of vines, now exploited by Kellen Lignier’s brother-in-law, Laurent. A thick, brittle, coating of brown wax in place of a capsule for this wine. The cork had done its job but came precariously close to splitting in half on extraction.
Good colour, without significant ageing. The nose started with a coating, almost a smothering of creamy oak – quite a lot for a 15-year-old wine – but with air and a little time, the oak became much less visible and it even developed a little, interesting, floral perfume. Otherwise, the nose was mainly of more simple ripe fruit and not too much in the way of age-related complexity – it seemed it was still a baby. Mouth-filling, some dark-cherry fruit and a mix of fine concentration and silky texture – the texture turning a little more towards velour as a small grain of tannin came to the surface. In the finish – at last! – there was some impressive complexity and a slight mineral aspect that became more and more appealing. I think I also have a magnum of this – and the more this wine develops, the more pleased I am about that – but given how young the wine shows and how overt the oak still is – I don’t think the magnum should be opened for 10 years.
Rebuy – Yes
2017 Clotilde Davenne, Saint-Bris Vieilles-Vignes
There’s a certain mineral rigour to this nose that reminds me of most Beaujolais Blancs – it’s not very inviting. Just about balancing that, was the faint menthol of the sauvignon blanc – so I correctly guessed blind that it was Saint-Bris – less impressively I said ‘clearly from 2017’ – because I knew that was the only Saint-Bris in the door of the cellar fridge 😉 I had a small amount of time in the sun! In the mouth, this is altogether more impressive than the nose suggests – starting direct and beautifully silky but then almost exploding across the palate in mineral fashion with a ripeness of citrus fruit and lots of energy too. The finish broad and recapturing the mintiness of the nose. A good finish. The nose is ‘so-so’ today but the rest of this wine is on a very excellent, high, level.
Rebuy – Yes