Tasted in Meursault with Nadine Gublin, 21 Feb, 2014.
Nadine on 2012: “The first bottling began 1 week ago, many cuvées are assembled though some are still in barrel – we will follow the lunar calendar for our bottling. 2012 was a small production for us – around a 50% volume reduction. For the Côte de Nuits grand crus we saw 24-25 hl/ha which is closer to our norm of around 30, and way better than the Côte de Beaune yields.”
Nadine on 2012 pricing: “They will go up, but you know, I’m not completely sure how much. I think about 10%.”
This domaine uses a ‘relatively’ modest amount of new oak for their 1er crus (30-40%), but with only a light toast, and because of that light toast (I believe) the effect of the oak flavour and texture is more readily visible in the young wines, and it’s a long elevage as the wines always see two winters in those barrels. The oak texture will fade very quickly – it will probably be gone within 6 months of bottling i.e. before you even get a chance to taste. The flavour will need longer, perhaps at least 3-5 years – style-wise, giving a dark complexion to the wines. But, oak or not, you would have a heart of stone not to be moved by these wines, they are absolutely brilliant. I genuinely struggled to pick out the ‘exceptional’ as the achievement is on such a high level.
Vines high on the hill where it’s quite steep – there’s not much soil, but it’s south-facing.
Medium-plus colour. The nose is deep and dark and shows a hint of blackcurrant. Full and with super concentration, a little oak flavour and texture too. Not a wine for drinking very young, but I would say a ‘brilliant’ first wine.
2012 Beaune 1er Les Grèves (Bottled)
Here the nose has width to match the depth of aroma – hints of flowers and of oak pad out the palette. A little more oak-flavour at the back of the palate here, but it’s a wine of ample concentration and flavour that continues to expand even as you swallow. Very long finishing on a dark note.
In this vintage, we have a mix of Santenots, Champans and Clos Santenots – given the massive hit by hail, it was produced from only 9 hl /ha.
Medium-plus colour. Even the aroma seems to have viscosity. The nose offers dark, individual, pretty fruits. brilliantly concentrated and with super texture. yes some oak texture in the mid-palate too. There’s even reprise of flavour in the finish with a hint of cream. Superb!
2012 Volnay 1er Santenots (Bottled)
This cuvée is usually reserved just for the young vines of the Clos de Santenots, but in 2012 there is no wine labelled ‘Clos’ as there were hardly any grapes left to pick from the older vines.
Medium-plus colour. Width and a hint of texture but overall, a relatively shy nose. Here is even a little more intensity and energy. Very dark berries are wrapped with a coating of dark oak. Very long indeed – on a dark note. Wow!
The following wines tasted from tank:
In tank for about 3 weeks – it’s planned to be bottled in early April.
Medium-plus colour. The nose is deep, dark and a little spicy, underpinned by a ripe fruit. Full, concentrated and with a little plushness to the texture. This shows only modest oak references. It’s a big wine, and very long too. A contemplative wine, rather than a busy, energetic wine – yet with quite some finishing complexity. A big but very balanced wine.
Not exactly a Gevrey 1er, rather the declassified young vines (i.e. under 50 years old…) from the domaine’s plot of Chambertin. The average age of vines here is 15.
The nose is dark and spicy, with plenty of additions from the barrels, Fresh and energetic in the mouth, with a growing complexity. Very lovely mid-palate fruit and fine length. Clearly plenty of oak here – but the super material here will soon shrug it off. Fabulous for the label!
The following wines tasted from barrel:
2012 Beaune 1er Champs Pimont
Medium-plus colour. The nose is both fresh and wide, with dark fruit. Super width and dimension of flavour. Lots of interest and quite some complexity here. Super concentration too. Bravo!
2012 Clos de Vougeot
From a plot that adjoins the vines of Chateau de la Tour. This will probably be the domaine’s latest bottling, sometime after the end of June.
The nose is deep and faintly spicy – it’s rather excellent! Fresh, wide and muscular in the mouth, with just a little tannic astringency – oak tannin mainly I think, so it will soon be gone. Great material here.
the domaine only use the old vines from their plot for this i.e. those of at least 50 years.
Here is a simply wonderful aromatic; wide and faintly wood-spiced. Silky, lean-muscled, with a long line of flavour that pushes on through into the finish. Not so complex today – rather primary – but undoubtedly compelling.
From a plot of old vines in Champs Traversins, sited next to DRC’s plot in Poulardières.
Deeply coloured. The nose is wide and deep and has a certain floral freshness to it. Some fat to the texture, but gorgeously cool, pretty fruit. totally tasty. The tannin slowly grows, but is well-managed. A beautiful wine. I was surprised to see it served after a super Chambertin, but it accommodates that without fault!
Medium-plus colour. Beautiful dark fruits, both expressive and absorbing. Plenty of texture from the tannin but buffered by superb depth of fruit. This is just super impressive. Surprisingly, maybe, I have a slight preference for the Echézeaux today, yet, nonetheless, this is brilliant.
Lots of malos only finished September to December – partly the vintage, partly the cool cellars. Nadine notes that “The 2012 whites have lots of dry material, so we won’t bottle with less than 800 mg/l of CO2, but less than 1,000. This fits well with the richness and dry material of the vintage.” Since 2006, there is no batonnage here.
2012 Beaune 1er Champs Pimont (Blanc)
From high on the hill, almost no soil.
Very fresh and sweetly pretty. Round and rather concentrated. The flavour is long and nicely fruity with good minerality. Tasty!
A big plot of 1.5 hectares, which is a continuation of Meursault Charmes. The harvest need to be done very quickly here, because the grapes mature very quickly.
Here is a lovely fresh nose – agrumes – lovely! Fullish and round on the palate – but balanced. There’s good concentration in the mid-palate and there’s nice energy too. Dry extract in the finish. Impressive!
2012 Meursault 1er Santenots
This is borderline red/white terroir says Nadine, and was replanted to chardonnay in 2000. Unfortunately in 2012 the crop was reduced by 30%, so there were just 5 barrels.
The nose has lots of citrus and only a very faint impression of gingerbread. Big wine, a little CO2 and growing concentration. Despite the gas this seems rather silky and lithe, lovely mid-palate intensity and depth of flavour that goes deep into the mouth-watering finish. I really like this.
The following wines tasted from barrel:
2012 Beaune 1er Grèves (Blanc)
From vines near the rugby stadium – at the bottom of the hill.
Beautifully fresh nose. A hint of CO2 but it’s concentrated and ripe at the core too. There seems enough acidity, but this is more of a contemplative than energetic wine today…
Very faint reduction, but it’s gone in two swirls of the glass. Here is depth and interest and a lovely freshness. In the mouth this is really impressive, with a nice tension and energy, yet, with a certain opulence in the finish. This is absolutely super ‘villages.’
2012 Beaune 1er Clos de la Feguine (Blanc)
From the top of the Clos.
A wide nose, with a ripe core of citrus fruit. Fresh, intense and of really good energy. The flavours are, today, much more subdued than the Mazeray, but there’s a fine length of flavour. Nice wine.
2012 Meursault 1er Perrières
Like the Mazeray, here is a little transient oaky reduction, but that quickly clears from the glass; Becoming fresh, broad and detailed. The first wine to show obvious oak texture (this is a new barrel) so we try a two-year old barrel: Here there’s more fruit on the nose and no oak texture. Both are really, really long finishing. The final blend will be 40-50% new oak.
The nose is very pretty; wide, detailed and fresh. Rippling minerality – the palate is linear and very long, only widening in the finish. Quite undemonstrative today, but seemingly excellent.
“It’s quite a responsibility that I have here with these grand crus” notes Nadine, “they cause me to constantly question if I’m doing the best thing.”
Like some others, there’s one whiff of oaky reduction, then it’s gone. Then the aroma fills the glass, indeed overfills the glass. In the mouth this is full, soft and silky, but at the same time with a growing intensity and minerality. Lovely mineral finish!