Wines tasted in Beaune with Frédéric Barnier, 30 Jan, 2014.
Frédéric Barnier on 2012: “The reds have richness, density and complexity. The whites only in the greatest places, I would say, because there is much more richness than Jadot really look for. Overall, 2010 is a better vintage if you consider both reds and whites.” I asked how 05 Côte de Beaune compared to 12: “The 05s still have a little dryness of tannin, but not the 12s.”
Barnier on prices: “We have half a crop in 2012 – but we can’t double prices. The greatest wines will rise in price by about 20%, but 1ers and villages will be less. Even a very good volume vintage in 2014 will not be enough to recover the situation of the last years – we will need at least two!”
All sampled from single barrels as there are none assembled yet. Racking will begin in March, probably bottling right into June, but they will begin the bottling with the whites:
2012 Santenay Clos de la Malte
The nose offers high tones and dark-red fruit. Sweet, ripe fruit on the palate and very good acidity. The intensity slowly grows and there’s a little minerality in the finish. Good wine.
2012 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Clos de la Croix de Pierre
I’m not sure if this ‘name’ is more of a brand as it is neither an official lieu-dit or climat according to any map I have, but is in the 1er Cru En Caradeaux area, and I think the label also says En Caradeaux 1er….
The nose is open and generous, perfectly focused dark red berries too. Pretty stuff. A little more concentrated and structured but sweet finishing. I’d say this is work waiting 12 months for…
2012 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
Medium-plus colour. Deeper, darker-red fruit notes. Plenty of structure here too, the tannin is forward but rather pliable. finally a lovely red, fresh-fruit in the finish. Very yummy.
Deep, dark-red, slightly sweet fruit with a faint spice. Full, concentrated and with lots of flavour dimension. Length and density too. Brilliant!
2012 Beaune 1er Clos des Boucherottes
The aromas are a slightly less ample version of the Teurons but with the addition of violet flowers. This is a little more structured, and like most here, you have to wait for the mid-palate tannin to melt before you get to the beautiful fruit in the finish – yum!
2012 Beaune 1er Les Boucherottes
The register of fruit on the nose is deeper, but the fruit in the mouth is higher-toned. It’s rather tannic in the middle and again there is a lovely fruit in the finish, Though more modest this time.
2012 Beaune 1er Clos des Ursules
Here the aromas offer width but a little less depth – this seems just a little shy. There is sweetness of fruit and a touch more minerality, then comes the tannin, a lovely peak of fresh fruit in the mid-palate before leaving a more mineral finish. Really super!
2012 Volnay 1er Clos de la Barre
Deep, dark fruit – no reduction – rather, precise dark berries. round, fresh, sweet dark fruit. plenty of structure, but the grain is a little finer in the middle, than for the Beaunes. Fresh, dark finishing. Another yum!
2012 Pommard 1er Clos de la Commaraine
There’s a faint high tone which slowly gives way to a denser core of dark, ripe fruit aroma. The structure hits before the fruit can speak, but as you head towards the finish, beautiful, deep-shaded fruit comes to the fore.
A wide, fine-grained nose that is somehow elegant if not so deep. Round, sweet fruit. the tannin slowly creeps up and exerts itself but the concentration of fruit is almost enough to balance. Lovely bright focus in the mid-palate before a good finish. Yum!
2012 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Boudots
The nose is wide and impressive with a hint of dark spice to match the dark fruit. Concentrated, dark fruit again and quite some tannin too. Beautiful fruit exerts a hold as you head into the finish. Very yum!
2012 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
Spice and higher tones on the nose, the fruit is lighter shaded than the Boudots. In the mouth the fruit is ripe and red, buffered with plenty of tannin too, but balanced enough. Here is a lovely extra dimension of flavour, all the way into the finish. Super!
2012 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Baudes
The aromas don’t show great width, but they have great depth and a lovely top-note too. Again, there’s plenty of tannin exerting its grip but the fruit slowly leaches through it. The finishing note is dark and beautiful.
2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Estournelles St.Jacques
Fresh ripe fruit aromas – less dense than many, but precise and pretty. Lovely, friendly fruit that shows good complexity and seems equally match to plenty of tannin. Very nice finishing flavour, and of some depth too!
2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
The nose is wide, fresh and detailed, without particularly being high-toned or deep – hinting at floral notes that are never quite delivered. Lovely ‘padded’ palate, still plenty of tannin but it duels well with the fruit. Clarity of fruit in the finish is lovely.
2012 Clos de Vougeot
Some high tines, and a faint spice – but, overall, rather tight nose. Full, concentrated and powerful – but the tannin is well-matched to the rest of the wine. A super extra dimension of flavour in the mid-palate and into the finish. Big wine!
Not so wide, but rather deep aromas. Round, padded, plenty of tannin and a faint saltiness in the mid-palate. High-toned fruit slowly leaches into the finish. A much more modest wine than the Clos de Vougeot.
Medium-plus colour. High tones, over a deep, earthy base. The fruit on the palate starts in a rather friendly way, but as the ripe tannin exerts its grip, there’s also a saltiness which follows through into the mineral finish.
2012 Clos St.Denis
High-toned. A sweet, dark coulis of a nose. Round, sweet, again with a faint saltiness to the tannin. there’s more growth of flavour in the mid-palate. Finishes a little more modestly, a diminuendo that surprises given how good it was to that point.
There seems a layered depth to the aromas here – if not great width. Sweet fruit followed by plenty of tannin is the regular theme here, but ripe tannin. The intensity keeps growing. There are no ‘extra’ peaks of flavour but the flavour holds really well into the finish, where it’s more mineral than fruit. Really super!
2012 Chambertin Clos de Bèze
Aromas of darker, red and black fruits – really great depth and a slowly growing width too – very faint brûlée here too. Full (of-course!), mouth-filling, with growing intensity. Just a brilliant wine.
Which are all final blends, ready for bottling. Interestingly, Frédéric decided to keep some malic acid in his whites by blocking half to one-third of the malos, depending on the wine. Perhaps because they did pick rather ‘rich’ grapes(?):
2012 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Clos des Guettes
Lovely depth of aroma again – with some barrel aroma padding it out. Rich on the palate. Lots of concentration, but I’d prefer a little more acid-led brio. Really good finishing flavour though.
The nose is deep and a little savoury. Some CO2 but this seems anyway fresher. Beautiful stony, sinewy intensity of flavour in the mid-palate. This is very lovely.
2012 Meursault 1er Les Charmes
The nose is deep, rich, almost creamy but not at all heavy. Certainly concentrated, and rich too. Could it do with more acidity? Yes I think it could, but the flavours also have a mineral lift. This is really, really lovely…
2012 Meursault 1er Les Perrières
This wine is still in barrel (not assembled) – very little yield in 2012.
This has a wider, fresher aromatic, after the Charmes. A little fresher and cooler in the mouth too. Stony and intense. The acidity remains understated but still exerts itself well enough, widening the palate into the finish. Really fine finishing flavour.
2012 Duc de Magenta, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos de la Chapelle
A dense core of aroma but it’s wide and interesting too. Cool, rich, understated but mineral. Here is a very, very interesting personality. Super mid-palate peak of flavour. Yum!
Only 1 barrel of this in 2012.
Deeper colour. A rich core surrounded by fresh and interesting aromas. Quite some minerality again – lovely, rocky, intense flavour. This is very super!
2012 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Folatières
The nose is fresh and wide, with a ripe core. Very nice dimension of flavour and mouthfeel. But frankly this wine struggles to follow the super ‘La Romanée’. Excellent finish with good flavour though.
2012 Duc de Magenta, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Clos de la Garenne
The nose offers a good core of focused, ripe, but fresh fruit. More mineral and interesting than the Folatières and with a growing intensity of flavour. Super finishing intensity too! Lovely.
From the Puligny side.
Here is a beautiful nose, real depth too. The richness is cut, not just with acidity, but minerality too. Intense, with depth of flavour. Super mid-palate. Just super!
There’s a faint SO2 on the nose, but there is also width and higher tones. Rather sweet but with a salty minerality too. Really impressive intensity – I have to swallow or spit, but it’s too much to rest in my mouth. Mineral, almost savoury finishing – and long too. Lovely wine. With a touch more acidity, great wine!