Why Big Red Diary?

Alain Geoffroy – 2014

DSC09120Tasted in Beines with Nathalie Geoffroy, 07 January 2016.

Domaine Alain Geoffroy
4, rue de l’Equerre
89800 Beines
Tel: +33 3 86 42 43 76

450,000 bottles are commercialised here in an average year, so there’s often new investment; in the last couple of years they have added more working space, a new packaging machine and two new 50hl presses! 90% of production retains a classic stainless-steel elevage.

Nathalie on 2015:
“We are happy with quantity, and there was no hail here in Beines. The harvest was a good dozen days earlier than most years. The rain at the start of September did help the yields a little as the grapes were able to take some of that up. All was machine harvested. Friends in Chablis had the luck that the grapes were basically ripe when the hail hit – it was just a question of getting the harvest underway as quickly as possible.”

Nathalie on 2015:
“2014 had a roughly normal harvest date. Actually a little less volume here in 2014 versus 15, but no hail.

The wines…

New labels here; the Alain Geoffroy name is in gold at the bottom but harder to see than before. Some bottles indicate Domaine Le Verger – there’s essentially no difference in how the grapes and wines are treated, rather the label represents the first parcels bought by the family, ‘the classic cuvées’ notes Nathalie.

A good, trusty range of wines here – as usual.

2014 Petit Chablis
Bright, lime fruited, very faintly phenolic. Bright attack, again with a hint of lime fruit. Good intensity and quite long – certainly very mouth-watering and lingering.

2014 Chablis
This elevaged all in tank, representing about 20 hectares of vines.
A bright, more yellow citrus top note, clearly a more mineral impression below. Bigger and rounder in the mouth – really lots of acid-led, mouth-watering flavour. A saline quality too – the finishing flavours with a nice edge of sweetness. Tasty.

2014 Chablis Domaine le Verger
About 5 hectares worth, elevage in old barrels, all old vines.
Maybe the oak has added a faint spicy sweetness, but certainly nothing like vanilla – good! Wider, more of a panoramic shape in the mouth, again saline and sweetly mouth-watering. Classic very good Chablis!

2014 Chablis 1er Vau-Ligneau
About 2-2.5 hectares – ‘Not a big parcel for us! The vines are now 30 years old and the cuvée gets more and more interesting.’ Only tank elevage.
A narrower nose but suggesting a tight core of fruit and aroma somewhere below. Bigger in the mouth, lots more flavour complexity – this is very expressive – it tastes great. Yum!

2014 Chablis 1er Beauroy
The historic cuvée of the family – almost 9 hectares averaging close to 40 year-old vines.
More high-toned aromas, faintly herbed, flashes of citrus. Again a little larger, here with a subtle note of reduction – less focused than Vau Ligneau but overall more complexity. Very nice, though today I’d rather dink the Vau…

2014 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
A parcel of 2.5 ha all in the same sector of ‘real’ Fourchaume.
A broader top note on the nose, lime/herb impression. Broader again in the mouth, a fruit profile a little in the direction of 2008, but tasty and with a super clarity. Excellent and a great finish too. Apparently not fully dry – there’s 2g of sugar…

2014 Chablis 1er Beauroy Vieilles Vignes
All elevage in big 500 litre barrels with a small proportion of new barrels.
There’s a little textured depth that might suggest wood, but no vanilla – what you get is a lovely clarity of aroma, a little more yellow citrus than the previous version. Lovely attack; here it is layered and delivered in waves – really super texture. Excellent 2014 also in the finishing intensity, never aggressive – just a peach. Bravo!

2014 Chablis Les Clos
Bought in juice at the harvest – so a négoce bottle, but I don’t notice much difference in the label. More new wood here and a combination of 500 and 300 litre barrels for elevage.
Round and deep, clearly there’s barrel here, with vanilla cream notes. Round, beautifully textured, direct, intense, beautiful clarity and a really insinuating acidity but without pain. A really excellent line of flavour in the finish. Yum – clearly too oaky today but hopefully this will fade – and they are anyway only just commercialising 2011 – “As they are now ready” says Nathalie. “The oak here is really a reflection of customer demand and the 2013 is still marked but hopefully that’s gone in another couple of years.”

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