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Simonnet-Febvre – 2014

DSC09075Tasted in Chitry le Fort with Jean-Philippe Archambaud and Emmanuelle Pasquet, 05 January 2016.

Simonnet-Febvre
Cuverie de Chitry
30 Route de Saint Bris
Chitry le Fort, 89530
Tel: +33 3 86 18 95 69
www.simonnet-febvre.com

Jean-Philippe on 2015:
“2015 was superb,; a hot season, somewhat rich for whites but lots of aromas too. The reds look superb with lots of maturity and sugar. We never really needed extra rain as there were small showers that were enough.”

Jean-Philippe on 2014:
“2014 has style; a purity and density with plenty of aromatic complexity which seems really special for the vintage – this strength of aroma. Viticulturally it was more difficult than 2015. We started harvesting the 25 September, which is quite late, but September really made the vintage – everything was harvested quite quickly in the end, as much was ready at the same time. Ir was important not to harvest too early in 2014 – because 2013 was so difficult many in 14 attacked early to avoid the same, despite very clean 14s with virtually no problems.”

The wines…

There is a certain mineral hardness to the whites here which reminds me very much of chardonnays from NZ – and consistently every year. I’d be interested to see how that plays out with a little maturity, because these wines have much less ‘instant appeal’ than most other producers in the region.

One wine which I love here, however, is their incomparably perfumed Irancy – so what a shame that this particular sample reeked only of barrel – better luck next time!

2014 Esprit de Lyre
Auxerois grape, 100%. 100% stainless steel elevage and screw-capped.
Wide, almost silkily waxy nose, very limited depth but stirs some interest. Weight, a slowly growing flavour that has quite a background of sweetness. Not so aromatic on the nose but more-so in the mouth. Quite long.

2014 Saveurs de Lyre
1:1 chardonnay : pinot gris. Lots sold in Paris but also a little in the Netherlands and UK.
Much more aromatic depth, again a rather silky impression. Mouth-filling, wide, luscious, tasty wine. Some weight but a fine finish. This tastes very well today.

2014 Quintessence de Lyre
100% chardonnay a single south-west, south-facing block. Less than 40 hl/ha (37).
Fresh but more discreet aromas. A direct wine, of concentration and implied minerality. Really good mid-palate intensity. A weight of finishing flavour that’s never heavy. Very good!

2014 Saint-Bris
Deep, pungently pyrazined varietal sauvignon. Wide, fresh, lots of energy and complexity – it’s intense too. It’s very much a varietal wine I think.

Crémant de Bourgogne Brut P100 Blanc de Noir
Grapes from around Chitry dosed at 5g, 24 months sur lattes.
The nose is a bit obviously pinot, but behind there grows a lovely background. Big, fresh, big bubbled almost like mineral water but the flavour is clean and interesting with just enough sweetness, indeed plenty in the finish. Apparently quite popular in UK.

Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Cuvée S2011
10 chardonnay, 6 g dosage. 100% 2011
Fresh, sweet, faint pyrazine(?) Full, intense, definitely a pyrazine (a mineral edge that’s quite marked) impression but there is energy and complexity. Lovely finish – my favourite part.

2014 Bourgogne Chitry
The nose is fresh and sweet but also very discreet. Good attack, nicely textured, layers of flavour. This has a very mineral character, but has just enough sweetness to make a nice balance. Nicely mineral finishing. An austere style of wine.

2014 Bourgogne Vézelay
‘This is a much rounder warmer wine every year – usually different clientele that buy this or the Chitry.’
Also rather a discreet nose. More weight, a little more rich but very finely based in the acidity. I have to say that I prefer this wine to the austerity of the Chitry. Good finish…

2014 Petit Chablis
Lots from Lignorelles, and Beines, seven parcels in total.
Another tight nose. Direct attack, which after the Vézelay smacks of tartness. Wide in the mouth with some nice mineral notes. The mid-palate and finish are much more interesting than the initial attack.

2014 Chablis
Courgis, Beines, Lignorelles etcetera, a number of assembled parcels. 10 months on fine lees in stainless steel.
A little more aromatic. More depth of flavour, more richness of flavour. Plenty of complexity and interest here. Here is a tasty wine.

2014 Chablis 1er Montmains
12 month on fine lees, bottling in September, starting to commercialise about now. From 3 different parcels.
A little width and complexity of sweet, pretty notes. Bigger in the mouth, fresh and complex with a mix of mineral and softer notes. Quite good, particularly the finishing intensity.

2014 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Principally from the central part of Vaillons near Sechets.
Bright, wide and fresh – a clean nose with a little faint ripe citrus below. Wide, fresh tasty wine – lots of mouth-watering complexity here. Really a very nice wine that finishes well too.

2014 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Vauleront and Fourchaume.
Also tight, but fresh and pretty. Lovely in the mouth – modestly fresh but with sweetness and an insinuating minerality. Nice wine.

2014 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
Some Chapelots and some Brechains.
Pretty, delicate and with some floral complexity. Nicer still, with complexity, energy and a certain gourmand style. Lovely finishing.

2014 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
All these whites seem rather tight aromatically, but here is some depth and a nice, still modest, width of fresh complexity. Like all these, there’s a harsh impression to the first flavours but behind that is a nice complexity of tasty fruit. Good mouth-watering finish.

2013 Chablis Preuses
Always 2 years of elevage so showing this now. One parcel but from the bottom to the top next to Moutonne, planted 1962.
A weight of aroma, more yellow ripe citrus. Weight, concentrated, a certain richness but lots of flavour complexity and plenty of acidity. Long and involving. Very nice.

2013 Chablis Les Clos
Here is 20 months elevage, half in wood of 2-4 years old, half in stainless steel. 2 parcels one near the road and another from the mid-slope.
Directly a quite forward barrel note – more vanilla style than toast. In the mouth I like the energy and dimensions of flavour – fine freshness and some salinity too. You can’t avoid the vanilla notes, but hopefully in 3-4 years this will be less than an anecdote. Great finishing though!

Les Rouges…

2014 Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre
Only elevage in tank.
Modest colour. Deep, pungent fruit hinting in the direction of some pyrazine complexity – it’s actually very nice. Fresh, faint tannin. After the grand cru Chablis a little meagre. But here is a mineral core with some pyrazine complexity. The same into the finish…

2014 Irancy
A sample from barrel as it won’t be bottled before the Spring. About 40% elevage in barrel, all destemmed, a few pigeages but then just remontage. From 5 parcels.
Medium colour. Deep, barrel inflected aromas, of vanilla and more but there’s nice fruit behind. Today not so interesting as I can’t really smell the ‘Irancy’ like previous tastings here. Shame, I was looking forward to this wine… But in the mouth there’s good weight, plenty of flavour richness, a little tannic drag and of-course lots of barrel. If the assembly shows much less of the barrel, I’m sure this will be fine, the finish is very good.

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