François Bitouzet was still on holiday, so I tasted with his father, Vincent, in Volnay, 04 January 2017.
Rue de la Combe
Tel: +33 3 80 21 62 13
Vincent on 2016:
“We were very affected by the frost, so it’s a relatively small harvest – between 30-50% remained on the vines – but some areas in Côte de Beaune and some 1er crus were less affected than the villages and regional wines, but of-course we have both. Our Meursault villages was very badly affected, Beaune Cent Vignes was also bad. The weather allowed the unaffected flowers to develop well, the summer was really helpful for quality, and the harvest conditions were perfect, so it was a very clean harvest.”
Vincent on 2015:
“Here we can be more concrete in terms of the wines – I like them! The wines are fresh and direct and there’s virtually no reduction. I think it’s a great vintage in both colours. ”
All the reds were bottled by the week before Christmas. The whites were all fined since December and will now wait in tank. In 2015 there is just a little more volume of red wine. We start with the domaine’s whites:
2015 Meursault Les Corbins
From below Cromin towards Volnay, under Les Plures (Santenots). Currently in tank, since december, bottling in February is planned.
Some aromatic depth, faint sulfur perhaps. Big in the mouth – really filling every space with silk and fat. Without overt energy, yet this is really, really mouth-watering and also rather mineral in the finish. Super length for the level too!
2015 Meursault Clos du Cromin
A real clos of 11 hectares. The parcel in the high section near Gaunoux and Leroy.
A larger nose, yellow, ripe citrus, deep too. A little more muscle, but also more mouth-watering flavour. Really more intense – I really like the ride here, precise and with power. Mineral again almost a hint harder in the finish but lovely wine.
2015 Meursault 1er Santenots
From Santenots Blanc near Volnay Caillerets.
A nose of wiry power, yet the most classically Meursault I think – so far. Fresh, melting into warmer flavours but really lots of complexity. Again mineral finishing with lots of mouth-watering interest, and still going long, long. Again a certain hardness but I have to say, agreeably so! Yum!
2015 Puligny-Montrachet Les Levrons
Deep, an impression of some dark oak at the base. Bright, intense, very fresh, hard to keep in the mouth – ooh – this hasn’t the depth of the Santenots but it has more upfront fresh energy. A little floral in the finish too. Bracing and invigorating!
2015 Meursault 1er Les Charmes
2 parcels one right at the top with old vines just across the road from Perrières. The other from the bottom of the vineyard – both about the same size but vinified separately blending when brought into tank.
Round, good aromatic direction, ripe yellow citrus. Hmm, waves of flavour here, fine flavour, not the same energy as the Puligny but really lots and lots of fine concentration the finish I like this very much, slowly fading into the distance. Yum!
2015 Meursault 1er Les Perrières
A fresh nose, fainter yellow fruit, more mineral. Much more overt freshness and intensity vs the Charmes – mineral and persistent, direct and really very complex in the finish – oh, and ultra long. This is super stuff!
All of these whites are showing rather young, but the clarity and length of flavours are all excellent. There is also a Bourgogne Blanc too that I didn’t taste.
All these wines are of relatively transparent colour but flavour packed. – not hyper elegance at the moment but they taste great – they are all wines that will beg some patience, but there are super bottles here!
Bottled before the harvest. Pinot and gamay, more of the latter. Quite old vines – about 70 years old – from one large parcel and a few smaller ones, all in the commune of Volnay (at the bottom) – mainly sold into the US by Neal Rosenthal.
Medium colour. Deep, interesting fresh fruit and some minerals and flowers – really inviting. Good freshness, good energy too – a really attractive flavour. Tasty, indeed delicious wine!
From the commune of Meursault but on the limit with Volnay.
Just a hint deeper colour. A deeper red fruit aroma, fuller too. Just a hint more silk and still plenty of energy, with a little more mid-palate intensity. Really super concentration; fine, slightly graphite flavour in the finish. A great bourgogne!
3 lieu-dits: Echards, Les Aussy, and Petits Gamets – essentially from bottom slopes below Roncerets. This bottled week after Christmas
A pretty depth, only a suggestion of florals above. Finer, silkier texture and a wine with a more direct, almost linear impression. Flavour slowly melting from the middle. There’s lots of good intensity here. Finishing long and faintly salted. Young but with excellent potential!
2015 Beaune 1er Cent Vignes
Lots of round stones here, but deep soil too.
A softer, silkier red fruited nose. A different but very fine tannin, extra mid-palate complexity here – still very red fruited. More complexity in the middle and whilst still very long, it’s less intense at the end. Very tasty indeed.
2015 Volnay 1er Les Aussy
Aussy is usually labelled Ronceret today. 0.5 ha here, half planted in 1998, the other half in 1948.
Hmm – this is a deeply inviting, beautiful red-fruited nose. More structure but nothing sharp or hard, more depth of flavour, complex yet melting rather than full of energy. In the finish, there is a fine, more mineral intensity. Lovely stuff here – it needs time, but this has much appeal!
2015 Volnay 1er Mitans
A little extra colour but still completely transparent. Very faint spice – oak probably – and here a clearer floral aspect too. A little more depth to the texture, more growing weight of flavour too. Layered in the finish, and here it’s just a little darker fruited. Very long… super wine…
2015 Volnay 1er Taillepieds
This Taillepieds has 3 ages of vines. One part replanted in 1998. Pruned to a long baguette.
A larger nose, deeply floral and dark-red fruited. Mouth-filling, intense, complex, easily the biggest and most overt flavour. A brighter mid-palate, textured with a modest, fine but present tannin. Big flavour to finish. Excellent stuff!
2015 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
2 parcels, one on a brown soil in the middle, and the other higher and more white. Roughly 0.75 ha.
A depth of fresh ripe fruit but both supple and subtle above, and very faintly floral. Really mouth-filling, more energy than Taillepieds, a hint less depth of textured flavour. Big finishing, some herb and freshness – a wave of flavour that ends with a nice floral note. Super I but I like Taillepieds even more!
Dessus, planted in 1983. About 0.25 ha.
More depth of aroma, almost textured, more Taillepieds style than Chênes. Supple, bright fresh and intense waves of flavour. A little tannic drag to the texture, extra mid-palate flavour. Big from the mid-palate to the finish. This is really gorgeous wine.
2015 Volnay 1er Pitures
Almost 1 ha north after the Clos des Ducs, the only Volnay of the domaine on this side of the village. More grey and white clay here.
A more top to bottom nose, narrower, but no less interesting. Mouth-filling and with a weight but no obvious extra texture or fat. Another wine with waves of finishing flavour, here with some tannin, faintly grained, if less ‘sticky’ than some. Super wine.