Tasted in Saint-Bris-le-Vineux with Guilhem Goisot, 20 January, 2017.
Domaine Jean-Hughes et Guilhem Goisot
30 rue Bienvenu-Martin
Tel. +33 3 86 53 35 15
Guilhem on 2016:
“2016 – the spring was complicated – frost and hail – not nice weather – and that was just the first part. Frome the start of July to the Autumn it was really to warm and too dry. It was the 7 plagues – almost – we just missed the insects! My grandparents have never seen some of the temperatures. Certainly the work was very different, we were patient after the hail, we did nothing for a month, but from June everyone was in the vines, every day, it was the only chance to guarantee a harvest in 2017. In total we lost 90%; there was no chardonnay, only small amounts of aligoté and sauvignon, and a little more later arriving pinot. We had to do a second pass in the vines in mid October for some of the hailed part – so not verjus, proper grapes, but 1 month late from flowering really only after the end of June. The work in the vines was more to protect the future of the vines, to have fruit in 2017 than to save a harvest in 2016. Of those grapes actually harvested, fortunately we had no mildew and they had a very good maturity. I think the (re)development seemed much easier in the vines with biodynamic preparations – there seemed a boost.
“We haven’t yet started to prune – those hailed vines will be difficult to prune – those that grew completely new, I think will be no problem.”
Guilhem on 2015:
“2015 – it’s much easier. There’s very little wine in bottle so far. I’m planning most bottlings to be in 3-5 months.
“15 was a normal yield for us, 35-38 hectolitres per hectare for the reds, and we saw good quality of volume and quality. Our typical ‘aim’ is 40-50 hl/ha for whites – we are happy at this level. There was no botrytis, the good maturity makes us smile. We did have three parcels touched by the late hail, including Irancy, and the south of Saint Bris – they were big hailstones but there was no wind, so they came straight down – they certainly damaged the canopy, but hardly touched the grapes. I contrast that to Chablis where there was plenty of wind, almost a tornado-style, which was really damaging.
“It’s pretty rare to have a vintage that works out really well for both the chardonnay and the pinot, but here I think we have it. 2009 was good but missed a little esprit – 2015 kept it.”
Most of the 2014s were still in the cellar when the hail hit in 2016, so clients were proposed a modest volume reduction and rather to have their orders delivered in tranches, rather than in big blocks.
As always, simply a joy to taste at this domaine. The reverse of 2014, I find the reds proportionately performing better in this 2015 vintage.
First some reds:
From Kimmerigian limestone.. One racking just after this harvest when reassembled for a second winter in barrel. Mainly 1 year-old barrels – this a barrel sample.
Ooh – that’s a very beautiful nose – fresh, aromatic, dark red fruit – a beauty. Supple, good density and really fine texture, this is very high-class pinot! Concentrated, long, with a hint of luxury in the texture and even more in the flavour. This is really top wine with just a little finishing bitterness today. Have a little patience, there are great rewards here!
2015 Irancy Les Mazelots
A little less colour. More depth, more flowers, less wide – very attractive though. More volume in the mouth and a mounting weight of mid-palate flavour. The texture is different to start, but adds a little cushioning with time. Again a little oak bitterness in the finish, but wait, this is also excellent – less ample, more mineral wine.
South-facing vines on Kimmerigian rock with a little blue marne and very small shell-fish fossils.
A more dense nose, flashes of fine, dark-red fruit, though a little sullen. Bigger volume again, fine density and an ingraining fruit flavour – very fine fruit. There is tannin, less bitterness and a more melting fruit flavour in the mid to finish. Gorgeous fruit in the finish – light and very floral. Just beautiful in the second half – pure gorgeousness.
2015 Bourgogne Aligoté
Over 80 year-old vines – an old massale selection with small grapes like pinot noir – planted on a Kimmerigian hillside location mainly catching the setting sun. ‘The soil needs constant work, or it’s like concrete. There’s lots of red clay and blue fossils here.’ This wine is made in stainless-steel tanks, and was bottled in Autumn.
Wide, fresh and inviting, a little golden lemon impression. Wide, a nice little cushioning to the texture, fresh and mouth-watering, again a golden lemon fruit impression. Very attractive, and it holds a super width for the label, really delicious wine!
The next three all taken from barrel:
2015 Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre Corps de Garde
Wide, a little tighter though, offering a little faintly herbed fruit, but little else to start. Wide in the mouth too, a sweet accent to the line of flavour, mineral, but a small impression today before opening out into a very pretty, floral and fruit complexity in the finish – it’s really lovely here – super!
2015 Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre Biaumont
Pronounced like Beaumonts, from a single parcel of vines, south-west facing on Kimmerigian ground – one of the parcels with most clay.
More open, fine yellow citrus, a suggestion of the saline too. Wide, layered, nicely growing intensity though never aggressive, here there’s plenty of salinity, a really nice texture too. Long, long, in a modestly layered vernacular. This is very lovely…
A brighter nose, flashes of minerality and fresh lemons – lovely clarity and energy here. In the mouth too, this is the most direct, mouth-watering wine of this trio – complex, fine clarity, and simply delicious. Bravo! Finishing with a little herb tinge to the long half mineral, half citrus finish!
2015 Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre Gondonne
A bigger nose, golden fruit, a faint oak support too. Volume in the mouth – it really fills all the space. Supple, a suggestion of texture, oak-accented yellow fruit. This is simply delicious, with more exotic citrus fruit in the mid-palate. I know that I liked the 2014 whites here more, but you can really luxuriate in this wine!
Planted in the mid-1960s, this is the first vintage, vines coming from Guilhem’s wife. Kimmerigian, an old massalle selection, south-facing. Bottled in December. ‘Climate is warmer and drier in the Côtes d’Auxerre vs Chablis.’
A relatively tight nose, fresh and accented with citrus, but still tight. Wide, beautiful, fresh, layered, complex wine – this is simply gorgeous! Very citrus, but with great line and a minerality that stays modest yet underpins the whole thing. Bravo! A great finish.
2015 Saint-Bris Moury
Bottled in December. From a north, north-west-facing parcel. Moury is old French for Meurgers.
A deep nose of floral sauvignon, suggesting just a little reduction. Wide, fresh, sweetly mouth-watering. Great line and minerality and a finish that is very floral. Super tasty wine!
2015 Saint-Bris Exogyra Virgula
Named after the small fossils in the vineyard – there’s Kimmerigian here too.
Also floral, but different flowers – the fruit is in the direction of tangerine! More volume in the mouth, mineral, but sweetly so, complex, very tasty indeed. In the mouth you would struggle to name the grape – you would be too busy enjoying! Yum! Fine and floral in the finish too.
2015 Saint-Bris Corps de Garde
Still floral, the fruit a little on a lower order to make space for a fresh and attractive minerality. Hmm, just a little more cepage in the flavours, but this is floral and not too perfumed with orange and citrus fresh fruit. Long, long, long. More complexity more length, but today, I would take the latter.