Tasted in Ligny-le-Châtel with Xavier and Jérôme Garnier, 15 January 2019.
Domaine Garnier & Fils
Chemin de Méré
Tel: + 33 3 86 47 42 12
Jérôme on 2018:
Generally an extra degree of ripeness seen in 2018 – so fermentations are long, sometimes stopping, we have to keep a very close eye on the volatiles. A vintage that inspires – before the harvest the grapes were concentrated and there didn’t look to be very much volume, but in the end it was a nice surprise – I would say impressive – the domaine produced 70 hl/ha and we were on the low side compared to some – I’ve never seen that – more than 55 hl/ha and it’s a party! Have some reserve now in the VCI. But it was a complicated harvest as it was often too hot – 30°C. All the machine harvested stuff we could do at 4am – perfect – but for teams of pickers it was much warmer. We started harvesting at 12° of ripeness but at the very end, grapes were closer to 14°. The quality looked really great, but less homogenous than smaller volume harvests. It’s clearly not the vintage of the century – for the wines – but a good vintage, easy, in the line of 2015.
Jérôme on 2017:
“14-15 hl/ha in 2016 but 32 hl/ha in 2017. If 2016 was more about the hail, 2017 more about the frost. It was a complicated vintage despite twice the volume of 2016, but we have ended up with lovely wines, and I prefer them to those of 2016. All the crus are bought here so these small volumes were hard to manage and even harder to buy – for instance I’ve no Montmains or Clos in this vintage. Some I buy in juice – and I taste first, and sometimes I think ‘hmm’ – but other producers I buy from with 100% confidence.
“For me it’s a vintage like 2010 rather than 2015.”
I was simply knocked out by the quality of this domaine’s wines in 2016 – this year they are excellent, but only more rarely are there Grands Vins in 2017.
Not much is bottled yet – so we mainly tasted samples from tank. First, the only red:
2017 Bourgogne Epineuil
Really good colour – will be bottled in another month
Deep, a touch of mushroomy reduction and oak. Supple, nice freshness, and a round, nicely textured shape – but really I can only taste oak today – sweet and tasty oak, so sweet and tasty wine. But today no interest in the first and middle flavours – the last flavours, however, are attractive. I’d wait at least 2 years for this – hopefully the barrel will have faded by then.
You may remember some of the ‘Tannay’ wines that I tasted last year. Well they are still here, but have lost their Loire appellations as they were vinified here in Ligny, rather than in the Loire – so they are now Vins de France (VdF) labelled
Jerome from last year:
“6 hectares in lyre training – a single hillside – 20 years planted. 2016 was the first vinification here – others worked the vines in 2016 but in 2017 this domaine did the work in the vines. Only 3k vines per hectare. Looking for something for cavistes to sell for less than €10.”
2017 Xavier et Jerome Garnier, VdF l’Instant Tannay Melon
Same grape that is used to make Muscadet
A deep nose with a faint biscuit reduction. In the mouth this is bright, energetic – mouth-filling and delicious – not quite the sucrosity of chardonnay but mineral and saline – very tasty – and becomes wider and more floral in the finish – lovely wine.
2016 Xavier et Jerome Garnier, VdF l’Instant Tannay Chardonnay
A tiny touch of reduction – probably the DIAMs – but here is a bit more energy to the tight nose. More fat, a richer wine, but not heavy – there is freshness and life here. Long – a weightier finish – actually I’ve a little preference for the melon.
2017 Petit Chablis
Also a little tightness of aroma and a reductive suggestion. Bigger, fresher, but with a nice depth to the texture – layered, mobile – complex and delicious flavour. Fine ripe citrus fruit here – more than the minerality. A lovely floral extra in the finish – excellent…
The largest part of the production, an assembly of all the parcels – about 19 hectares – a vintage like 2018 it’s not possible to bottle everything – can sell about 80k bottles but haven’t the market for more. There’s just one assembly in June, it’s filtered then, but then there are bottlings as required – this an example from July but the last will be in February.
A tight nose hinting at the mineral and saline – but only hinting. Similar shape but more insinuating, more layers of flavour, really vibrant finishing – electric and absolutely delicious – long-lasting – very long-lasting. Super villages.
Parcel selection from Maligny just before Homme Mort on the flat plateau. A wine that’s always had it’s own personality – almost 2 years of elevage – so won’t bottle until July – half barrel elevage but only for the first year, then all is assembled in tank with the lees. ‘It’s a cuvée of decent size now.’
Ooh – that’s a very attractive nose – a hint of salinity but a depth of reductive agrume fruit – oh yes! Directly there’s an extra attack, more line, a base of minerality – depth of flavour – great wine – this will easily better many premiers in the vintage – fabulous and bravo!
Now the wines that follow are bought as grapes or in must and are all in tank:
2017 Chablis 1er Beauroy
3rd vintage. Work with 2 vignerons, 60% in grapes – a large part in Troesmes. Vinified in foudres – 25 hl
Also a tight nose but of citrus freshness. Extra width, extra depth, a composed style but with plenty of mineral energy. Ooh the best part is the finish – vibrantly mineral – love that. Excellent!
2017 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
All bought in must.
Also a tight nose today. Full, ooh great fruit, intense minerality, a strong saline accent – a certain weight to this – it’s not elegant – but it’s full-packed with flavour and complex flavour at that – it’s not great but it’s interesting and completely delicious!
The 4th vintage for this wine. Foudres – also 25 hl
The first really open nose – wide and vibrant – ripe lemon suffused with minerals – yes! A little gas. More transparent – more class to the shape and deliver here versus the Mont de Milieu – very yellow fruited, layered, peaking after you swallow – lemon zest in the great finish – bravo!
2017 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Here demi-muid elevage – one was new.
Less width, it’s mineral but really this is a wine about depth of aroma – ripe lemon, rounder than the last. In the mouth it’s rounder too but transparent, melting, really great energy – some oak aspects – wait 18 months before touching – but the depth of flavour, mineral and citrus, is really super – excellent wine. A great finish though.
2017 Chablis Vaudesir
‘No Clos – don’t have it every year – we work with a single vigneron and sometimes they have spare other years not. Here two suppliers high and low on the slope.
There’s an implied weight here, but this is another tighter nose. Ooh – there’s drive here too – a line, soft textured but certainly not a soft wine – with beautifully melting flavour – complex, slightly sour citrus – so mouth-watering. Great finishing even though it fades quite quickly before holding a subtle but very long line.