Tasted in Ligny-le-Châtel with Xavier and Jérôme Garnier (pictured), 23 January 2020.
Domaine Garnier & Fils
Chemin de Méré
Tel: + 33 3 86 47 42 12
Jérôme on 2019/2018:
2018 had a good quality and volume but the vinifications weren’t easy – we had some stopped fermentations – by comparison, 2019 was easy. The juice was super, the year was complicated by frost and the dryness – in Ligny and Villy the frost was more than elsewhere and there’s no protection in these areas. We averaged 40 hl/ha but with some VCI from 2018 so have the equivalent of 50 hl/ha – 2007 and 2011 were the last time that there was some VCI here. From the first juice – after 20 vintages – I though 2019 delivered some of the best juice I’ve ever seen – completely the reverse of 2018 which I thought merely average at harvest time – so I’ll wait to see if I was right about 2019, I was completely wrong on 2018 – it was a good surprise. In 2019 there are some slower fermentations though none have stopped – there’s also no volatility, and there was a little in 2018. Most domaines made more in 2018 than they did in 16 and 17 combined, of-course it was also easy to buy our usual purchases in 2018, 2019 was a little more difficult.
I’m beginning to think that this is a domaine that needs to rise to a challenge – their 2017s were good, excellent even, but by comparison to more challenging vintages, such as 2016 and 2018 – different challenges of course – they have great, great wines! One of my best visits – the style of the wines has captured the richness of the vintage but then electrified the wines!
About half of the wines are bottled, but 1ers and GCs are planned for April and then September – it’s longer elevage here. For the ‘Tannay’ and entry wines there’s a mix of DIAM and Nomacorc, for all the rest it’s Trescases cork, the grand crus sealed with NDtec corks.
2018 Xavier et Jerome Garnier, VdF l’Instant Tannay Pinot Noir
Domaine vines, lyre-trained. 14 days of maceration, no pigeage, all destemmed – the minimum of extraction, just 10 minutes of remontage per day.
A compact nose but fine. Wide, tasty vibrant, some sweetness and good length, easy style but there’s concentration here too. That’s very tasty wine!
2018 Bourgogne Epineuil
Bought and the only one bought after the vinification is finished, the extra 1 year of elevage is done here though. Bottled one month.
A bigger aromatic, sweet and deep, some oak – darker-fruited. Lovely fresh line – a direct wine, nicely textured, the tannin is present but no grain. Really mouth-watering – that’s delicious in that slightly spiced Epineuil way.
2018 Xavier et Jerome Garnier, VdF l’Instant Tannay Melon
Same grape that is used to make Muscadet
Open and quite fresh. Hmm – that’s a nice impact with good intensity, slightly woody but with delicious intensity – that’s a super finish. Very yum! For the price, this is a steal.
2018 Xavier et Jerome Garnier, VdF l’Instant Tannay Chardonnay
Bottled 9 December.
Depth of aroma, this is a little more compact though. Bright – mouth-filling, rustic but quite vibrant, a little sweet. Well-structured, that’s another very good finish – as last year, I’ve a slight preference for the ‘Melon’.
2018 Petit Chablis
A finer nose, suggesting a little salinity. A little more intensity, good volume again – once-more a little woody in the middle – perhaps that’s a reduction – but the finish is fine. Good wine.
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.
That’s a smaller nose again – a little tight. This has finer flavour, finer texture too. Good concentration but also freshness. That’s a great finish – completely delicious and with a fine length too – excellent!
All the following are not yet bottled, apart from the grand crus all are assembled into tank, but no fining or filtering:
2018 Chablis Cuvée Grain d’Orée
Parcel selection from Maligny, Côte de Charmois, just before Homme Mort on the flat plateau – – always the same parcel on this plateau but with very white limestone soil. A wine that’s always had its own personality – almost 2 years of elevage – so won’t bottle for a while yet – half barrel elevage but only for the first year, then all is assembled in tank with the lees.
Here’s a nicely Chablis nose of faint salinity and depth of minerality – sweet fruit offering the balance. That’s rather good – mineral, wide, complex. The energy seems higher than the acidity behind but the finish is bright, almost penetratingly good. Excellent again – maybe even better down the line. Super wine!
Now the wines that follow are bought as grapes or in must and are all in tank:
This and all the following are the contract wines. 600l demi-muid elevage.
Here’s a bigger, more open, more agrume style of aroma. More energy, mineral, so juicy – long, layered finishing but with energy, this is great!
Also demi-muid elevage.
Less impact but a fine nose here – airy, fresh and inviting. Like the last this is fresh and energised wine – a little more direct versus the width of the Montmains. Finely intense finishing citrus flavour – ooh – that’s long! Starting a little more discrete than the Montmains but the finish is electric. Bravo!
This and the following with elevage in Foudres.
A little more width of aroma, mineral width. Incisive, bright, energetic, a little sweetness, but a complex agrume fruit lat vibrates through the middle and finish of the wine – you’ll stop chatting while savouring this wine – it’s an attention-grabber! Bravo!
4th vintage. Work with 2 vignerons, 60% in grapes – a large part in Troesmes. Vinified in foudres – 25 hl
Ooh! That’s a super minerality, faintly reductive – yes! The palate is suffused with an agrume acidity, but never sharp – few people show Beauroy after MdM – but here it’s deserved, great Beauroy! The finish with a tactile phenolic, a tannin on the end of the tongue.
The 5th vintage for this wine. Foudres – also 25 hl
A little less impact than Beauroy but still a vibrant ripe yellow citrus in the core of this nose. Bigger, more concentrated, still tons of zesty energy – again almost electric. The weight of a grand cru here and very, very long. Bravo!
2018 Chablis Vaudesir
Higher-toned, even a little floral. More considered first impact, wide, layered a touch of barrel but not too much, more contemplative after the 1ers. A great finish. There’s energy here for sure, just a little less overt after the 1ers. Again a little tannic finishing.
A little more compact but with a slightly floral aroma. A little more overt energy, here, more mobile, growing in intensity, really a fine energy without the direct impact of the 1ers. Great, great finishing – grandiose here. A wine with great potential.