Tasted in Volnay with Thibaud Clerget, 03 February 2016.
12 Rue de la Combe
Tel: +33 3 80 21 61 56
Since 1268 there have been Clergets in Volnay/Pommard, Thibaud says that he’s the newest one! This is a 6 hectare domaine of great labels with very little regional and villages-rated vines. 2009 was the last vintage commercialised under the Yvon Clerget label – Thibaud’s father – since then the crops had been sold to Yves Boillot.
Thibaud has vinified in New Zealand after studying at the VITI in Beaune, followed by a stint at Hudelot-Noellat. Then last year Thibaud worked with Drouhin in Oregon (for their 2014s) – afterwards, his father said ‘okay!’
So the first vintage Thibaud will commercialise is 2015, and the label stays that of Yvon Clerget for the moment, but the label will change. Although the address and office of the domaine is in Volnay, the cuverie and elevage are in an old, but spacious, building in Pommard.
Because the 2015s will be the first vintage for Thibaud – the 14 having been sold as grapes – we tasted 2015s, of-course. The first two wines will have 8-14 months elevage, it will depend on how they will taste.
The domaine saw minus 30% volume in 2015. All the grapes collected in their harvest cases before being brought back to Pommard. There’s a vibrating table then a triage table; destemming follows before a cool maceration for about a week in open wooden fermenters. The wine is then decanted of 3-4 days before running into barrel.
It’s too early to pronounce on 2015s, but some great-looking wines are part-made here.
2 barrels; from the base of Champans in Les Durots – all from the Volnay commune.
A little reduction, but deep and impressive aromas. Structured, silky, great texture – impressively so for a Bourgogne.
About 12 barrels; from Petit Gamay plus Echats in the bottom of Champans.
Wide, fresh, a depth of fruit. Also, structured, with waves of flavour, more intense and nicely textured.
2015 Volnay 1er Mitans
Deep colour to match the deep nose. More width, a little oak, plenty of energy and complexity – layers of flavour here. Some extraction and oak but this will be fine!
2015 Volnay 1er Clos de Verseuil (monopole)
9 barrels, these vines an extension down to the road of Pousse d’Or’s Clos d’Audignac.
A complex and brightly overt nose – big, layers of flavour and texture. This is really super – almost a floral dimension. Yum!
2015 Volnay 1er Santenots du Milieu
9 barrels worth
A bright red note, deeper but narrower. Fresh, more intense, ripe but never flabby fruit – really fine intensity.
2015 Volnay 1er Caillerets
Old vines. 4.5 barrels.
Really deep, overt fruit today. Like all the wines here – really super freshness – really, despite a ripeness and depth of fruit.
2015 Volnay 1er La Carelle sous la Chapelle
A mix of old (in the process of replacing) and younger vines – 6 barrels worth.
Bright ripe fruit but with a certain extra width. Extra silky, fine acid, intense. A little extra tannin towards the end. Really great!
2015 Pommard 1er Rugiens
They have vines in both parts of Rugiens, the Hautes was sold this year, here is the ‘bas’ from 60-70 years old vines, the ‘hauts’ are more like 15 years-old.
Big, wild, an almond impression – big, mouth-filling, no fat, grainy texture, but modestly grainy, fine, wide complexity.
2015 Volnay 1er Champans
New oak, a single barrel.
Oak spice but not dominant – wide and interesting nose. A little extra sweetness but here is a very obviously layered and impressive wine – lithe energy – dynamic wine. But clearly time will be needed for the oak to fade.
2015 Clos de Vougeot
7 ouvrées that produced 5 barrels this year.
Deeply impressive aroma – a deep colour like Beaujolais! Direct, lithe, intense wine. The fruit needs to settle, but here is a saline complexity and super acidity. A wine of volume despite its direct line. Let’s see.
2015 Meursault Chevaliers
A spicy nose. Super acidity if faintly reduced flavour. Big in the middle but a great finish.