Château de Buffavent – 2015


Tasted in Denicé with Denis Chilliet, 07 February 2017.

Château de Buffavent
855, route de Buffavent
69640 Denicé
Tel: +33 9 52 78 50 50

Denis on 2016:
For the first time for many years, not a single piece of hail hit our vines – though it was quite a bizarre year. It was very wet to start with, so we saw a very exuberant growth and that meant lots of work. The harvest was quite easy with good grapes that needed practically no triage. We had a normal rendement of between 35-40 hl/ha. The pinot noir ripened very well, but it’s mainly sold to the négoce, and labelled here as Côteaux Bourguignone as people come here to buy Beaujolais!

Denis on 2015:
In 2015 we harvested only 25-30 hl/ha, but that means that the wines are quite concentrated – almost atypical, almost not quite Beaujolais, so remind me a little of the Rhone. Fortunately I like them and the clients seem to like them too. It’s my 32nd harvest and I’ve not seen a similar vintage, also not in 2009 or 2003.

The wines…

Very tasty wines – quite some oak showing at this baby-wine stage, but there is much that is highly attractive here.

2015 Beaujolais
The domaine’s ‘classic cuvée’
Great colour. A very beautiful blend of fruit and perfume – wide, really fine depth, layers of flavour. This has everything that you might not expect from the label. The leading edge of acidity has a little sizzle today, but it’s long and very tasty…

2015 Beaujolais Vieilles-Vignes Pierres Dorées
Oof, this is much, much deeper, showing a little oaky energy. Wide, complex, really a melting flavour, plenty of oak, still but really a mouth-watering flavour that goes long in the finish. This will need a little time for the oak to fade, but it is as good as cru from an okay vintage. Wait and enjoy…

2015 Beaujolais Le Clos
Here is a nose with a little less volume, but with a complex width, modestly spiced, backed by a little oak. Direct, finely textured beautiful flavour, slowly melting over the palate. Oak is present but on a much lower level than the VV. A nice energy and a beautiful flavour – bravo!

2015 Côteaux Bourguignone
100% pinot noir, not destemmed – grilled ‘like a real Beaujolais.’
Wide, more red, a little cushioned, faintly oaked. Quite silky before a little tannin surfaces. This is fresh and alive. Pretty flavour and quite a good intensity. Tasty pinot that finishes very well – good length too…

2015 Gamaret VDF
A tank sample, harvested 2 weeks after the gamay. Small grapes and not much juice, long clusters but sometimes hardly any juice.
An extra brightness of dark fruit. A little gas, layers of flavour, really engaging flavour. Round in the finish, mouth-watering with just a suggestion of tannin. Faintly fading. Simply delicious!

2015 Beaujolais Blanc Vieilles-Vignes
Bottled September.
A big, round nose, of perfume, sweet quince fruit and oak. Yet in the mouth this is direct, mineral, mouth-watering and with a certain attractive subtlety. There is still some modest oak in the mix, but oak that I would wait to fade – tasty wine!

2015 Viognier VDF
‘With a little grilled bread and some fine fois gras!’ Says Denis.
Really a deeply floral perfume – more attractive than many Viognier I know – slowly turning to a macerating lychee(?) really fresher and more direct than I’m expecting. Like the last wine – still a little too perfumed for this mouth but really with much complexity and length…long and interesting.

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