Château des Bachelards – 2015

Update 29.3.2017(23.3.2017)billn

Tasted in Fleurie with Alexandra de Vazeilles, 22 February 2017.

Château des Bachelards
69820 Fleurie
+33 9 81 49 47 00

Alexandra on 2016:
A parcel was hailed on the 24 June – we did three passes in 48 hours with biodynamic preparations to protect the wood for 2017. We harvested late in 2016 – 35 harvesters, all done in 4 days. It looks like a nice vintage for the white that we do from Vinzelles – our Pouilly-Fuissé was totally hailed. 2016 had a low harvest volume for us – 25 hectolitres per hectare, but we had no problems from mildew. We don’t use much copper – less than 3kg per hectare – but many of our treatments were with a back-pack sprayers as it was usually too wet for tractors in the vines. At the moment, tastings look interesting with a good complexity and florality – perhaps something between 2014 and 2015, always here with low degrees.

Alexandra on 2015:
Of course it was hot, and we had no rain either! I already thought it very hot in April. I think it a lovely vintage because the parcels in biodynamic conversion were obliged to push their roots deeper, and the parcels already certified seemed to have no hydric stress – I easily made my target of 25 hl/ha – my eventual objective is 35-42. In 2015 we lose in volume but gain in complexity, whilst staying at a maximum 13.2° in alcohol – despite late harvesting. No acidification was needed. I destemmed and had 5 week cuvaisons before moving the wines to barrel – essentially Taransaud. One racking with elevage on lees. 2015 is the first vintage Demeter certified for both the vines and the wine. We are art of a group ‘Renaissance des Appellations.’ I think 2015 has the elegance of burgundy and the tastiness of the Côte du Rhône!

The wines…

DIAM10 here, even DIAM30 for magnums. A full set of recommendations in this vintage – outstanding!

To start three different interpretations of Fleurie – one sister, two brothers…

2015 Petite Fleur
Bottled. IGP wine. Gamay parcels on granitic sand – all parcels vinified exactly the same, only the terroir is different.
Deep but transparent colour. A nose of width with delicate red fruits – really an elegance here. In the mouth too this has a lovely width and texture, a richness of texture, and very modestly grained tannin. The fruit flavour has a nice line and length, without being overly ‘linear.’ Simply a very tasty wine with fine, fine length. Delicious!
2015 Fleurie Granite Rose
Not yet bottled.
Just a little deeper colour. Here a fresher nose, darker fruited, with energy – a very subtle spice. An extra weight, but a fresh weight, a little less texture, cooler character, but there is more depth to the dark fruit. The tannin has a different construction, finely grained but no dryness. Just an attractive suggestion of bitterness in the finish. Really super wine with a latent muscle – Bravo!
2015 Fleurie Granite Noir
On schist
Easily the deepest colour. A less energetic but more powerful and weighted nose – slowly opening its arms to offer some floral highlights. A style of cooler, more direct delivery, like the last but here there is more concentration and depth of fruit flavour. Again the tannin is more like the last, but the flavour delivery is a little softer and arrives in layers. Fresh finishing and with good width – less bitterness but more texture from the tannin – again, bravo!
2015 St.Amour
Bottled last week – this is in conversion to biodynamics. Mid-slope, south-facing – ‘a terroir with many similarities to MAV’
Deep colour. A nose that grows and grows in the glass – starting quite tight but adding quite profound dark fruit notes. A mouth-filler – there’s plenty of volume here, really an extra level of tannin – all perfectly ripe. Layers of mid-palate flavour, delicious flavour. Suggesting a little oak texture in the finish but long finishing. A wine of more structural construction with a melting flavour gluing it together from the centre. A wine more overtly to wait for than the Fleuries, but of great potential.
2015 Fleurie Le Clos
To be bottled in a few weeks
Another deeply coloured wine. A nose that is open and of scale – easily the most complex and impressive – the first with an accent of oak, but a subtle accent. Really fine volume, impressive volume, a richness of texture without loss of balance – here also with a little oak to accent the complex flavour. A little oak bitterness in the finish. Clearly a wine of great potential and ‘de garde.’ Super wine and impressively persistent. Bravo – but wait!
2015 Pouilly-Vinzelles
Climat Les Quarts, mid-slope, south, south-east facing, 40 year-old vines. A schist sand here with more limestone than clay.
A round nose, fresh, though framed with an oak toast – warm in the glass and the oak fades very much into the background and nose takes on a fine extra complexity and openness with a core of ripe pear in the centre. A very nice freshness for the vintage with good line and a nice depth of flavour. Despite the oak which is visible on the palate too, this is frankly delicious wine with a wide panorama of flavour. A good finishing width of flavour too. It gets better and better in the glass. Really a very fine 2015 with a suggestion of finishing tannin!

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