Tasted in Denicé with Jean-Frédéric Sambardier, making coffee, 14 February 2017.
Manoir du Carra Sambardier
Tel: +33 4 74 67 38 24
Jean-Frédéric on 2016:
“2016, like in the Côte d’Or, started badly. There was a little frost in Julienas and heavy rain too – then there was already a little hail in Julienas in April, then Fleurie in May, then a gain in June – which also hit MAV – we lost 100% of a cuvée in Fleurie, we lost 80% in MAV. One small cuvée in Fleurie remains but I’ve yet to decide if it’s good enough – it looks okay for the moment – but if, eventually not, I will declassify it. The wines from the rest of the holdings look impressive; the weeks before the harvest were super weather, nice grapes, well matured, though we can’t compare to the 2015 vintage – but the are looking very good. Eventually we lost roughly 30% – not forgetting the damage in Chiroubles and Morgon.”
Jean-Frédéric on 2015:
“Actually in 2015 our yields are better than average – I think that’s down to the high density plantings – there are less grapes per vine, but more vines – about 40 hl/ha which isn’t bad! We started the 22 August, and I don’t think we suffered too badly. I think it’s a vintage that’s really unique – great material, good fruit and it’s concentrated but with good balance. I have some longer elevage for some of these 2015s. The degrees were a little below 13° to 13.5° – I’m pretty content with these values, but it was growing 0.3° a day at the end!”
Such a shame that the wine were all aromatically tight – Jean-Frédéric was clearly bemused as he said they were completely open the day before – this wasn’t the only domaine that had such a problem on my trip – but regardless, here is a super range of 2015s – the whole range!
2015 Beaujolais Villages Cuvée non-filtre
This needs a little swirling and in doing so the overt spice slowly gives way to nice core of dark red fruit. In the mouth, good volume and a nicely intense and freshly direct fruit. The nose needs to open more but in the mouth it’s completely delicious – yum!
2015 Brouilly Terre de Combaty
From the south of the appellation, plain south-facing vines bottled in may 2016
Also a nose that’s a little tight and spicy. Much wider, red fruited, again a fine intensity, here a little salinity too – just a little more roundness to the flavour and texture. The finish is lip-smackingly tasty… long too…
Bottled in August
Here is a nose that is just a little more open – red-fruited – slowly adding some extra depth. Ooh – this is lovely – fresh, joyous acidity, and mouth-watering flavour – little waves of finishing flavour – again slight salinity in the finishing notes. I like this very much!
2015 Fleurie Vers le Mont
350-380m high, principally VV above Grille-Midi, ‘We bind all the arms of the goblet together in warm years to protect the grapes from roasting’ part destemmed. Tank sample – will be bottled in a couple of weeks. They keep this back a year as it’s really made as a vin-de-garde
Narrow, silkier, more depth – still rather tight today though – it must be a root day in Carra! A little gas – fresh again, more concentration and a slowly growing intensity. The last wine was about fresh, tasty, mouth-watering flavour – this has more intensity and line – a hint more mineral – but ultimately also delicious wine. Really a long line of fine finishing flavour.
‘A terroir that can be slightly sauvage but after 5 plus years its sumptuous…’ Also a tank sample, this one to be bottled in March.
A smoother and redder nose – still tight but aromatically much more interesting than most today. Also a hint of gas – fresh again, really a lot of energy here, mouth-watering, mouth-staining flavour. Not too much, but a nicely sustained intensity of flavour. A wide line of finishing flavour spreading out over the palate. Lip-smacking flavour in the finish with a nice lick of dryness from the tannin. Excellent! This could be my new favourite!
This was bottled just before the harvest. 1.5 hectares, all destemmed, a blend of barrique, foudre and tank elevage.
Just a little more open, a spicy top note and a smooth red fruit. Hmm – this is nice, wide and rather mouth-watering on the palate – a joyous acidity and flavour combination. Faintly saline but with nice small waves of extra flavour. A nice rigour to the structure that makes the wine even more attractive. A MAV that will need less time than many but will not be troubled by time in the cellar either – simply lovely wine.