Michel & Sylvain Tête – 2015


Tasted in Juliénas with Sylvain Tête, 14 February 2017.

Michel & Sylvain Tête
“Les Gonnards”
69840 Juliénas
Tel: +33 4 74 04 41 62

When I visited last year, father Michel was on tasting-duty as Sylvain was travelling in the US.

Sylvain on 2016:
2016 was definitely hard work in the vines – there was so much rain in the first part of the year, but the weather in August and September was excellent. We had anywhere between 12 and 14.5° in our parcels, with yields of up to 50 hectolitres per hectare. We did have some hail over 2 hectares of vines in April – no fruit was harvested from those parcels – but otherwise I can say that we’re very content because 2016 has a bit of everything – the St.Amour is almost like the 2015.

Sylvain on 2015:
2015 was also a good vintage for volume. On the sandy soils there was definitely some reflected heating so we got only between 25 and 30 hectolitres per hectare here, but we also have vines that are more on blue stone and little granite – these achieved anything up to 50 hectolitres per hectare. It’s really a great vintage – there is very little comparison here to the 2016 vintage.

The wines…

2015 Beaujolais Villages Blanc
‘A good terrain of clay and limestone – perfect for whites’ says Sylvain…
A big, bright and open nose – really floral perfume but also with a forward base of sweet fruit. Actually quite attractive. Quite good in the mouth a little rigour of structure but the fruit is sufficiently sweet to offer a decent balance. Plenty of freshness and acidity too.

2015 Beaujolais Villages
Vines in Jullié on a mix of granite rose and blue stone, 400m altitude.
Ooh – that’s a really inviting nose of sweet but not facile fruit – I’m ready! Direct, mouth-watering, layers of fresh flavour – really a tasty wine – some finishing salinity and a great length. This is as good as many a Côte d’Or villages! A little finishing austerity – wait at least 6-13 months – Showing even better than last year!

2015 Juliénas (Tradition)
Assembly of multiple terriors.
Pretty, faintly floral, certainly tighter than the BJV. Wide, incisive, faintly floral fruit in the mouth – this is rather saline and much more mineral. Certainly a more rigorous wine than the previous two. Still a tasty wine, but really one to wait a little longer for – it should be worth it!

2015 St.Amour l’Exception
From Les Capitains which spreads over Julienas and St.Amour. Whole clusters but with a grill during fermentation. Bottled in June. Father used to bottle at Easter, but Sylvain says it was too concentrated for that so he’s delayed a little. 14.5° in 2015, from 1 ha of vines.
A deep nose, with a certain floral complexity – quite inviting… Hmm, this is a little more rustic in structure but really there’s more energy and concentration too. This is a really big wine and one of bounding energy – really lots of extra flavour dimension in the mid-palate and into the finish – but it’s long complex too. And always, save the nose, a little rumbustious – excellent!

2015 Juliénas Vieilles Vignes Cuvée Prestige
Tank sample, will probably bottle about March, three different parcels – for 1.70 ha. Traditionally vinified with whole clusters but half vinified in barrel.
A profound nose, dark, inky – like the colour. Much silkier wine, much more elegantly structured but with real concentration and drive. Layers of very dark fruit. This is super tasty and a little spicy too as you head into the finish. To finish a bite of modest tannin in the finish – really great fun!

2014 Juliénas Vieilles Vignes Cuvée Prestige
A little,less colour but more aroma – really a concentrated and very interestingly pretty florality. Good volume, and a mouth-watering, melting flavour across the palate. Generous but with nice freshness and complexity. Simply a very lovely wine – bravo – delicious.
2014 Juliénas Tête de Cuvée,
From two almost adjacent parcels on the same blue stone soil – all destemmed, 18-24 months in barrel, not made every year – made in 05,06,10,12,14,15.
A deep, layered and quite exciting nose, faintly spiced and very, very, attractive. Super-silky, layered delivery of flavour – very, very classy – no hard edges and really lots of round concentration – but always with the necessary freshness. Bravo! Really lingering in great fashion.

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