Tasted in Saint-Vérand with Jean-Etienne Chermette, 15 February 2017.
Domaine du Vissoux
Tel: +33 4 74 71 79 42
There’s something quite charming when none of the organisation works – wines that are a little too warm for tasting – certainly sniffing – ‘Okay let’s taste in a cold place and they should get better!‘ And then not enough time for lunch. Today was such a day, but you know, the wines were still pretty good!
This 3rd generation domaine covers an impressive 50 hectares of vines, the wines being made in a new cuverie, where they employ semi-carbonic, 5-12 day, fermantations. Elevage is mainly done in foudres and tanks – but there’s also the charm of the old cellar, full with old foudres – a cold cellar – oh, I already mentioned the cold place! The territory here is very much ‘southern-Beaujolais’ but Martine and Pierre-Marie Chermette’s interest in the crus began by buying vines in Fleurie and Moulin à Vent in 1994 and 1996. In 2002, they bought their parcel of La Rochelle in Moulin à Vent and, in 2006, their Brouilly Pierreux – today they have about 15 hectares of vines in the crus to the north.
I tasted with Martine and Pierre-Marie Chermette’s son, Jean-Etienne, who was also sporting a darker eye – courtesy of an elbow in a recent football match!
Jean-Etienne on 2016:
“We had no hail or frost in this area, though we had a little hail in Fleurie. Still it’s a great vintage, despite that the weather wasn’t great at the start of the year. But the end of the vintage was very good, and it’s a lovely, typical, Beaujolais vintage.”
Jean-Etienne on 2015:
“2015 has the steucture of Côte du Rhône, but also the finesse of Burgundy. ”
About one-third of the domaine’s produce is exported, the rest sold in France – ‘but not to supermarkets‘ – they just starting to sell in Hong Kong and China – restaurants mainly. Everything is commercialised here, one-third as nouveau – two different nouveaux, 3 crus and different cuvées from those crus.
Of-course the majority of the wines were tasted a little too warm, but the last two or three were getting nearer to ‘correct.’ The wines are all whole cluster here, raisonnée in the vines, working the soil, all local yeast.
2015 Beaujolais Blanc
Vines on argillo-calcaire with a little acacia barrel elevage
The nose is quite floral. Wide in the mouth, with some nice fresh points of interest, a mineral style at the base. And quite long…
2015 Beaujolais ‘Les Griottes’
All in-tank elevage – stainless-steel – ‘our entry wine.’
A deeply pungent dark fruit, floral, a faintly pyrazine/floral style. Wide round, good texture, mouth-watering with a little salinity in the finish. This is really quite tasty wine.
2015 Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes Cuvée Traditionelle
This nose is rather tighter, in the mouth more structure, some nice layers of flavour the wine is a little too warm for tasting though..
Vines that are over 100-year-old.
Deep, a little reduced, slowly, slowly improving with air… this is lovely in the mouth, a nice richness of flavour, layers of flavour with really excellent texture and very fine fruit and super length. This is really excellent!
2015 Brouilly Pierreux
Not far from Côte de Brouilly, the vines at the base of the Mont Brouilly. Here with just a foudre elevage for 5-8 months.
A little floral and a redder fruit. So very silky, slowly adding some tannin – really growing width. Very tasty wine.
2015 Fleurie Poncié
Multiple hectares here
Wide, a little floral, good width. Good in the mouth, really lots of intensity and sweet but fine fruit – this tastes excellent – really a lovely line of finishing flavour – yum!
Fleurie Les Garants
A much deeper and riper nose, hinting at menthol. More weight of concentration – it’s really a very large wine – if elegance is your wish, take the last wine. But this is not so bad!
2015 Moulin à Vent Les Trois Roches
A blend of three vines in Rochegrès, La Rochelle and Roche Noire – foudre elevage with a little amount of barrel too.
A deep, dark but silky and highly attractive nose. A very good line of flavour, not too sweet, but with good direction. A little spice accent to the flavour. And really lots of mouth-watering width. This is very good!
Only commercialised 3-4 years after harvest, a little more barrel elevage here.
Today a little too much vanilla – but more important will be how it shows in another 3+ years. Lots of aromatic depth though, slowly adding some floral notes. Hmm, this is really excellent over the palate, intensity, depth of flavour, tannin, plenty of oak but really a wine with everything I think. Long, long, long. Really a wine to retry in 2020!
2013 Moulin à Vent La Rochelle
Less oak, more flowers. The palate is also one of energy, lots of depth of flavour, a little more modest tannin, the oak shows almost to the same level as the 2015 in the mid-palate. Richness of flavour though, which is a little less sweet, but tasty all the same. Still really such a baby. Nice floral notes in the finish – yum!
Cremant de Bourgogne Brut
All chardonnay. A blend from the 12, 13, and 14 vintages.
Really very fresh and nicely, attractively, sweet. This is very tasty – lots of volume in the mouth – a suggestion of apple in the flavour but very fresh and not bruised apple in style. Delicious!