Tasted in the Chateau de la Terrière with Grégory Barbet and Ludovic, chef de culture, 08 February 2018.
Château de la Terrière
Tel: +33 4 74 66 77 89
Grégory on 2017:
“In 2017 there was a little less volume due to the dryness – not in Juliénas or St.Amour as we had a little rain and suffered less – Brouilly suffered more – not helped by soil that drains so well. In both 2016 and 2017 it was the same areas that had hail – Fleurie was the epicentre, Moulin à Vent, Chiroubles and Morgon too – a little less in Morgon. Only August and September had less rain than average – From the 14 August the weather was fine indeed September had more sun than an average August! Here at Terrière the yield was good – except the Fleurie where there was no harvest and a much lower yield in Moulin à Vent.”
Grégory on 2016:
“Really hard. Spring was very wet and with hail too – Brouilly wasn’t touched, but we had some damage in Régnié – only half a harvest remained – also 1 hectare in Fleurie was totally lost. The violence was incredible – for us it was the second hail in 2016 that was more like a tornado. There were just a few tiny hailstones in St.Amour but then it stopped, though clearly not everywhere else. This weather really only changed about the 14 July. The last two months were excellent though, so the the grapes were quite concentrated at harvest time – the Ban des Vendanges was the 28 September – one month later than in 2017. So a hard year but eventually with good surprises. I expect to be very heterogeneous.”
The domaine has 27 hectares, 7 are pinot, 12 are in Brouilly. Some new planting is in process here – training the vines – 1.2 m here and in some other, steeper places, 2 metres, but the main idea is so that the soil can be ploughed. They will do 5 ha here in 2018 and are also testing some areas with ground-covering crops like clover.
I asked Grégory how the market was looking “New York is a powerhouse for sales at the moment – and at the quality end too. A lot has always been sold to the UK but generally at a price point accessible only for the big négoce and coops…”
As every year, wines of balanced concentration – and what concentration! With the exception of the Polar Bear, the labels are a little staid – but not the wine-making!
We started with two from Domaine Romy who are a 25 hectare domaine based in Pierres Dorées, made by a friend of Grégory Barbet:
2016 Domaine Romy – Beaujolais ‘Imperial’ Rosé
25 hectares, 10 white, some pinot and 15 ha of gamay. This a press wine, not a saigné.
Very pale salmon colour. Delicate, open, invitingly pure nose. Volume and a purity of flavour – mouth-watering flavour, layered and delicious – not a hint of rigour – excellent.
2016 Domaine Romy, Beaujolais Vieilles-Vignes Pierres Dorees
You only find reference to BJ on the back label.
A pretty nose – not full power but with attractive fruit – it grows in the glass. Nice volume, supple, growing width of flavour – no hard edges but it anyway will get better and better over the next months. Very tasty wine with a just a hint of finishing salinity on a finish that suggests ‘wait 6 months…’
Actually they have no vines in this appellation, rather this is really Regnié – Regnié its harder to sell than BJV!
A wide, deep but still bright fruit – very attractive. A good mouthful of fresh and concentrated wine here – great line and intensity – you should wait at least 12 months, better 2-3 years for this. Long, slightly mineral finish, small wave of long-lasting flavour – for the label this is fabulous!
2016 Château de Terrière, Brouilly
10 hectares on granite rose. Just starting the first commercialisation of this wine…
Deep colour. A deep nose to match – vibrantly fruited. Extra freshness of flavour another dimension of almost floral fruit flavour. Concentrated, only very modest tannin, but layers of concentration – great wine again, such a depth of finishing flavour – almost a licorice here. Wait two years… “For us this is a wine of pleasure and fruit” – I beg to differ, for me this is a wine of impact and concentration.
From the old vines on the plateau above the château, all destemmed, was previously vinified in barrel and foudres but during elevage they always preferred the wine from foudres – so this year is the first time with only foudre. Not yet commercialised – perhaps in September 2018
Dark wine again. A width of dark, almost glossy, fine fruit. More mouth filling volume, but the form and texture are supple, slowly ingraining, a little more calmness but the intensity and concentration are clear – actually more approachable than the last Brouilly today, despite all the extra – great wine. Long, long, long…
2016 Régnié Vin Sauvage a Poil
The polar bear wine (climat le Siberie – see image at top of the page), from old vines vinified and 2 ha of 1911 vines and with no added sulfur at all.
A big volume of aroma – dark-fruited, an accent of herb, practically saline. Mouth-filling, wonderfully silky first texture before a little tannin grows. Supple, caressing, delicious wine of very fine depth. An extra more mineral dimension in the finishing flavour – big but fully approachable and drinkable – delicious like every year.
2016 Moulin a Vent Le Moulin
2 parcels, all in the south was lost to the hail, but this 0.5 ha climat was okay – this destemmed before elevage in barrel
Wide, plenty of sweetness from the barrel. Lots of volume – it’s more a wine about intensity though – growing and growing – behind is plenty of barrel vanilla – but the shape and intensity are the more interesting parts – good energy too.