Claire & Fabien Chasselay – 2016


Tasted in Châtillon d’Azergues with Claire Chasselay, 22 February 2018.

Claire et Fabien Chasselay
123/127 Chemin de la Roche
69380 Châtillon d’Azergues
Tel: +33 4 78 47 93 73

Claire on 2017:
2017 started well but the 21 April we were in a cold zone – it wasn’t super cold, -1° or -2° with a cold wind, but then the wind stopped and suddenly we had -3°C. All the vines around the house were frosted – that wouldn’t have been bad, but directly afterwards the sun came out and defrosted the vines too quickly. But 1 week later we hit -4°C so they were the worst days – 22 and 29 April. Directly because of the frost we lost 70%. The wines, however, are concentrated and tasty but with 17 hl/ha average for the reds and 11 hl/ha for the whites. It was hard but the frost is preferable for us to the hail. Everything that we harvested was good – though purchases from friends were complicated due to hail in the crus. The rain of the 30th August was much needed – 30mm – it enabled the grapes to regain their vigour and for that we were very happy – we started harvest about the 4 September.

Claire on 2016:
Genial! – I love! We move from the opulent and sometimes heavy 2015s to the 2016s where we recover the elegance and easy drinkability that we all pursue. We bought two small parcels in Cote de Brouilly and Brouilly, and this year three small parcels in Fleurie too – so we are growing!

The wines…

One of the best sets of wines tasted on my trip – bravo!

2016 Beaujolais Les Grands Eparcieux
The oldest vines of the domaine, behind the house. A little destemming and 12 days of maceration, foudres for elevage.
Bright red fruit with an earthy, mineral depth. Round and delicious – a real freshness and juiciness of flavour. It could be many things more, except more juicily delicious! Bravo! Long, long and slightly mineral finishing.

2016 Beaujolais La Platière
On argillo calcaire – ‘it’s not possible to plant without breaking up the rock’ – Some clay and limestone here. Vinified in the same style as the crus. 18 days of maceration and 80% destemmed – some barrel elevage.
Aromatic, perfumed, floral – some barrel too – a depth of red fruit. Fresh and red fruited on the palate too – wider, a little more volume in the mouth. Fresh and very tasty – I’d wait a little while for the barrel flavours to fade. But this is another super Beaujolais.

2016 Beaujolais ‘Is not dead’
Carbonic maceration, a little remontage. Already sold-out
A deeper more vibrant fruit – super inviting. Round, lovely direction, a faint very fine tannin at the base – growing width of flavour. Excellent – pure wine, pure fun! Bravo.

2016 Moulin à Vent
Bought as grapes and vinified here.
Less wide but very a deep nose – very aromatic. Open, fine clarity – not the most concentrated MAV that you will find in 2016 but what a delicious and tasty wine. This is really excellent and super-drinkable wine!

2016 Côte de Brouilly
Always the first harvest on the blue rock – bought for a couple of vintages as a test before buying the vines!
Much deeper colour. Hmm – this is wide and herby – sweetness included – this is very inviting. Lots more volume in the mouth, but with freshness and drive too – this is open and with a good clarity despite a ripeness of fruit – it is alive and fresh. Excellent! The finish has power and width but always retaining that ‘pour some more’ impression.

2016 Chénas La Carrière
Also bought as grapes and vinified here. Alluvial soil with small stones ‘which brings more spice to the wine.’
A very different nose – floral but with concentrated fruit behind, then slowly adds more and more depth – really an aromatic concentration here – super! The wine has plenty of mouth-filling volume – open, mobile and with just the merest impression of barrel behind. This the largest and most concentrated of all the wines so far – yet it remains fresh and drinkable – I would still wait as others here are even more deliciously drinkable today. Excellent again!

2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
0.33 ha in clay and limestone soil. A selection of old pinot.
Deep and pure fruit but if I hadn’t be told, I wouldn’t assume that this was pinot! Round, a little more voluptuous, wide delicious flavour. Great concentration – never too much. Delicious wine – vinified like a Beaujolais and honestly it tastes like one – the texture and weight are different, but only that.

And blanc:

2016 Beaujolais Eparcieux Blanc
Only old vines with small grapes – and only 11 hl/ha – ‘Bourgogne vinification’ – i.e. pressesd straight away, settled and aged 12 months with 20% new oak.
A wide, slightly toasty with a modestly oaked nose. Round, concentrated, layered flavour – really some complexity, rather a lot of oak today for my preference, but there’s none of the mineral rigour that make most Beaujolais Blanc difficult for me. The finish is fresh and mineral but open and easy too. A super wine, indeed a great BJ Blanc – wait at least 3 years this wine will be worth it! Bravo!

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