Tasted in Lantignié with Annick & Jean-Marc Lafont, 08 February 2018.
Domaine de Bel Air
Tel: +33 4 74 04 82 08
Jean-Marc on 2017:
“2017 – a paradox – on one side we had lots of dryness and quite early growth and it was magnificent – no frost like other parts of France but some hail – so despite all that the yields were really quite small in some places – the vines really didn’t pay their way in 2017. The wines have lots of fruit and purity – lots of material – more than 16, less than 15 – the terroirs have a lovely expressions – the Morgons are real Morgons, for instance. In the end we lost more in 2017 than in 2016.”
Jean-Marc on 2016:
“A classic vintage after the atypical 2015s – touched by various weather problems but the second part of the vintage was fine. The grapes that came in were lovely, needing very little triage – we like the wines very much and have good feedback from our clients. We lost 20-30% in some sectors but the rest brought a correct yield. Morgon and Moulin à Vent were the sectors with the most losses.”
Whilst I largely found their 2015s more thrilling, this remains a lovely and absolutely approachable range of 2016s.
2016 Beaujolais Blanc
A mix of granite and clay-limestone soils.
A modest intensity but deep nose. Round, silky, actually a nice minerality here – some finishing rigour, but this is delivered with a good texture. Fresh finishing. Quite tasty and intense finishing on a mineral note. Refreshing.
2016 Beaujolais Villages Le Granits Bleau
The vines are on a vein of blue stone which is the same vein as in Brouilly. South facing vines in Belair with about 20% from an opposing hill. about 5 hectares worth…
A good aromatic volume with some floral aspects. Volume in the mouth too – really mouth-filling – with intensity and freshness yet behind is a roundness. The fruit is red, faintly pyrazine/floral. It’s young but attractive. Wait 6 months-plus – definitely for the finish, which is long and mineral.
2016 Brouilly Briante
Pick just slightly earlier and I’m happy with the result.
Deep, red, almost pepper-accented fruit. Lots of volume again, more freshness and direction, fine red fruit of width on the palate. The finish is more composed, with nice pure fruit. Lovely.
2016 Fleurie Granits Rose
Here on pink granite – 387m so a parcel with some altitude – only partly touched by hail in 2016.
Not the largest volume of aroma but a very pretty width of floral-accented red fruit. Fine structure – good volume, open and with lots of clarity – to wait for but this is a lovely wine – fine interest.
2016 Morgon Charmes
‘A really good terroir the closest to here in Morgon.’
Extra depth of colour here. Deep and dark – fine depth – an almost silky aroma. Extra concentration – super depth of flavour – really more than the Fleurie – yet open and fresh. Just the smallest accent of tannin – relaxed muscle. The best width of finishing flavour. Super wine – my favourite 2016 here!
2016 Moulin à Vent Les Burdelines
‘Our cuvee classique, we have one other (Granit et Manganese) still in wood.’ Badly touched by the hail here – 15-20 hl/ha – we had to do some triage. It was also a longer cuvaison than usual.
The nose starts a little reduced, deep and muscled aromas slowly adding width as the reduction fades. Another wine with lots of volume in the mouth – here with a little extra tannin and an accent of salinity – the tannin has depth but is velvet-ripe. Super depth. Lovely wine!
2015 Morgon Grand Charmes
80-90% destemmed with 15 months in barrel elevage – ‘burgundy style’
Lots of aromatic volume, complexity too, with a strong accent of vanilla. Mouth-filling, lots of flavour dimension with good freshness – always with the vanilla oak backing – maybe this will be more my style in 3-4 years – today it’s delicious but shows a lot of oak.
From the sector of Burdelines, with some 70 year-old vines and the elevage is in the same ‘esprit’ as the Morgon. Elevage in 1, 2 and 3-year-old barrels so made in the same style as the last wine.
Less width but a nice depth of aromatic complexity here – not much oak is apparent. Fresh, much more direct, ooh – this is quite something, really there’s everything here – except elegance today – wait 3-4 years again – but not due to oak this time. A monster today but with massive potential!