Tasted in Oingt with Sylvain Flache, 22 February 2018.
Vignerons des Pierres Dorées
Shop – Place de Presberg
Tel: +33 4 74 71 62 81
What a place – Oignt that is – I will have to come back in nicer, less sub-zero, temperatures; Perched on the top of a large hill, there’s a medieval village impression here, like in Tuscany. It practically doesn’t need wine for me to return!
The ‘Vignerons des Pierres Dorées‘ is a cave co-operative formed in 2011 by the fusion of the caves of Saint-Verand, Oingt and the Bois-Oignt – caves that were themselves grounded in the 1950s and 1960s. Today there are 170 member vignerons representing 505 hectares of vines. 15 of the 505 hectares are planted to white – so it’s still quite small. There is some pinot but it goes into the base of cremants – Sylvain describing the 5 hectares of pinot as ‘anecdotic.’ The soil-types covered by the cave are essentially a mix of sandy-granitic traditional Beaujolais soils and the more clay-limestone, Pierres Dorées soils. The shop here in Oignt is roughly on the border of those two soil types.
Sylvain Flache explains that this shop is linked to shops in Le Perréon and Chénas, also since 2013 to the caves in Viré and Azé, plus in 2016, the caves of the Vignerons de Buxy and Les Caves Bailly Lapierre. Terra Iconia is the base range (branding) of wines, in three colours, and in 2013 they started with organic wines too. Then comes a ‘prestige’ selection made with grapes from older vines, also with some with barrel elevage. Finally, there is the ‘Grande Reserve’ selection which retain individual Château names, often with demi-muid elevage. Cremant is also to be found here, and in 2017 there will be three ‘terroir-specific’ cuvées made from three different soil types. Sylvain notes that not all the cave’s bottlings are large cuvées, some number just a few hundred bottles.
All The Iconia wines had a little reduction on the nose – these are ‘technical corks’ from Nomacorc – the rest were ‘cork cork’ and not reduced. The wines are ‘okay’ but they not worth a special trip, but place is…
2016 Beaujolais Blanc Terra Iconia
Will soon move to the 2017 vintage where Sylvain notes that 50-80% was lost to frost in the south.
A nose with a hint of toasty reduction. Not so much else. Good shape in the mouth, some sucrosity – melting flavours with a good mix of sweet and salt. Bright, almost floral, finishing and quite mouth-watering too. This is rather good.
2014 Beaujolais Blanc Rostre de Bélemnite
Deep, quite oaked, less width, some pineapple impression – actually this is quite inviting. Good line and texture – a wine with drive, still a little too much oak but complex and feels fine in the mouth. It’s a mineral wine – and a good too – wait still another year or two.
2015 Beaujolais Blanc Château Chanze
Sweet and fresh at the same time – oaked but less overtly than the 2014. Silky, mineral wine – like the last – but the palate is wider vs the directness and line of the last. Slowly mouth-watering and complex. Really a delicious finish – I’m torn – do I like this or the last more – hmm.
2016 Beaujolais Rosé Terra Iconia
Rosé de presse (overnight).
A little red fruit, some savoury reductive elements like the blanc. Bright, fresh, open, excellent. Lots of energy and mouth-watering flavour. Not the most complex, but really a very easy wine to drink. Yum and a great finish!
2016 Beaujolais Bio Terra Iconia
More freshness and more herbed – not the ripest of fruit here. Wide and quite acid-forward. This will be fine as an aperitif wine in the summer – like the rosé – but the starting degree wasn’t the highest – that’s for sure. But the finish is wide and fun – tasty wine for all that.
2016 Beaujolais Terra Iconia
Deeper, finer fruit – not herby. Rounder, still more volume in the mouth. Growing wider. Easy-drinking but with more depth and balance than the last. Narrows a little in the finish – here it needs a little more time – but there’s good depth all the same
2016 Beaujolais Vieilles-Vignes La Rose Pourpre
I can’t read this label because of the font.
Lots of aromatic volume, a little herbed. Plenty of mouth-filling flavour mixed with freshness and energy. Wide and insinuating flavour. Fine depth of flavour. A good wine just a little touch of tannin defining the finish.
2015 Beaujolais Corne d’Ammon
Ammon – the ammonite fossils in the vineyards – barrel aged.
Deep, wide, there’s a hint of oak but it’s not too distracting. In the mouth this is a round and tasty wine – lots of depth to the flavour, almost a spiced coffee in the middle from the barrels. But the shape and relative sweetness of the fresh flavours are quite attractive. The finish a little floral.
2015 Beaujolais Les Collines Altières
Not made every year – 70 year-old vines – there is none in 2016 as they didn’t think it of sufficient quality to isolate. This was only bottled in December.
Deep, almost vibrant, with a little floral and barrel complexity included. Mouth-filling, the energy is a little less than the last but grows with the good intensity. Complex, a little spicy, waves of finishing flavour including a little oak again. Long finishing, though I find, overall, just a little less interest here.
2015 Beaujolais Château Laforest
Also barrel aged, this from about 40 year-old vines.
Not the largest nose but subtly wide and complex – there is an invitation here. Round, lovely line, more clarity – anyway the easiest wine here to drink with concentration of good but never too ripe fruit. The mid-palate grows a little tannin and becomes larger. The finish floral. Young and very tasty. This I find excellent. €7.90 for this wine from the shop – it’s worth a little more!
All chardonnay. Described as Mousseux, not crémant.
A deep nose, a little ripe. The fruit in the mouth also deep and ripe – in both cases not my favourite but there is good volume and freshness here, the finish with a little florality too.
Crémant de Bourgogne La Dame Blanche
Fresher and more floral. The bubbles are a little more aggressive but the flavour is more open and fresh – and indeed very tasty too – a hint of flowers in the finish.
L’Effet Versant 69
69 is the department. Very ripe grapes. A fizzy rosé – press, make the fermentation until about 9% alcohol and then cool to stop.
Really a deep and concentrated nose – like a fruit dessert. Sweet from the residual sugar. Less energetic bubbles. If you love desserts you will love this – aperit or dessert!