Château des Bachelards – 2016

Update 20.6.2019(7.2.2019)billn

Tasted in Fleurie with Alexandra de Vazeilles, 07 February 2019.

Château des Bachelards
69820 Fleurie
+33 9 81 49 47 00

Alexandra on 2018++:
2014 was cold, 2015-2018 were hot – but there are still differences – 2018 is similar profile to 2015. 2015 was obstreperous, in 2016 we are much more chic – elegant and fleshy. 2016 and 2017 are similar because they didn’t have the hot nights of 2015. There were 2 difficulties in 2018, the first was the mildew – we’re proud because we ‘spent’ only 2 kg of copper to control it – it was just so wet I had curly hair for 2 months! We sprayed some bio clay to help protect, tisane and osier too, 2kg of osier is enough for 10 hectares. It was wonderful and cold winter though, three times we were below -5°C. The second difficulty was to manage the heat and dry of the summer. We had no hydric stress as the old vines have great roots here. Yields were 38-40 hl/ha – I’m so very happy with that – the replanted areas are of-course not yet producing. The keys were the date and speed of harvesting – everything was completed here in 5 days.

There was no Fleurie at the domaine due to the hail – Alexandra preferring to wait a while longer before tasting the ‘spotty adolescent’ 2017s…

The wines…

This continues to be a Top-10 address.

These all bottled in July:

2016 Petite Fleur
Blend of the Fleurie and Lancié vines.
Lots of colour. A deep nose, a suggestion of reduction – this would benefit from a quick carafe. 30 minutes later, complex, almost a hint spiced, and seemingly growing in that direction. Great shape in the mouth – fresh, very silky, mobile over the palate – ooh great wine – concentrated supple and with a beautiful texture and a graphite-style of mineral flavour in the finish. Bravo – but next time aerate.
2016 St.Amour
Here is black granite, limestone and schist. The granite similar to that in Moulin à Vent. ‘I think this wine is really benefitting from getting the life back into the soils. I bought 0.26 ha of new vines in 2018, currently there’s less life in those soils – it’s quite impressive to see how much better the older parcel showed – it’s always the 3 years of conversion to biodynamics that makes the difference.’
A little less intensity of colour. Ooh – much more clarity of aroma here – very fine red fruit and a suggestion of texture too. A little more grain showing, deeply flavoured – open an almost architectural volume in the mouth – very dark fruit – much more-so than the nose, again suggesting a little reduction – but with a little time this is gone. But what a middle and finishing flavour – small bitters but a wonderful extra depth of flavour here. The last impression a small touch of dry tannin. Great wine – once more better with a little aeration.

2016 Fleurie
Deep colour again. Hmm – a more perfumed nose – ooh that’s more than nice! Fuller, more concentration but a wine of sleek lines, of depth of flavour, modestly accented with tannin and a certain amount of oak in the background. Broad, a finish with impact and persistence, bitter chocolate on the tongue. Ooh – impressive stuff – wait 3-5 years. Simply excellent wine!

2016 Fleurie Le Clos
Similarly deep colour. A tighter nose but initially of purity and clarity – slowly a fine perfume starts to make its presence felt. Bigger again, much more complex, more energetic – if the last wine needs 3 years, this needs 5. Long, very mineral – the graphite and dark chocolate of the Fleurie but with more persistence. Grand Cru style but better for the patient!

There is no Moulin à Vent as all was hailed.

2016 Pouilly-Vinzelles Les Quarts
Old vines, a very limestone soil with some silica crystals here.
Hmm – a good width of freshness here – a little depth of yellow fruit and modest barrel aroma. Bright, fine volume in the mouth, a freshness and nice drive to this wine – texturally lovely, I would wait another year, perhaps two, for the oak to become much more background, but the base, the minerality and length, of this wine is its calling-card. Excellent!

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