Château Pierreux + Mommessin – 2017

Update 20.6.2019(20.2.2019)billn

Tasted in Odenas with Jean-Baptiste Bachevillier and Florent Georger, 20 February 2019.

Château de Pierreux
Lieu-dit Pierreux
69460 Odenas
Tel: +33 4 74 03 42 16

Jean-Baptiste and Florent on 2018:
2018 – January was warm but we were happy that February was really cold and stopped the vines from weeping when pruned – it brought them back to the average growth cycle. We were lucky that, unlike many other regions of France, we didn’t get attacked by the mildew – it was a worry for a time, but it never happened. Of-course the magic of the climate brought things forward and a there was lot of production – we had to counsel our (Mommessin) growers to wait – roughly another week for the Grand Mise wines – not just for a little extra concentration but it also aided the aromas. The sole issue was the task of finishing the fermentations as they were quite long in some cases.

Jean-Baptiste and Florent on 2017:
There are some parts of 2017 that resemble 2015, but in the end 2017 has turned-out quite different. It was necessary to make a very good triage, not just for hail, but because there was a lot of dryness in the vintage – because of that we produced less than in 2016. It was a vintage that was rich for the wine, but not for the volume – in some places we were as much as 30% down in quantity – general – closer to 45 hl/ha in the end. All the 2017s were bottled in July to October 2018, and will be left for 6 months in bottle before the start of commercialising.

The wines…

As always the ‘Grands Mises’ are lovely, almost surprisingly for me, the Pierreux is much more approachable that normal – I usually find it a four-square wine, but there is some charm in this vintage.

2017 Mommessin Grands Mises Beaujolais Villages
Origin Blacé, from 3 vignerons, 50% destemmed, elevage on lees for 12 months.
Wide and concentrated – fine fresh, but deep fruit. Mouth-filling, some tannin at the base. Oof – big, almost a little menthol in the graphite minerality. A wine to wait for but there’s so much in here – not the ultimate in 2017, but a good, concentrated wine.

2017 Mommessin Grands Mises, Saint Amour
Whole clusters with a grill for fermentation.
Like the last, lots of colour. Deeper, higher-toned too, a very inviting nose. Fresh, great lines – sweeping lines of flavour. Lovely and vibrantly flavoured – a very big step up from the previous wine with its sweetly fresh fruit. Graphite, minerality again in the finish. Wide and lip-smacking in the finish.

2017 Mommessin Grands Mises, Juliénas
A much wider and more high-toned nose – a lovely, attractive, freshness here. Narrower but fresh, with melting flavour – ooh – great energy, a little tannin at the sides but this is a wine of excitement and a great finish. Absolutely excellent – maybe better…

2017 Mommessin Grands Mises Côte de Brouilly
Destemmed. Grapes from a single supplier on the south-facing hillside. 10% will older barrel elevage.
Deeper colour. A big, concentrated nose – really deep. More muscular in style, direct, complex and energetic – almost a Morgon-style drive to this wine – but lots of long, long finishing width. Deliciously impressive…

2017 Mommessin Grands Mises, Morgon Grand Cras
Less colour here. Less volume and depth of aroma but a beautiful floral top-end. Lots of volume in the mouth, much more structural, more tannin – this is a wine for the more patient – it’s excellent, juicily flavoured, but a wine to wait a couple of years for. Super!

2017 Mommessin Grands Mises, Morgon Côte de Py
Destemmed. 50% barrel elevage – 3-4 year-old barrels.
More depth of colour. Ooh – a great nose – round – floral, with weight but freshness, very slowly a little oak shows. Hmm, driving, sleek but with a lot of fine, slightly astringent tannin – a great complexity – too much oak today – your patience will also allow the tannins to round out. Wait 2 years here too – but a beautiful, mineral mid-palate. Very wide finishing – great wine for the patient!

2017 Chateau Pierreux, Brouilly
Bottled in September just before the harvest. 80% destemmed, elevage in foudres – ‘this is our supple crunchy wine.’
A little toasty reduction here – but very modestly done – after a minute it is already gone. Supple indeed, ooh, juicy, growing intensity – direct flavour, quite mineral. Modest tannin on the end of the tongue – super drinkable for it’s age – very yum!

2017 Chateau Pierreux, Brouilly
Described as ‘la reserve’ but I don’t see that anywhere on the label. All destemmed, foudre elevage.
Lots of colour as usual. Ooh wide, very different – a spice to this nose, some swirling also releases some floral aspects. Big in the mouth but muscular, a tannin but very fine – some ‘buts’ but all positive. This is also a young wine – but without the hard edges of some of the previous wines – there’s some relaxed presentation here. I often find the Pierreux a little ‘Bordeaux-esque’ but not this one – there is enough delicacy to attack. Tasty wine!

2016 Château Pierreux, Brouilly La Grande Réserve
The 2017 not yet bottled, this not yet on the market. 2015 is the currently commercial vintage. Only 25 hl/ha in the parcels used for this wine. 75% an old vine parcel each year, but not always as sometimes ‘too intense!’
Not really a deep colour. A little spice like the last – an older nose – the extra elevage – but a depth of fruit too, redder fruit. A different shape – wide, supple, warmer red fruits but with a nice freshness – this has a lovely width of flavour, a layered flavour, slightly ripe aspect but no hard edges, no tannin or structural aspects that stick out – very harmonious and fine…

2017 Pierreux, Beaujolais Villages Blanc
Second vintage for this wine from 3.5 ha of vines – two terroirs but next to each other, one granite the other with some limestone and marne. Demi-muids – 450 litre – one-third new, one-third older and one-third tank for freshness. Only 40% malo here to keep the freshness.
A very non-standard BJV Blanc aroma – because it’s very Côte d’Or style – more from the barrel aroma than the base wine itself. Supple, round, some citrus, supple texture and width. The nose is almost too much from the barrel, but on the palate this wood is less overt – the oak still obvious in the finish, but never disturbing, just ‘present!’ Tasty but lacking a sense of ‘place’

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