Tasted in Fleurie with Joseph Bouchard, 07 February 2019.
Château Poncié / Villa Ponciago
Tel: +33 4 74 69 83 33
Joseph on 2018:
“A nice year, but a wet Spring before the good sunny dry times – 28 May for the flowering. We started harvesting 4 September. We were worried about maladies during the first 3 weeks of nearly non-stop rain, but the dry weather that followed was just what was required to control any issues. Some modest and occasional rain in the high Summer which meant that we had good ripening and a decent volume. The average yield for the domaine was 40 hl/ha – the dry areas more like 30, some others more like 48 – but it’s a good average to have.”
Joseph on 2017:
Hail! Some parcels really produced zero. The average for the domaine being 13 hl/ha – so about one-third of a normal vintage. It was actually a lovely vintage except for the episodes of hail, in fact one of our parcels wasn’t touched at all – but only one! The hail came quite early and it didn’t damage the wood so pruning was okay in 2018. 2017 vintage has great quality, but there is not much – though at least the hailed grapes dried easily because the weather was fine and dry after – the vibrating table for triage was essential for separating them from the good – it worked well.
“Yes, very happy with the wines in 2017. Conversion to organic keeps running – we take 4 years – the white is already done and the rest is advancing, the first year for the gamay being 2017. Lots of work with the plough even on the hillsides. And before the buds come, the sheep can help too! Some old vines have been pulled out as continue to renew the vines – some areas adding some vegetation – not too high between the vines too.”
And some projects for 2019? “Yes indeed! A shop with a small tasting room will be new here from about May – including plans for some visits in the vines and the woods – we have been thinking about it for 2 years, having fixed-up the pathways during the last Autumn! My main focus will be the vines, working the soils and having another vintage of conversion under our belts. Nothing is marked on the labels yet but the wines will be AB, the chardonnay already is even though it doesn’t say so on the label…”
It remains mainly Chateau Poncié labels here – for grand distribution (supermarkets) and some other markets they want to hold onto Villa Ponciago labels – but generally the concentration today is on the Château label.
2016 were the best wines I ever tasted at this address, the 2017s are at least as good. A domaine that continues to progress – and in multiple directions.
Samples from tank or barrel – except the white which is bottled. DIAM5 for everything. “All lower temperature vinifications, and without sulfur, bringing in the grapes early and keeping in a cold room – we don’t want much more than 12°C to start things off… Both 2017 and 2018 were done this way, and started their fermentations without a problem.”
2017 Beaujolais Villages Blanc Grand Lamure
“From the back of the hill of Mongenas which was planted with gamay but we saw that there was much more clay than other parcels and we thought it a cooler place than most so we decided to make a change here – we started with 1 ha and now have 2. Maybe it’s not yet finished. So far only making 30 hl/ha and so far it’s always been the first parcel harvested” – this would be Fleurie if it was still planted with gamay. Very little sees barrel aging, most in tank. This was the first parcel converted to Bio and it’s planned to have it on the label from the 2019 cuvée. Bottled October.
Hmm – that’s an inviting chardonnay nose. Supple, a faint salinity, Bright, vibrant – lovely line. A chardonnay to wake you up in the morning! Tasty wine.
An assembly of parcels from around the château and domaine buildings. All harvested in small cases as would be done in Beaune, then a triage table then anywhere between 30-50% is destemmed – no oak in the elevage – cement tanks..
Deep colour. Hmm – that’s an attractive and concentrated fine fruit nose. Direct, intense, driving with energy and intensity – a great spine to this wine – vibrantly layered in the finish.
2017 Fleurie La Salomine
From 300-400m of altitude, south, south-east facing. Light soil, very sandy old vines, goblet. ‘About 30% hit by hail – so only lightly hit for here!’ A longer elevage, 50% older barrels – none new. Harvested at 14.5° in the last vintages.
A broader and heavier nose, more complex though – adding some florals though losing some of the focus of the last. Ooh – but that’s a big volume in the mouth, a little more tannin – but absolutely delicious fresh waves of flavour. This is excellent stuff. The flavours ahead of that last though I prefer the nose of the previous. Excellent wine.
Largest proprietors here with 3.5 ha – the side of the hill that looks towards Moulin à Vent. Not the last harvested, though it’s close, despite north, north-east facing vines, as the hill dominates the MAV plain below and always gets the first and last rays of the sun. 50 – 85 year-old vines, not always very high yielding as the grapes are quite small. About 12 months of barrel elevage, almost zero new.
Great colour again. A smoother, more elegant nose – if tighter – but fine, pure dark fruit. Ooh – class in terms of volume and flavour – framed with a modest tannin – here’s the first wine showing a little oak flavour – but such a classy texture and depth of flavour here – wait 2+ years. Class!
2015 Fleurie Les Moriers
Deep colour. Concentrated, modestly porty aroma. In the mouth this remains fresh, wide, concentrated, an aspect of cool fruit but at the same time reflecting the porty notes of the nose. This is possibly pushed higher by some volatile oak in the mix. A wine of rich concentration, of complexity and a good personality that reflects some aspects of the 2017, but without the extra class of that wine.