Tasted in Châtillon d’Azergues with Fabien Chasselay, 15 February 2019.
Claire et Fabien Chasselay
123/127 Chemin de la Roche
69380 Châtillon d’Azergues
Tel: +33 4 78 47 93 73
Fabien on 2018:
“A year that was fine in the vines – some worry of mildew early on as we had rain every 3 days and it was warm but fortunately it never really developed. We worried about frost but the vines pushed, lots of leaves – in the end it was okay. A very sunny and also a very warm year – since 1902 the warmest and with very little rain – practically none from mid-June until the harvest – so a great end to the season. Harvesting started at the end of August in Brouilly – a long harvest though – finishing 17 Sept – mainly because of the volume – never had so much in organic viticulture – but it certainly helps us with the dwindling stocks. It was the same team as always but we also had some more vines – mainly in the crus – and a lot more grapes of-course. The wines are great but vinifications were not easy due to low acidities – we have to be vigilant – lots of testing. Some are very long fermenting.”
Fabien on 2017:
“2017 was much more complicated due to the frost, but like in 2018 we had another great second-half of the vintage and a little heatwave again – always nice to have the sun in the harvest. We lost 70% of reds and 80% of whites due to frost though – that was the south – but all the southern slopes got frost – if the vines are only slowly frosted you can avoid some damage – but the frost came really quick and there was clearly some thermal shock – the sun that arrived at 9 am and directly burnt the leaves. We had luck that we avoided hail in our parcels of the crus – but there was dryness that reduced the yield! So for the domaine it’s only 25% of a normal harvest – it’s the pits – how do we keep our customers happy? Fortunately we have the chance to make some earlier bottlings of 18s – particularly the Nouveau – but it was certainly needed.”
As last year, one of the best sets of wines tasted on my trip – bravo! And I bought three of them!
VDF – Bottled 24 January. Organic gamay vines in Beaujolais – ‘a fruity wine to drink for when we don’t have the time to talk about terroir.’
A big, bright, fresh nose. Supple, tasty, layered, delicious, nice texture – you have everything – bravo, and I bought some!
On the west part of the appellation on a granite rose soil. Nice vines and an easy area to work – roughly 50 yo vines. 50% destemmed with elevage in demi-muids.
A lovely fresh, spiced width of aroma – this is very inviting. Drive, fresh, mouth-watering flavour – juicy, concentrated flavour. Drive and energy but with depth. Bravo – and I bought some of this too
2017 Morgon Corcelette
Bought grapes, relatively high on the hill.
A vibrant, floral, perfumed nose – let’s go! Muscular and fresh, energetic, layers of flavour but there’s muscle here too – excellent wine.
On the north side of the hill, but sometimes with more degrees of ripeness than the south – because the south sometimes have some block to the maturity! Elevage like the last – except the demi-muids replaced by barrels – and for longer time.
The nose is fresh but a little oaky – swirling liberates a fine and fresh perfume though. Vibrant energy, great depth and complexity – ooh this is really a great wine – too much oak for today (for me) but clearly a great wine in waiting!
Vines in Pierre Dorée near Tezay, on argillo calcaire – ‘it’s not possible to plant without breaking up the rock’ – Some clay and limestone here. Decimated by frost in 2017. Same elevage as the last wine.
Ooh – bright, wide but then deep almost a dark confiture but with clarity and freshness – it’s very inviting. Ooh direct, but concentrated silky and fresh a wine of sweeping flavour and very faint ouch of tannin – only a little oak visible right in the finish. Bravo I bought some of this too!!
2017 Côte de Brouilly l’Heronde
From the southern side of the hill, bought grapes – a contract since 2006.
Hmm very dark, maybe a touch of oak but it’s very light. Big, lots of volume but lots of fresh energy too. Yes a little oak, but only a little. Complex, weighty, simply excellent wine – possibly even a great wine – just give it a little time! The finish is exemplary…
2017 Beaujolais Eparcieux Blanc
Two parcels one high one low, but it was the lower that was lost to frost. Wax topped bottle.
Hmm, deep, waxy, acacia and honey – a nice freshness but it’s clearly got plenty of ripeness. A year of elevage no batonnage. Hmm – lovely volume on the palate – a wine of clarity and minerality – a lot of perfume – I might not guess chardonnay blind with the blend of perfume and oak. But a wine that is very drinkable and indeed, delicious!