de Bel Air – 2017

Update 20.6.2019(6.2.2019)billn

Tasted in Lantignié with Annick & Jean-Marc Lafont, 06 February 2019.

Domaine de Bel Air
69430 Lantignié
Tel: +33 4 74 04 82 08

Jean-Marc and Annick on 2018:
2014 was the last correct volume vintage here – so 2018 was appreciated, particularly after the hail in various places in 2017! Complicated fermentations though – lots of attention required – ripe vintages always need more attention – except that in 2017 they didn’t! Probably the higher acidity helped there, but I always look to keep as much acidity as I can.

Jean-Marc, last year, on 2017:
2017 – a paradox – on one side we had lots of dryness and quite early growth and it was magnificent – no frost like other parts of France but some hail – so despite all that the yields were really quite small in some places – the vines really didn’t pay their way in 2017. The wines have lots of fruit and purity – lots of material – more than 16, less than 15 – the terroirs have a lovely expressions – the Morgons are real Morgons, for instance. In the end we lost more in 2017 than in 2016.

The wines…

A good range of wines, but many that suffered the rigours of hail – and hence there’s not a lot.

2016 Beaujolais Villages Le Granits Bleau
The vines are on a vein of blue stone which is the same vein as in Brouilly. South facing vines in Belair with about 20% from an opposing hill. about 5 hectares worth…
Medium-plus colour. Ooh – that’s a nicely clean and floral width of aroma. Direct, fresh, a little cushioning to the texture, layered. Beautiful lines here, very faintly with tannin, mouth-watering with blend of the mineral and the fruit – very tasty wine – quite moreish!

2017 Brouilly Briante
Pick just slightly earlier and I’m happy with the result.
More depth of colour. More compact but clearly also a nose of more concentration – almost an orange fruit in this. Ooh – this is concentrated, round, mouth-filling wine – a ripple of tannin below the surface. Slow-moving, layered flavour – freshness keeps things on a lighter level. Becoming more supple, fading on a more graphite minerality – a big wine here but a cosseting one.

2017 Fleurie Granits Rose
Here on pink granite – 387m so a parcel with some altitude – hailed again in 2017 – ‘We weren’t the worst hit, but still…’ This one of the last bottled.
A freshness, an acidulated fruit, perhaps a faint pyrazine in the mix of aromas. Fresh, direct, more mineral than fruit today but a certain sweetness and a little extra tannin is visible. A frank rather than a generous wine, one that’s more of direction than fruity roundness. But tasty wine, all the same.

2017 Morgon Charmes
‘A really good terroir the closest to here in Morgon.’ Directly under the hail – 18 hl/ha was the result – triage with the Mistral was a cure of sorts – for quality but clearly not volume.
Plenty of colour. A relatively modest volume of aroma. Ooh – but that’s attractive – silky, embracing, a touch of tannic rigour. Serious but delicious. Love the combination of both depth of texture and concentration. Excellent. Fresh finishing too.

2017 Moulin à Vent Les Burdelines
‘Our cuvee classique, we have one other (Granit et Manganese) still in wood.’ Badly touched by the hail for the second vintage in a row – 15-16 hl/ha in 2017 – ‘I’m really happy with the texture – that was the challenge of the wines in 2017 when hailed.’
Lovely depth of colour – but still see-through. The family nose here this year – a little tight suggesting a fresh, almost orange fruit. Ooh – that’s wide, silky, fresh wine, faintly saline – wonderful texture and presence, the flavour is a little behind the volume, slowly growing, with a drag to the texture but no grain from the tannin – The finishing flavour long and narrow – a mix of fruit, mineral and faint tannin. A baby wine – but already with lovely shape and texture.

2015 Morgon Grand Charme
80-90% destemmed with 15 months in barrel elevage – ‘burgundy style’ – 2017 is still in barrel – there was no 2016 as was too hailed and wanted to keep the good fruit for the ‘cuvée Classique.’
A little more open, wider, fine complexity, even a growing floral note here. Cool fruit – a wine that opens out over the palate; tannic, but über-fine-grained, a suggestion of creamy oak, but that’s really more in the background now. Composed rather than energetic, layered and complex. Very drinkable wine, despite its youth.

2015 Moulin à Vent Granit et Manganèse
From the sector of Burdelines, with some 70 year-old vines and the elevage is in the same ‘esprit’ as the Morgon. Elevage in 1, 2 and 3-year-old barrels so made in the same style as the last wine.
A fruit-forward aroma, modestly but attractively perfumed. More direct, more fresh and energetic, a similar texture to the tannin as the Grand Charme, also only the most modest of oak in the background. A very different character. But a lovely one. I have the impression that this is much tighter than when tasted last year.

2017 Beaujolais Blanc
A mix of granite and clay-limestone soils.
Hmm a deep nose, a little mineral and with a little padded fruit too. Hmm – a little richness of flavour, great texture – a nice line of melting fresh flavour. A faint spice and a nice intensity in the finish, only right at the end a suggestion, but only that, of oak. Very nice and very drinkable.

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