Labruyère – 2017

Update 20.6.2019(28.2.2019)billn

Tasted in Moulin à Vent with Nadine Gublin and Michel Rovere chef de culture and 36 year veteran here at Labruyère, 19 February 2019.

Domaine Labruyère
310 Des Thorins
71570 Romanèche-Thorins
Tel: +33 3 85 20 38 18

Nadine and Michel on 2018:
2018 – It was a lovely year – a great surprise. With not much water – certainly not in the autumn – we started our harvest 31 August with clean and ripe grapes. With the dryness I was really surprised because the ripeness wasn’t only by concentration – the leaves mainly stayed green. No confit grapes, and eventually a vintage with no hail. The colours are great, the wines will be ripe but there is a proper freshness as we conserved the tartaric acid. A vintage which resembles 2015 but with more juice and freshness.

Nadine and Michel on 2017:
We were hit by both rafales of hail – fortunately the time after the hail was nice and dry so we had the chance that the best grapes remained without any rot. Still, a lot of triage was required – we started harvesting 3-4 September – but no problems of ripeness. Currently the wines are still in tank – we’re planning to bottle in about a month. The yield was about 20-22 hl/ha so it’s about half a harvest. We did not for one second consider using the clusters – all was destemmed and the cuvaison was a little shorter – 15 instead of 20 days. The pruning took much longer in 2018 after the hail(s) in 2017 – after the frost of 2012 it was worse though – it took almost 3 years to get back into shape!

You might occasionally find a Labruyère Moulin à Vent in the French supermarket, so I asked about that cuvée: “Yes there is one – it’s only sold during the foire au vins – so it’s just one time per year there are no permanent sales. It’s a cuvée that, unlike all our other wines, has only elevage in cement tanks.

The wines…

Like the 2016, the 2017 Le Clos is a tour de force!

2017 Moulin à Vent Coeur de Terroirs Vieilles-Vignes
This label since 2012, a blend of parcels of 8-10 ha depending on the vintage but not all as some were lost 90% and were not harvested. Some in 600l, some in 228l very little new – 2-3%, perhaps – just to the replace those that were getting too old. Predominantly from granite soils rich in quartz.
A ripe core of fruit here – a very cherry-style aroma, dark but not black. Hmm – plenty of volume in the mouth – a little hard at the start – perhaps the wood contributing some structure – certainly some sweetness, and a little licorice. A nice finish though – clearly the best part.

2017 Moulin à Vent Champ de Cour
1.7 hectares worth, of south-east facing granitic plot with clay. A parcel selection, where there is a little more depth of soil. Elevage in 600l barrels – one was new.
Plenty of colour again. A wider nose – plenty of freshness, a finer nose for sure. Supple, more depth of flavour, here is a base of tannin – very fine – there’s a line of very ripe, almost over-ripe flavour but in the middle and finish this is very open and much finer, again, than the Coeur.

2017 Moulin à Vent le Carquelin
Share this clos with Jadot – On granite rose and sand direct south-facing, taking the name of the parcel like the last wine. 1.75 hectares worth. 70-75 years-old vines. Elevage in a mix of 600 and 228 litre barrels.
A lovely width of aroma again – deep, cushioned and suggesting some flowers. Hmm – wide, quite mouth-filling but also quite calm impression – very-much a more mineral style of wine. A touch of barrel in the finishing texture – but that tannin will fade quickly.

2015 Moulin à Vent Le Clos
A monopole. O.92 ha, 70 yo vines (the rest were all 50), sometimes worked with a horse. Unfortunately devastated in 2017. From the top of the parcel on what is basically decomposed rock – there’s no real soil. The vines sit below the Moulin. All 228 litre barrel elevage with about 10% new.
Hmm – a little swirling does wonders for this nose – fruit of clarity and a floral extra that takes it to another level – oh yes! Supple, layered, good energy, in fact very good energy that brightens and brings the complexity to the fore – a little oak structure but not to the detriment – this is really great wine, with a super-fine finishing texture. Wait as long as you like, but more than a year of patience is mandated as a starting-point I think. Bravo!

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