Tasted in ‘Bastys’ with Quentin Perroud, 19 February 2019.
Château du Basty
Lieu-dit Le Bastys
4412 route de Saint Joseph
Tel: +33 4 74 04 85 98
This domaine is ‘addressed’ as Lantignié, but it’s a world away from Lantignié, high on the hill with views to Régnié, Brouilly and Morgon.
15 hectares are planted now and the domaine is under conversion to organic, the vines are all around, and below, the house. Quentin Perroud is looking for a more integrated, more unified, approach for the domaine: “With places for the bees, the birds. I’m not Rudolph Steiner, I struggle to understand much of what he wrote, so I’m not biodynamic, but organic approaches in the vines are easy to understand.”
The family have been in this beautiful place since 1482 – for 17 generations – and three generations currently occupy the house. Quentin Perroud is around 30 and took over the exploitation in 2018 from his mother and father – he also has 5 sisters – two of whom are interested in wine. Quentin explains that his grandmother, who still lives here, “Had many fewer vines, there were cows, rabbits, two teams of horses to work the land – and it used to take a week to plough everything. It was my grandfather, Maurice Perroud, who decided to develop and exploit the vines more. To start with, practically all the production was sold to the négoce, then he sold the wine in small barrels in Paris – that was quite successful! It was my father, Gilles, who started to commercialise the wine more in bottles.”
Quentin has been here for 4 years now, and told me that the bottle sales had gone down from their peak but that he’s looking to build the sales back up. It was his connection with Julien Sunier that brought him onto my radar, the two have a good connection, and from the 2018 vintage, aided by Julien, Quentin has decided to approach his winemaking in the same manner as Julien – though Quentin laughs “It’s not easy with Julien – he jokes so much, I’m never sure when he’s actually being serious!”
The main market for the domaine’s wines is the the US, so I asked the obvious question – ‘What will they say when they see your 2018s?’ “That’s a great question” smiles Quentin – “But the wines, together with the new organic approach, they are me. The wines needed more finesse and this is the right way – my father’s really open and he’s been very supportive.”
Quentin on 2017:
Not an easy vintage here on the hillside – they are wines that merit some patience – probably another 12 months, the wines are a little spicy – it wasn’t easy after the hail that we experienced – we lost 35-40% of the harvest. It was very localized hail – though we only had hail once up here – other parts of Lantignié had it twice. Of course a lot of triage was required but not really destemming. I have tried a small parcel with destemming in 2018 – it’s too early for me to decide if it’s a good idea or not. I do like whole cluster, it’s more dynamic – it’s more Beaujolais! Since my grandfather we’ve never used sulfur before the malo is done and we don’t heat or cool, sometimes use yeast, sometimes not – historically if the tanks start on their own, they are left to do their thing, if not they are ‘helped.’
It’s fascinating to be here for the start of a new approach – the 2017s and 2018s to come will be markedly different – the 2018s will more suited to the current market vernacular – and Quentin has a great teacher – assuming Julien is being serious 🙂 Less structure and more for drinking is my first impression…
Lots of colour. A nose that’s a little powdery and lacking interest. But the palate is direct, concentrated and shows good intensity – there is tension and good flavour here. A certain structure – not quite serious, but proper. The nose needs to clean up but the wine is very tasty.
Charmes and Grand Cras assembled. ‘There’s less Charmes so it makes no sense to try to make a smaller cuvée of that…’
Again plenty of colour. A similar nose – perhaps a little more open. Hmm – this is not bad – sweeping, direct flavours that grow in intensity – lots of juicy flavour and a subtle grain of tannin at the base. Dark fruited but juicy.
450m high – sandy, granitic soil – in fact all the domaine is very sandy.
More clarity of fruit on the nose here, depth too – this is a lovely invitation to drink. Supple, fresher, more energy, a little more tannin and a lot of intensity – spit or swallow – I must choose – it’s that kind of intensity! Super, certainly to wait a little time for, but I like this very much.
And for the insight:
Probably waiting until April to bottle. “It’s more confit – but then that’s also the vintage – just 1.5g sulfur about 3 weeks before as there was a lot of bacteria in 2018.”
Still plenty of colour. Hmm – a different nose – more open but with a certain energy. More open on the palate too, more supple – a rounder wine, still with some tannin – but the shape and layers of flavour are more easy to appreciate and less of a challenge to drink – today. This should be delicious wine!