Tasted in Chénas with Nicolas Hirsch, 10 February 2020.
Domaine Céline et Nicolas Hirsch
Tel: +33 3 85 33 50 40
Nicolas on 2019:
“It started well; end of March, no frost here. Because of the cold though the flowering was a little late but June and July were really hot with a couple of heatwaves – it was very dry, I stopped working the soil and anyway it was almost too hot for the weeds. I lost half the leaves in some parcels – the end of July was worrying – but the rain that came in August really helped save our vintage.”
Nicolas on 2018:
“All was good! An early start again – hot and dry but we had well-regulated rain – every 15 days 20mm or-so – I couldn’t have set it up better. We have a low yield of-course but you have to accept that on the hills facing the sun. But the wines have good balance, not the richness of 2017 – they are more balanced. The vinifications needed closely following though as they were slow.”
A nice selection here at Hirsch – I should visit more often!
All the 2018 wines are bottled, indeed two of the cuvées are sold out!
2019 Bules Rosé l’Homme Vol
A small reduction. Nice mousse – not too much – almost a blood-orange style of fruit in this, perhaps mixed with nectarine. Really long, wide, almost tannic – that’s a tasty finish.
2019 IGP Comtés Rhodaniens Les Terrasses Blanc
IGP because it’s Sylvaner. Planted on completely granitic soil
That’s actually an attractive nose – not full of energy but still very inviting. Wide, bright, complex, layered and completely delicious – how often do I say that about a white from Beaujolais? Simply excellent…
2019 Beaujolais Villages
A small cuvée of actual Chénas vines – mainly from the bottom of the slopes – but a wine made ‘for glou, glou…’
Clear Bordeaux shaped bottled. A fine depth of aroma here – a sweetness but it’s fresh too. Energy, concentration, a wine that grows and grows in the mouth. A really super weight of fresh fruit in the finish.
This has a lovely width of aroma – very open, very attractive. Juicy, driving toward the finish, saline, and energetic – mouth-watering wine. That’s a very nice width of saline finishing flavour – a modest texture of tannin but no grain. That’s super.
2 parcels blended – one more alluvial soil next to the Moulin, the other more granitic in Chavignol. A little more than half is destemmed and the blend then with elevage in barrel and tank.
Lots of colour. That’s a nice nose; compact but fine – almost silky. Full but fresh, driving, concentrated – that’s for waiting for but with a deliciously mouth-watering flavour – touched by salinity but a super wine – bravo! Really to wait for – 2-5 years – but there is style to match the concentration here.
2018 Chénas Les Brureaux
‘A well known terroir in Chénas and of-course it surrounds our house – lots of old vines and made in the same manner as the MAV’ – vines on the hillside.
More top-to-bottom aroma – more vertical – but the fruit is very fine – maybe a trace of the barrel here. Driving energy again, starting direct but then widening over the palate. Perhaps more intense, more structured than the MaV, a little less style – but not by much. Faint finishing barrel note – but very faint. You can wait a little less but this is the slightly rustic brother of the MaV and it’s excellent.