Tasted in Odenas with Florent Georger, 18 February 2020.
Château de Pierreux
Tel: +33 4 74 03 42 16
Florent on 2019:
“2019 – not an easy vintage, but we still moved to be HVE-certified in 2019, in fact, some of our wines in the Grands Mises series also have already been labelled as HVE in 2018. Back to the weather, of-course there was some hail in August, in the south, but fortunately not here. Likewise, parts of the north in the crus had frost but here, again, very little. Everything looks fine so far, probably not the vintage for exceptional but we will see.”
Florent on 2018:
“I’d say exceptional – lots of quantity, which is usually a negative for the quality, and they may not all be wines of grand garde like 2015, but they have concentration and generosity – they have super quality. The bottlings are not yet finished here, the whites were done in July, some of the grands mises range from June to last week. One is not yet done – the Juliénas – but that’s more about logistics than searching for a longer elevage. Pierreux is normally about 32 hl/ha but even here we managed nearly 45 in 2018.”
An unusual vintage here; I’m rarely enthusiastic about the Pierreux but found it very interesting in 2018. Unlike the ‘Grands-Mises’ which I often love, but in 2018 it’s a range of reds that will be much easier to approach in a couple more years – there is both concentration and intensity – particularly today I’m drawn to the more structural wines; the Morgons and the Juliénas – of the two Morgons it’s the Grand Cras that’s showing the most interesting character right now. Generally, however, I have the feeling that I’d have enjoyed them more if they’d been picked a day, or two, earlier.
2018 Château Pierreux, Brouilly
A deep and dark-red-fruited nose – a certain stylish width. Directly fresh, good attack, there is really an important intensity and concentration here, graphite minerals in the finish. Long finishing, slightly sweet. As always a serious side to this wine – mainly from the concentration – but I think more successful than most years.
2018 Mommessin Grands Mises Côte de Brouilly
Grapes from a single supplier on the south-facing hillside. Harvested very ripe – 14°+ with 10-15% wood elevage.
A little less colour. Fresh – a more open yet still cushioned red fruit. More direct, intense and fresh, the tiniest grain of tannin. Wide and persistent finishing – a super highlight in this finish of darker fruit – excellent!
2018 Mommessin Grands Mises, Saint Amour
One of the latest harvesters here. Over 14.5° – In one competition, this was crowned ‘Best gamay in the world.’
A nose of width, understated, less sweet fruit, faintly reductive and suggesting some florals – aeration helps and this becomes even more complex. Mineral, fresh, driving, a little tongue-prickling in the middle, here it could be smoother, but this shows an opulent and very tasty finishing flavour. A good finish that’s also edged with minerality. Good and certainly concentrated, but on this showing, far from the best gamay in the world.
2018 Mommessin Grands Mises, Juliénas
Assembled but not yet bottled.
Deeply coloured. Deeply fruited too – that’s a nice nose, profound without excess. A little gas. Mouth-filling, wider, more structural – tons of intensity – dark fruit. I like the structure here, really a wine that pushed the limits in many directions – almost too intense, too concentrated etcetera – yet in the end, there’s balance here. This is very good but you’ll need to be patient.
2018 Mommessin Grands Mises, Morgon Grand Cras
Plenty of colour, though less than the Juliénas. A brighter nose, some modest pyrazine impression in the mix. Open, mobile – a mouth-widening wine – growing in in intensity – this is excellent, mineral and intense. I like the structural style here. Again for some patience…
2018 Mommessin Grands Mises, Morgon Côte de Py
This all destemmed with elevage in wood – the previous whole cluster with no wood.
A little more colour. A fuller nose, complex if less obviously characterful than the Grand Cras – slowly a little floral ‘extra’ surfaces – much more interesting. Obviously structural wine – Corton style – but with a depth of fruit flavour that partially cushions the wine. Here the wine is excellent, slowly mouth-watering, modestly spiced and long.
2018 Mommessin Grands Mises, Beaujolais Villages Blanc
Vines in the area of Blacé – northern, southern Beaujolais! No oak here, some batonnage, concrete tanks.
Plenty of aromatic volume, faintly spiced, modestly fresh, a certain impression of minerality. Mouth-filling, a little zesty, saline and bubbling with energy – there’s a fine complexity here – still a certain rigour, it’s not a wine that I’d personally buy, but this is an excellent version of Beaujolais Blanc – the finish open and quite tasty.
2018 Pierreux, Beaujolais Villages Blanc
Quite young vines. Vinified and with elevage in barrel – 350-litre barrels.
A saline width with a warmer fruit below. More mineral, less impact, a wine of relative elegance for BJV Blanc. Shimmering with finishing flavour – nothing of rigour, slowly fading in the finish. This is rather fine in its elegant style – the first wine is loud and rustic by comparison.