Tasted in Châtillon d’Azergues with Claire, Fabien and Jean-Gilles Chasselay, 14 February 2020.
Claire et Fabien Chasselay
123/127 Chemin de la Roche
69380 Châtillon d’Azergues
Tel: +33 4 78 47 93 73
Fabien on 2019:
“We were frosted 5 April and hailed 18 August – it could have been worse, but half a harvest was the result. Fortunately, 2018 was a good harvest. 2019 was easier in the cuverie than 2018 – we had higher alcohols in 2018 so that’s the main reason, but also in 2019 we decided to use a cooled truck to cool the grapes – we had to – it was 37°C while we were harvesting our Moulin à Vent! Organic is working well, so we’re now planning our next steps to biodynamic farming. We now have 17 hectares.”
Fabien last year on 2018:
“A year that was fine in the vines – some worry of mildew early on as we had rain every 3 days and it was warm but fortunately it never really developed. We worried about frost but the vines pushed, lots of leaves – in the end it was okay. A very sunny and also a very warm year – since 1902 the warmest and with very little rain – practically none from mid-June until the harvest – so a great end to the season. Harvesting started at the end of August in Brouilly – a long harvest though – finishing 17 Sept – mainly because of the volume – never had so much in organic viticulture – but it certainly helps us with the dwindling stocks. It was the same team as always but we also had some more vines – mainly in the crus.”
I always look-forward to this visit – and, as usual, it was treat. Lovely people with great wines, indeed with an ‘ultra-rare’ great white in their line-up!
2018 Beaujolais Eparcieux
Semi carbonic, foudre elevage.
Narrow but bright and fresh – a vertical nose. Fresh and open, wide – tasty simple but with a delicious depth of finishing flavour – really yum!
Wider and deeper nose – a little suggestion of reduction in the base – but it opens up, becoming more floral. Here is more intensity, driving flavour, very modest tannin at the base. Lip-smacking, tasty wine with a fine extra intensity of finish. Bravo BJ!
2018 Beaujolais La Platière
Vines in Pierre Dorée near Tezay, on argillo-calcaire – ‘it’s not possible to plant without breaking up the rock’ – decimated by frost in 2017 – higher altitude but south-facing
A touch of barrel but it quickly overwhelmed by the fresh and bright dark fruit. Padded again with a little oak, but fine energy and clarity – wait 12-24 months for the oak to fade – but delicious, energetic wine. Not quite as good as the great 2017, but still excellent.
2018 Fleurie 111
There are three terroirs here, 4 parcels
Silkier fresh red fruit width. More depth a little more structure but well padded. This is delicious in style again. Ooh, that’s good!
2018 Morgon Corcelette
Bought grapes, relatively high on the hill. Practically last harvested, nearly 450m but south-facing.
A modest reduction, but nicely wide and dark fruited. More concentrated – width, darker fruited, a round and almost creamy accent in the middle flavours. That’s super again.
2018 Côte de Brouilly Chardignon
Blue-stone, on the north side of the hill, but sometimes with more degrees of ripeness than the south – the vines here never suffer and seem to ripen forever here as there are some sources of water despite the height! Elevage like the last – except the demi-muids replaced by barrels – and for longer time.
A tighter nose, faintly oaked. Really mouth-filling volume here, modestly framed with tannin, energy, a cooler fruit, just a touch of barrel but really persistent, another wine to wait for, less sweet than many.
Here more south-facing. A new domaine parcel here after buying the production since 2006.
Hmm, more dark fruit on the nose here – but this is the nose of most finesse. A little fuller, more depth of flavour – what a great pair – the cooler energetic one, and this the more louche mouth-filling, super textured one – a little sweeter. But this is top! Bravo!
On the west part of the appellation on a granite rose soil. Nice vines and an easy area to work – roughly 50 yo vines. Longer elevage, mainly in large-format barrels.
That’s a punchy nose, a faint pyrazine floral over dark fruit. Wide and fresh, a little extra depth to the texture, a cushion, in the middle but this has lovely fruity style and texture to finish. Excellent, maybe bravo!
Clay over hard limestone. 15-25 year-old vines, 350 litre barrel elevage.
Bright, fresh, a certain acacia style. Driving, fresh, of line, no austerity, no rigour but structured. Just delicious – my favourite white of the tour so far! Bravo!
Cremant de Bourgogne
Will have 18 months sur lattes.
A subtle nose, nicely pure. Volume in the mouth, plenty of density in the middle – depth of long flavour that’s more chardonnay than crémant – to finish faintly creamy impression. That will be lovely! Final disgorgement will be in May – this was done early for a salon.
2018 Beaujolais Eparcieux Blanc
Two parcels one high one low, but it was the lower that was lost to frost. Wax topped bottle.
A really deep nose, some oak still but the first impression is positive. Mouth-filling, intense, depth of flavour, saline and a little oaky today.