Tasted with Grégoire Hoppenot, looking happy in the driving rain of ‘Les Roches,’ 19 February 2020.
Domaine Grégoire Hoppenot
Tel : +33 7 85 60 02 01
My first visit to Grégoire’s new domaine after tasting with him at BBB last year. 2018 is his first vintage since leaving Maison Trenel.
He’s working his vines organically, some already in conversion: “But it will take me 5 years for me to convert the whole of the domaine. I’ve done it in parts.” He already has an impressive 10 hectares of vines, mainly in fermage. It’s the old estate of (retired) Jean-Paul Champagnon, the former head of the syndicate of Fleurie growers, but Grégoire has augmented those with some vines of his own.
Grégoire on 2018:
“I had a lucky start – after the hail in 2016 and 2017, I came and started in 2018 with a normal crop – 50 hl/ha despite some hydric stress. The wines now starting to be distributed. 2019 was more difficult in the vines with a lower volume harvest – 36 hl/ha. We had a little frost in the bottom of the slope, a little oïdium too, but coulure was the main issue. I vinify without sulfur, in 2018 just one cuvée didn’t start fermenting, so that was given some yeast – the rest were fine.”
What a great start – fine to great wines – and a volume to sell too. A domaine to keep a close watch on…
Wines made with all whole clusters, cool temperatures, ie not passing 29-30°C. All are bottled, there are two bottlings for ‘Origine’ and the rest are a single bottling:
2018 Fleurie Origine
This the assembly of le Roche and les Garant – Le Roche being an exposed outcrop with wines below to the south and the north.
A deep nose, fruited, faintly pyrazine florals. Open, nice texture depth of flavour with a slowly growing tannin, very fine-grained. Graphite mineral finishing – long. Serious but very tasty Fleurie.
2018 Fleurie Clos de l’Amandier
A parcel in the bottom of Poncié closer to the village of Fleurie. Foudre and 10% barrel for elevage. Was in fermage before
Vibrant, a little more overt pyrazine in this one – good depth too. More supple, more considered concentration. Wide and getting wider in the finish – very long – the mineral of the last wine starting wide and concentrated slowly narrowing in a very long finish. Super.
A deeper nose – really very attractively packaged with fine floral notes too. Wide, silky, incisive and fresh. Structural in the best sense of that word. Great wine – freshness and density without ever anything excessive. A beautiful finishing that’s quite perfumed. Bravo!
2018 Morgon Corcelette
Sauvage, rocky, steep, plain-south facing – it’s about another 100 metres higher than in Fleurie ‘so because of all that it will be the last of the vineyards to be certified.’ The only owned parcel, the rest are all fermage.
Vibrant again, lots of pyrazine at this stage – in Beaujolais usually that becomes more and more floral with time. Beautiful shape – mouth-filling, lots of concentration, balanced, great texture. The pyrazine is quite strong in this one today, but everything else about this wine is simply top-level. Wait 2-3 years, but this has great potential!