Tasted in St.Amour with Grégory Barbet, 23 February 2021 – his birthday.
“Market is good for the wines here – thanks to the UK,” says Grégory.
Grégory on 2019:
“In 2019 we didn’t have frost here, so the volume was quite good – a bit less than we like to produce but plenty. We waited a little before starting to harvest, starting 6-7 September – it’s an elegant vintage. We normally have three cuvées but didn’t separate the Poulette in 2019 as I didn’t like the direction it took during elevage.”
The day after my visit they were planning to start to take out a little over 1 hectare of vines in front of the house, which will be replaced with trained vines that allow the soil to be more-easily worked.
Classy St.Amour – as every year visited so far.
Currently, it’s the 2018s that are being commercialised, the 2019s only having been bottled in November:
This the classic cuvée.
Plenty of colour. The nose is very attractive – a purity of darker-red fruit and a suggestion of the floral too. Plenty of concentration, faintly grained with tannin at the base. Wide, concentrated, practically chewy in the finish. That’s a super wine that you can enjoy for the next 10 years – at least. Excellent.
2019 St.Amour Le Carjot
This on the blue stone, the elevage half in ‘eggs’ half in barrel – not a large production. Only just beginning to commercialise the 2017 of this wine.
Not as wide a nose but here there’s a depth of aroma with beautiful clarity and vibrancy of aroma, only the merest suggestion of barrel. Extra impact, great freshness and weight to this wine, the flavour of barrel is more overt than the aroma – but here is a wine for keeping – big finishing. A wine to wait three years for but it is super. Today, of course, I prefer the first wine as there’s no oak to see, but here is potential in spades…
2018 Beaujolais Villages Blanc
In St.Amour but there’s no AOC for that. In front of the school of St.Amour ‘so very organic!’ The base rock is blue granite. About 50% barrel elevage, but only 6 months then assembled into stainless-steel for another 2-3 more months to ‘keep the freshness.’ Not a big cuvée 1,800 bottles, ‘it’s not in my tariff but people seem to know about it anyway and it’s quickly sold-out.’ Vines here since 1947 – just before AOC St.Amour otherwise wouldn’t have been allowed to plant – declare always with lieu-dit Le Bourg, just in case one day there might be a St.Amour white AOC! A longer elevage – needed as there was some time needed to finish the last of the sugar. Normally there’s some part of tank elevage, but the volume was low in 2019 so was with barrel this year.
The aromas are open, ripe and touched by a little barrel. The flavour, however, shows almost no barrel – wide, cool fruit, complexity and a small grain of tannin. Warmer, faintly spiced finishing, long – a wine that you can appreciate – no rigour here, just a very tasty wine. Well done!