Tasted in Chénas with Paul-Henri Thillardon, 15 February 2021.
Domaine Thillardon, Paul-Henri & Charles
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Paul-Henri on 2019:
“Mid-May were the bottlings. We had a good volume here in 2019 – 40 hl/ha – and still a fine maturity. It’s a vintage that we have liked since the beginning – before that 2016, before that 2018 – I think of 2019 as having the fruit of 2016 with the maturity of 2018 – so we’re very happy. The vinifications went really well – we have lots of everything in the wines but without excesses. Here on the hill, we had no problem with the frost. The wines are quite juicy – even the grapes tasted like that – very cherry style – they can ‘matt’ when the maturity gets high, but not in 2019.”
As every year – such a delicious selection, some for longer keeping…!
2019 Chénas, Les Carrières
The first vines from 2008. From the sedimentary section towards La Chapelle de Guinchay. On silex here. 50% elevage in old wood. Bottled in July… the only added sulfur was 15 mg before the bottling. Not a deep colour – despite long macerations – there wasn’t too much tannin so was happy to make the macerations longer.
Cushioned red fruit – always a certain texture here. Lovely line and freshness – fine acidity – yes, really a juicy quality. Wide finishing with a super persistence – almost zesty like a white in the finish. So good…
1 ha of vines, more manganese here.
Deeper colour and more clarity too – here with 50% wood elevage – the previous was 30%. A small reduction on the nose. Super silky direct, layered, darker fruit with lots of fine energy – so deliciously and refreshingly mouth-watering – love that – bravo!
Assembly of older vines – 90-years-old! – in conversion to organic.
More volume of aroma here and with no obvious reduction. Cool fruit – extra energy – vibration! – long, so juicy, so delicious – bravo!
2019 Chénas Coup Double
From granitic soil. Only tank elevage and no sulfur.
A finer but more timid nose. More mouth-filling, fresh, cool-fruited, nearly some gas – but not quite – a grain of tannin but not drying. Lots more finishing richness to this flavour – ‘yes, this is near to Moulin à Vent.’
2019 Chénas Chassignol
Old vines of 95 years behind the domaine – a 3-hectare plot in organic for a number of years – the young vines not yet ready to be included, they go it0 the ‘vibrations’. 50% elevage in wood.
Not a large-scaled nose, but there’s a nice depth here. Wide, fresh, concentrated, growing in intensity, lots of finishing concentration and a faintly tannic texture. That’s really excellent and it’s the wine of these that I’d be most tempted to leave in the cellar for longer…
2019 Moulin à Vent
Just over the Chénas hill behind the domaine. From Michelons, bottled in July with 10mg added sulfur – ‘this masks the fruit a bit when very young’
A completely different nose – there’s complexity some slight lactic notes and there’s some barrel-elevage impression too. Belying its modest colour – here is a fine blend of concentration and fresh intensity. It’s very long too.
And a white:
Chardonnay from southern Beaujolais – bought as grapes from a friend, the vines on clay and limestone. Use a vertical press then 18 months of elevage a part of than in barrel. The vines organic.
A little creamy-lactic width, there’s barrel here but also a vibration of energy too. Ooh – that’s direct, with super energy – but still concentrated too. Wide finishing and really very long – really complex and bravo! A small touch of the tannin of the vintage on the tip of the tongue too.