Tasted high up in the Clos de Haute-Combe with Vincent Audras, 17 February 2021.
Vincent on 2020:
“A vintage that was hot and dry – a certain modification of the climate is obvious – we see the extremes more, both very cold and very warm. The third vintage with the dryness and then there were periods of heatwave too. Right now it has been raining quite a lot but the reserves, below 1 metre, have still not been replenished. The wines are delicious and round but are starting to approach those of the Languedoc in style – there remains a vivacity which masks the slightly higher degrees of alcohol – we are lucky with the elastic properities of the gamay – so we still have some lovely wines but we can rightly start to question the typicity of those wines. The old wines of 12° – where are they now? It’s a low volume vintage, minus 15-20% – the clay soils did the best. We suffered because high up and south-facing we keep the sun quite late. The grapes looked really great but pressing didn’t bring a lot of juice. There’s not that much stock in Beaujolais so it’s a region that’s in a good shape, the sales only down 4% in 2020, that was one of the best showings in the whole of France.”
Vincent on 2019:
“The volumes are a little higher than in 2020 but not by much; in the last vintages, the stress of waiting for hail has been replaced by the stress of the summer dryness. We have lots of ripeness in our 2019s but not the slightly over-ripe character of 2015 for instance.”
Each wine excellent – we will have to wait for the old-vines cuvée – that’s a great one!
A mix of cork and diam-style seals:
2019 Juliénas Clos de Haute Combe Tradition
Bottled, towards the end of July – this the only bottled wine for now.
Good colour. The aromas start quite tight – slowly adding darker fruit and a textural aspect and eventually a little fine perfume. Round, some energy and a little frame of tannin – but a very small accent. Long finishing with a graphite-style minerality. A young wine but with lots of depth and a middle richness of flavour. Very good wine.
The next two end up in the Haute Combe, classic label of the domaine, as there are more than one bottings:
2019 Julienas Les Capitains
Still in foudre
The nose starts with a little reduction – slowly adding more dimension of aroma with air. Bigger in the mouth but also with more energy too – an open wine with a small tannin at the base – but growing nicely wide and textural – extra energy in the finish and slightly more structural too. Long finishing too. That’s excellent.
2019 Juliénas Escuissin
A relatively new cuvée here – named as the lieu-dit.
Extra colour here A deeper nose and darker fruited too. Depth of flavour – there’s real concentration here, opening out wide over the palate, a very faint tannin and a mineral finish too – but very nicely packaged, textured, in the finish. The finishing flavours are delicious.
This will be the cuvée prestige and not offered before springtime 2022. A year in foudre and then in barrel.
Lots of colour – here the nose a little more open – growing in silky width, faintly floral – it’s concentrated but also very inviting. A little gas. There’s a grainless tannin and super energy here – balancing the concentration with ease. Wide and mouth-watering. That will be a great wine!