Tasted with Clément Boillot-Barthod in Chambolle-Musigny, 20 March 2017.
Domaine Louis Boillot et Fils
4 Rue du Lavoir
Tel: +33 3 80 62 80 16
Louis Boillot, as I’m sure you already know, is the husband of Ghislaine Barthod from Chambolle-Musigny. Louis started out with his brother and father at Domaine Lucien Boillot, beginning his own domaine in 2003. Although with a long-time base in Gevrey-Chambertin, Boillot is of Volnay stock where the name Boillot is most concentrated. His range of wines reflects those connections – mainly a blend of domaine Volnays and Gevreys, but in 2013 some vineyards in Beaujolais were bought.
I visited Chambolle to taste the beaujolais with Louis and Ghislaine’s son Clément. The vines were bought at the end of 2013 so that 2014 was their first vintage – they have a little more than 4 hectares – Clément explaining “We do vinification in the Côte d’Or style – destemmed – with grapes from Moulin à Vent and Fleurie which have their vinifications in Romanèche-Thorins but they are then transported to Chambolle for their ongoing elevage – In November, when the Douane allow! Roughly an elevage of 1 year. We make our vinifications by parcel, 4-5 parcels and a cuvée vieilles-vignes too – in 2016 we separated the parcels of Plantier (near the Clos Carquelin) and Sur les Roches from the vieilles-vignes cuvée.
“We were lucky enough to have tasted 1963 and 1964 Moulin à Vent from Camille Giroud chez the importer Roy Richards – they were easily the quality of a great 1er cru from the Côte de Nuits!
“Our objective is to do the same work as we do in Chambolle, and it’s interesting because we have a big diversity of terroirs in these parcels – more sand or not, for instance. We work the soils, and there are lots of missing vines so we are slowly doing the ‘repicage’ – that’s our main work for now, renewing the vines.”
Clément on 2016:
“No, not an easy vintage – lots of rain, lots of maladies and mildew on the grapes. We were a little touched by hail we are more north of the MAV appellation so losses of about 20-30%, but our Fleurie was lost. The second half of the vintage allowed a good maturity, harvested quite late – 20 Sept – and all manual harvesting. Nothing more than 40 hl/ha – it was more like 25 hl/ha in 2015.”
Well why not start with the 2014s? The 2014 vieilles vignes is all sold. The UK is a big market for the MAV, also Belgium. It’s harder in Japan as they are more nouveau oriented. We sell very little in France, because the only question they have is ‘how much?‘ “Pricing is €13-15 for the 2014s plus another euro for the 2015s.”
I note that the label for these wines of Beaujolais is similar to the old négoce label of Louis Boillot. Simply a great selection here. Some of the best 2015s I’ve tasted!
2014 Moulin à Vent Les Rouchaux
The first vintage chez Louis Boillot. Lots of sand here with bluestone. ‘It was a vintage where you had to wait for the maturity, ended between 12-12.5°’
Modest colour. A nice, fresh, and beautifully complex nose. Volume in the mouth, growing waves of flavour – a nice weight of flavour too. Round but finely mouth-watering flavour. Finally floral with a faintly bitter cherry. Long and excellent.
Lower altitude than the last wine, more sand, more ‘arid’. 40% 1-2 year old barrels of which 10% new – some 500 litre barrels too.
A little deeper but still a modest colour. A bigger, more effusive nose – more fruit but also redder fruit. Also lots of volume in the mouth – here with a more overt energy. Faintly saline and a very modest accent of caramel – really there is very little overt from the barrels here. A long line of slightly mouth-puckering flavour here. Gorgeous wine, and super long!
All barrel elevage for the 2015s – 10-15% new. Bottled during October and November:
“An exceptional year – very easy, maybe 35 hl/ha, but in 1-2 weeks we lost 30% with the heat. Only remontage, we really tried only to infuse the wines and not extract too much.”
Dark fruit, faintly saline. Beautiful freshness and intensity but it’s not a wine of obvious density – this is beautiful – melting over the palate, filling every nook and cranny, super-fine this is a brilliant wine. Complex in the finish with faint bitter notes and still freshness.
2015 Moulin à Vent Les Rouchaux
Here is a more direct sweet fruit, but again really fresh. More impact, more overt concentration, growing in weigh more than intensity – really a massively constructed wine . But always balanced always with fine definition of structure. Super impressive. Mouth watering and and saline. A wine to forget for a while says Clement. Super long
Not the deepest colour of these 2015s. Less aromatic impact too, though more width and redder fruit – almost textured. Really a more mineral wine, super-mouth-watering. Melting flavour – ohh this is sooo good! Just a suggestion of oak but nothing overt.
To finish a little Chambolle:
Probably will be bottled in April.
Ooh – that’s a beautiful and floral fruit. Lithe, intense, wide. Simply gorgeous, you ride a wave of finishing flavour. This is a beauty. Super long…
‘Maybe only 30 hl/ha yields in Chambolle.‘
Ooh – vibrant beautiful nose – dark red-fruited. Really a wine of line and minerality – bravo, it seems to grow and grow on the palate and still in the finish. Simply great stuff.
2015 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Cras
A nose that has plenty of volume but is tighter in respect of what it’s showing. Really a stern, guarded wine, but slowly melting at the edges. Waves of flavour to finish – it’s super here!