Tasted in Pommard with Emmanuel Sala, 28 March 2017.
Château de Pommard
15, rue Marey Monge
BP 30018 – 21630 Pommard
Tel: +33 3 80 22 12 59
There seems to have been a long line of new names in commercial positions at the Château Pommard since it was purchased by Michael Baum, and whilst they seem to be searching for a commercial ‘identity’ the wines remain under the very capable gaze of Emmanuel Sala, who has now been at the domaine for 10 years. Renovation work on the (second) château is underway, but work will begin to renovate the cuverie roughly in October – depending on the timing of the vintage – so the wines will temporarily move to a new cuverie.
As part of their striving for a new identity the team here have given a nod to their past by reviving the old name used for their Clos – the Clos Marey-Monge. Their walled enclosure of 20 hectares was so described by Jules Lavalle and Danguy & Aubertin in their famous books of 1855 and 1892. Lavalle classed the clos as a Première Cuvée, Danguy & Aubertin probably more accurately a blend of première and deuxième.
It’s not just a change of name, it heralds a change of vineyard culture too. The domaine have begun with one parcel in Biodynamics and they plan to convert the whole clos. It’s an old friend of Burgundy Report – Antoine Lepetit de la Bigne, oenologist and agronomist, ex of Domaine Leflaive, who is consulting for this.
Emmanuel on 2016:
“2016 was very complicated. Frost like I’ve never seen in the last 30 years – then mildew came – a great vintage to start on biodynamics eh? Were already bio but didn’t commence with the whole clos to start with. Luckily in the first year of certification you can make up to 3 traditional treatments, so up to June we chose to do that – but in the end the bio and biodynamic parcels were not that different – so in 2017 we will change the whole of the Clos to Biodynamics. The wines in barrel seem to have better balance and higher alcohol than our 2015s!”
Emmanuel on 2015:
“The 2015 are wines that are very sunny. I completely refused to add tartaric acid though. I decided to do the malos in bulk to avoid the potentially excessive richness that might come if I had done them in barrel. With yields of 24-25 hl/ha we have basically the same as in 2016. Our Nadine parcel was pulled out after the – 5 hectares!”
2015 Bourgogne Blanc
All tank elevage, from a parcel in commune of Meursault
Big, bright and round nose. Hmm, this is nice, ripe, some sweetness but also a nice mouth-watering line of delicious flavour. A big and long finish. Very yum!
The following all tasted from new barrels:
2015 Cuvée Paules – young vines
Planted in 2001.
A big aromatic – obviously some oak included. Sweetly toasted on the flavour – wide – big wine yet great texture – great length too.
2015 Cuvée Chantrerie – young vines
Also a 2001 plantation – same plant material as the last.
Also a sweet toasty nose, faintly reduced. A more direct line driving the flavour here – the flavour more accented by the tannin – just a little more mineral and mouth-watering finishing.
2015 Cuvée Grand Champs
Bottom of the clos with more limestone and larger tannins
A fresher nose, some floral aspects, the oak seems on a slightly lower level. Round, tannin but very ripe, round (again!) and some coffee. Very, very different – but it’s the same treatment in the cuverie.
2015 Cuvée Nadine
Deep soil no limestone with lots of court-noué here – the bottom of the clos closest to Bourgogne – now pulled out. It’s flat here – Grand Champs has some slope. This cuvée was always ‘a little too neutral’ in the blend, the vines were from the 1950s, but never contributed real depth in the mid-palate and finish says Emanuel.
Round, a deep nose, oak of course. A super line of flavour, and nice depth to the great texture.
2015 Cuvée Paules Vieilles-Vignes
Same area as first wine, planted in 1943 – opposite Epenots at the top of the clos.
Wide, fresh and with some floral aspects to the nose. Lithe, direct, growing intensity, then melting over the palate. This is really super – and is showing remarkably little oak.
2015 Cuvée 75 Rangs
In Grands Champs with the most limestone – massale planted in 1962 on pinot droit but with very small grapes.
A more reductive note to the oak here. Super texture again, fine-grained, more mineral and wide. The flavour clings tenaciously to the gums.
2015 Cuvée Vieille Chantrerie
100 yo vines.
A more neutral nose – slowly a floral note rises from the glass. Lithe, melting, ultra fine-grained. Très mineral in the finish. Mouth-watering in the finish. It’s a modest intensity finish but it’s very, long…
2015 Cuvée Simone
Really the brightest and most floral nose of all. Bright, fresh very open with some flowers and fresh fruit. Here is a beautiful energy and melting flavour – this is a Pommard that caresses. Super stuff!
All the cuvées assembled (Grand Vin 2015):
Still high-toned, still the oak toast. This seems to have more volume than all the components – round but with energy and a super mouth-watering length. After mixing perhaps a hint harder structured but very impressive all the same. The last drops in the glass are much more floral – it really opens out beautifully as the oak fades…
2013 Château de Pommard
Hmm – this has a lovely wide easy-red fruited nose – slowly building a little freshness. Good volume in the mouth – good dimension of flavour too – with weight behind. Lots of complexity here. It’s a young wine, not with overtly bright acidity – 3-5 years and it will be drinking very well.
2012 Château de Pommard
Ooh that’s a big red nose – subtly spiced. Lots of volume in the mouth and I like the texture very much. A bubbling complexity of flavour, fresh, tannic, tasty wine. A lovely balance here that makes the wine already delicious.
2011 Cuvée Simone
Really a big floral nose backed by a red-fruited base – the density is impressive here – cool fruit – wide and melting over the palate. A hint of strawberry in the red fruit… Really impressive length… excellently lingering… For the vintage this is top stuff!