Tasted in Mercurey with Arnaud Trouvé, Carole Briffox & Amaury Devillard, 15 March 2021.
Carole Criffox has taken on the responsibility for winemaking for the château and its associated domaines, having taken the place of Robert Vernizeau.
Carole on 2019:
“Just a few Mercurey 1ers and the Nuits will be bottled in the next days, the rest are already done. 2019 was a little low in volume for the reds in Mercurey. The end of the year saved the results in 2020 – it had been very calm but we had a good finish – in the end, we can call the result solid. We have much more homogenous quality in 2019 in general, we have a lot of satisfaction with the 2019s – we have alcohol in this vintage but coupled with super freshness too. We like it because the heat hasn’t hidden the terroir – you can really see the differences – such a surprise. We think 2020 is currently showing similar lines. The temperature differences between night and day have helped us in these vintages – we didn’t have that in 2003…”
A more than solid result – good to excellent wines – augmented here and there with potentially great wines for their respective labels!
Château de Chamirey
2019 Chamirey, Mercurey
About 10 parcels assembled here – ‘to show something representative’ – about 13 ha for this cuvée, elevage about 70% in barrel – 400-litre barrels – there is some 1er cru in the mix here too. They have beck-pedalled on the level of newer oak that was used 5-6 vintages ago. This cuvée all destemmed.
A nose with a depth of darker fruit. The palate has lots of interest and energy – that’s a nice depth and energy to this flavour. Modest wine but with a tasty length.
2019 Chamirey, Mercurey Clos de Maladière
Vines bought by the grandfather of Amaury. A villages parcel – 1.3 ha – the vines approaching 50-years-old with plenty of iron-oxide in the soil – a cuvée here since 2015. Also 400-litre barrel elevage, bottled after the harvest time, like the last
The nose is a little surly to start – it needs – and improves with – a little aeration. Extra energy – that’s lovely in the mouth – the energy and clarity and indeed intensity of this flavour. Give it a year or two to bring a little more sophistication but it’s absolutely delicious.
2019 Chamirey, Mercurey Cuvée Hors Ligne
A new villages cuvée made for the first time in 2018. Bottled in magnum this with elevage in standard sized barrels – 30% new. 20% whole clusters used in this case. In bottle for 1 month.
This wine has the most open and airy nose so far – energy and freshness. There’s more direction to the flavour here – energy, a small grain to the tannin and a little impression of the oak- the oak most visible in the finish. Keep this 3+ years I’d guess…
2019 Chamirey, Mercurey 1er Clos l’Évêque
The Clos of the Bishop – most of 1ers get about 18 months of aging. 3 different plots all with separate vinification, to be blended at the end, also gives the opportunity to rack at different times as needed. Not yet bottled – tomorrow!
Plenty of colour. A wide nose with a comforting depth of textured fruit – very nice. Fresh, direct – lovely shape and texture to this wine. Concentration and no little intensity too – easy over the palate – very sophisticated texture, indeed wine – this is completely excellent.
2019 Chamirey, Mercurey 1er Clos des Ruelles Monopole
Monopole, 2.53 ha. Mid-slope, south-facing part east-west planted the other north-south, with different times to ripening. Also bottling tomorrow. ‘This is our wine that ages the longest – often starting a little austere.’
A nose that starts more surly again – it needs air. Bright and fresh again – a little more structural in texture but nicely mouth-watering with fine purity of flavour. The finishing flavour is certainly oaked but has hardly any bitters – another wine to have some patience with but the quality is very good.
2019 Chamirey, Mercurey 1er En Sazenay
A plot with perhaps the most slope, there’s iron in the soil here too with the limestone. For bottling in 1 month.
Deeper coloured. Deep, inky nose a certain tightness. An airy style to the wine – structural but the flavour is wide and deep if not quite tasty – a little cooked style to the concentrated nose and flavours – but the finish is clearly on another level – that’s super. A wine that, today, is great in parts.
2019 Chamirey, Mercurey 1er Clos du Roy
Own 3 of this 11-hectare premier cru. 4 plots, complicated by different soils and exposures, multiple plantations but close to 40-year-old vines on average. Like the previous from tank, bottling in another month.
Here the nose is fresher and cleaner, still an inky depth to this aroma and with air it’s already becoming a little floral. There’s a fine combination of both width and depth to this flavour, slightly touched by the tannin but there’s almost no grain to see. Something about the aroma and flavour of the Sazenay wasn’t to my taste, but quite the reverse here – this is concentrated, delicious wine but with freshness and also the ability to age well – excellent!
2019 Chamirey, Mercurey 1er Les Cinq
An assembly of parcels within the domaine’s 5 1er crus – this bottled – 1 month. ‘It’s our best barrels – but not only new oak.’
Plenty of airy high-tones – I find the oak a little obvious but it’s not toasty or overly spiced. Beautiful shape and texture in the mouth – insinuating its flavour into your palate – almost juicy – and long too. There’s an ultra-fine grain of tannin at the base here, radiating with long slow waves of finishing flavour – a little compact here but still very long. A wine for keeping some time, but you will be rewarded – the oak is far from overt in the mouth – Excellent wine.
Domaine de la Ferté
Only 5 hectares of vines at this domaine – they have planted 3 more though:
2019 Ferté, Givry
1.7 ha, planted in 1992 – A clay soil that had a good yield in 2019. A single parcel opposite Cellier aux Moines. 1 year of aging, 20% new barrels but a cold cellar. This has been bottled in November.
Hmm – that’s nicely airy and almost a little floral too – lovely. There’s a modest reduction here – but the concentration combines with fine freshness and is very impressive. A little finishing bitters but attractively so…
2019 Ferté, Givry Clos des Mortières
A plot bought 5 years ago and also mainly replanted and so young vines. More limestone here
A deep nose – almost a suggestion of some mature notes, darker red fruit, a little roast. Wide in the mouth – a sort of woody, roast-style to the fruit flavours – but the shape, energy, texture and balance are lovely. The lip-smacking finish too, despite plenty of visible oak here.
All destemmed fruit from vines a little over 60 years old. 20% new barrels and 15 months of aging.
Depth and fresh width to this nose – darker fruit again. Here is, once more, concentration allied to fresh energy – a potent combination. The flavour is good and the balance is first-rate. The finish is wide and holds impressively in the finish – I know it’s a 1er cru – but clearly the most complete of these Givry wines.
Domaine des Perdrix
“My parents took over the estate in 1986. The cellar is actually in Gevery-Chambertin – freezing cold cellars – but then we never have to pump the water out of the cellars like in Premeaux! HVE certification is underway for most of the Chamirey domaines but here we are pushing for 100% organic.”
5 parcels in 3ha of this but it’s a wine that’s still allocated – ‘not looking to change much such as the label so no Bourgogne Côte d’Or for instance.’ This with 40% barrel elevage – half of that was new.
The nose is slow to open – an inky depth to start but aeration makes things ever more attractive. In the mouth this is concentrated and ripe – but not over-ripe – there is good energy. Intense and concentrated finishing but with super concentration – that’s a great Bourgogne.
2019 Perdrix, Nuits St.Georges
1.15 ha of vines, close to Vosne, next to Damodes 1er averaging 60-year-old vines – less than 35 hl/ha and like the Bourgogne, all destemmed. Own compost from the château’s 15 horses – not the ploughing horses! This a tank sample – it won’t be bottled until April. There’s 30% new oak used here
That’s a super nose – a depth, a vibration of fruit and flowers, faintly textured – yes! Airy, delicate over the palate but at the same time there is a growing intensity here and a little extra floral component to the flavours too. A fine weight and persistence to the flavour. I think excellent!
2019 Perdrix, Nuits St.Georges 1er Terres Blanches
Again a wine that is all destemmed – steep 0.7 ha, the roots almost directly onto the mother rock. One part here is white, this part in red – from the highest part of Premeaux. 50% new wood
Despite the amount of new oak, it is very discrete in the aromas – a nice width of aroma at the base. Good attack – incisive wine – plenty of barrel in the flavour – but there is plenty of intensity and concentration with which to balance. Almost chewy in the finish with some oak bitters again. For keeping – but that’s as it should be – very good wine…
‘We say quasi-monopole – we actually miss three rows for the monopole!’ 3.45 ha planted 1922-1970s, 13k planting density – one of the original high-density plantations here. One part has a parcel of 1922 vines – Les 8 Ouvrées – 50% new oak again. Roughly 25 hl/ha. This a barrel sample
An interesting nose – more vertical – with depth and high tones, less width and almost a vibration of a tiny reduction in the middle. More mouth-filling, beautifully textured, beautifully flavoured and fresh too – a wine with more direction and more overall sophistication than the Terres Blanches today. The finish holds tenaciously. Another wine to be patient with but there’s the chance of great here…
2019 Perdrix, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Perrières
An acquisition in 2014, under the road from Mazis. This was bottled in the autumn. No whole clusters and about 40% new barrels.
There’s a vibration to this nose but also something of an oaked-reduction – but here’s a nose that really soars as it takes up the air. Wide, cool-fruited and nicely vibrant. The tannin is hardly present – certainly with no grain – strongly finishing too – it needs a little time in the cellar to add charm but it’s a very good wine already and could become excellent…
Three parcels from the northern side of Vosne – 0.7 ha – one next to the cemetery and another near Réas. 30% whole clusters and 40% new oak. This a tank sample – it’s been in tank for 6 weeks and will be bottled in another month.
A nose that’s a little tighter – growing with aeration and growing in complexity – but it never reaches full speed in the time I share with it. A little more direct than the Gevrey – actually of similar quality too despite no 1er cru label. The finish is vibrant and long – small waves of finishing flavour. A faint structure on the tip of the tongue – excellent villages wine, possibly more, depending on the aromatic development.
2019 Perdrix, Echézeaux
2 parcels, a cool sector – we keep the acidity well here. 75% new oak and some whole clusters too. A barrel sample.
Another vertical nose – some floral complexity over much depth of aroma. Plenty of mouth-filling volume. A wine of more structural attributes and plenty of intensity too. Direct in style but with no excesses. A proper grand cru burst of extra flavour in the finish. Very young but with excellent potential – a lovely Echézeaux…
Agglomerate – DIAM-style – ‘seals’ for the wines of Domaine Garenne, cork for all the other whites:
2019 Perdrix, Nuits St.Georges 1er Terres Blanche
This is all chardonnay not ‘pinot gouges’. The estate was bought in 1996 and the vines all replaced in 1998. 1/3 ha. An autumn bottling
A very perfumed nose over a round but mineral base. Super texture, very silky, a little fat but also a growing, mouth-watering, intensity of flavour and just enough energy. That’s a super finish – I like that very much.
2019 Chamirey, Mercurey 1er La Mission Blanc
Monopole of 3 parcels each with a different soil, 1.83 hectares, 80-year-old vines with some repicage. Bottled at the start of this year
Here’s a combination of depth and freshness – almost a stone-fruit style to the nose, accented with a little creamy barrel. Here is concentration and very good energy too. The oak is overt but there is much other flavour complexity – almost a peachiness to the flavour. Holding well. I’d hold onto them too – hopefully the wine will become a little more direct as the oak notes fade – but great material is present.
A 3ha plot.
Not the same aromatic impact but a more attractive balance to the freshness and the fruit – this is very attractive. Structured, energetic, mouth-watering, oaked but more modestly-so, intense and finely perfumed in the finish. I find this great villages – simply top.
2019 Chateau de Chamirey, Mercurey Blanc
10 hectares represented in this cuvée – 6 parcels. 60% barrel elevage with 5% new wood, part also in 400-litre barrels.
Also a lovely nose, without trying too hard – modest size but beautifully presented – I really like the depth of aroma. Mineral, nicely vibrant – a ripe style to the citrus but not really exotic. That’s another very fine Mercurey blanc, finishing, indeed shimmering in a final minerality…
2019 La Garenne, Mâcon-Azé
36-year-old vines from an estate bought in 2008. Bottled at the end of the summer. 80% tank elevage.
A freshness of aroma despite obvious concentration – aromatic accents of salinity and green fruit here. Mouth-filling, vibrant – lovely bubbling of energy – quite complex. Finishing narrow but still quite long.
2019 La Garenne, Mâcon-Solutré
2 parcels, east-facing above the village of Pouilly – first vintage bottled was 2017. Bottled in the summer. Barrel elevage – 70% in 400-litre barrels.
There’s a depth, possibly slightly reductive, and a width of aroma here but the higher tones are rather tighter. The shape in the mouth is super – some concentration but around a good structure – the finish is wide and very delicious, slightly touched by some creaminess of barrel – but still delicious.
2019 La Garenne, Mâcon-Bussières
The soil here is schist – if we replanted today we probably wouldn’t do it with chardonnay.
There’s a herby element to this nose but it’s floral too with good depth. Well-textured, a richness of flavour – there’s some minerality trying to balance things and practically manages it – it would be better with more freshness though. ‘Yes, we harvested about 3 days too late after what turned out to be quite a hot weekend – it was a degree higher on the Monday…’ Very long finishing though – if you like them rich – fill your boots here…
2019 La Garenne, Pouilly-Fuissé
An assembly of 2 parcels – one at the bottom which was frosted and another on altitude which wasn’t affected. 30% new oak – all 228-litre barrels – bottled in autumn.
Not a wide nose above – some floral in attendance – but there’s a width of deeper aroma. Super in the mouth – a sort of transparency (clarity for the French readers!) – tactile, mouth-watering and juicy. The finish with a hint of zest and salinity. That’s a very above average PF – excellent wine. Subtly long – it holds my attention well…