François Millet et Fils – 2019

Update 5.5.2021(4.5.2021)billn

Julien & François Millet 2021 Domaine Francois Millet & FilsTasted on a hot day in Chambolle-Musigny (one week before the frost arrived) with Julien & François Millet, 29 March 2021.

Domaine François Millet et Fils
15 rue du Carré

A very discrete operation here, for the moment I don’t have a telephone number or an internet URL – but there are more important things in life – like wines – and here I found some great wines!

It should be no surprise to anyone that there are some great wines here – François has, just around the corner from here, a long and distinguished career – not yet finished – at Comte Georges de Vogüé – but how about a family adventure in wine too?

François, together with his sons Julien and Adrien, made their first wines together in 2017. All the grapes come from contracts but when the grapes arrive in their compact cellar they start their path on a vibrating table for sorting before heading into the destemmer, the giraffe then taking them to their fermentation tanks. Post-fermentation there is a wooden vertical press, “It’s small but also hydraulic so not too much human effort is required,” laughs François. “We make just one single press after the ferments go to completion in tank before placing the wine in barrel. I don’t like to finish the last grams of sugar in barrel as I find that it can be like a washing machine – pulling out the extra from the barrels and marking the wine more. We are not pressed for the malo though, it can take as long as it likes…

The maximum possible is done by gravity here and the rest with a ‘small traditional hand pump.’ There’s an egg-white fining, or not, and that depends on the individual barrel. A little nitrogen is added when assembling into tank. “I do like to be fully in control of the bottling date and to not filter our wine, so we do the bottling ourselves rather than use an outside firm.

The market is all export; Asia, Denmark, the UK. “We touch wood that our first and still primary markets are still functioning well in the current times.

The wines…

Given the winemaker, the quality of the wines should come as no surprise here – it was really a pleasure to taste these…

No pigeage except a little in the Gevrey and just once in the Champimonts – the rest got only some remontage. These wines were all tasted from barrel:

2019 Bourgogne Lerus
Grapes from here in the commune of Chambolle – in the combe
Ooh – that’s a lovely purity of red fruit. Open, pure, complex and fresh – a lovely finishing minerality. A super mineral line in the finish too – really a top Bourgogne – more Chambolle in style with beautiful elegance. This will be the first to be bottled – it’s ready but not yet assembled.

2019 Volnay
Grands Poisots and Brouillards blended together.
Starting with a waft of oak but this aroma fades quickly into the background – elegance and concentration. Like the nose more concentration and plenty of width to the flavour – beautifully textured. That’s for keeping a little longer so that the oak is more discrete – but that’s a beauty…

2019 Beaune 1er Champimonts
A more stony fruit – fresh, pure, crunchy fruit – the barrel much less visible, that’s a very fine nose. Concentrated but energetic, fresh, mineral again a stony fruit style. A finishing energy, indeed a mineral energy – very fine length. So far, there’s not one wine here that I wouldn’t buy – but I haven’t asked the price yet! That said, they are already sold out!

2019 Volnay 1er Clos des Angles
A more vertical nose today – there’s both depth and high tones – more limited in width but there’s a fine and elegant side to this too. Direct, beautiful texture, widening, ever-more mouth-filling, extra depth to the middle and finishing flavour, subtly touched by the oak-spice in the finish. Very long – simply excellent.

2019 Gevrey-Chambertin Le Fourneau
The other side of the RN974 but effectively (well) below Chapelle-Chambertin.
There’s more aromatic discretion here – but still with elegance too. Again beautifully textured – so silky. Just a millimetre of cushion but not more. Mouth-watering, ‘blood-oranges,’ says François – and why not – the juicy style is in that direction – completely moreish wine…

2019 Chambolle-Musigny Les Fouchères
Vines quite close to 1er Borniques.
A little more colour. Darker aromas that are more open in their depth today – perhaps there’s a suggestion of reduction. Open, mobile – here is energy and intensity but with plenty of concentration – the faintest of grain but hardly – long, deep and satisfying. Slowly mouth-watering. Another simply excellent wine…

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