Tasted in Nuits St.Georges with Paul Aergerter, 19 March 2021.
I remember some super wines from this address in my blind-tastings of Pouilly-Fuissé and Hautes-Côtes last year, then again in Beaune tasting of this year – so I decided it was a great time to pay them a visit.
You may be passingly aware of the Aegerter wine shop in the centre of Beaune – something I always remember as being there – it first opened its doors in 1990. Paul’s father, Jean-Luc, was originally from Alsace and had worked for a time in Champagne.
In 1988 Jean-Luc bought Maison Pierre Grüber, discretely located in the back-streets of Nuits St.Georges, almost opposite the Hospice de Nuits. He also opened a wine shop in Nuits, “Selling the wines he liked,” says Paul Aegerter. Jean-Luc later bought (1994) a parcel of vines located in Nuits St.Georges villages as well as developing his négoce business. Later came some parcels en-fermage too. Paul joined his father in 2001 and now runs the business.
Today, Aegerter are proprietors of 12 ha of vines – including a large parcel in the old Côte Dijonnaise – that’s without their fermage vines. Practically, including the Maison Aegerter wines, 50 hectares worth of burgundy bottles are produced under the Aegerter label – From Chablis to Beaujolais. Aegerter’s vision is, however, much wider; Maison Clavelier (the wineshops in and close to Nuits St.Georges) was purchased in 2020. Paul’s mother was a Thomas, hence, the chance to buy Maison Clavelier. Further afield, vines on Provence to make rosé and a (vintage!) cider maker in Normandy have been added to Paul Aegerter’s portfolio. In total, that’s about 1 million bottles per year.
Paul explained “We are already HVE certified and we are working towards organic certification – behind that, I hope to achieve full biodynamics within 5 years. I’ve also big plans for the Hautes Côtes wines; a great limestone base, these clean vines in the modern climate will offer lots to discover. France is our major market but exports have also significantly grown in recent years. When you see our bottles, the black labels are used for our domaine wines, white for our contract wines.”
A strong set of wines from this producer – and clearly, not wines to overlook.
Not all the 2019s are bottled – some go as long as 24 months in their elevage. Some wines have DIAM5 seals, though all the Aegerter-labelled wines use cork:
2019 Chorey-lès-Beaune Les Beaumonts
About 40-year-old vines. ‘We replace plenty of vines every year. I like to replace individual vines rather than whole parcels – it adds to the complexity.’
Nicely fresh, there’s a good aromatic ‘attack’ here. Mouth-filling, there’s plenty of structure and a little spicy oak showing too. A good depth of finishing flavour – open and very long. A very good wine.
2019 Nuits St.Georges Plateau
Some of these vines were planted in 1964. ‘We habe also some 1er cru Rue de Chaux.’ 30% new oak here with a mix of 3 coopers. Bottled in January.
More impact of red-fruited freshness. Wide, mouth-filling, structural, there’s oak here too but at a level that’s just as part of the overall complexity. The finish is wide and super – give this 2-3 years in the cellar
2019 Nuits St.Georges #4 Pinot Noir
The 4 best barrels from their 1.8 ha Nuit parcel in Plateau, bottled in February in a very heavy bottle.
A more airy nose, fresh red fruit. A little more supple, wider, with more insistent flavour – a little barrel cream in the middle flavours. Long too, with a touch of licorice stick. This is very good.
2019 Beaune 1er Belissand
For many years these vines were also exploited en-fermage. Older François barrels.
A big perfumed nose – there’s fruity excellence here. Direct, fresh, lovely energy, some barrel flavour in the middle – but here is completely excellent Beaune – super wine!
Now 18s – this is labelled Clavelier still but is domaine.
A bright, spicy and ripe nose. Concentrated, even a touch of reduction, but long, deeply flavoured wine. This is excellent…
2018 Pommard 1er Rugiens
From haut, en fermage, only 2-year-old barrels used here with 18 months of elevage.
A perfumed wine that’s more open than the Fixin. A wine with structure and a faint dryness but there is no grain to this tannin. Complex – super wine but have patience. – at least 3 years but you can keep as long as you like. Super and intense finishing.
“I like some attack and depth but to finish with a mineral and saline side,” says Paul.
A deep nose with faintly toasty oak but a really deep and attractive invitation from the fruit too. Fresh, wide, mineral, almost a little exotic fruit here – I’d like it to be a bit more incisive, but the mouth-watering flavour is fine if slightly oaky today – very good finishing, indeed super here!
2019 Chablis Côte de Lechet
25 years ago had a contract with British Airways for this wine. 30% of the elevage is in demi-muids, the rest in tank.
Plenty of colour. A depth of ripe fruit aroma. Super entry, fine energy and a good base of mineral flavour. Still some richness and openness of fruit that might have me scratching my head as to the location of the vines but completely delicious and fresh wine.
2019 Pouilly-Fuissé Les Crays
A domaine wine.
A little oak toast but also a subtle depth of ripe, almost golden, citrus notes. Very wide, silky and mineral – this needs some cellar time but here is a very good Pouilly. Once again a super finish, growing very impressively – excellent. Faintly phenolic texture in the finish…
A mix of parcels, including Meix and Clous here.
A fresh nose yet also a little tight – slowly adding some proper Meursault spice with air. Bright, wide, mouth-filling, really super flavour in the middle flavours. Classic, long, deliciously spiced. Excellent wine.
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot
From the high part of Morgeot – not quite fermage but do all the vineyard work.
Deeper colour, a deep nose too, ripe, high tones – almost too much – very faintly accented with the barrel too. Hmm, thats direct, layered creamy-accented flavour. Mouth-watering with freshness in the finish – a super finish from a concentrated, deeply flavoured wine.