Tasted in Charnay with Jerome Chevalier, 23rd April 2015.
Cave de Charnay-les-Mâcon
54 Chemin de la Cave
Tel: +33 3 85 34 54 24+33 3 85 34 54 24
The shop here is 17 years, but you wouldn’t know it, as they’ve just completed a renovation – it looks completely new, and very impressive.
This cooperative is modest one – in terms of size – just 100 hectares of vines, though it was once 140 hectares. Established in 1929 the cave today has 90 producers attached to it. They produce lots of appellations, including Beaujolais. A little is exported and some sold in bulk too, but Jerome notes that they are small enough to concentrate on bottle sales – and 50,000 bottles per year are sold from this shop.
For about 12 years they have been working with wooden tanks for both fermentation and elevage. Their old concrete tanks have been lined with stainless steel, and all their tanks thermo-regulated…
“We’re well equipped for a small cave” says Jerome, there is contract bottling, but they even have their own gyropaletts for Crémants.
There are 11 whites, 8 reds and 4 cremants in this range. I tried to concentrate on the whites. A fine, clean, range of wines here – the prestige cuvees, despite their extra complexity and weight, I largely found the fresher standard range a bit more fun – qualitatively they are all safe buys though.
Diams are currently used for some of the ‘tradition’ range, the rest with natural cork.
The soil has lots of clay and limestone, similar to Péronne. This appellation is, unsurprisingly, the heart of this coop’s offer.
The nose is discreet with a little ripeness. Quite big and rich, the base acidity is not bad – lots of power, but I’d like a bit more attack.
A fresh, brighter nose that’s more floral and much more interesting – a little fresh agrumes – not really reduction. A lovely middle of freshness that widens in the mouth finishing with a little sweet minerality – this is excellent!
A nice floral nose, less powerful but very inviting. Lovely complexity and energy – pure and a little mineral – a fine burst of flavour. Slowly lingering melange of aromatic fruit in the finish – always perfectly fresh.
Just one producer for this coop.
A modest nose but with freshness and some enticing minerality. A little rounder, despite quite some minerality – concentrated but with very good balance – really super but rather young, needs a little cellar time…
A very delicate and pretty nose – lovely… Much bigger than you expect in the mouth, silky and with a floral / aromatic character. Fine balance. – this is really very good too.
Next, the prestige line-up. More like 8 months in the wooden tanks.
2013 Mâcon-Charnay Clos St.Pierre
About 2.5 hectares exposed north-west, one producer and one parcel and one of the last to be harvested each year.
A relatively discreet nose that’s wide airy and has just a hint of salt and flowers. Round and silky but with a good base of minerality – not super-explosive, lots of mid-palate complexity where a hint of oak flavour shows through. A rather discreet performance today, despite great length.
2013 Mâcon-Charnay, Domaine des Perserons Vieilles-Vignes
2.5 hectares with old vines from 5 or 6 parcels, with a minimum 40 years of vine age.
A deeper gold. Really a richer aromatic with quince. Just a hint of gas, but there’s excellent complexity here – growing wider and wider in the mid palate and finish. Longer…
2013 Saint-Véran Vieilles-Vignes, Domaine Rivet
Again just one producer and from a parcel of vines approaching 50 years. Everything harvested by hand here.
Also a little quince but with a harder edge of herb – more interesting! Lots of complexity and very good freshness. I very much like the fresh line of flavour it has the nicest shape of these three even though it’s not as complex or long as the last. Yum!
Here the standard cuvée, as the prestige cuvée is already sold out – despite being more than 50% more expensive.
Medium lemon yellow after the deeper-coloured prestige wines. This has only tank elevage.
High-toned, airy and faintly floral. Round, but with good complexity and freshness. There’s a slowly mounting concentration – this is most distinctive in the finish where there’s a wide and concentrated flavour that really lasts very well, even after the prestige cuvees. Very good.
A cremant for the road…
Crémant de Bourgogne Cuvée Imperiale
A blend of vintages 10-11-12.
A pure and ripe nose that becomes ever prettier in the glass. Fresh, clean, with a lovely and fine intensity. This doesn’t have amazing complexity in the finish but it’s very good, clean bubbles that I’d drink any time…