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Earl Thevenet – 2013

DSC06556Tasted in Pierreclos with Aurélien Thevenet, 23rd April 2015.

Earl Thevenet
123 Chemin de Breu
71960 Pierreclos

Domaine since grandfather with 3 hectares and a nursery, father took over building. To 24 ha and bottling. Now three brothers with 32 ha.

We meet in the domaine’s impressive new tasting room – just finished in November 2014. Also new here is a new separate room just for pressing – the original part of the building dates from 1976. There are also new stainless-steel tanks for debourbage and assembly – they’re thermo-regulated too, so possible to use them for fermenting.

There’s a big open cage press that they use for the reds. Lots of old concrete tanks too, some with epoxy interior coatings that date to the original building. The building is built into hillside, so the spaces further back are really cellars despite being on the same level.

There’s a smallish barrel area but they have plans to augment that too.

Despite 32 hectares, they till plough everything. 5 hectares are hand harvested either because of their old vines or due to the steepness of the slope, the rest by machine. They produce almost equal amounts of red and white wine, Aurélien say that they are one of the few who are replanting some chardonnay vines to red. Apparently a lot of their red goes to the négoce. They commercialise about 80,000 bottles (35% of production), the rest is sold in bulk. Exports are growing and much goes into the US.

The wines…

100% natural cork, trying always to buy the best possible – of-course – but interestingly even trying to match them to particular wines as they have 3 suppliers.

2013 Saint-Véran
Young vines, 70% elevage in tank.
A very forward and floral top note, the undertow is a tighter ripe citrus. Quite big but silky too, just a little mineral and with a growing well of acidity. By contrast, the finish is a little saltier but long. A good tasty wine with some weight of balanced flavour.

2012 Saint-Véran Vieilles-Vignes
From a clos of 5.5 hectares from the hermitage of St.Claude, that has a little more than 1 hectare of old vines (80 years) in 2012 – now the average is only 70 years as they had to do some replanting. 100% tank elevage.
Fresh, wide and interesting. Only faintly perfumed and with a twist of salt. A more subtle and accommodating entry, the flavours are wide and complex and with quite enough acidity – but they roll easily around on the tongue without really attacking. A wine of roundness but it’s not particularly exciting today when compared to the last…

2013 Saint-Véran Vieilles-Vignes
Same wine next vintage
Not so wide but there’s a real depth of ripe lemon fruit. A very faint extra gas, but here is also a more interesting, complex and energetic wine – i really like the way it rolls around the mouth searching out every corner. A weight of mineral flavour in the finish and length that coupled with a little sweetness is delicious!

2013 Mâcon Villages
From multiple communes – 7 of them – but principally from 3. 100% elevage in tank.
Fresh, and a little floral – a nice aromatic, perhaps a little muscaté. A very good minerality, and a little salty – quite different, following the Saint-Vérans but still very, very good…

2013 Mâcon-Milly
Not yet commercialising this despite winning some trophies – 100% barrel elevage with 1-10 year old barrels – the average age of barrel being 6-7.
Reminds me a little of Pouilly-Fuissé given its creamy oak packaging – a really intense minerality and mouth-watering palate – the oak providing a little cream and coconut in the mid-palate to keep you pre-occupied for now. Excellent finishing intensity – brilliant.

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé
Made in 500 litre barrels with about 70% new wood. From a single parcel of north facing vines under the rock of Vergisson. Made their own grafting of higher quality chardonnay, currently 40 year-old average, to get the best fruit – consequently, they never get close to the allowed yields.
Quite a mineral and citrus impression with a creamy oak packaging. Another wine that’s quite mineral, lithe and energetic on the tongue. There’s just an extra depth to the concentration, otherwise it’s a little richer version of the 2013 Mâcon-Milly. Great finishing but not quite matching that last wine

2014 Mâcon rouge
Vines in Pierreclos, 2 parcels. To be bottled in one month as there’s no 13 left, almost…
An agreeable freshness, not lots of carbonic notes. Plenty of gas and a hint of reduction. Lovely aromatic flavour in the subtly long finish. This will be very good…

2013 Mâcon-Pierreclos
100% tank elevage.
Here is a bright and very interesting nose – complex and just a little floral. Plenty of structure and plenty of flavour to match – big, and very good – a wine to wrestle with…!

2012 Mâcon-Serrières
Old vines of 70 years in 100% barrel elevage – a single parcel.
A deeper nose, with faint oak and herby top-notes, a hint of pyrazine and plenty of flowers. A wine that fills the mouth – there’s some furry but far from frightening tannin. Sweetly finishing, again with a nettle/pyrazine impression but a lingering sweetness of fruit and barrel too…

2013 Bourgogne Rouge Bussiers le Clos
Pinot, also from a single parcel in Bussiers. 2% wood! Machine harvested so pre-destemmed!
Very aromatic, floral and with ripe fruit – this is really engaging – a growing aroma of violets. Sweet, wide, very well-balanced, underpinned with a modest tannin. Finishes well with sweet and again a little floral flavour . Super!

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