Tasted in Fixin with Amélie Berthaut, 29 April 2017.
9 Rue Noisot
Tel: +33 3 80 52 45 48
Amélie was in Vosne (very) earlier in the morning, lighting straw bails against the frost – talking of frost:
Amélie on 2016:
“Our cuverie was finished just before harvest. Some of the vineyards were frosted, others not – Chambolle and Fixin were bad – so it was bad for our Echézeaux, but Vosne was actually okay. Surprisingly we have more volume in 2016 than in 2015 due to dryness of 15! Our Hautes Côte de Nuits wasn’t frosted in 2016. The wine has almost finished malo, fermented in concrete then moved to barrel for malo – my father, Denis, used to do malos in foudres – it takes longer in barrel but it’s protected and then doesn’t need to be racked/moved.
Arvelets and Combe Roy were hailed 1 month after the frost – fortunately this was the only place. Honestly, the vintage was so hard that no matter how good the wines are, I don’t think that it will ever be a favourite vintage – we were all happy to turn the page!”
Amélie on 2015:
“We had 15,000 bottles of Fixin in 2014, only 5,000 in 2015 – when I saw the tanks I thought we had forgotten to pick a vineyard! This wasn’t the case in Vosne, the grapes had plenty of juice there. All the Gevreys were reductive in elevage, but only those, I decided not to intervene and they came out well.”
Today the the domaine is 16 hectares – 2015 brought more villages, more Petits Monts, Suchots, Echézeaux and Clos de Vougeot. Now there are 20 cuvées – “I never get bored!”
Amélie forced me to taste a few 16s before we attacked some 15s – she might not think that she will look back on the vintage with fondness, but there’s super stuff here: Fixin Crais has some nice floral components and a fine ripe fruit too – it was thought that 80% was lost to the frost, but it surprised when the yield was better than expected. Fixin En Combe Roy has beautiful texture – already it’s easy to see a super wine! The Gevrey villages has more direct, melting, beautiful flavour if with less weight. The Echezeaux was a hint reduced, also not massive – 50% wc – narrow to start but with an obvious Vosne nose and a big finish.
The 2015s just finished bottling last week. A great cellar for 2015s – do not miss them – these wines have texture to die for!
2015 Bourgogne Les Prielles
Bottled in November, the only wine with malo in foudre – due to space limitations – then barrel, none new.
A hint of pyrazine freshness to the nose. Silky and wide, pyrazine in the flavour too but generous and delicious flavour.
Bottled late February.
Deep, deep colour. Tighter nose but more depth and a clearer floral note. Wide and with much depth of flavour. Really layered, impressive stuff – bravo!
Old vines with tiny grapes – since 2013 separated from the Fixin blend ‘Only from old vines, it merits separation.’ The Crais was destemmed, this is 30% whole bunch. ‘I didn’t want to change the Crais as it’s the domaine’s flagship, but this is mine – so carte blanche!’
A hint of oak on the nose but also a hint of wc. Beautiful silky palate again, lithe, luxurious texture. Just great wine. Finesse with power.
50% whole bunch.
A very pretty nose with flowers. Very silky again, a suggestion of whole-cluster flavour, simply fabulous texture again… more blocky flavour/tannin in the finish, but just a beautiful wine and super value…
For frost and hail, this was the worst in 2016. In the end decided to replant a part in 16.
Hmm a lovely width and clarity to the dark fruit. Silken again, more weight, nobody would pick Fixin blind. Simply a great wine! I would guess Charmes-Chambertin from the texture!
Bottled last week, 2 barrels in 15, but 1/3 goes back to the owners.
Just a brilliant nose with very mild reduction and a beautiful, slowly opening floral nose – gorgeous. Ooh, line, fabulous texture, slowly widening as it melts over the palate. Gorgeous wine, fruit forward today, yum…
‘The good news of 15, we got more vines. All by hand as there’s no tractor access and very old vines in 5 different blocks – most planted before my grandfather so we don’t know how old, just one small part is 10 yo. Last year we bought a winch to plough as the vineyard is steep for burgundy. Did the trail with Olivier Lamy’s winch, but this year we are using a horse. Today 9 barrels.’ The vines were initially divided between the Gerbets and Sirugue-Gerbets, now divided in three with Amélie and two others, but Amélie is renting one of those portions back.
Wide, complex, textured depth. Wide, beautifully melting flavour, I didn’t even spit! Wow wine without ever becoming excitable, just long and contemplative…
2015 Fixin Blanc
From near Les Crais on alluvial soil planted in 2009, the first vintage was 2014. Then another block planted 2 years ago. 2 barrels, but eventually it will rise to 10. ‘A wine that we drink more than we sell!’
A pretty and vibrant nose with a little sweet tropical pineapple. Depth, tasty, non-standard but really a bright fresh and delicious wine, ripe with a hint of patisserie. Yum.