Tasted in La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne with Grégory Viennois, 23 April 2017.
Maison de la Chapelle
Delphine et Grégory Viennois
89800 La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne
Grégory Viennois hails from Burgundy, where he has worked with Nadine Gublin and Jean-Pierre de Smet, but he’s also worked for Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Michel Chapoutier. Since 2011, he has been Technical Director of Domaine Laroche in Chablis – this is where I got to know him. When you consider that Laroche can be equated to factory, the quality of the wines that Grégory helps to produce there is nothing short of astonishing. But Grégory, together with his wife, Delphine, also has a modest sideline – he likes to make red wine too – in particular Irancy – this is the Maison de la Chapelle.
Grégory explains “I actually bought the tanks from a good friend in Beaune before I had a project! I harvest my Irancy by hand, in cases – my first vintage being 2014 – from two parcels that face each other – so with opposing exposures – Les Beaux Monts and Les Bâtardes. The wines are 100% pinot, so no césar. All the 2014s were completely destemmed as I wasn’t confident of the maturity of the stems and there was some suzuki in the vines – I fermented half in 4 year-old barrels and half in tank.”
Paris is currently the main market for these wines, but there are also exports to Holland, Germany and Belgium – Grégory says that he’s looking for only for small operators, as he produced only 3,000 bottles in 2014, 5,000 in 2015 and probably wont ever do more than 10-12,000 – which would allow him to keep doing his day job.
Grégory’s target is for wines with a consumer price of 18-23 Euros. These wines are simply delicious, I feel the urge to make an order!
A little Paradis, Bâtardes and Beaux Monts.
Round, deep, delicious ripeness of pinot fruit. Silky, super energy, layers of concentrated flavour, this is big and flavourful wine, long finishing – really the concentration of a good villages or more (depending on your sector in the Côte d’Or). Delicious and impressive.
West, north-west facing – ‘more airy.’ All barrel elevage.
A more overt, fresh and perfumed nose – less depth but delicious. Fresher but with width and line, growing intensity, just ‘wow’ delicious here – fine texture with a little tannin grain – very modest. Lacy, elegant confident – a beautiful, elegant wine with just a trace of finishing bitters…
Plain south-facing, a steep hillside.
A larger nose, a little riper, more weight, more a bass-line if fruit – really super depth of aroma. Fresh, more direct, surprisingly cool fruited – but wide and with a slowly growing tannin and more insistent concentration. Long, long, just another really super wine – bravo.
Just for info, the alcohols were 13-13.6% in 2014 and 13.2-13.8% in 2015. Yields were about 40 hl/ha in 2014, nearer 30 hl/ha in 2015. 2016 was ‘difficult’ so Grégory decided to make a better Irancy rather than try to make the separate crus.
Bottled at the start of March, 80% destemmed. A little more Paradis in the mix here versus 2014.
Ooh, a deep, brooding, beautiful nose of implied fine texture. A growing floral component, very violets with faint pyrazine. Clearly a different shape, with weight, a little extra tannic grain, wide with a little salinity, chewy in the finish and very long. Really a vin de garde – drink the gorgeous 2014s first but this is super!
2015 Irancy Bâtardes
Still in barrel. 50% stems – layered in the fermentation tank.
Ooh deep! Round, really a beautifully complex nose – wow! Still a suggestion of oak here. Finer texture than the Irancy – more oak showing again, but really it’s a vanilla modified fruit rather than overt vanilla. Super long.
Beautiful – a floral almost mineral aspect to the nose – no overt oak, a vibration of dark red fruit – wow. More structure but very fine grain – a floral aspect to the fruit. Really a beautiful thing with great balance and freshness. Floral finishing fruit. Bravo again – just brilliant.