Tasted in Savigny-lès-Beaune with Chisa Bize, who as you can see prefers her Latricières to do the talking, 16th May, 2018.
Domaine Simon Bize et Fils
12 Rue Chanoine Donin
Tel: +33 3 80 21 50 57
Link to Latricières-Chambertin profile
Domaine Simon Bize is the only one of the producers currently exploiting Latricières who are not the proprietors – but they have a long-term rental agreement, called fermage. The vines were previously owned by a branch of the Remy family and were exploited between 1960 and 1994 by Domaine Ponsot of Morey St.Denis. Domaine Simon Bize’s first vintage being that of 1995. In Clive Coates’ 1997 book ‘Côte D’Or: A Celebration of the Great Wines of Burgundy’ he makes the following two notes:
“A few years ago Patrick was approached by a company who intended to invest in Burgundian vineyards and wanted to entrust Bize with their management. The first results of this new venture lie in Latricières-Chambertin – 32 ares of it – enough to make five or six barrels. It was only subsequently that Patrick found out this was the parcel formerly farmed by Laurent Ponsot of Morey-Saint-Denis, for he had not been involved in the negotiations over the purchase. The first vintage is the 1995”
“The owners of the Latricières and a bit of Clos-de-la Roche sold out in 1994. The Ponsots were offered all of it, but could afford to buy only 7 ouvrees (28 ares) of the Clos de la Roche. The rest they have lost. From 1995 Patrick Bize of Savigny-lès-Beaune has been entrusted with the Latricières-Chambertin.”
The Bize holding is a not inconsiderable 0.33 hectares (not 0.32) of vines planted in 1961, 1971 and 1981, sitting between, to the south, those of Domaine Chantal Remy and to the north, those of Duroché and Launay-Horiot. The holding is the first (from the south) not to exploit only full rows of vines from the road to the woodland behind; they have 12 full rows, and 6 half rows in the northern side of their holding, in the block that’s also exploited by Domaine Duroché.
As far as harvesting goes, Chisa Bize starts with her whites and then the red Savignys but doesn’t have the impression that the grapes are particularly later maturing in Latricières, “But certainly the tops of the rows are a little behind the vines closer to the road. Actually I love the freshness of the top part of the rows – I’m not a fan of sur-maturity, but of-course we have to take a middle date as we don’t come all the way from Savigny to Latricières to harvest twice! We have a bit more at the bottom so it balances out very well the freshness of the top. This is a wine that gives me lots of pleasure, I find a certain wisdom to this wine. We don’t ask big things of this parcel, the volume is what it is, but it is a wine that always brings satisfaction. It’s a discreet wine, a little timid but with a profound energy – sagesse – with a very fine line.
“It’s a very feminine personality; she says ‘Stay calm, genial. I always say that you need at least 10 years to wait for the 1er and grand crus, for the secondary aromas and the tertiary aromas – 2004 is perfect now, really top, despite not being the greatest vintage – it’s still young too. The 2001 is lovely but I’ve none left! From 2001 Patrick’s friends started to say ‘Now you make a Côte de Nuits!
“For me the big difference in style between the Latricières and the wines that we make here in Savigny is that I see the mineral side more prominently from the Savignys – I adore that – I see that less in Latricières. But I see volume and energy in the Latricières, a type of energy that reminds me of our Vergelesses – and we dont have a difference in the vinification we use the whole clusters – just occasionally not in Savigny in the last years due to the hail, but in principle its the same.
“It’s not exactly the same clientelle for the Savignys and the Latricières though, as it’s more expensive!”
“I’m naturally an optimist and although we’ve lacked wine since 2010, we had a proper volume in 2017 and it looks, so far, like 2018 has started in a very good way.”
A vintage of frost, less touched than in Savigny but still a small harvest. Bottled in February.
Medium-plus colour. A soft, almost reticent but pretty nose, almost a texture to the perfume. Volume in the mouth, complex, layered – ooh there is beauty here. In the finish, the very long finish, it’s like cherry stones going long into the finish. Gaining in energy with a little aeration, becoming ever-more talkative.