Dufouleur Frères – 2017

Update 20.6.2019(29.5.2019)billn

Tasted in Nuits with François-Xavier (FX) and Jean Dufouleur, 11 April, 2019.

Dufouleur Frères
1 Route de Dijon
21700 Nuits St.Georges
Tel: +33 3 80 61 00 26

First time tasting in FX’s newly finish tasting-room, come sales office in the gardens of the château in Nuits St.Georges. From the outside it’s very discreet – no neon signs – but it’s a fine addition for NSG, and if there’s somebody available to ‘man’ the shop, then a small sign is placed outside the main gate!

FX on 2018:
I’m happy with the quantity and at this stage assured that we didn’t have the difficult fermentations that many people had to to worry about. The wines on the négoce market were certainly heterogeneous, but we had a good clean harvest. Today it’s too early to say much, but certainly the wines have richness and concentration – we’re still waiting for nuance but they work very well with a little extra new oak.

FX on 2017:
I would say a normal year, perhaps a little dilution due to the extra yields of the vintage, but we think we still achieved a great maturity. All the 2017s were assembled in August – there was a fire in the shared (with other parts of family) cuverie – we lost some regional wines closest to the fire – so we have been radical; will have a new building in the industrial zone for Nuits – but not a single barrel from the old cuverie was used for 2018, just in case there was some fire contamination. All were bottled in Feb-March this year.

Note that 1 hectare of villages Nuits and Nuits 1er Vignes Rondes were the bonus that came from the family sale of Musigny parcel – these wines are now in the range here.

The wines…

I like the style of the wines here – initially without ever been blown away – but the wines are very drinkable and each is different – there is good separation with the cuvées. Some of the later wines are completely excellent though!

2017 Mercurey 1er Clos l’Eveque
A parcel where they have 1.7 ha – a metayage to the domaine – but have slowly, over years replanted most of the parcel – the average age now 15-20 years of age, and there is much less rusticity to how FX remembers the wine when he was young
Medium red. A little oak on the red-fruited nose. Fresh – good dimension, energy, intense in the finish – a really good finish. Wait 12 months for the oak spice to fade – but the oak style is of spice rather than vanilla.

All the remaining wines are from the Côte de Nuits:

2017 Côte de Nuits Villages
A large selection of parcels including purchases, almost everything except the vines of Brochon in this but an important cuvée for the domaine.
A darker-fruited nose, still with a little oak spice. Fuller, super-silky texture – layered, deep and with very attractive flavour. An accent to the flavour from the barrel – but a modest accent – you could already drink this – delicious with a mouth-wateringly mineral finish.

2017 Côte de Nuits Villages Les Fourches
Vines next to the Clos de Marechale, all destemmed – like all the wines here.
A tighter, more serious nose, faintly spiced. Rounder – more mouth-filling, an extra sweetness and creamy edge to the fruit. More upfront, a little less silky but completely delicious – the nose needs to improve though.

2017 Côte de Nuits Villages Le Vaucrain
A parcel in Comblanchien
Just a touch more colour. The nose is still a little compact but more concentrated and with a little darker fruit. Supple, open, very different style again – somewhere sitting between the last two. A saline grain of tannin. Mouth-watering, long, the first with a little bitter-chocolate in the finish – attractive. I would wait a little longer for this than the last two – but fine all the same.

2017 Fixin Les Foussottes
Bought as grapes – first vintage – have 2018 also.
A more open, spiced, dark-fruited nose. More drive and direction a freshness too. The wine with the most energy so far and a lovely growing width of fruit flavour. Some tannin to wait a little time for but depth of fruit flavour – almost layered. Another fine wine, one with lovely balance – wait 6-12 months – that should be enough.

2017 Nuits St.Georges Cuvée du Château
Assembly of multiple parcels – some old, some young – but only assembled after the malo when they have an idea of the individual characters.
Another wine that has a little aromatic tightness and in this case more a saline than spiced component. Nice shape in the mouth – plenty of volume – matched to plenty of energy too. Creamy layers of fruit – old-vine style – A touch of strictness to the finishing shape – but that will fade in months. Delicious.

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin
Mainly Justice with a touch of Evocelles.
Another modest nose – but wider and with the impression of silk – possibly the best so far. More mineral, more cool fruit, touched by salinity. A modest grain of tannin. Mouth-watering, complex finishing – a mineral, subtle wine – I would say modest in most dimensions – perhaps the rendement – but completely tasty…

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles
A little more spiced energy to this nose, almost starting to suggest a little floral note. More weight, fresh, cool fruit, a tannin with almost no grain – lovely depth of texture here. Another wine that has a saline edge to the finishing flavours – tasty.

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Combe-Dessus
From just under the Château of Gevrey.
Ooh – much more depth and direction to this nose – it’s the first. Fuller, mouth-filling, complex, layered – great flavour – there’s small touch of oak in the middle flavours but this is by far the best wine so far – excellent!

2017 Vosne-Romanée Les Jacquines
A nice, fine, width of aroma here – another good one, like the last. More direct, plenty of energy, a touch tannin, hardly any grain, fills the mid-palate well. Nice, if modest, wine but one with a very tasty finish. Still, behind the last I think.

2017 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Saint Georges
The dossier is ‘quiet’ for the moment – the growers seem to be waiting for the optimal moment for re-applying. In the background is also the dossier for the Pommards of Epeneots and Rugiens – they are not officially connected but there will undoubtedly be similarities in criteria from the INAO – so for the moment – it’s wait and see…
A more voluminous nose – almost a touch of floral. Full, concentrated, fine texture – layered and complex – this is very fine. To wait for vs the Combe-Dessus, but this wine certainly betters that one. Mineral and mouth-watering in the finish with a very fine grain of tannin. Excellent!

2017 Clos de Vougeot
Grands Maupertuis was in the family since the 19th century. ‘The climat name was never incorporated in the cadastres so it’s not ‘legal’ it’s an indication. Loyal, constant is the only defence…’
A big nose, round, textured – yet today without much complexity. An extra depth of flavour, an extra drive and balance – the architecture of a CV – modest of flavour though. Perhaps the finish is slightly more impressive, but today I think the St.Georges more interesting and for almost half the price!

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