Profile: Joannet

Update 20.6.2019(29.5.2019)billn

Domaine Joannet
76 Grande Rue
21700 Marey-lès-Fussey
Phone: +33 3 80 62 90 58

This domaine was previously called Michel Joannet et Fils – today it’s just the fils, Fabien. I first came across these wines, with Fabien pouring them, at a tasting in the Clos de Vougeot – you don’t find new names (to me anyway) with Vosne-Suchots that often – and it tasted great – so clearly a visit was required!

Fabien’s grandfather and father live in almost adjioning houses – they both had vines – but in his grandfather’s time it was a mixed farm here in the Hautes Côtes; various crops, cows, rabbits, cassis and vines whose grapes were sold to a coop. The domaine was actually created by Fabien’s father, Michel, around 1995, Fabien joining him around 2007-8. At the start only about 4,000 bottles were commercialised, so that was one of Fabien’s focuses – now there’s almost 80,000 bottles sold from here – “It’s practically all our production from the 21 hectares of vines that we have today – it was only 7-8 hectares when I started.

This part of the Hautes Côtes has easy links to both Pernand and Nuits/Vosne – so it’s hardly a surprise that both areas should be represented here – a collection of domaine vineyards cemented by marriage – Fabien’s grandmother was from Pernand, and his grandfather’s contribution brought vines from the north – from a well-known family of Vosne – he was called Jacques Cacheux.

Fabien has high-trained vines in his Hautes Côtes de Beaune and low in his Hautes Côtes de Nuits – although the work is easier in his high-trained vines, he tells me that he tends to prefer the quality of the grapes from the low-trained vines!

Fabien says that his father chose to do plenty of extraction and that the wines were typically in a slightly reductive style. Today Fabien uses almost exclusively remontage after a cold maceration. “I think the wines are less hard yet still have more fruit today,” he says. Fabien chooses to make his elevage exclusively with barrels from Remond coopers, and all his bottles are DIAM-sealed.

Distribution is mainly in France; “We had a lot of personal buyers at the start, but our exports started mainly with Japanese clients – contacts via Patrice Cacheux, then the UK, Canada and US followed – but we also get plenty of clients via the Guide Hachette – even from Northern Europe arriving clutching their copies in French!

Fabien on 2018:
There was plenty of volume in both 2018 and 2017. I see richness in the 2018s – the grapes turned out great despite the dryness of the season. It wasn’t always easy to finish the fermentations, presumably due to potentials of 14° natural for some cuvées. I had to rack to avoid problems with volatiles, et-cetera, but I’m happy with how the wines are looking right now.

Fabien on 2017:
In 2017 we had both frost and some hail to contend with in the Hautes Côtes. The wines are a little atypical but there’s a finesse that I think resembles 2010, and there’s certainly less overt richness when compared with the 2018s.

The wines…

Lovely wines, indeed often excellent wines too – these 2017s deliver their wares with freshness but also with great flavour – some will benefit from a little patience – or a carafe – until some of the oak spice has faded. A good address, off the beaten track!

2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
Modest colour – lovely fresh red fruit aroma. Fresh in the mouth too, good energy, nice drive with a faint tannin of the tip of the tongue. Modest concentration but it’s a Bourgogne and very tasty at that!

2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits
I need to work the (small) glass a little, but the result is a deeper, finer fruit aroma. A little more concentration – width and freshness too. Here is the energy of the last, the style too, but with more reserves of flavour. Delicious, fresh, frank, Bourgogne – yes, delicious.

2017 Bourgogne Champs d’Argent
Named after the lieu-dit – vines between Nuits and Vosne.
Ooh – that’s a lovely nose – from Nuits but Vosne style with finely spiced complexity – yes! Fresh, energetic – it’s the house style but insinuating intensity and a modest tannin at the base. Very fine pure wine – Excellent – it finishes well too!

2017 Pernand-Vergelesses
There’s almost 1.5 hectares of Pernand at the domaine here, mixed red-white, this from Les Herbues, 30% new barrels for elevage here.
Hmm – floral, fine, pure berry fruit – yes! Extra depth of flavour – less gloss but a fresh width. The tannin is slightly more rustic but the depth of flavour is very impressive – bigger, rounder, but similarly delicious to the Champs d’Argent!

2017 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Les Fichots
Lovely depth of aroma – depth of flavour, richness of flavour too – a little oak, but more texturally than spiced with vanilla or coconut. Full-flavoured, mouth-watering – give this a little time. Super wine!

2017 Vosne-Romanée
4 different parcels of vines; Jacquines, Chalandins plus 2 in Les Ormes.
A different nose, a little oak and an intensity that’s faintly lactic. Supple, a touch of richness but still with drive and energy. Long and lingering. A wine that starts modestly and finishes excellently – Yum!

2017 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
0.6 ha in one parcel, practically in the middle of the climat. Like all the wines here fully destemmed.
A very fine width of spiced aroma – it’s a beauty. Vibrant but with depth and an ingraining quality to the flavour. Wide and mouth-watering in the finish. Oak spice but also very impressive length too. Super wine, persistent and delicious, almost creamy finishing – wait 12-18 months for the oak spice to fade – then as you wish…

Les Blancs…

2017 Bourgogne Aligoté
All from Hautes Côtes vines – 2 parcels in HCdN, one in in the HCdB – the domaine have almost 4 hectares of aligoté, the only wine where some is sold in bulk. All tank elevage.
A nice nose, slightly menthol but attractive. Full, supple, nice in the mouth with good energy. This is very tasty and persistent wine.

2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc
Vinification and elevage in barrel.
Nice, deep, faintly but attractively reductive agrume fruit. Some gas, so there’s emphasis to the energy. Depth of flavour, a sort of musky, deep background to the flavour. Supple – nice shape in the mouth.

2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc
A small parcel
A little brighter impression to the nose. Wide, mineral, slowly melting flavour – less overt concentration but finer flavour. Actually very tasty wine indeed – yum!

2017 Pernand-Vergelesses
A fine if modest intensity nose. Mineral, more depth of flavour – lovely texture – a touch of barrel. This needs a little time in the cellar or a carafe – but lovely wine!

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