Tasted in Morey with Sébastien Odoul, 14th May 2015.
Domaine Odoul Coquard
64 Route des Grands Crus
Tel-Fax: +33 3 80 51 80 62
Last year, having the experience of tasting this domaine’s 2012s and 2013s against their peers, I rated them one of my top 10 new domaines to watch out for in an article published by winesearcher. Finally I managed to make an appointment to taste in more considered fashion – I wasn’t disappointed.
Sébastien Odoul is the 4th generation of the family at this domaine – a domaine that’s well sign-posted and easily found, it’s the first house in Morey on your left, as you arrive from Gevrey-Chambertin on the Route des Grands Crus. Sébastien’s father, Pierre, remains busy with the 9 hectare domaine, covering 20 different appellations, the smallest delivering the equivalent of 2 barrels, the largest more like 6,000 bottles or 20 barrels.
Sébastien’s grandfather did much business with the négoce, then Pierre established the commercialisation of wine in bottle. Today, most is sold in bottle, though the equivalent of one hectare of production is still sold to négociants, but Sébastien notes that these grapes are not from the best locations. Today, about 30,000 bottles are sold, 75% exported. In France they sell plenty through the ‘salons’ of ‘Vignerons Independants’. Their first export sales were 2008, the year before Sébastian officially joined the domaine – though he was, of-course, here much earlier; his first vintage was 2004 before doing stages at Dujac, Méo-Camuzet and Thierry Mortet.
Sébastien says that he’s imported a little of the techniques that he’s learned along the way; a little more new oak but shorter elevage, no more filtration, one month in tank before barreling and again after 14 months elevage. He’s also proud that his wines are accessible – €25, €40 & €60 are the current price points of villages, 1ers and grand crus. “Certainly we are very slowly increasing, but the pricing is currently well behind the quality. Terroir and elegance – whether (oak aged) Passetoutgrains or Clos de Vougeot is my approach and the elevage is the same for all – except the barrels of course! I’m looking to progress in some way every year…”
In the vines the domaine’s approach is ‘lutte raisonée’. “We want the minimum number of treatments possible – for instance, it’s better to remove leaves than have to treat them against porriture! The approach is always looking for best grapes, so with close pruning and green harvests.”
That said, using 2009 as benchmark (and starting point) they have seen yields of -30%, -30% , -40%, -50% and -10% in the last vintages!
They have a cold cellar so no 2014 malos are finished yet. Stainless-steel tanks are used for fermentations with manually harvested grapes, followed by triage and 100% destemming. Sébastien says that he’s not looking for that whole-cluster style. There’s a cool maceration for 1 week at around 5°C before warming to 12-13°C. Three times daily pigeage for a week but nothing while fermenting. A pneumatic press, then tanks, then into the barrels. The domaine uses ‘99%’ François Frères barrels with a few testers from other coopers. The Bourgogne sees no new wood, the premiers up to 50% the grand crus 50-plus % but none with 100% – “I saw a big quality jump with the change to Francois, and another with the change to the pneumatic press. François barrels have a sucrosity and class that is hard to find in other barrels…”
Once there were general assemblies of wines – different Morey lieu-dits, for instance – but now Sébastien has separated them, but only up to a point “For cuvées of less than 3 barrels, they are not separated, for instance the multiple small parcels of Gevrey-Chambertin.”
Very simply put, I would take any wine tasted here for my own cellar – with relish!
From 60 year-old vines with small grapes.
Deep, encompassing aromas, almost textured dark fruit – yes! Supple, growing concentration and intensity, a depth of flavour with modest supporting tannin. Very long finishing. This is simply excellent.
New, 1 & 2 year-old barrel combination. The domaine a little 1er Cru Sentiers but only 8 cases worth, so it goes into this villages…
More perfumed, lots of flowers here. More direct, fine, just as good intensity and more transparency but not necessarily more gourmand. Very, very good though…
Younger vines here so ‘work really hard to make best selection.’ This a blend of 40 and 20 year-old vines. Elevage in 1-year-old barrels.
Also a very floral nose with more weighty bass notes. More intense and fresh, just a little more dryness to the tannin, but to balance there is a little more mid-palate flavour dimension. Super growth of flavour in the finish but this is certainly a wine to wait 6 months to two years to enjoy.
2013 Nuits St.Georges Aux St.Jacques
70-year-old vines inherited from Sébastien’s grandmother who came from Nuits. 50% new oak. ‘Looking for an elegant Nuits which the old vines help.’
Super nose, faintly spicy, weighty but elegant – more like the Morey than the others. Fresh, direct but complex and wide too. Slowly growing structure, this really distinguishes itself in the fresh, vibrant finish. A hint of oak texture in the finish which will be gone in a few months.
2013 Nuits St.Georges Les Argillas
From the ‘villages’ vines, and also using 50% new oak.
Depth and super aromatic complexity here – this is really super – and very modestly creamy which adds a little implied texture. Fresh, complex, again with vibrant flavour. There’s a growing undertow of faintly dray tannin but clearly no problem with that. Again a fine growth of flavour, more rounded this time in the mid-palate. Long but discreetly so with a faintly floral complexity and maybe even a hint of minerality. Super!
2-thirds new oak.
Gorgeous, deep floral yet vibrantly elegant Chambolle – gorgeous – I have to say it again! Fine texture that starts with silk before the tannin adds a little velvet. Wide, fresh dark fruit. The finish is mouth-watering and still with dark fruit. Simply splendid – and not to miss.
2013 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Fuées
This the first vintage but only 1.5 barrels worth. “Always a hint more ripeness than the Baudes – half a degree – and about ten years-older vines – 70 years”
Wide, discreetly complex nose, not the forward florals of the Baudes, or at least not the same flowers – eventually a faint licorice. But! In the mouth there’s more power and persistence, a totally different shape too – like its location perhaps a mini Bonnes-Mares. Another excellent wine but behind the Baudes today in total gorgeousness… The nose slowly pads out and becomes even more interesting.
2013 Morey St.Denis 1er Clos de la Riotte
Almost a monopole; they have the whole vineyard as metayeurs but from the commune, so a third hoes back to the commune in bottle for fêtes, presents and dinners etcetera… Not easy to cultivate as its easy to get too ripe but also one of the first to get porriture. The vines sit virtually on the rock at the limit of Clos de la Roche, hence, it’s quite mineral. 50% new oak and 30-year-old vines.
Fine, elegant and precise dark red fruit – very fine. Not big and wide, but very engrossing. Much bigger in the mouth though, a family resemblance to the first Morey with dark almost tarry flavours of weight and persistence – very well-balanced with a fresh dark complexion the finishing flavour that is really rather long and ever-changing – excellent!
First vintage assembled with some 7 year-old vines (40%), 30 years-old (30%) and 70 years-old (30%). 65% new oak.
Gorgeously wide, faintly floral – a nose of pure class. Did I say faintly floral – it’s getting bigger! Silky, wide, a little tannic drag, fine intensity, and then even more as you swallow. Great wine in the making. Really great!
Also 70-year-old vines, 20% from Mazoyères.
The aromatic is a little tight but very silky and appealing. Clearly another level of intensity and a growing but not imposing structure. Full, complex and with very fine balancing acidity. The flavour grows and grows even after you swallow. Vin de garde, but worth the wait – really excellent… Tons of material here – almost a suggestion of blueberry tarte on the nose now…
2013 Clos de Vougeot
Seven rows, but 500 metre rows(!) from the border with Grands-Echézeaux down to the route nationale – 40 yo vines.
After the Charmes, the nose is a little more open and fresh, super fine and elegant yet relatively discreet. Big yet without massive weight, more direct, a growing structure but essentially a little more transparent vs the Charmes. Really it’s the finish that is wider, more complex and more faintly saline and mineral today.