All tasted blind at ‘Interbeaujolais’ in Villefranche 25, 26 and 27 April 206.
Virtually all the wines tasted here are from the 2014 vintage – as requested – but a few 2013s seemed to creep into the mix too. Whilst all were tasted blind, the ‘cru’ was known at the start of each flight. To keep fresh and ‘on-the-ball’ I chose to taste roughly 80 wines per day – with either a coffee or lunch break between each 20.
The request to the producers was to provide samples of wines that they thought fulfilled the phrase ‘vins-de-garde’ – the rest was open to interpretation – Interesting that here, ‘vin-de-garde’ often implies some destemming, the reverse of the Côte d’Or…
- Beaujolais x14:
- Beaujolais Villages x18:
- Brouilly x19:
- Côte de Brouilly x13:
- Chénas x4:
- Chiroubles x7:
- Fleurie x28:
- Juliénas x13:
- Morgon x43:
- Moulin à Vent x53:
- Régnie x9:
- St.Amour x5:
A couple of things to note from this tasting;
- I don’t know what fauna may or may-not have been around at harvest in 2014, but I find quite a consistent pyrazine note – possibly 25-30% of wines show this. I have not found this in other vintages that I’ve tasted.
- Oak – why is it so unsympathetically used? I can cope with a faint whiff of vanilla, but many of these wines have an almost stomach-churning intensity of vanilla. It’s really not very pretty…
- Those two points apart, I found much to enjoy here and look forward to engaging with these wines further…
The wines are 2014s, except where stated…
Mickael Passot, Cuvée Prestige
1. Medium-plus colour. Wide, some flowers, some pyrazine. Fine texture, really obvious Beaujolais style but fresh and with intense flavour. Actually I find the mid-palate and finish really rather nice. Almost an orange-rind impression in the finishing flavours.
Château de Cercy, Cuvée Marly La Reserve
2. A heavier bottle. A little less colour with darker fruit but also with plenty of pyrazine traits. Again, darker coloured fruit. More tannin, a hint of astringence – really a more structure here, if a less supple texture. Less intense and tasty in the finish versus the last wine, yet long finishing and interesting.
Domaine des Joséphins, Coeur de Millésime
3. Dark coloured again. Deep, dark fruit, freshness and pyrazine. Full, very silky, very Beaujolais fruit profile but in the mid-palate becomes more and more interesting. Perhaps even a little creaminess in the finishing flavours. A slightly more savoury and considered version of the first wine. Lovely.
4. A deep nose, darkly-fruited, some herb above – serious wine. In the mouth there’s intensity, complexity, and layers of flavour. Equally serious tasting, this is excellent! Slowly fading with just a faint accent of tannin.
5. Another heavy bottle. a wine with a deep colour to match the packaging ambition. A slightly more modest nose than the previous wines, faint floral and flashes of precise blackcurrant. Wide in the mouth, fresh, layered very fine flavour. The finish is excellent offering a faintly salted accent to the flavour. This could easily be a cru – and a very good one at that. Easily the best wine tasted so far – Bravo!
Château de Cercy, Cuvées Louis Picard
6. Another deeply coloured wine from a heavy bottle. Deep, simmering, dark fruited wine – fine floral notes and clarity of dark fruit below – eventually showing some pyrazine too. Fresh, bright, complex wine with plenty of extraction – the vanilla edged tannin showing through. Mouth-watering flavour. Clearly a Beaujolais that should be kept in the cellar for a while, if only to let some of the vanilla impression fade. Very good wine – no doubt.
7. Medium-plus colour. A deep and super fruit though framed with some pyrazine. Round, vibrant fruit and personality – this is a beautiful fresh and invigorating wine – lovely finishing flavours. The classic fruity Beaujolais? Simply lovely lighter wine.
8. Medium, medium-plus colour. A nose of deep fruit and plenty of pyrazine. Bright, fresh attack and a growing intensity of flavour. This is also a super wine with a waterfall of mouth-watering flavour.
Château des Pertonnières, 1512
9. A different, rounder bottle. Medium-plus colour. A more narrow aromatic – a little dark mineral impression at the base and modestly overt dark fruit. A rather sumptuous texture – quite a mix of concentration and freshness. Dark flavours of olive and licorice and a less fruit-forward style. A little self-important, yet I think it will be excellent.
Oedora, Accord Majeoeur Vieilles Vignes
10. Also a heavy bottle. Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose has some pretty red fruits and an impression of florals with just a faint accent of pyrazine. Fresh, wide, redder fruited, plenty of energy here. The texture is pretty good too. A nice fresh finishing wave of flavour. Very good.
Domaine du Chaverron, Authentique
11. Medium, medium-plus colour. Rather overt pyrazine here – it masks the rest of the nose. The pyrazine is on the palate too – though there is a good texture and the impression of a really nice range of freshly delivered flavours – the finish is super. Essentially too much P for me today though.
12. Once-more, a back-breaking bottle. A bright and inviting, almost vibrant nose of fresh, pure dark-red and red fruits accented with pyrazine – a beauty! In the mouth this is complex and fresh, slowly offering extra complexity of red fruit. Serious and super wine – the structure is modest but the flavour definitely not. A little structural dryness in the finish, but this is a super wine.
13. Deeply coloured, classic purple-fringed Beaujolais. A pure and wide dark fruit aroma, less deep but this is quite a beauty. Super-fine, lithe fresh-flavoured wine that has an innate purity yet also an accent – only an accent of vanilla. Beautifully put together – simply excellent. Bravo!
14. Prestige Here is a deep nose, perhaps a hint of herb and fainter red fruit. Nice texture, it’s a little padded for comfort,I also like the way it flows over the palate and into a lovely finish. A very tasty wine that is not so energetic but softly ingrains into the palate – very tasty wine indeed, and one you can drink straight away with pleasure!
Château des Pertonnières, Fût de Chêne
15. This a 2013. Deep colour. Ever so deep and dark-fruited – a vibrant and inviting nose. Fresh, sweet dark fruit a halo of tannin but really just an anecdote. Fine flavour seeping through the teeth a hint more serious than the 14s, but only modestly so. Tasty wine and one that I think will be better in another 12 months. Yum!
9 from 13 Beaujolais 2014s showing some pyrazine.
Domaine Burnichon, Harmony
1. Quite deep colour. Deep fruit, freshness and clarity – lovely nose if hinting at some extraction. Big in the mouth, overt confiture fruit but with fine balancing acidity. Long and intense in the finish. Lots of wine here – I like it very much.
Château de Vaux de Vermont, Réserve de Jacques
2. A much heavier bottle, lighter coloured wine. Fresh, bright and with a floral suggestion. Round, warmer fruit, perfectly fresh to balance – plenty of flavour dimension here – less extraction and today a little more fun than the previous wine, though not ‘better.’ Tasty!
3. Medium, medium-plus colour. Bright and floral with an obvious pyrazine. Serious, complex wine here with super energy and plenty of structure too – never too much though. Super wine with lots of flavours to find in the finish too!
Domaine de Peniois Besson Père et Fils, Beaujolais Lancié
4. Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is fresh and red though a hint of rhubarb waits below. Bright and with a very good texture – the fruit intensity is very good – a basket of garden fruits including a clear impression of ripe pear. Really rather complex wine here. I can’t decide if I ‘just’ like it, or I love it! Tasty wine again!
Domaine de Saint Ennemond
5. Medium-plus colour. Wide and quite complex aromas – redder fruit, and a little sweetness and herb too. Intense, a wave of fresh flavour. Long line of finishing flavour too. Super!
6. A big and heavy bottle here. Medium-plus colour. Bright, clean, precise dark-red fruit notes – a really fine clarity of aroma. Bright in the mouth, a mouth-filling, intense, brightly flavoured wine. This is super. Still a hint of tannin as a halo to the flavours but simply excellent wine. Bravo!
7. Medium-plus colour. Bright, fresh, herby, a suggestion of pyrazine and darker, tighter fruit below. Round, finely textured and sumptuously flavoured – oh this is nice – probably augmented with a little wood, but here are waves of deep flavour – very different to the last wine, almost a suggestion of banana in the mid-palate – but very, very yum indeed!
Domaine de Rochemure
8. Medium-plus colour. A rather tighter nose than most – a certain sweet freshness but no more. A sweetness of fruit and a very nice balancing acidity. The mid-palate and finish are lovely – the first part of the wine is rather discreet. The last impression is of a very tasty wine.
Domaine Longere, Le Vin des Roches
9. Medium-plus colour. Another rather tight nose – fresh and clean with a suggestion of herb at the top, but below there’s little to see. Bright, pretty flavour – lots of fresh complexity and a saline-edged flavour that grows and grows. Hmm this finishes really very well indeed – a shame about the nose today, but this is very good wine.
Domaine de la Madone, Fût de Chêne
10. A little more weight to this bottle. Medium-plus colour. Fresh and complex nose – though clearly some of that complexity is from oak. Round, very silky, mouth-filling wine. Like the nose there’s a lot of complexity and the flavours are lovely – yet today there’s clearly a little too much vanilla/creamy/oak flavour for this palate. Wait probably at least 2 years – but there’s more than enough wine here for that to be worthwhile.
Domaine Monternot Les Jumeaux, Réserve Vieilles Vignes
11. Deep, almost saturated colour. Fresh, sweet top notes and a tighter weight of dark fruit below. Oof – the first impression is cola – there’s a more than a little too much CO2 here, then lots of tannin texture. A wine to wait for and then decant! I think this should really be worth it, but there’s very limited fun today…
12. Medium-plus colour. A fresh, deeply, darkly fruited nose with a hint of pyrazine at its summit. A finely textured palate with a little oak accent to the complex and fine flavours. Plenty of wine here, lots of flavour dimension/complexity. Long, mouth-watering flavours edged with a faint tannic dryness. Super wine in the making…
Domaine de Thulon, 1947 1er Millesimé
13. Medium-plus colour. Ooh – that’s nice. I know it has some oak complexity, but it’s not a heavy sweet vanilla, rather a faint vanilla with some attractive spice. In the mouth there is lots of volume, dark-red fruit, a hint of vanilla and a coating of tannin. Really long finishing flavours – here quite heavily accented with vanilla – and too much for today – but in 2 years this could be super.
14. Big bottle and dark wine time! Yet, here is a complex and deep nose that offers clarity and no obvious oak. The palate suggests oak without actually delivering full-on oak flavours – rather it is joyous, energetic, fresh, and not too dense – I’m not sure I could want more from a Beaujolais villages – simply delicious wine – bravo!
Château de Pougelon Cellier St.Etienne
15. Another big, heavy bottle. Medium-plus colour. Attractive aroma of modestly fresh top notes and a weight of ripe, dark fruit below. Big, layered, mouth-filling flavour. Here is plenty of concentration and certainly some oak component. Fresh dark fruit and plenty of oak – almost a caramel oak – a wine to wait for. Tasty as it is…
Domaine des Hopsices Civil de Lyon
16. Medium-plus colour. Dark, slightly tight nose – not obviously oaky but with a suggestion of coffee, eventually a tighter dark-fruited base. Fresh and bright dark fruit. A growing acidity and really plenty of concentration. A long line of dark-fruited flavour. Modestly pretty and certainly quite long, with a little dryness of finishing flavour. A very good wine, if not specially differentiated from the others – except not too much oak!
17. Deeply coloured. Fresh, intense dark fruit – impressive if perhaps with a faint oak-derived spice. Big wine, lots of energy here, lots of fresh complexity too – a little oak flavour slowly surfacing in the mid-palate. What a super, complex and fresh wine. The oak is not too badly done though I would personally wait longer, but really a bravo wine – yum!
18. The only wine from 2013. Also deeply coloured. Bright, fresh, a little extracted impression to the fruit – but wide and complex, fresh aromas. Round, supple, concentrated and with a growing intensity – really an extra intensity – macerating raspberries. I often love the extra freshness of 2013s, and here is a perfect example. Lovely wine, and one that is benefiting from the extra year in bottle.
Only 3 from 17 2014s are showing some overt pyrazine here, but clearly many have a strong oak component that will mask the pyrazine in youth… The average quality here is clearly superior in terms of concentration to the ‘Beaujolais’ flight, though many show quite a lot of oak – vanilla rather than textural oak tannin – that makes them less attractive today.
The crus of Beaujolais
It’s clear that there are very many fewer samples of the first 5 crus. That may be due to the higher proportion of those crus that are sold by négociants, but also the fact that fewer producers make what they consider to be ‘vins de garde’ from appellations like St.Amour or Chiroubles – preferring to emphasise the early drinking side of these wines.
A bottle of not understated weight. The colour is medium-plus. A fresh, red fruited nose, a little floral and showing some pyrazine. Round, supple, good energy of pretty red fruit – fruit flavour that grows in intensity. Really nicely mouth-watering finish – perhaps the best yet – overall a very good wine if not a great leap from the ‘villages.’
This has a beautiful nose of dark fruit and flowers – it’s almost vibrant – super! Big in the mouth, with and intense red fruit. Here a tiny note of astringence but then equally impressive finishing fruit with a hint of salt. I would wait at least a year to start harvesting these, the acidity reminding more of a 2013 – but that’s a good thing!
Cave de Charnay les Mâcon
Medium, medium-plus colour. Also a deep red fruit and flowers, just a hint less freshness and more weight – very lovely though. Like the last wine; fresh and intense, lots of red fruit and lots of energy. This could almost be the same wine, except that the last was even more aromatically attractive.
Deep colour. A macerating dark cherry fruit, with an almost soft texture. Direct and fresh but here with more width of dark fruit, similarly intense to the last two. Clarity of dark fruit with a suggestion of licorice to finish. Good wine, and to wait for…
Domaine des Duc
Medium-plus colour. A deep, brooding, dark-red fruit – just a suggestion of flowers and pyrazine. Lithe and intense – great freshness of flavour with a little herb. Mouth-watering finishing with a hint of structure behind. Serious wine, good quality, tasty wine.
2 from 5 showing a little pyrazine, all of these St.Amours showed well but rarely were wines that I ‘must buy.’
Château de Javermand
Deep, dark nose with obvious barrel caramel, slowly adding some smoky, spicy notes. Plenty of layered flavour here, structure too, but all in good balance. Fresher, more classic and deep fruit in the finish. Despite the oak, this is a super wine.
Deeply coloured. Deeply aromatic but floral too. Fresh, vibrant and with a silky palate. This has beautiful mouth-watering, intense flavour – this excellent – bravo! With a fine and long finish too.
Not just a heavy bottle, a tall bottle too – at least 3 cm longer than most. Deep coloured. A lot of barrel here – spicy and with some vanilla – yet behind is freshness and a floral not that is try to come to the surface. Fresh, good intensity a little tannin at the base. The oak flavour comes from the mid-palate and is the dominant note in an otherwise fresh and supple wine. A good finish that is a little more floral than oak. Excellent but clearly to wait for.
Another heavy bottle but here only with medium-plus colour. Deep, vibrant ripe fruit on the nose – almost perfumed flowers, clean and precise. The perfume of the nose is also clear on the palate – more perfume than wine here. A base of tannin texture, but never more than an anecdote. Strong finishing. This has a great future – wait 2 years!
Medium, medium-plus colour. A more modest intensity nose, yet one of clean, fine, fruit and flowers – it becomes ever-more beautiful in the glass. There is a little structure here, but I really like the fresh clarity of flavour delivery. Plenty of structure but the flavour just sings on the tongue. Simply a beauty!
Château de Javermand
Medium, medium-plus colour. Here is a little pyrazine and herb. Round and very pretty flavours of red fruit in the mouth – some extraction of mid-palate flavour here, but it unwinds quite will in the mid-palate. A long but very understated finish.
A heavy bottle with a red-waxed top. Medium-plus colour. A deep nose, a little smoky with a complex herb. Super texture and a growing intensity – really good mid-palate flavour with a subtle caramel inflection. Fresh character, plenty of mid-palate extraction and a little texture too. The finish lingering with a mouth-watering, slightly sweet last note – actually the very last impression is still a little dryness on the gums. A clear yet modest oak character – when that fades, this will be excellent!
Just 1 pyrazine wine here from 7 – but with quite a lot of oak too…
Medium-plus colour. Freshness over a deeper fruit with a faint caramel. This is rather good in the mouth – intense and concentrated without too much volume. A nice growth of flavour, still with that faint caramel edge. The tannin is present but very fine and ripe – no astringence. This is really excellent!
Domaine Raphael Chopin, Caprice
A heavy bottle. Medium-plus colour. A wide, faintly spiced, fresh, dark-fruited nose – this is lovely. Big in the mouth – much more volume than the last. Fresh, dark fruit, a little more obvious tannic texture and attendant astringency. But a big and bright waterfall of fresh dark fruit in the finish – super!
Medium, medium-plus colour. Bright, fresh nose, slightly indistinct, save for a faint pyrazine. Intense and perfumed fruit flavour – super mouth-watering wave of finishing flavour too. A super finish – Yum!
Domaine Roland Pignard
Medium-plus colour. A bright nose of fine red fruit and almost a cut grass aspect that slowly turns to pyrazine. Bright and pretty fruit – acidulated and really tasty – it forces you to swall before begging you take another sip. Essentially a smaller, less overtly impressive wine – yet one that’s all the more delicious for that!
Domaine Tano Péchard, Canicule
Deep colour. A massive nose that’s fresh but mainly barrel – it really doesn’t invite me to take a sip. But I persevere: Actually this is lovely on the palate with a lithe and energetic character that is only spoiled by the level of vanilla in the mid-palate and finish. If the fruit asserts control, this will be very lovely, but not in less than 4-5 years I expect! Lovely finishing flavour if you ignore the oak…
Hmm – lifting a bottle like this needs training 😉 Medium-plus colour. A bright and fresh nose that has good fruit, beautiful flowers and only an accent of distracting vanilla. Beautiful on the palate – wide, lithe, nicely textured, lots of complexity. Here also the wood is a mere accent. Bravo – this is excellent!
Domaine Tano Péchard, Les Bruyères
Medium-plus colour. A deep and very attractive nose – modestly fresh and clean, compact, pure fruit below. Less overtly fresh, a more contemplative wine that is wide and concentrated with a good intensity. Nice wine – not obvious wood and just a little extra brightness of finishing flavour. Tasty wine!
Medium, medium-plus colour. A fresh and bright nose – very attractive without overt floral perfume. Bright and lovely in the mouth. Here is plenty of flavour dimension and a well-controlled structure with almost no dryness. Delicious wine!
A heavy bottle and a deeper colour to accompany. Vibrant dark fruit with fine clarity – super! Here is certainly an extraction that is not noticeable on the nose. Intense and mouth-filling wine, a certain base of tannin and really intense dark fruit. Wow – a monster – yet, seemingly a well-trained monster – like a pit-bull that loves cats. Impressive wine and whilst not the tastiest today, this just needs time…
Two from nine with a pyrazine element.
Georges Dubeouf Château des Capitans
A deep nose but a pretty nose too – not full impact, rather slight. Lots of sweetness of fruit here and a bright and intense width of flavour – mouth-watering flavour. Lovely, clean, fresh and interesting wine. Yum!
Domaine du Bois de Chat, Patte de Velours
Medium, medium-plus colour. A deep if narrow nose that is fruit plus some oak artifacts. Quite concentrated and with a decent freshness – the tannin adding a little astringence to the palate – rather too much oak flavour today. But sweet and tasty finishing wine. En attend, but I think this will be very good in 3-4 years.
Medium-plus colour. Fresh, bright, some herb, and a slowly growing floral aspect – nice! Hmm – lovely in the mouth, really a perfumed fruit. This neither the most intense or concentrated but it is quite delicious today.
Domaine Bertrand, Les Fouillouses
Medium, medium-plus colour. Fresh and quite herby nose. This has a nice round shape in the mouth with a super line of flavour running through the core into the mid-palate and onwards into the finish. Really a little floral aspect in the finish too. Lovely – if the nose improves this will be super!
Here is a fine and composed nose with a modest freshness over lovely red fruit. This is intense and with a lovely layered and fresh red fruit flavour. No make-uo here just a young wine with super energy. This will be super.
Here a heavy ‘statement’ bottle. Overtly perfumed nose with dark fruit combined – this is quite impressive! Fresh, intense with a good line and quite some growing intensity. Plenty of structure and no cushioning – just a pure baby wine. Excellent – in 3-4 years!
Domaine du Clos du Fief Tête
Lovely! Finely perfumed nose that’s completely involving. Round in the mouth, here with some oak aspects yet fine energy and detail – lots of things happening in the mouth – almost too much for now. This will be super – and really only some oak to see in the mid-palate, and maybe the last notes of the finish. Yum!
Medium-plus colour. A nice width of fresh aroma, as almost always with a good clean note of fresh dark fruit supporting. In the mouth, here are layers of flavour, aided for sure by a hint of creamy oak, but with an invigorating line of flavour that runs through the core of the wine. Excellent.
A wide and vibrant nose of dark fruit – lovely. In the mouth there is a similar, almost blackcurrant fruit, good structure and a fine mouth-watering flavour. No oak to see here, just a delicious wine.
Ooh… that’s really beautiful nose! Silky dark fruit, with a beautiful line of precise berries – rare in Beaujolais. Gorgeous in the mouth, full of precise, pretty fruit, but real concentration and presence. Perfumed, tasty gorgeousness – the best wine today – so far!
More weight-training with this bottle. Medium-plus colour. A deep and complex nose with some herb and a dark fruit that slowly becomes smoother and smoother. Really much more extract here and plenty of oak too, yet there are layers of flavour and lots to wait for. This could be excellent, given time. Wait 4 years.
Colin Séguin, Les Impatientes
Another not-insubstantial bottle. Medium, medium-plus colour. A wide nose with a little savoury impression, perhaps a faint pyrazine behind a modest oak curtain. In the mouth, this is rather nice, layers of flavour, only modestly fresh, with a little impression of wood too. Lots of complexity and a nicely mouth-watering finish. This is very, very good.
Medium-plus colour. A nice and fresh nose of ripe pear and then darker fruit below. Good texture, wide flavour profile with an ever-growing intensity of slowly brighter and brighter fruit. This is really lovely – long, long, long – even if faintly oaked.
No pyrazines here…
Here a deep nose, yes vibrant, but with a seemingly very different register – despite the ‘herby fruit’ description. Round, bright, beautifully packaged and textured with layers of great flavour. Hmm, lovely finishing too. It could be right, more intense, more concentrated – many things – yet the ensemble is delicious.
Heavy bottle alert. Dark fruited, sleek aromas. In the mouth this is both intense, and showing layered fruit. There’s certainly some extraction here but the fruit is very fine – there’s nothing heavy. Another delicious wine.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Fine, wide, slightly floral, slightly macerating fruit. Ouf! This is fresh, supple, sweet, mouth-watering and invigorating. The fruit stays a little on the macerating side – I’d prefer a more overt purity, but really a super wine and with a fine mouth-watering finish though a modest tannin – bravo!
Not the heaviest, but certainly a weighty bottle. Medium-medium-plus colour. The nose is sleek and just a little reticent – darkly-fruited of-course. Full, silky wine – big on concentration, extracted but with care. Really a massive but beautifully textured wine. No obvious oak and a delicious blend of flowers and fruit to finish. Excellent – very different in style and whilst all the edges are round enough to drink today, I would give it just as much time as the others. Bravo!
A full-house – only 4 wines, but all highly ‘recommendable!’
Day two, and it’s time to start with Morgon and over 40 of them too!
Vins Anjoux, Côte du Py Cuvée Mathilde
Nice depth of aroma – a fresh and precise dark fruit here. A wave of very fine fruit followed by a more profound depth in the second wave of flavour – this certainly wont be the most intense or energetic of the flight, but it has complexity, layers and very fine balance – lovely wine!
Domaine Mickael Nesme, Côte du Py
Much deeper coloured. A nose of freshness but it’s essentially rather tight below. Fresh, less overtly ripe as the previous wine with a growing astringency from the undertow of structure – yet the mid-palate and finish are delightful with some floral inflections. Clearly a wine of potential that will add interest with cellaring.
A larger nose, faintly spiced a hint warmer fruit, but again tight. Lovely in the mouth, silky, layered, fresh and intense – this is really excellent clean and pure wine with a great finish – Bravo!
Another deeply coloured wine. Fresh and rather floral on the nose – it’s very inviting. Round, mouth-filling wine – also very floral in the mouth – this is delightful – less impressive than the previous wine but with a very different and valid personality – I like it, and it’s finish very much – Yum!
Laurent Gauthier, Vieilles Vignes Côte du Py
A big and heavy bottle, though ‘only’ medium-plus colour. A wide and fresh nose – quite pretty if only modest intensity. Direct, fresh, cool fruit, the texture is very good and silky. Fine mouth-watering flavour. The finish is really excellent!
Dominique et Remy Passot
A bright and pretty nose – pure and precise fruit notes here. Fills the mouth nicely with some freshness and a faint but not jarring dry edge to the tannin at the base. Plenty of flavour dimension and energy – a slightly lactic (poor descriptor) impression to the fruit. But very tasty, good wine.
Bright, fresh wide and pure fruit notes – modestly concentrated but airy and lovely. A mineral impression here, lithe and slowly growing in freshness. Cool but still sweet fruit, really mouth-watering and growing more and more floral in the mouth. Not the most concentrated for-sure, but excellent!
Les Natives, Côte du Py
Medium-plus colour. Deep – but mainly because there’s a note of reduction and a little oak too – okay, quite a lot of oak! Fresh, mouth-filling wine. Lots of energy and flavour dimension but the vanilla really takes hold in the mid-palate and finish – kit’s really far too much for now, but given time it will lessen. There’s a very good wine behind the oak, waiting to show itself…
A heavy bottle. Medium-plus colour. Wide, deep, but aromatically tight above. Round, nice in the mouth, lithe and flowing whilst releasing more and more flavour, faintly salted and with a lovely texture of ripe tannin as a base. A wine that gets better and better in the glass. I started with ‘ho-hum’ and ended with ‘very yum!’ This is getting better and better and is very long. Super!
Fresh nose, faintly strawberry – that’s a first! – otherwise here is modesty. Not modest in the mouth – this is layered, beautifully textured wine with tons of flavour complexity. Bravo – Excellent wine!
Bret Brothers Les Charmes
A heavy, red wax-topped bottle. Medium, medium-plus colour. Plenty of pyrazine on the nose, plus a general freshness. Round and silky in the mouth with a subtle but slowly growing flavour – modest florals and a hint minerality. Good length too – but modest wine in the end, at least in the context of these Morgons.
Domaine de Bel Air, Les Charmes
Medium-plus colour. Good depth but probably due to the accent of reduction – otherwise a relatively tight nose. Sweetness of fruit, almost some ripe gooseberry impression, plenty of dimension and energy. The flavour profile is a little different but I really like the mid-palate intensity and the fines finish. Yum!
Medium-plus colour. A vibrant nose of dark, slightly roast fruit – becomes ever-more fresher with black-skinned cherry and olive. Sumptuous texture, round in the mouth and it feels very fine over the tongue – the flavour growing and growing – to my taste not the most gorgeous flavour here due to the accent of olive – yet large-scaled, layered, complex wine of super texture and good energy – a great finish too – what a super combination!
Medium, medium-plus colour. A bright and open red fruited wine that adds nice floral aspects too, more limited depth of aroma. Fine, lithe, silky wine – really a lovely texture and growing complexity of tasty –fruit – this is really lovely and slowly ingraining. Far from the most concentrated – but a honey today – and what a super finish!
Impressive nose – clearly a hint of barrel-spice but it’s fresh and lacks vanilla – super. In the mouth a cooler fruit but with dimension of flavour, very fine, slightly padded texture. There’s certainly an element of oak – almost allowing a little vanilla to peak through. Really a very well put together wine, where the oak is on a level that it should fade out of view – wait 3+ years end enjoy – super!
Roland Pignard, Cuvée Tradition
Medium. Medium-plus colour. Bright, florals, pyrazine, it’s a width of aroma. Quite large-scaled in the mouth, with cool but slightly sweet fruit, excellent texture, a really delicious mouth-watering flavour in the finish too – the pyrazine is always a modest backdrop – but high quality wine here.
A heavy bottle with a deep colour to match. Fresh, deep, slightly mineral nose. Fresh in the mouth too – lots of energy and a slowly growing complexity of flavour. The tannin is super-fine though shows a hint of astringence. A beautiful burst of fine fruit flavour in the finish – very yum! Here is a wine you definitely need to wait for – but I think that 5 years from now it will be great!
Guénael Jambon, Côte de Py Dame de la Côte
Another heavy bottle with deep coloured wine. Deep but with a subtle accent of reduction. Wide, super flavour, a base of modestly astringent tannin – but fine-grained. A lovely and intense line of fruit that flows in to the finish. Excellent!
A bright and prettily-fruited nose that’s redolent of cordial. Fresh in the mouth with cool fruit and a fine line of flavour that pushes you along the mid-palate and into the finish. Really beautiful finishing flavour – really super. Excellent wine.
Another weightlifter’s bottle. Medium, medium-plus colour. A very pretty nose indeed – dark-red fruit and flowers. Hmm – fresh, almost no texture, just clean fresh lines of flavour. This slowly grows in the mouth adding a faint baseline of tannin and just a little cushioning, but this is really excellent wine with a very fine and growing flavour that is simply a very lovely thing. Bravo!
Joseph Drouhin, Hospices de Belleville
Medium, medium-plus colour. Depth of aroma, but mainly due to a little reduction. Wide and fresh, a reduction-inflected flavour to – though complex and a little saline. The finish has energy and is quite super. Great wine – in parts…
A heavier bottle and a deeper colour to match. The nose has some density but just a little tightness, the last drops in the glass show a lovely complexity of tobacco plus a suggestion of pyrazine. Fresh, cool fruit, a little saline and really only accented with sweetness. That said, a wine that has a beautiful texture and no lack of concentration over the palate, offering layers of flavour – just a little pyrazine in the mid-palate – then finished with a deep dark fruit. Super wine, definitely not a simple and sweet-fruited wine, yet understated wine too.
Château Grange Cochard, Les Charmes
Another heavy bottle with a darker wine. A deep wine – open, with some tobacco in the mix too. Big, fruity – round with lots of intensity and some accents of salinity. Perhaps a little simple compared to many here(?) yet concentrated, perfectly textured, delicious wine. Yum!
Medium, medium-plus. Fresh, red-fruited aromas with a hint of florals and pyrazine. Wide and fresh on the palate with a super width and texture – the base of tannin is ripe, very finely textured and slightly saline. I am really loving the complexity of this wine in the mouth – there’s an elegance yet also with authority – bravo!
Patrick Bouland, Vieilles Vignes
A deep nose with a fine clarity of red fruit, almost a compote. Lots of jammy sweetness here but with a super, growing intensity of fresh and diverse flavour. I started thinking that this would be an easy wine, but it’s excellent from the mid-palate onwards – yum!
Medium, medium-plus colour. An open nose of freshness yet rather tighter in the bass. Lithe, fresh with a modest coolness of fruit, yet this is very tasty and complex. I love the texture here, only very modestly suggesting tannin yet there is intensity of line here. Just a super wine. The finish is wide and really super!
Medium-plus colour. Fresh and open aromatics with dark fruit and a hint of black olive. Big in the mouth, a muscular wine but no fat. Really a growing complexity of flavour that just gets wider and wider. Far from a wine of simple fruit. This is excellent!
A super nose of sleek and clean dark fruit that goes deep into the bass notes. Big in the mouth, really with lots of energy – a growing intensity too. This is big wine but with excellent control of the tannin and texture. Bravura – excellent wine – Yum!
Mommessin, Les Charmes Grandes Mises
A very heavy bottle – almost surprisingly, it’s only medium, medium-plus colour. A modest but round and pretty nose. Round in the mouth too – a little saline accent to the flavours. Very well made wine that has a tiny rasp of tannin but generally plenty of complexity and taste. Yum!
A similarly massive bottle but this time with the deeper colour to match. A fresh and inviting, darkly-fruited nose, faintly accented with flowers – yet all modestly intense. Hmm – this is lovely in the mouth with lots of floral perfume to the fruit, a saline base of ripe and fine-textured tannin too. This is excellent wine. A bright, and floral-inflected, finishing flavour. Excellent – super wine!
Lots of heavy bottles now! Medium-plus colour. A lovely nose that shows a width of dark, and fresh fruit. Ouf! Lots of intensity and fresh complexity here – this is super – almost a few fireworks. Fine and intense finishing flavours and a great length too. The finishing fruit flavour is not my favourite but that’s being churlish – just a super wine!
Château Gaillard, Vieilles Vignes
Medium, medium-plus colour. Lots of pyrazine on the nose – it really dominates. Likewise on the palate – and indeed still in the finish – yet the overall personality is one of freshness, complexity and no lack of charm. If you are pyrazine insensitive, this is very lovely wine…
Château Gaillard Clos du Mez (Zighera Confuron)
A Burgundy-red wax-topped bottle. Medium-plus colour. Wide and deep, pretty despite a little reduction. Round but with freshness, very little padding, just lots and lots of complexity. Here is a trace of reduction to but it dominates none of the flavours. Fine fresh fruit in the finish as it escapes the clutches of a faintly astringent but fine-textured tannin. Very good!
Château de Pizay, Les Sybarites
Medium-plus colour. A silky and wide nose of dark, attractive fruit. Fresh and wine in the mouth. An understated fruit flavour but it grows as you wait – a very fine mid-palate flavour that also includes floral notes. Here is a very tasty, and very well made wine – yum!
Medium, medium-plus colour. Red-fruited wine, almost suggesting strawberry – perhaps pushed by a faint pyrazine note. Beautiful combination of width, texture and complexity here – this is a panorama of flavour and sensation combined. Just a beautiful wine with an equally great finish – Bravo!
Medium-plus colour. A wide, subtle, yet elegantly pretty nose – it’s just so inviting. Fresh mouth-filling wine, here with an unsubtle accent of vanilla, yet it’s complex, sitting beautifully on the palate and shows a fine complexity of flavour – in the finish too. Very lovely wine that if the oak fades will be simply excellent!
Medium, medium-plus colour. A pretty width of aroma from an essentially modest intensity nose. Lovely mouth-filling character with good texture and a growing and very interesting complexity of flavour – this is lovely wine. Really a super extra dimension of finishing flavour – delicious. Super wine!
Deeper-coloured wine from a cherry-red wax-topped bottle. Here is a nose of spice, dark fruit and an accent of reduction. Very large-scaled in the mouth. Concentrated and complex flavours with a not inconsiderable base of tannin, yet tannin that has a very fine texture. A super, large-scaled wine that will last for years and years – importantly, to the benefit of the wine, not just ‘because it can!’ Excellent!
Medium, medium-plus colour. A very pretty red fruit of quite some clarity – almost redcurrant, though framed with pyrazine. Equally lovely red fruit on the palate. A wine of real complexity and vigour, yet grounded with a lovely texture of ripe, finely-grained tannin. The pyrazine is present in the complex and tasty finish. Bravo! Lovely wine.
Medium-plus colour. A deep, reductively accented nose, but one that suggests some floral aspects too. Clean, sleek wine. A growing flavour of dark-red fruit, cool fruit but at the same time, crunchy-fruit. Lovely wine and the suggestion of flowers from the nose, is actually delivered in the finish. Lovely wine.
A very modest medium colour – for Morgon anyway. The nose has freshness and pretty fruit, though also of modest intensity. A wine that seems to lead with the salinity of its fine tannic base, slowly growing in sweetness and intensity. An interesting impression of small waves of flavour in the finish. Very tasty wine, less concentrated than many, but really no less involving.
Medium, medium-plus colour. A fresh nose, that has pretty dark fruit and a pyrazine aspect in the top notes but one that blends in fine manner with the floral notes. A wide panorama of flavour, again pyrazine accented – though I prefer that to vanilla! – floral accented too. Lots of pretty flavour here. I’m enjoying the wine a lot, despite what has gone before. Still a little tannin in the finish – but that’s correct for such a baby. Yum!
Medium, medium-plus colour. A modest nose, but one of very finely delineated and fresh dark-red fruit. Volume in the mouth but without excessiveness, a base of slightly spicy, salted, fine-grained tannin. A really excellent wine – I love the burst of flavour and energy in the mid-palate. This wine fades only very slowly in the finish – delicious and bravo!
Eight wines here with pyrazine accents.
Moulin à Vent…
Now, it’s Moulin à Vent time! Only 51 wines….
Domaine Pardon et Fils
Medium, medium-plus colour. A modest nose, but one with some width and a little cushioning to good fruit. IN the mouth there’s plenty of flavour-dimension and a good line of acidity – I find a nice floral flavour too. Very tasty, good MAV.
Medium-plus colour. Ooh – now that’s very pretty – floral, dark-fruit with just a suggestion of pyrazine that twists the aromas almost towards mint. Beautifully clarity and width of flavour on the palate. A fresh line of acidity and super mouth-watering flavour anecdotes. Delicious!
Château de Moulin à Vent, Clos des Londres
Medium-plus colour. Here the nose is round and fresh with a nice red fruit – coated with vanilla. Lots of complexity on the palate – a really good base of faintly spicy, saline tannin but much of the rest of the flavour, partly floral, also sees a vanilla coating. Because of all that vanilla flavour, not an easy wine (for me) to enjoy today – but I see a lot of quality here.
Medium-plus colour. A beautiful nose of crystalline fruit – not super powerful, but beautiful all the same. Also a beautiful clarity of fruit on the palate; faintly salted, layered, fresh and red with flowers in the finish too. Simply gorgeous wine.
Medium-plus colour. Another beautiful nose – a little more aromatic power and dimension, even after the last wine. In the mouth there’s a little textural padding, the impression of a little oak support to – perhaps a little cream, but no vanilla. This is intense and, at the same time, beautifully floral in the mouth. Direct, intense but gorgeous wine!
Medium, medium-plus colour. Another bright and beautiful red-fruit-led nose. Again, wide on the palate, fresh and red-fruited. The tannin is only an anecdote when compared to the fine flavour intensity. Floral aspects again in the long finishing flavours. Again super.
Medium-plus colour. Deep but here with a modest reduction. Large-scaled in the mouth. A little cushioning texture and some waves of dark, fresh fruit. The finish heralds a fine intensity and also weight of finishing flavour. Very different in style, but also excellent.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Back to the bright and attractive clean red fruit. More floral in character, just a faint tannin astringency, but a lovely extra dimension of mid-palate flavour too – almost an old-vine creaminess that you get in pinot. Really beautiful dimension of finishing flavour too. Top!
Medium-plus colour. Deep and beautiful fruit aroma, just a slight impression of stewing fruit too. Plenty of layers of flavour on the plate and there’s energy too – finely-textured tannin at the base – another winner. Super wine!
Medium-plus colour. A tighter nose yet still with pretty high tones, perhaps a faint pyrazine behind. Less sweet than some – a cooler fruit. Good texture and some layers of flavour again. A little less beautifully crafted perhaps, but the character is the same – a nice floral burst in the finish too. Very good.
Louis Boillot, Les Bruissellions
Medium, medium-plus colour. A depth of aroma, a little tight – but red fruited. A tighter core of flavour too – but slowly it opens in the mouth – fresh red-fruit, plenty of acidity too. Really lovely finishing flavours – this is very lovely and very long. Not with the best to start with, but definitely on a great level for the finish.
Medium-medium-plus colour. Another wine that shows some higher tones but is much tighter in the middle. Really wide in the mouth, and with a great texture and mouth-watering delivery of flavour too. A little oak augmentation here, perhaps, but no vanilla just a creaminess to the mid-palate flavours. A great finish. Just a little extra structure than some, but super wine.
Château de Moulin à Vent, La Rochelle
Medium-plus colour. A deep nose inflected with a lot of barrel spice. Beautifully textured to start, slowly gaining a little astringency – a faint spice and a little less faint vanilla at the tannic base. Almost a buttery texture. To be honest, impressive as these flavours are, they obscure the (seemingly?) darker fruit, for me. A beautifully textured wine, but a wine that is today hidden behind its elevage. I hope it is great in 5 years time, rather than just oaky – it certainly has that potential…
Medium-plus colour. Also a little oak on the nose for this wine – more vanilla than spice – but decent freshness above. Another wine that fills the mouth beautifully – indeed here I see many dimensions of flavour, not just oak – for that reason I rate this wine much higher than the last – there is a floral note that also breaks through the elevage. Even more-so in the long, mouth-watering, but still serious finish.This, I’m sure will be excellent.
Château des Gimmarets
Ooh – that’s a heavy bottle! Medium-plus colour. The nose here is rather particular – I thought corked, but bottle two has exactly the same character – a spicy, herby element that suggests ‘corked’ but in both cases I don’t taste a problem. In the mouth there’s really good dimension of flavour and a nice silky start too. The finish becomes more saline as the structure comes to the fore – this tastes good – and the finish is excellent!
Bright and fresh red fruit – some depth of aroma too. Bright and fresh with a lovely depth of fruit flavour. Really a fine and clean tasting with just a modest floral component. Very tasty, slightly more elegant wine than many here.
Medium-plus colour – a heavy bottle to match! Deep, very deep – dark fruited with just a hint of reduction. This is excellent – there is a little oak and a suggestion of vanilla too, but really it is hidden by the base of fine-textured, slightly saline tannin and layers of dark-fruited flavour. Very big wine in the context of this series. The finish has just a little licorice about it – the first in this series – but is very long, impressively so… Super wine.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Here there’s a little oak spice mixed with flowers. In the mouth this really has a lot of salinity – it’s the first wave of flavour – associated with the base of tannin – you have to wait for the next wave – the fruit flavour – which really is subordinate for the moment. A long chewy finish. This is big wine but I have to admire it. Wait at least 5 years for it – it will certainly live, and improve, much longer than that.
Medium-plus colour. Wide, deep, fresh and dark fruit – yum! Silky to start, slowly growing an accent of astringency. Beautiful flavour, with a little cushioning, and plenty of floral anecdotes to finish in the mouth-watering length. Super wine!
Wide and fresh on the nose – there’s a little herb – and plenty of red fruit. Round, lots of flavour dimension, a little structural, saline flavour too. A good line of flavour through the middle of the wine – and plenty of energy too. Clearly not the most sombre of wines – tasty!
Jean Loron, Xavier et Nicolas Barbet, Vieilles Vignes
Deep colour. Despite the colour this is fresh and elegant with depth and higher-toned florals. Some sweetness and really a lovely freshness of flavour. The fruit is a little less tasty than the floral references – there is plenty of saline, structural flavour too – less perfectly formed than some, but really a tasty wine with plenty of finishing intensity.
Medium-plus colour. A beautiful nose of deep fruit circled by fine flowers. Plenty of structure but the fine flavour cuts right through the middle – fruit and flowers. A super intensity and only a modest astringency. Beautiful finishing flavour too. Really a wine to cellar – but a beauty.
Medium, medium-plus colour. A rather tighter nose; very faintly floral but little more to gather. Nice shape in the mouth. Good clean red fruit, and a slowly growing base of tannin – a flavour that classically blends fruit and flowers, becoming slowly more intense. Fine finishing intensity too. Very tasty wine.
Medium-plus colour. An individual nose; really an intense, almost volatile fruit that extends its line into the floral. Round with super texture – really filling my mouth. Lots of tannin here, really quite ripe – but sufficient that there’s some astringency. Lovely, really lovely finishing flavour – it’s much more floral than fruit at the end. Excellent and of-course to wait for.
A heavy bottle. Medium-plus colour. Fine, deep, dark fruit of clarity, plus a faintly oak-spice impression – but really only as an afterthought. Really wide and impressive wine – lots of fine-grained, ripe tannin, just a slight astringency and salinity – lots of flavour – waves of flavour. Super in the finish too – bravo – super wine.
A wide and beautifully dark-fruited nose – faintly mineral – yum! Ooh – gorgeously full and finely textured. Lots of wine here – intense, saline, layered. Just a really massive yet finely controlled wine. Bravo!
Benoit Trichard, l’Exception
Medium, medium-plus. Ouch – that’s oaky – massively oaky. I’m not really sure I want to put this in my mouth… Okay; close to volatile fruit, plenty of oak, almost a marsala note already – sorry but not my style.
Fresh red-black fruit. Pretty fruit – not massively scaled wine but sleek and very elegant – a perfect mouth-cleanser. Essentially a pretty wine rather than an impressive – and you need both. Lovely.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Gorgeous, beautiful inviting aromatics… Sweet in the mouth – perhaps too, but this is hauntingly gorgeous wine. The structure is hardly visible but the silky delivery is like the previous elegant wine with double concentration – but also doubly elegant. Gorgeous flowers in the finish too – simply great! I’m not sure it’s the best wine today, but certainly the one I’d take home (so far…)
Medium-plus colour. A vibrant dark-red fruit nose. Big in the mouth, but beautifully fruited, floral components too. This is essentially the last wine with darker fruit and more structure – another great wine. Bravo!
Heavy bottled, red wax-topped. A pretty nose of flowers and also pyrazine. Fresh, lithe and mobile in the moth. A good base of fine, ripe tannin and plenty of floral references. Really a super-lovely floral, mouth-watering finish – lovely…
Medium-plus colour. A modest nose with some high tones and an impression of fresh dark fruit – essentially tight. In the mouth this is very-much lovelier. Fine flavoured fruit with a slowly growing base in fine-grained structure. The nose just gets better and better in the glass – it’s really something gorgeous to finish.
Ouf – deepest colour of the day (I expect). A nose that also goes very deep though has a very tight width – dark fruited and with a faint vanilla. In the mouth this attacks the palate – so much concentration and growing intensity. There is a modest astringency, but this is a wine apart – massively concentrated yet controlled – and to my surprise the faint note of vanilla on the nose is not really reflected on the palate – a wine for the ages – bravo – but I’m not coming back for the next 5 years!
A deep wine, one with just a little tightness – a suggestion of olive-skin – but time is needed for more. It does actually add to the clarity and a pretty evolution of fruit. Really big and bold in the mouth – super concentration here. A saline base of tannin but very little astringency. It is very hard to follow the last wine, but this is lovely.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is modest; pretty but faint dark fruit – but of fine clarity. Lots of flavour complexity here – perhaps a little impression of caramel in the mid-palate but really nothing else that might suggest barrels. This is a big wine and of fine intensity. One that I’d wait 3 or 4 years before revisiting. Super wine.
Domaine Charvet, Hommage à la Rochelle
Medium-plus colour. Really a pretty, almost simmering dark-red fruit. Quite a big wine here – also plenty of structure – but it’s all under fine control. Mouth-watering in the finish – though trough plenty of tannin. A very good wine, but I’m just missing a little flavour complexity today – size cannot be criticised.
Domaine de Colette
Medium-plus colour. A little herby on the nose, but slowly adding some attractive red fruit elements. Wide and with plenty of tannin – but very finely grained tannin that slowly releases a fine floral component – not just salinity. Really and excellent finishing flavour – much more distinctive than the rest of the wine – very tasty to finish.
Medium-plus colour. Bright wide and very pretty aromatics that combine both fruit and flowers – very attractive. Cool fruit, growing intensity and an obvious floral side. I really like the intensity at the start of the finish as the fruit works its way, mouth-wateringly through a little structure. Very lovely wine!
Medium-plus colour. Bright, intense fruit almost, but not quite, becoming volatile, but perhaps the floral element behind – lovely. Wide, tasty fruit, adding flowers, adding intensity a hint of astringence but only because of the quantity of tannin at the base of the wine. Excellent fruit and flowers to finish – really excellent!
Medium, medium-plus colour. Less high-toned, a little more subdued perhaps, but still a very nice nose that blends flowers and fruit. Also the palate has quite an elegant fruit/flowers blend that is even lovelier in the finish. In the middle is a little structure – certainly less elegant structure than many here, but this essentially something that fades while the other flavour stay and/or improve.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Here is a lovely and quite deep nose. Lots of width on the palate – the tannin makes the first impression – finely grained as it is – then the fruit flavour slowly leaches from the mouth. A big wine and one for the cellar too – maybe not as massive as number 33 – but it’s junior brother perhaps!
Maybe it’s late in the day, but this bottle feels extra heavy! Medium-plus colour. Pretty high tones, augmented with some vanilla. Big, round, mouth-filling wine. Fine, if large-scaled structure but it’s also excellently ripe tannin. The flavour comes in waves though coated with plenty of vanilla today. I would drink this today a) for its vanilla and b) because it is clearly made for the cellar – but lots of potential waits here.
Domaine de Rochemure
Medium-plus colour. Freshness and aromatic width – but really nothing particularly exciting here to start. Much more interesting in the mouth – the fruit seems a little macerated, but there’s generally a nice roundness and perhaps a little bitter chocolate in the finish. The finish opens with a good floral note. A wine, today, that’s only great in parts…
Anjoux Vins, Cuvée Jean Vieilles Vignes
Medium-plus colour. Another nose where the fruit is macerating in a pan, but I really like the depth – and there’s no reduction here. Wide, also a little maceration to the fruit. Plenty of tannic astringency but virtually no grain. A wine with plenty of potential, but not my favourite style of fruit.
Medium-plus colour. This is a fine nose, faint herbs, less faint flowers and a depth of pretty dark fruit. There is plenty of astringency to the palate – but what remains is a silky and pretty fruit note – flowers too. Really vin de garde, but it has all the components – yum!
Medium-plus colour. It’s a rather modest nose – yet everything is here – pretty high-toned flowers and a fruit of nice clarity. Really big wine in the mouth – no fat, no obvious augmentation from oak – simply large-scale, intense flavour. Surprisingly (perhaps) the tannin is hardly to be seen, but the finish is impressive, just a little bright, and offers (for at least the 40th time!) very nice flowers and fruit. Tons of potential here – I’d still wait plenty of time as the structure is certainly here, despite the scale of the wine.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Here the nose is just a little muted and shows more of a sweet herbal impression. Fresh, with lots of flavour dimension on the palate. The tannin is certainly present and adheres to the gums in a slightly dry fashion, but the last impression is of a fine, soft red-fruit flavour in the finish. Encore, fine vin de garde.
A heavy bottle, this one. Medium-plus colour. Concentrated dark-red fruit on the nose, underpinned with a subtle vanilla. Ouf! Really a fabulous level of flavour dimension here – lots and lots of tannin but with only modest astringency, given its volume. Dark-fruited, faintly floral finishing vin de garde par excellence!
Deeply coloured. Rather a silky nose – not particularly overt – I would say guarded. Really tons of flavour energy on the palate – ever-growing intensity, perhaps a little pepper too. Really this has super flavour width and of very fine fruit. Of-course there’s tannin – but really anecdotal for a wine to age. Just and excellent wine again – bravo!
Two 2013s to finish:
Medium-plus colour. A herby-ness but with sweetness and fruit combined. Like many of the 14s, really super width of flavour. Lots of energy and flavour complexity. Fine freshness and a lovely, slowly lingering flavour. There is a little dryness, but silkier than found in most of the 14s. Very tasty wine.
Laurent Perrachon, Le Burdelines
Medium, medium-plus colour. A really nice nose – dark fruited more subtly complex than many today – it’s very inviting. A cool personality in the mouth – yet the fruit remains relatively sweet and with plenty of complexity.I much prefer the first wine, but this showing quite well.
Only 3 obviously pyrazine accented wines. If I was choosing my wine of the day, it essentially comes down to the most massively impressive – Loron, La Roche – or a wine that has everything that I can drink today – and that wine could easily be the Domaine du Granit…
Brouilly is traditionally considered a little more fruity and a little less structured than Côte de Brouilly – so I’ll do them that way around, and let’s see!
Medium-plus colour. A very bright and very attractive fruit nose – almost silky. Fills the mouth with really lovely fruit, slowly the waves of flavour are growing and there’s is a super finishing width of fine-mouth-watering fruit too. This is easy, very attractive wine – too simple? – It is simply delicious.
Château de la Chaize
Medium-plus colour. A deeper nose and with plenty of vanilla oak too. Very fine texture and waves of flavour – less fine focus than the last wine but more layers of intense flavour – way too much oak flavour today though. Very fine finishing with a mix of flowers, fruit and oak. My problem is that, oak-apart, this is gorgeous now – why would I wait (at least) 5 years for the oak to fade?
Bright, vibrant fruit of clarity! Fine, layered, lots of freshness, a hint of textural drag from the tannin – but essentially a slightly structured, beautifully drinking wine, that brings beautiful fruit to the palate.
Château de Corcelles
A slightly different shaped bottle and I can see C9dP-style embossing. Wide, bright fruit with fine freshness and much more modest depth. Nice fruit, a little less high-toned clarity than some, but the mid-palate is deeper and shows more floral attributes, and just a little more structure. I like it, and I can see it is for keeping a little longer – the trade-off, for this at least, is that it is less overtly delicious today.
Château des Tours
Deep, darker fruit, a little roasted fruit impression. A deeper register of fruit flavour on the palate too. Wide, more structured, very well balanced and with transparency and a little tannin. The fruit isn’t the tastiest but this is finely put together wine with a little tannic reminder in the finish.
Domaine Bertrand, Pisse Vieille
Medium, medium-plus colour. Something very herbal here – both bottles the same – that makes me immediately think ‘cork.’ Fine texture and width. Actually a nice width of slightly darker fruit, and nothing bad on the finish – I like the flavour and texture very much, but the nose would certainly have me sending the bottle back…
A deep nose, full-packed with a vanilla that obscures all. Fine texture, depth and overall fresh and intense mouth-feel – beautifully assembled – but I only taste oak…
Domaine de Saint Ennemond, Vieilles Vignes
Deep but also bright fruit that suggests cherry. A serious wine, less overtly delicious and with a similar flavour profile to wine 5. But there id brightness and vivacity here – just a little tannin too. Still a good wine.
Medium-plus colour. A super nose that has deep and darker fruit than most but also with fine clarity, freshness and a little accent of flowers – delightful. Mouth-filling. I didn’t see it on the nose but here is some oak augmentation, but skilfully and modestly done. Wide, a little more tannin than most but very well textured and showing no dryness. Super finishing flavour that’s floral with a small oak addition. Excellent, and not just for today…
Robert Perroud, Pollen Saburin
A wider and heavier bottle – my hand can just about grasp it! Medium, medium-plus colour. A pretty nose, slightly macerating fruit but of fine clarity, texture and with a floral component. In the mouth, round, a slight salinity from the base of fine tannin, a growing width of flavour. Similar to the previous wine, very well put together, though just needing a hint more freshness and energy for top marks today.
Château de la Chaize, Vieilles Vignes
Medium, medium-plus colour. Pretty, delicate aromas but fruit of fine clarity – modest intensity but very inviting. Bright in the mouth, with fine fresh fruit that reflects the nose. A little less width but fine, open wine with a good energy. Just a little modestly concentrated despite a modest oak augmentation to the finishing flavours. A little slight, but very tasty indeed.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Bright, indeed forward, fresh berry-fruits – this is delightful. A hint of CO2 and a little drag from the tannin texture (probably due to the gas) but this is bright, with fine dimensions of fruit flavour – waves of flavour – just lots and lots of fun. Again not the most concentrated, but really super-enjoyable-
Medium, medium-plus colour. Wide, concentrated macerating fruit, high tones, though less bass notes. Fills the mouth, with great texture too. The fruit slowly seeps out from a more mineral, structural facade and is then really super from the mid-palate onwards. Different in style, certainly a little more ‘vin-de-garde’ without recourse to lots of barrels – I find this really excellent – Bravo!
Another fat and heavy bottle. Medium, medium-plus colour. A round nose, pretty and floral without the fresh blast of fruit of many here – I might even say ‘whole cluster’ in a pinot sense, given the modest perfume. Large in the mouth, lots of layers, a faint salinity too. This is a considered wine, not the most energetic, but it has excellent complexity very fine texture and super concentration. Excellent wine for putting in your cellar for a modest number of years – the finish holds beautifully. Super!
Medium, medium-plus colour. A bright nose; of modest herb, and pretty dark cherry fruit of quite some clarity. Large-scaled in the mouth, showing a good, fine-grained but present layer of tannin at the base – and fruit of fine distinction above. Also not the ‘fresh-fruitiest’ wine but a serious wine with lovely finishing flavours and excellent length. Super!
Domaine des Cadoles, La Roche
Medium-plus colour. A slightly more savoury nose – less immediately attractive. In the mouth this has a serious base but of very fine grained tannin – it’s almost surprising there’s (almost) no astringency given the quantity. There is a faint salinity and only slowly pokes through the fruit – indeed more floral – flavour. Serious wine that tastes good and I hope will improve with cellar time – but the aromas are not my favourite.
Domaine Jérome Mathon, Granit Rose
Medium, medium-plus colour. Bright, fresh top notes, though perhaps with a very faint pyrazine and oak behind. Big in the mouth with plenty of structure, vanilla too. There is some nice fruit flavour and a certain freshness, and just a little finishing dryness. A wine of potential, and I think (hope) not too much oak.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Pretty top notes and a more macerating fruit aromatic below but also a beautiful, growing, precise berry fruit aroma too. Really super fruit flavour dominates this wine, there is a modest tannin below, but this offer layers of easy but delicious flavour. The finish is divine. Probably too easy and facile – but close to the end of a flight this is a honey!
Medium colour – perhaps the deepest of this flight. Really a very deep nose – and no reduction either – a growing dark-fruited, very precise aromatic – impressive. Wow – big in the mouth, lots of concentration, waves of fine-fruited, dark-red fruit, flavour. This is simply a pleasure. It seems the best wine of the flight is reserved for the last. There is structure but it is enveloped with the flavour and overall texture of the wine. Bravo – really a wine that you can both drink today and cellar as long as you like!
Only one wine here with a clear pyrazine accent.
Côte de Brouilly
Domaine de Joncy
Directly starting with a heavy bottle. Medium, medium-plus colour, but with quite some purple. A silky-smooth nose, already suggesting a hint of salt. Round, fine dimension of fruit flavour – top to bottom – and a good but not wide base of tannin – not the finest tannin, but certainly ripe. Bright and pretty fruit in the finish, still with a little tannin as company – seemingly modest length, but tasty wine.
Also a wine with lots of purple colour. Here is pretty, almost delicate but, precise red berry fruit – lovely. Wide, balanced, fresh-flavoured fruit. A modest level of fine-grained, ripe tannin. This is very lovely wine indeed – modest layers of pretty fruit flavour. Not just excellent – it’s also delicious!
Domaine Baron de l’Ecluse, Les Garances
A heavy and fat bottle. Similar depth of colour but less purple than the last two. A layer of fresh aromas, clearly underpinned by some vanilla and an extra dimension of mineral impression. Mouth-filling – certainly a wine of volume. It feels great on the palate but the vanilla flavour is certainly dominating the fruit for now. The finish also has plenty of vanilla but a nice and fresh line of flavour too. If the vanilla fades, this will be excellent…
Also a heavy and fat bottle a little deeper purple colour here. Compared to the colour, the nose is quite modest – a slowly growing and actually very pretty floral/fruit top-line and a more guarded core of dark fruit. Fine volume and indeed shape in the mouth – there’s really plenty of tannin here, but it is very fine grained and only with an accent of astringency. Clearly a vin de garde, but one with nice layers of flavour too. I’d wait 2-3 years but this is excellent.
Medium, medium-plus colour. A very inviting, red berry-fruit nose – slowly adding a floral dimension too. Very silky in the mouth – a fresh, cooler fruit – but nicely layered and beautifully textured. Another delicious wine with fine mouth-watering flavour in the finish. Bravo!
Medium, medium-plus colour. A deeper register of red fruit, very faintly perfumed with flowers. This is super; a little more tannin, but a wonderful freshness of flavour, complexity and energy. This tastes really great already, perhaps with a faint accent of oak, but really delivers great mouth-watering flavour. A structured, not a facile wine, but one that you can already enjoy. Super!
Cellier des Saint Etienne, Fût de Chêne
Medium, medium-plus colour. A beautiful nose; wide, red-berried, perhaps with a faint sweetness of oak in support. Lovely shape and growing volume in the mouth. I love the freshness, the faint salinity of the fine, ripe tannin, the line of flavour into the mid-palate. I love less the quantity of oak – it is vanilla, but more crème brulee in style – which better than stark vanilla – a little… The finish is also good and fresh. A wine that might be excellent in 5 years, but far too much oak for me to be definitive today…
Medium, medium-plus colour. A bright aroma of top notes – some flowers in here – the base fruit being a little tighter today. Lovely width and texture – this has a cool fruited personality but with tons of joie de vivre. There is plenty of ripe, fine tannin and a core of sucrosity without any hint of confection. Serious yet tasty wine. En attend, but excellent!
Medium-plus colour – much more purple. Fine, bright and fresh nose – concentrated red berries of beautiful clarity. Full in the mouth – plenty of volume. There is a lot of tannin here, yet not astringent, good layers of flavour, weighty flavour. Fine finishing flavour too. A little different flavour to most here, but a beautiful nose. Yum!
Domaine Joncy, La Trad’Nature
A heavy bottle with a red wax top. Wide and fresh, this is a very overt nose; cool, slightly herby, very different but immediately attractive. More overt structure here – whilst there is very little grain, there’s certainly a lot of tannin – but commendably very little astringence. Freshness, yet a fruit that’s very hard to pin down. No discussion, this is tasty wine, but in all respects totally different to the other wines in this series – vin de nature rather than vin de (Côte de) Brouilly?
Ouf! That’s a fat and heavy bottle – black wax on top. Medium, medium-plus colour though quite purple. Intense and concentrated fruit on the nose – quite high toned. Comforting, mouth-filling presence. A little warmth, a little salinity, a little sweetness of oak – but in all things there is no excess. I like the finish, still framed in a little tannin. Ther nose is intense, the rest of the wine showing no excess. Tasty and well-done! A wine that you may or may not cellar – as you wish!
Leonis, Number 2
Medium-plus colour. A very different nose, vibrant, deep – essentially plenty of pyrazine. Nice in the mouth with a certain freshness and a lithe mobile personality. No fat here, a little pyrazine flavour in the mid-palate too – almost graphitic flavour. A good fresh finishing note. Essentially a fine and vibrant wine that retains a lot of discretion. I find a good reprise of flavour in the finish though…
Medium, medium-plus colour. A pretty nose of fresh complexity and much more limited depth of aroma – I’m thinking that there’s a hint of pyrazine here too. Bright, wide and fresh on the palate – very silky – the tannin is there yet essentially super-discreet. A little finishing pyrazine but only as part of a tasty, pretty ensemble of flavours – yum! A little different but very tasty wine indeed.
Again, only one pyrazine-inflected wine.
Fleurie – the last stand…
Medium-plus colour. A deep nose but rather powdery, slightly musty fruit – something of a sulfur problem, perhaps. Direct, fresh and with a fine line of flavour – really impressive intensity here – wow! Lots and lots of complex flavour in the finish – bravo, super wine – yet, the nose isn’t great…
Medium, medium-plus colour. Wide, fresh very pretty if slightly light but fine focus aromas. Lots of dimension in the mouth, very good intensity and volume here – coupled to intense and impressive flavours. A wine more of line than comfort today – but super, even if it does push its finger into your chest!
Medium-plus colour. A very nice nose indeed – beautiful fruit with beautiful flowers. A vibrant wine in the mouth with beautiful energy, focus and simply gorgeous fruit – bravo! I love this wine!
Ouf – that’s a heavy bottle for after lunch… Medium-plus colour. A nice aroma with a depth of concentrated fruit, almost conserve – rather tighter above. Fresh and bright, a slightly herby fresh fruit, but with impressive mid-palate complexity and energy. The finishing flavour narrows only very slowly. Excellent.
Medium-plus colour. A big, fruity, flowery, Fleurie nose – yum! Round, beautiful growing flavour, saline edged, very complex indeed – this is really excellent wine. I love the line of mouth-watering flavour that goes long, long. Almost as good as wine number 3!
Medium-plus colour. Pretty and wide aroma of soft red fruit and a suggestion of flowers – very inviting. Here is concentration but a super silken texture with just a little tannin below. Wide and luscious. Gorgeous wine – simply no discussion!
Even a little deeper colour. Pretty fruit but a little darker-shaded than most – almost a suggestion of mint on the nose. Plenty of structure – really a fleurie de guard – but fine energy on the palate despite massive concentration – super finishing too. Great balance with great potential.
Château de Beauregard, Colonies de Rochegrès
A little lighter colour and red, not purple-fringed. A deep nose with more macerating red fruit – not so many higher tones here. Here is an undertow of quite oaky flavour – it really dominates and flavour notes I could offer, but the textural qualities of the wine are excellent. The fruit attempting a return, only in the finish.
I can hardly lift this bottle – it feels like a jero. Medium-plus and back to colour. A beautiful, bright and floral aromatic, complex and beguiling. Density and concentration, yet layers of fine, perfumed flavour and a fine texture. Another Fleurie de garde, but one that it would be no shame to drink now – bravo! Great finishing violets!
Medium, medium-plus colour. A little more savoury nose but of some fruit depth too. Eventually a very fine core of clean red fruit. In the mouth a cooler personality, of fresh fruit, a little tannin, mouth-watering floral flavour too. A slightly different style but with a gorgeous floral finish – definitely a wine to wait for – but super wine.
Domaine Pardon, Hugo
Deeply coloured and purple fringed. A bright and fresh, almost inky deep nose that is actually quite exciting. Very fresh, cool-fruited with a strong vanilla accent and some astringence to the quite high level of tannin. Whilst I really like the sweetly mouth-watering finish, this really needs 3-4 years to lose the vanilla…
Medium, medium-plus colour – more red. Deep, fruity, some florals – getting better and better with time in the glass. Big in the mouth – again with slightly cooler fruit and a slight astringency to the tannin – but no extraneous oak to deal with, just wine. This has a lovely, lingering flavour that works through a little tannic dryness. More structured than flavoured today, but I find a fine prospect for the cellar – just wait 5 years.
Clos du Mez, La Dot
Ouf – a ridiculously deep and purple colour – more like a 2015! I find an intense though almost tending to volatile nose – no elegance here. A little gas, a lot of tannin, very concentrated but no subtlety of flavour – simply no, sorry… Okay just a little in the finish when I spit! I can only assume that this isn’t yet bottled.
Medium-plus colour. Fresh, nice clarity of deep fruit and a slowly lifting, very pretty note. Wide, freshness but a comfortable texture with fine, saline tannin at the base. A very good wine that certainly lacks a little fresh complexity today but with plenty of future ahead. Super.
Domaine Leyre Loup, Réserve Louis Leyre Loup
Another deep coloured wine from a heavy, fat bottle. A nose of pretty red fruit – supported with some oak. Nicely fresh and nicely textured too. There are layers of silky flavour here, the fruit struggling to stay ahead of the vanilla – but just about managing to do so. If the vanilla eventually goes, this will be excellent!
Another hard to lift bottle. Medium-plus colour. A nose of dense fruit, almost strawberry, aided by a very small floral component. Nicely fresh, complex fruit and flowers. The concentration isn’t particularly high, but there are nice soft waves of flavour coming across the palate. Silky but serious. Excellent!
Domaine du Vissoux, Les Garants
Medium, medium-plus colour. A very pretty nose – the fruit seems a little more macerating, but still manages to be very pretty – a fine floral top note helps of-course. Round, nice volume, layers of flavour – a slowly growing weight of tannin, certainly with a hint of salinity. Actually a lot of salinity as you swallow. The finish has weight and persistence. Impressive yet today needs to add some delicacy of flavour. This will age quite well and to good purpose I think.
Bret Brothers, Le Grand Pré
A heavy bottle with a cherry-red wax top. Medium-plus colour. Just a light reduction here, but a nicely fresh an ‘alive’ impression from the clean fruit. A little reductive flavour too – growing tannin, less fine than most, but a very nice dimension of mid-palate flavour. The finish is best part with fine, complex and pure flavours. Good.
Medium-plus colour. Not the most dense aromatic but one with some delicacy and purity of dark fruit – very modestly accented with flowers too. Hmm – this is very fine in the mouth. Certainly a modest oak, but waves of very finely textured flavour, and more floral-inflected fruit than oak. This is really rather fine. And a wine you keep as long as you like in the cellar. Super finishing flavour seeps from the tannin!
Anne Sophie Dubois, Clepsydre
Medium-plus colour. A rather deep and extracted sort of fruit, almost inky. Good width and dimension of flavour, lots of energy and actually rather modest tannin. Carbonic, semi-carbonic – tasty but really not the same density, texture or complexity of most wines here.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Wide, plenty of freshness, rather modest aromatic depth. Round, mouth-filling, lovely dimension of floral-fruit flavour. Modest, finely textured level of tannin but with a beautiful finishing fruit and flowers flavour. Lots and lots of elegance here without sacrificing the structural core. Very fine.
Medium-plus colour. A seemingly silky and quite dense fruit, but essentially quite tight. Lovely in the mouth with waves of fine-textured flavour that flows over the palate. Super wine here – with very pretty flavours seeping through the gaps left by the ripe but fine tannin. Bravo – simply lovely.
Medium-plus colour – more red than purple. Big in the mouth, fresh too – but the energy is certainly required to deal with the slightly dry tannic structure. Still, the grain is very fine and the flavour battling the structure is very fine. For the moment this is really just for the cellar. But Lots of potential here, as the flavours behind are beautiful!
Medium, medium-plus colour. A very fine, bright and deep, dark red fruit of beautiful clarity. Mouth-filling, fresh wine, but with a fine depth of fruit flavour and a growing weight of slightly dry tannin – this has much in common with the last wine – I have a slight preference for the flavours of the last wine, but essentially they rae the same – wait! But this should also be very good.
Joseph Drouhin, Domaine des Hospices de Belleville
Medium, medium plus red colour. Very pretty, red fruited clarity – despite a suggestion of pyrazine this is super. Also bright flavour – here is a hint of pyrazine too – the tannin is relatively modest compared to some previous bottles indeed much of the wine is similarly so – but the flavour is refreshing and pretty. A slightly lighter-style wine but with pretty flavours and nose.
Medium, medium-plus colour. A quite deep and very pretty melange of fruit and flowers – clarity and purity here. In the mouth this is fresh and wide, plenty of energy and some hints of salinity too. There is also little vanilla oak – but really at a level that interests, not obscures – one of the nicest integrations in a young wine, today. Very lovely, linger fruit flavours, still in a floral frame. Super!
Medium -plus colour. A slightly tight nose, but with very fine floral perfume. Round, a fine depth of flavour, with good texture and only modest textural drag from the tannin. Wide in the finish and with very lovely flavours. There’s a decent amount of structure here but the flavours are up to the challenge. Super.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Depth of aroma and of very pretty fruit too – yet it’s just a little tight. Round and fresh – really a nicely mouth-filling wine – a wine that shows nice layers of fresh flavour, fine clarity and a good base of well-managed structure. This is yet another unspectacular but very well made and tasty Fleuries – du garde! That said, the finish here is really excellent!