Tasted in Odenas with Florent Georger, 13 April 2016.
Château de Pierreux
In the 13th century this was a fortress – a fortress that was built over a 5th century Roman villa. The château often changed name as it was often passed through female side of family.
The château sits in large grounds with a view toward the hill of Brouilly. There are old silver mines here (argentifer), so in some places it’s dangerous to work with a heavy tractor. The château owns 100 hectares around the buildings – all Brouilly! Some of their vineyards are being replanted to aid regeneration of the vines and to facilitate some mechanisation of the vineyard work – ploughing between the rows for instance. There are lots of steep parcels, and vines that are too close together to mechanise without replanting and retraining – such is the ‘old’ goblet training. Mechanisation is also ‘needed’ because of the current price-points of Beaujolais wines… Apparently there is much work with pepineristes to choose the best plant material…
Given that this is a ‘JC Boisset’ brand/property they also chose to show the ‘Grands Mises’ wines of Mommessin at this tasting. Unlike Pierreux who are owners, Mommessin are largely a négociant though apparently work only with producers that work their raisonnée. They use long vinifications, destemmed grapes and barrel aging for this range launched in 2014. Actually Mommessin do own 1 hectare of syrah, planted in southern Beaujolais to produce a cuvée called Grand Granite. The vines are 10 years old and the first bottling is this is the 2014 ‘Vin de France’ – I assumed that last year would have been perfect for this, but actually they only managed to produce 15 hl/ha in 2015.
A large part of production for these two labels is distributed to hotels et-cetera, and supermarkets for the Mommessins. The brands are old in France but there are some modest export markets.
The Grand Mises pricing is ‘closer to €20 than €10.’ I found them a great range of drinkable, fresh and complex wines.
Mommessin Renovatio Utopia (Rosé)
Rose, and it’s a 2014 but you’ll only find this info on the back label. A single vigneron and with elevage in barrel
There is a freshness, but more of weighted freshness, I have a slight aromatic impression of sulfur more than fruit. Nice weight in the mouth, a little salted, modest energy but quite some depth of flavour. This is more than a curiosity, and it is more a wine for the table than an easy aperitif. I think I like it! Nice finishing with a hint of florals. Super finish…
Also they have a Côteaux Bourguignone Rosé that is more traditional easy drinking fresh fruity wine – not shown.
2014 Mommessin Grands Mises Côte de Brouilly
“It’s a great vintage, but not the greatest of vintages…” Part destemming, cuvaison a little longer than traditional for Beaujolais.”
A fine depth of dark-red fruit, it’s an obvious BJ aromatic but it’s very inviting. Very fine texture – luxurious – layers of flavour, a subtle baseline of salinity, but hardly any tannin. Super silky, I’m almost tempted to say sexy wine. Fresher finishing with flowers and a fine finish, more than slightly mineral – excellent!
No wood elevage here.
Maybe a hint darker colour. An even nicer nose, almost some padded texture, and gorgeously inviting, very welcoming, fruit. Supple, here with just a little tannin that delivers a saline base. Lots of depth, indeed layers of flavour. Just a super wine – bravo! Love the finish too… More red fruited.
2014 Mommessin Grands Mises, Morgon Les Charmes
‘A vast terroir, so a mix of schist and granite’ – 60-80% destemmed, 3-6 year-old barrel elevage for about 9 months – probably the 15s will have 1 year.
Here is a more obvious BJ nose, but with some herb complexity. Super in the mouth again, lots of complexity, well-blended with the tannin. Layers of flavour again. Really super wine – I still have a preference (so-far) for the Saint Amour, but this tastes super… Faintly dry finishing with a persistent sweetness of fruit – yum!
A little newer oak if not actually new. Roughly the same 9 months of elevage.
The nose remains ‘gamay’ but with a finer level of fruit clarity vs the Charmes, more floral too – clarity and purity of aroma – lovely! Concentrated, lithe, supple wine – discreetly saline with a tannin that is perfectly ripe adding a faint undertow in the mouth. Open, fresh and floral finishing – super wine!
The 2013 is already sold out. Bottled in November. 10 days of pre-fermentation maceration, 3 weeks of cuvaison of destemmed grapes, elevage of more than 1 year in 1-2 year old barrels.
Here is an aromatic of, fresh, dark reflections, inviting and energetic. A step-up in direct, intense flavour, freshness, complexity, super texture underpinned with tannin but no dry edge. This is alive and multi-dimensional. Excellent wine. Really class here. The finish has a more open freshness and super persistence… Of-course you should wait, but these wines are very drinkable today already!
2011 Mommessin Grandes Mises, Moulin à Vent
A reserve bottling. Prefermentation maceration, longer cuvaison similar to the last wine, here with some new oak too.
A deep, deep nose, a hint of chocolate, some higher tones. Really large-scaled in the mouth, more texture from the tannin, almost an accent of dryness compared to the 14s, but hardly so. A layered depth of flavour, really cocooning the tongue, an almost spiced complexity before exploding with more freshness in the mid-palate – slowly fading in the finish. More mineral aspects in the finish
I checked – the saint amour still tastes great after this one!
2014 Grand Granite Sirene (Syrah)
Only 13 degrees, planted 10 years ago, later harvest than the gamays, more susceptible to disease than the gamay – probably more like pinot, though maybe that’s only apparent because the extra waiting time.
An oak note, and a pronounced spicy floral aromatic – becomes ever-more floral. Big in the mouth fresh – a cool personality and just a hint more dryness to the tannin – lots of oak padding here and an obvious undertow of vanilla, yet a fresh character. Good weight of finishing flavour but tasty flavour too.