Tasted in Jullié with Jérémy Bally, 17 May 2016.
Domaine du Bois du Chat – Jérémy Bally
Les Bois de Chat
Tel: +33 6 63 49 24 35
2014 was the first vintage for this domaine. In 2013 Jeremy had the chance to buy the exploitation, everything was rented and all the produce was sold in bulk to the négoce. That’s quite surprising, because I’m here visiting as his Julienas, tasted blind by me, was easily the best wine for my taste from over 80 tasted on one particular day.
There are 3.5 hectares around the house – the vines are 25-60-years-old. Jeremy explains that it’s a nice dense schist terroir, with old volcanic soils. His vines are south, south-west facing have a little more altitude here – 400-450m – “But lower down I think the wines lack a little acidity” he says. “Here makes a good vin-de-guard.” ‘Can you live with 3.5 hectares’ I ask, “Yes, if you get a good bottle price – I say that despite making only 25 hl/ha in 2015!” But in 2016 another 0.5 hectares will be added to the domaine – of Moulin à Vent – that said, Jeremy had a little hail on the 25th April 2016.
Jeremy uses the minimum of chemicals, he says, very little herbicide, ‘only contact products allowed by bio‘ copper and sulfur. “I’m working the soils now, pushing the roots deeper into the ground to find the real terroir.” The first year he had to prune a lot so he could get between with a plough, – he thinks it will take about 3 years to work well. One of his parcels from 1948 is a masale selection and he will make a greffe with some of those.
At the moment he’s working mainly with restaurants and cavistes, though is looking for exporters. Prices for the wines ex-domaine are €6.80, €9.00 and €14.00.
A rosé-de-seigné, Vin de France from a Julienas 2015 – no malo but fermented dry.
Fine fresh nose – this is very pretty. Silky, rather modest flavour to start, but grows in a very subtle, undemanding way. A hint of salinity in the fresh pretty flavours. Subtle but beautifully put together and with good length too. No chaptalisation, 11.5%
Average 40-years-old vines, destemmed 70%, triage, 7 months in cement after about 12 days cuvaison. Apart from the destemming, ‘very classic and all manual.’
The nose is an absolute honey; silky red fruit – it’s super attractive. Complex, energetic. Waves of flavour delivered with energy. Simply gorgeous. You may find better texture(today) but you’re unlikely to find better flavour. Great.
Old vine selection – up to 70 years old vines. 3 weeks of maceration, 27 hl/ha, pressed directly into (mainly) 400l barrels below – no pumps. Elevage in 4-5 year-old barrels used previously to make Cornas. Bottled in October without filtration.
Here is a little spice and faint if present woody notes. The nose becomes prettier and silkier in the glass. Here is more silk, despite a little extra barrel tannin. Wide, saline and with beautiful fruit. A little more serious, longer too perhaps, to wait for then, but no problem, drink the other cuvée first, or 2-1!:)