Tasted in Moulin à Vent with Nadine Gubin, 14 April 2016.
310 Des Thorins
Tel: +33 3 85 20 38 18
This, since 1850, is a domaine of the Labruyère family, owners of (amongst other things) Domaine Jacques Prieur in Meursault. Jean-Pierre Labruyère was a long-time President of the Moulin à Vent Cru and his son, Eduard is now responsible for the domaine. For a while much of the produce here was sold to Georges Duboeuf, now Nadine Gubin from Jacques Prieur makes the wines here in Moulin à Vent as well as in Meursault – she spends at least 1 day per week in ‘Thorins.’ The domaine works a little more than 13 hectares, raisonée in the vines, ‘working’ (ploughing) all the soils. Nadine explains that they have a high proportion of old vines, mainly with classic goblet pruning, so far from easy to plough!
Concrete and demi-muids mainly for elevage, stainless-steel for assembling. “Basically gamay needs plenty of oxygen during fermentation, which I really try to avoid at all costs with pinot! Gamay really goes to the reductive side very easily.”
Many of the terroirs here are interlinked, shared almost, with the Château Saint Jacques. Price indications are also similar to Chateau St.Jacques €16, €22, €26 and finally €35 for Le Clos – though I have seen them much cheaper in French supermarkets! USA, UK, Swiss, and Belgium are served as ‘classic’ export markets, though the traditional market for this domaine is France.
These are really super, maybe self-important wines, they need a good table and probably an even better cellar. They are really what I’m looking for much of the time, but they are often massive wines, so I still need to find something fresh and easier to start my glass with!
2014 Moulin à Vent Coeur de Terroirs Vieilles-Vignes
Predominantly from granite soils rich in quartz. Bottled December 2015, 100% destemmed, maceration with thermo-regulation (radiators) for about 18 days total cuvaison, a mix of 600 litre barrels and tanks, old barrels from Jacques Prieur with, perhaps, 2% new oak. This cuvée generates about 30,000 bottles.
A little note of reduction, slowly, slowly clearing. Lush, comfortable, tasty wine – plenty of dimension, fruity but with depth too. Very yum and rather long too.
2014 Moulin à Vent Champ de Cour
1.5 hectares worth, of south-east facing granitic plot with clay. Whole clusters, 15 days cuvaison, 600l barrels only of two wines (2 year-old barrels). ‘A parcel selection, where there is a little more depth of soil. I prefer to destem here in MAV, but here with the clay I think like Bressandes or Clos de Vougeot that the stems lighten the character of the wine.’
Bright, with a deep dark and admirably fresh fruit. Lithe but muscular wine, dark fruited a little tannic texture at the base but modestly so. Quite large and wide finishing. Long too.
On granite rose and sand direct south-facing, taking the name of the parcel like the last wine. 1.75 hectares worth. Destemmed completely, elevage in 228 litre barrels plus demi-muids – maybe 5% new barrels.
A deep, dark fruit, almost gelee. Ooh – that has beautiful silky texture, layers of flavour washing over the tongue. Bravo! Gorgeous wine here – absolute finesse in the glass and with fresh mouth-watering notes too such a honey!
O.92 ha, 50 yo vines the top of the parcel on what is basically decomposed rock – there’s no real soil. The vines sit below the Moulin. Sommelier bottle for this destemmed, 18-19 day cuvaison, 228 litre barrel wine with 10% new barrels.
Deep colour. Deep, dark muscular but fresh fruit of clarity. There is the intensity and concentration of the last wine, a hint less fat but a more direct line. Opens wider on the palate. Top wine. Bravo!
“I really like the vintage 2014 and it’s a great contrast to 2013 where we had a much later harvest here, started about the 30th September. But the grapes were clean, firm and fresh – they were lovely to vinify.”
2013 Moulin à Vent Coeur de Terroirs Vieilles-Vignes
Completely destemmed, again 18-20 days cuvaison, all elevaged in 228 litre barrels but negligible new. December 2014 bottling. No fining.
Like the 2014, a modest reductive element. Wide, fresh, but textured – there are many sleek and fresh 13 but this will still comfort you. A fine line of fresh fruit – really you don’t find extra acidity here. Super wine.
A nice fresh, almost faintly spiced black fruit. Here is more sleek and direct, less padding but there the flex of lithe muscle – more tannin, and really lots and lots of mouth-watering flavour. I’m eating, not drinking, this finish. Super!
A nose that seems deep and brooding to start but then I notice the freshness above and eventually and impression of pepper – the first wine with a beautiful floral line too. Fresh, as it should be, a wide and ever-changing, energetic palate of many flavours. A little base of tannin, and a fabulous, bright, intense lightning bolt of fresh flavour in the mid-palate. Super, really super.
Again, like the 14 a super dense colour. The nicest nose yet – wide, faintly floral, just a suggestion of freshness. Big, complex wine, really brilliant energy, lots of texture from the base of tannin, but there’s not much dryness. Another wine that with its spicy interplay with the tannin that makes me think of Vosne. The longest finishing too. €35 is a lot in the modern vernacular of BJ, but this is worth every penny (sorry euro-cent!)
“In 2012 we harvested about the 10-15 September harvest – so seemingly classic timing for the vintage.”
2012 Moulin à Vent le Carquelin
Maybe a little shorter cuvaison, perhaps 15 days – ‘not the same concentration in the grapes.’ Elevage in 228 litre barrels.
A deep note, below that is dark, faintly macerating fruit – above, almost like a completely separate layer is a bright floral perfume. Ooh – that’s sweet/acid tasty – the fruit is actually rather dark but the balance, texture and overall stance is very attractive – indeed! I surprise myself with the level of enjoyment because of the style of fruit which isn’t my favourite, but this holds together really well as a really tasty package!
2012 Moulin à Vent Le Clos
Here the nose is less forward, but it is also nicer fruit, very fine and with an integrated floral aspect. Fresh, crunchy fruit, less roasting if still a hint in that direction, but completely with another level of textural and flavour sophistication. Great finish too. Here’s a 12 that I would drink any day. Yum!
“2011 was just an incredible vintage, super balance, quite early ripening so a late August harvest – fortunately not too ripe – you really you couldn’t choose better analytical numbers despite 40-42 hl/ha yields – close to double that of the 2015s. It’s fair to compare this vintage in Beaujolais to the 2005s in the Cote d’Or.”
2011 Moulin à Vent Champ de Cour
Massive colour. The nose is big and almost tending to volatile. Massive, but no fat or anything extraneous – massive potential. If I was drinking today, maybe I’d prefer a little more energy – but I’m not, and I wouldn’t be at home either. Wait! Wow finish! And with flowers too…
Also a the colour of pitch (I only joke a little!) I much prefer the nose here – unplumbable depth but with more than enough floral references above to keep me happy. An extra freshness, no less concentration, perhaps a better line. Great wine, no question. Bravo!
Here is a freshness of minerality and an inky depth of fresh dark fruit – an abyss of depth… There is a panorama of width on the palate, seemingly less interesting than the Carquelin, until,you chew a little – the flavours worm from your gums and teeth, fabulously complex. A wine that asks questions of you – and I love that. Brilliant. Drink the Carquelin today – but only if your cellar is really that empty…