Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with Armand Heitz, 24 May 2017.
24 Rue Charles Paquelin
Tel: +33 3 80 21 33 19
I asked Armand about the commercial status of the domaine, as it seems to be growing each year as vines return to the domaine from their long-term contracts. “We are still a young domaine, I’m working slowly on the commercialisation – for me ‘durable’ is important, and the domaine is growing too. 2016 started badly but my aunt also passed more vines to the domaine – 1 hectare, a mix of red and white in Chassagne, including 1er cru – so in 2016 so that was some good news.”
In 2016 the estate had 7 hectares of vineyard, in 2017 the total is 8 hectares, the 4 new vines in Chassagne-Montrachet are:
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeots Les Petits Clos – white
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeots Les Têtes de Clos – white
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeots – red
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chenevottes – white
In terms of surface, the domaine is 60% white. Currently about 75% of production is exported, but Armand is happy to already have 25% sales in “Great places in France, because it’s not an easy market – I’ve an agent who’s doing a great job for me.” He also had a négoce license in 2015, which brought some aligoté and Côteaux Bourguignone – ‘looking for a correct price but wines in the esprit of the domaine.’
And this year? Was there any problems in Chassagne due to the frost? “The vines suffered in the cold period and stopped growing – they were not actually frosted like last year though! Gel-blanche this year not gel-noir of last year. The gel-blanche is the classic of Springtime.”
The domaine managed 35-40 hl/ha in 2015, about 45 in the whites.
Whilst there are few single wines that have me rushing for my credit card, there is a wholeness to the range and a consistency of presentation whilst offering totally classic interpretation that simply has me saying – bravo!
2015 Pommard 1er Clos des Poutures
On the right hand side just as you leave the village heading to Volnay. Bottled just before the 2016 harvest ‘The wines were ready and I didn’t want the worry of brett if I was to extended the elevage.’
A nice weighty nose with an accent of whole cluster but not gothic (actually 100% wc though) – it’s a welcoming nose. Round good volume a sense of weight, but not out of balance, slowly moving, complex flavour. A very tasty wine to start with but still a little subdued today.
2015 Pommard 1er Pezerolles
Mid-slope on the side of Beaune above Clos des Epeneaux
Clearly a more finely wrought nose – of purity and line – the wc not bringing a strong accent here. Supple in the mouth, more concentration, a layered delivery of flavour, plenty of beautifully textured tannin. This is a super wine – a hint more energy than the last – but still not overt. Simply excellent. A strong finish with a little bitter tannin flavour.
From the hautes section with a more sandy soil.
Wide and deep, this also showing only the most discreet of whole-cluster notes, more silky dark and deep fruit – very attractive! Great width, layered flavour, a hint of the whole clusters in the flavour here and just a little more energy than the previous wines. Long and delicious. This is a real honey! Easily the most impressive finish; more gourmand, less bitter chocolate. Bravo!
2015 Volnay 1er Les Taillepieds
‘I adore this wine’ says Armand. Vine situated just above the road in the bottom part of the vineyard near Lafarge and d’Angerville
A totally different nose – concentrated dark red fruit – high-toned. Big in the mouth with a little tannin and a more overt salinity. Volume and layers of flavour here – really the most powerful of the wines – impressively so. The fruit is dark coloured with a volatile component but attractively so. Very yum!
2015 Bourgogne Aligoté
New in 2015, négoce.
A weighty but freshly yellow-fruited nose – hinting at salinity. Volume, ripe fruit but all the time with a supporting freshness. This is delicious – of-course I’d love a zip more acidity, but frankly this is a little beauty!
2015 Bourgogne Les Durots
Name of lieu-dit that is part Meursault villages – but not these grapes.
This has a classy nose – wide with plenty of citrus. There is volume, fine texture, a mineral impression and a fine freshness. Nicely wide and with insistent but not pointed flavour. This is also delicious and certainly finer if not more delicious than the aligoté – super!
2015 Meursault En la Barre
A little more depth of soil here, neighbouring the Clos de la Barre.
A beautifully classic Meursault nose of width, a little freshness, and a gingerbread note. Like the bourgogne this has width and a mineral aspect, here with a little extra salinity and modest insistence of flavour. It is very classic and not necessarily a wine of a 2015. Silken and very, very tasty… with a strong finish. Excellent
2015 Meursault La Gruyaches
At the bottom of Meursault-Charmes
Whilst in the style of the last wine, here the nose has a little more weight and a suggestion of caramel. Nicely fresh again, a little muscle but really a wine that’s very light on its feet – not massively constituted but beautifully assembled. Very tasty wine with small waves of flavour in the finish. Some minerality of style again and with a lovely persistence of finish with a hint of tannin too!
2015 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Maltroie
The bottom of the domine’s garden!
A deeper nose, faint herb (I’m loving the absolute classicism of the aromatics here) a depth of ripe fruit. The domaine hallmark of definition and minerality without overt recourse to obvious fruit – the wine is complex and changing, always showing something new while slowly mouth-watering – really fine in the finish. Excellent again! Super consistency…
2015 Meursault 1er Perrieres
First parcel is next to (cousin) Vincent Dancer, recently recovered from Drouhin. The second parcel is next to another cousin, Ballot-Minot.
Here is a more airy nose, there is depth below, but it is a wine of considered aromatic complexity. A little more mineral impact and a flavour that melts more over the palate, lots of nooks and crannies here, changing flavour and a delicious complexity.