Tasted in Pontanevaux with Philippe Bardet and Jean Pierre Rodet, 23 May 2017.
Outside of occasional new domaine profiles, my annual look at the wines of the Mâconnais usually takes in the producers of artisan-vignerons (last month) and for a good quality but more generalist view, this large volume producer.
“The 15s drink very well already, maybe we should enjoy them now and wait for the superior 14s…” says Jean Pierre Rodet.
An unsung producer of millions of bottles, but here are small cuvées that are absolute gems – even in a muscular and dry vintage like 2015 there are magnificent wines to be found, and at great pricing too. Bravo!
2016 Jean Vin de France
Their first 2016 bottling, done about 2 months go. There’s also a gamay version. Made in the style ‘that they like’ from grapes that are an assemblage from ‘argilo-calcaire’ soils from the south part of France’ – which is as much as they will say on the subject.
Bright with a little weight, depth, and some interest. Fresh in the mouth with a layered, bright and weighty impression. Long and interesting. I find this rather tasty.
2015 Beaujolais Blanc Les Belmonts
A more ripe stance here, the wine is bold and attractive though. Saline and with a good depth of flavour – less fruit forward than the 16, more interesting for the table than as an apero, I think.
For this label, the grapes can be from anywhere between Chablis to Lyon – for this reason such labels are house styles rather than wine styles…
Also a saline wine but with more volume, freshness, and line – this is really excellent – for the label bravo – a real sense of energy and weight here.
2015 Mâcon-Villages La Crochette
A fresh and saline nose with a faint toasty reduction – hmm, layered, pretty good freshness with a ripe round fruit, and a nicely textured depth of flavour. Nice complexity in the finish with a little minerality in the length – cleaner, purer than the last. Excellent.
2015 Mâcon-Villages Château de Mirande
Between Tournus and Mâcon-Montbellet
Also fresh, saline, faintly ripe fruit below. More volume in the mouth, mobile, faint exotic fruit but very much in the background, again saline finishing – quite the house style here… long. Very tasty…
‘Lugny is always a late harvesting area that holds onto its acidity well’
A little less salinity to the nose, more fruited, not too exuberant. Lots of volume, growing intensity – clearly the most intensity so far. The best mid-palate too and the finish with super tenacity. Excellent…
Mineral, vibrant, more floral still slightly saline nose. More intensity, a little more fat, but melting flavour. Long, really mouth-watering – bravo – my new favourite!
2015 Mâcon-Loché, Château de Loché
A finer and fresher nose, less overt. Hmm, despite the nose, more direct, again with a melting flavour, a little more mineral perhaps, beautifully finishing – super tasty. Yum!
A riper nose, attempting to offer some florals, but struggling… A more honey impression, but a decent base of mineral interest here – the flavour grips the palate – very persistent – a good wine, but for my taste, certainly behind the last two…
More yellow colour. Ripe fruit here – ripe yellow, lemon-fruit. Vibrant. There is a nice tension here, waves of finishing flavour with a decent minerality. The finish is very tasty indeed. A ripe rendition, but a tasty one with no lack of balance and super length.
Another different label for this one. A wine that’s mainly sold in the Paris region. This mainly from the higher vines in the appellation.
A mineral and saline nose – good freshness. A little fat but with fine acidity and super width. Good texture. A little less vibrant than the Solutré, but very different in style too – super wine, though the last was just a little more delicious, this almost with a little phenolic tannin…
2015 Bourgogne blanc chardonnay de Chardonnay
i.e. this really it could also be labelled Mâcon-Chardonnay. No wood used here.
Pale yellow. A more delicate and modest nose. Direct, fresh, fine textured, hardly any fat – tasty wine indeed, whiter fruit, long. Delicious.
2015 Bourgogne Blanc, Fût de Chêne
Both fermentations are in barrel, then 55% tank elevage.
Rounder nose, bright, clear if not stark barrel references. Super vibrant in the mouth with very fine acidity, long flavour that’s clearly oaked after the last but very tasty and nicely balanced in its more Côte d’Or style. I have an inbuilt bias against wines describes as ‘fut de chene’ but can’t deny that this is very tasty…
2015 Viré-Clessé Vieilles-Vignes
Again a different label style… the 8th so far!
Fine, deep, silky nose. A little fat, very silky texture too. Ripe but never overt, simply delicious in the finish with a little minerality. Generous and delicious!
2015 Viré-Clessé Bio
The 10th label
A little more depth and aromatic width, really not showing its 14.5%! Really excellent depth, with layers of flavour – perhaps a
little too much in the end of the mid-palate and into the finish. Picked a couple of days earlier and this could have been a super wine, but it’s still not bad…
Fresh, deep, saline, ripe citrus. Fresh, vibrant, complex, hmm, this is something. The finish keeps up the complexity – really super! Bravo!
Modest yellow colour. A more composed, tighter nose. Ooh, this is super in the mouth – more complex, with yellow fruit notes and minerality. Fresher. Melting finishing flavour. Bravo!
Plain east facing, two vines, one more stony…
A more modest but fresh nose. Hmm this has good volume and a fine and growing intensity – super line of flavour here – ooh I like this very much – bravo!
2015 Pouilly-Vinzelles, Chateau de Loché
Pale yellow. A nice width of aroma, almost soft with an accent of salinity. A little more volume and a certainly a rounder profile, a little direct freshness and complexity, modestly saline – the ground here is deep and not very stony but I see more minerality in the finish. Different but fine!
This starts tight but quickly develops a deep, mineral slightly reductive base of aroma – nice! Fresh, vibrant, concentrated, with layers of flavour. Simply excellent!
The nose is ripe and oaky. In the mouth this is vibrant, concentrated, and actually delicious despite the oak – really a wine to wait for but there is a lot here to be hopeful for. Super wine. Excellent length too – bravo!
These next two are not bottled – still in tank on fine lees:
Here there is also oak but also more overt complexity too – more toast, less vanilla. In the mouth very little overt oak, rather complexity, slowly moving flavour over the tongue and perhaps some gas too. Long, long finishing with modest width – I’ve followed a few vintages of this and this will be excellent – bravo!
‘A small cuvée, so all in barrel – and will be bottled in magnums…
Freshness but also a more overt vanilla oak. Really muscular, mineral, oaky, large – this wine has everything, but definitely not for today. Bravo – I’m sure – but wait until it’s at least 6-10 years old!
Modest colour. A little vanilla custard, yellow fruit. Muscled, but fresh, multi-dimensional wine – the best I’ve tasted for a while – simply great!
And by way of a diversion to finish:
Almost saturated colour. A faint floral note, modestly spiced too. Good volume in the mouth, really a muscular and intense wine, rather than a big and concentrated wine. Layers of dark finishing flavour. Almost brusque, probably great! Superb wine!
Ooh, fresh, vibrant, subtle mushroom. Hmm, wide, weight of concentration – harvested in october, after a frosted year – it’s a 1991 Pouilly. Mineral and interesting. Still young.
And 92 Pouilly from an abundant vintage after the previous year’s frost. A little more mushroom. More layers, more depth, a little more fat. Less strict, but really super complex. Iodine, saline – really excellent and really much better than the fine 91… almost a toffee sweetness in the melting finish…