Jules Desjourneys – 2016


Fabien DuperrayTasted with Fabien (Do I look like David Copperfield?) Duperray in La Chapelle de Guinchay, 05 May 2019.

Domaine Jules Desjourneys
75 rue Jean Thorin
71570 La Chapelle de Guinchay
Tel: +33 3 85 33 85 88

Fabien is suffused into his wines, he is inextricable from his wines – the places of the grapes and the wine. In my search for interesting wine and people, this he and his wines are the pinnacle!

Fabien on 2019:
Well, we won’t be making a lot of white in 2019 after the frost – but if you are worried by frost you need to change your job. Actually, there may be not a lot of red either!

Fabien on 2016:
Wood doesn’t bring noble bitters to whites, working the lees and precision yes… We kept quite a bit of CO2 in these – nearly 1,200mg. Much of 2016 is diluted, but we have concentration in our wines. To make wines like these, there’s an intellectual and a practical road of experience that you have to travel – I’m not David Copperfield, I have to work! I think that we have better wines than the Côte d’Or in 2016 – I tasted a lot of great wines in the Côte d’Or in 2017 though – I think we will have a good match with that vintage, but I think I have some great wines too. These wines are my answer to Jean-Marie Guffens – I think the best of the Mâconnais – I’m waiting for his reaction – I’m sure he will deliver!

The wines…

The 17s will be bottled at the end of July and weren’t ready to taste – ‘I like to bottle when there’s high pressure, partly because I’m not a fan of lots of sulfur’ – so we did 2016s. This was the greatest set of 2016 wines from the Mâconnais – no – simply one of the greatest sets of whites I’ve tasted anywhere from this vintage! The reds were harder to judge with plenty of reduction – but their quality remains apparent, if, less obvious – all these wines will hold your attention – real attention – but you have to work for them.

We start with the whites:

2016 Beaujolais Villages Blanc
from Leynes, “It’s to amuse, but I’ll continue as we have to be happy.” 22 months of elevage on fine lees. Some in foudre. “Our corks are better than those used for most Batards… I think this will be lovely in about 7 years,” says Fabien.
Hmm, here’s a zesty citrus skin nose. Wide, energetic, fine points of energy and precision – ooh that’s a great BJVB – in fact, it’s simply a great wine – with a touch of dry extract, of finishing phenolic texture on the tip of the tongue – bravo!

2016 Mâcon-Fuissé
A new wine for here, only vines on argilo-calcaire from higher slopes. No wood, like Chablis and again 22 months of elevage. “I wanted to make a real wine of Mâcon – Morgon and Mâcon – they sound similar, no? It’s a wine of pleasure, not intellectual – we have enough of the latter. A wine where you start drinking a glass and then you find that the bottle is empty!”
A greener fruit on the nose – yuzu? Lime? Ooh, mouth-filling, gorgeously flavoured intensity – this more energetic and open – a flavour different in shape to the BJVB – super-juicy finishing, lots of little finishing complexities.

2016 Mâcon-Verzé
‘A great terroir – they should watch out in Chassagne.’ There’s a little wood been used here – ‘but not a lot.’
A little lime fruit again, less shiny, more width. Ooh – this is vibrant, fresh, almost electric – a touch of wood but there is both freshness and power here – easily great wine. A seriously great finish too – great wine from any terroir!

2016 Pouilly-Loché
‘I made some small modifications, because when this ages it tends to get a little petrol aroma, so I’ve integrated a little wood in the elevage. There’s plenty of schist here which makes the difference, so I hope that the wood changes that.’
Really a zesty nose – citrus skin. Full, round, a different type of energy, more subdued but completely open and fresh – ooh, super wine! It really explodes from the mid-palate onwards – seriously great here, more subdued before despite the clarity and finesse. Better than excellent.

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé
‘Almost all Pouilly-Fuissé seems to be argilo-calcaire, but there’s a north part where it’s all schist. The producers prefer their comfort zone, but here is a 50-50 mix. I’m looking for wood (but never cheap wood) that supports the fruit, supports my wine, but I don’t want to taste that wood!’
Zesty again, but a clearer yellow citrus fruit – mineral, without any overt oak. Lots of gas here – but very wide, insistent and mineral flavour – a lovely dynamic wine without overt acidity. Also a width of fine finishing flavour – not quite electric, but gorgeous.

2016 Pouilly-Vinzelles Les Longeats
Hmm – a vibrant width of citrus, but tighter below. Mouth-filling, fresh, a saline style of complexity – and real complexity – layered, with fine energy – great mouth-watering wine. Bravo!

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Vignes de La Côte
‘From the bottom to the top of the hill – 400m high – I like to think of it as a photo of the appellation. All barrel elevage, perhaps 20% new. We rinse our new barrels with hot water to remove some of that young wood tannin.’
A vibrant sun of a lemon-yellow fruited core. Ooh – plenty of gas but such an open, pure, large-scaled wine. Bubbling with complexity, mouth-watering all the time. Excellent.

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Vignes Blanches
To be a 1er cru.
A wide and fresh nose, a touch of barrel caramel. Ooh, like the Côte, oak on the nose but hardly any on the palate – concentrated, zesty citrus in the palate; mobile, complex – always changing – great – wait 2-3 years.
2016 Pouilly-Fuisse Menetrière
‘The Bâtard of the place. 180 magnums for the whole world – 0.16 ha – but I’m keeping 60 of them! And some bottles to have fun with journalists too. The alcohol is just 12.3%.’
Again a little citrus skin but essentially a tight nose. Ooh – but the palate is quite brilliant, vibrant and mouth-filling – just so juicy. This is another world – Grand Vin!

Les rouges:
Fabien on Beaujolais: “Enough of this ‘Glou, Glou’ for Beaujolais, the conversation has to change. Actually it does change, but unfortunately, the wines change very little. 2016 is a vintage of hail. The wines protected by a little reduction – I like to carafe for a lot of journalists – but we taste as the wines are opened. They are not meagre wines – when the reduction is eaten by the wine – in maybe 10 years or so – they will be great!

2016 Chenas
Less than 15 hl/ha – it was no party.
Ooh, that’s an interesting nose – a little shitty to start, as opposed to classic reduction. ‘A wine that throughout it’s elevage has gone through cycles between completely open and completely closed.’ Hmm – lovely volume, vibrant flavour – no fat, no depth of comfy texture. The flavours are also very reminiscent of the nose – but wide and with much openness. Super finishing, if still with that woody reduction. The last drops in the glass are really starting to amp up the interest, fresher, floral. 10 minutes later the nose is like a deeply perfumed flower – it changes quickly. So much to look forward to…

2016 Morgon
A fresh meat reduction and wide too, a real width of reductive aroma – more classic in style. Ooh – that’s great in the mouth – such clarity, great energy, complex – an inner softness that differentiates it from (for instance) Corton – there are not so many Cortons as good as this though – Bravo! The last drops in the glass need 3-4 minutes before their reductive shackles melt away and become electrically, fabulously, fruited. Bravo!

2016 Moulin à Vent
Also a rendement to make you cry. I decide to make a ‘grand Moulin’ instead of climat wines as there was so little.
The reduction starts in style somewhere between the last two wines but directly there’s a little floral note. Lovely in the mouth – a style of complexity that reminds of Vosne. Like the last wine, the last drops are again simply fabulous after a couple of minutes.

2016 Fleurie
4 hectares delivered just 1,500 litres of wine.
Starting with a fine width of aroma, of-course a little reduction but less overt than the others. There is a drive to this wine that’s like the Morgon, though rounder at the centre – but like the others no fat, no comfy texture – silky but more driving with flavour. This is the most open, the most amenable, directly from opening and it’s great – but it won’t be easy to find! Bravo!

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