Profile: Nicole Chanrion


Nicole ChanrionTasted in Cercié with Nicole Chanrion, 09 May 2019.

Domaine de la Voûte des Crozes – Nicole et Romain Chanrion
Les Crozes
80 Grande Rue
69220 Cercié
Tel: +33 4 74 66 80 37

This is a domaine with connections to the land going back multiple generations. Nicole says “My parents were vignerons, my grandparents too, and then there were my great-grandparents – families that come from St.Lager and Quincié.” And recently her son, Romain, has also joined the domaine too.

Nicole, who studied viticulture in Beaune, is responsible for a domaine that covers 7 hectares of, mainly, Côte de Brouilly vines. The domaine has been, for a long-time, Terra Vitis certified – “Terra Vitis began only in the late 1990s, and we’ve been with them since 1999,” explains Nicole.

The domaine is on the main street with plenty of working space for their 7 hectares of vines – large stainless steel tanks await for vinification – their cuverie being built into the hillside means that the grapes can be introduced to these tanks easily by gravity – then 1 floor further below stand the domaine’s foudres – up to 54 hl in size – again to be filled by gravity. Nicole explains “Very little sulphur is used in the process, usually just after malo – but it’s really there for conserving the wine.

2017 in a few words:
It was a sunny year, like 2015. We had an early harvest at the end of August and it was a small harvest – it was the year that was to blame for the volume – we didn’t have hail or frost.

The wines…

A classy range of wines here that are worth discovering – not to forget the ‘white’ gamay too. Definitely worth your time.

2017 Côte de Brouilly
This is the major cuvée here.
Plenty of colour. The nose has a fresh whiff of spice – a suggestion of reduction too. Ooh – that’s a big juicy thing in the mouth though – dark fruited, with salivating flavour, but also with lovely texture. Concentrated, a wine that makes you want to take another sip – moreish – faintly saline finishing too! Very yum!

2017 Côte de Brouilly, Emprinte
From the older vines of the domaine
Seemingly even more colour. This nose has no reduction, it’s deep, round and very dark-fruited but also with a faint floral ‘extra.’ Sweeter, equally silky to start but there’s a slowly growing tannin too – more depth of flavour, more sweetness of flavour. Fine acidity, aiding a beautifully mouth-watering flavour. Excellent wine!

2016 Côte de Brouilly
‘A less sunny vintage but one with a fine balance – I love to drink this wine for its subtility and finesse – it accompanies all styles of cuisine.’
Good colour. A nose that’s fresh and pyrazine-inflected floral. Much more high-toned, floral, faint pyrazine, freshness is the style. There’s still lots of depth to this flavour, layers and delicious. Good texture like the previous wines. The flavour is narrower but still super long. Tasty wine…

2013 Côte de Brouilly
‘A late vintage for us, harvested at the end of September – that was the last time!’
Good colour, not showing too much age. The nose – ah the nose – it’s round, it hugs the senses, it’s starting to show some very attractive development but no marsala-style oxidation, not yet. Still a little stricter than the last wines – but not much – this 2013 is coming over the horizon of starting to drink well. Fresh lines, nice texture and a growing well of the complexity that a little maturity brings. Wide, and very tasty finishing. A little dried fruit in this quite long finish. I’d enjoy this with great pleasure over lunch.

2017 Perle de Gamay – Blanc
They have a new label – I actually prefer their older one – but what about the wine? It’s not Beaujolais blanc, it’s really gamay, it’s effectively a Beaujolais Rosé but without the skin contact.
The colour is not pure white. A nose with some depth, a little savoury reduction around the place too. Ooh, here there’s drive, energy, minerality – a little mouth-puckering freshness – a present if not overt tannin – saline freshness in the finish. Hmm – that’s quite tasty – and certainly different – just give me the old label!

There’s also an ‘effervescent’ here that sees 2 years sur-lattes:

Brut Effervescent, Methode Traditionelle
There’s no dosage here – ‘brut naturale with just a minimum of SO2’ says Nicole.
A nose with a little touch of quince, maybe mirabelle. Mouth-filling. Fresh, brightly acidic, not quite mouth-puckering – ooh – on a hot summer day this will be great. I love the drive and mobile fresh favour. Excellent!

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