Tasted in Savigny-lès-Beaune with François de Nicolay, 19 May 2021.
We discussed the 2021 vintage:
“The reds actually don’t look so bad as we prune quite late but as for the whites, there’s going to be practically none. Overall, a much better yield than 2016 we think but a good 80%, or more, fewer grapes in the chardonnay.”
François on the 2019 vintage:
“All are bottled except the Ile des Vergelesses blanc – it’s not ready so we aren’t showing it. We had some peaks of heat that are rare – 41°C – we know 35° quite well but we worried about the reaction of the vines; we lost a few leaves but I think the vines reacted well. We had lots of concentration in the grapes – the number of grapes was normal but they were small so it was a small volume of juice. The acidities were not so high, we thought a very southern style to the wines at the start of elevage but were happy to see the tension and terroirs grow in the wines as they aged. In the end, the wines that are gentle and more typical than the 2017 or 2018s we think – they are already too pleasant to drink! It would have been an even nicer vintage for us if we didn’t have 30% less volume – we were close to 20 hl/ha…”
I tasted the wines earlier in elevage and thought this a super range – the benefit of the extra elevage shows a GREAT vintage here at the domaine – particularly the Cortons showing far more impressively – one of my greatest 2019 red tastings – so many wines here are worth a special search!
The two Savigny Fourneaux of the domaine blended – a mix of villages and 1er – 2/3rds 1er cru – done for the 1st time in 2018 – so this wine a villages – 2.10 ha in total.
That’s got a sweet, stony – cherry stone – impression to the nose. A little frame of tannin and a wonderful clarity of earthy-accented fruit. I love the energy and the depth of flavour here – great Savigny ‘villages’ – extra length here!
More south-facing with layers of limestone very close to the surface.
Floral perfume of whole clusters and minerality. Ooh – more structure, more width more mineral – that’s really a beautifully perfume-infused wine. For more patience as the structure is present but a great, already gorgeously finishing wine!
Under Ile next to Fichots. Mainly deep red-clay soils but it’s a darker clay than in Fourneau as there’s more iron.
A narrower, deeper, more animale nose, only slowly, more begrudgingly offering glimpses of the rose perfume. Extra width and intensity – mineral again – but a completely different shape. Silky but still framed with a faint tannic dryness. Great, great finishing, darker fruit – a wine of structure that will require patience – but if the nose improves in that time, here is great wine!
A much wider, more overtly perfumed nose – wow – directly a great invitation. Intense, but also of width – melting, finer-textured – simply the more complete wine today. Depth of flavour that’s yet to differentiate into even more complexity. Grand Vin!
2019 Aloxe-Corton 1er Valozières
A small cuvée from below Bressandes, next to Paulands. Very clay soil, sometimes impermeable, worked by horse. ‘In a good place as it’s surrounded by grand crus!’
A very different aromatic – less impact, more airy – a subtly floral character but less overtly of the rose, even a suggestion of salinity, opening and taking on more purity with air. In the mouth open, saline, complex – more directly complex than the ‘Ile’ today – moving seamlessly over the palate. I still prefer the Ile, but here is a delicious, complex, excellent wine, finishing, eventually, very saline…
Also under Corton-Bressandes but more to the north with big ‘tête de mouton’ limestone. The first level on the hill above Ladoix. Usually the grand cru that is most approachable young.
Airy but with a concentration and clarity of fine aromas below – that’s again, remarkably good. Beautiful, almost seamless width, fine acidulated fruit that is a melange of perfumed flowers too. Easy complexity – beautiful wine never with the impression of excess concentration or maturity – simply a great Corton…
From 4 parcels, mid-hill, east-facing, ‘with a great blend of clay and limestone.’
A little extra minerality melds with the floral perfume – almost a freshness of citrus flesh – blood orange. More overtly structural shaped, but nothing heavy – no space in the mouth is spared. Athletic muscle here – no fat – such a great balancing act. Bravo!
We have the highest parcel in Clos du Roi, next to the Hospices de Beaune – a little sand in the lighter, much poorer, soil here and lots of slope – 350m so later harvesting too.
Very perfumed, violets, almost a gentian/pyrazine but properly floral not chemical. Airy but complex, the perfume of the nose is also the major calling card on the palate too. Ultra perfumed wine the structure is almost forgotten but it’s there. So mouth-watering. Actually, I prefer the Bressandes today but what a great wine nonetheless! Almost a creamy impression at the (long, long) end of the flavours – easily bravo!
2019 Savigny Les Saucours Blanc
‘It’s a proper white terroir of marne blanches’ – a cool place that was originally planted with pinot when they bought but it hardly ripened so replanted in 2013. 2017 was the first vintage.
A fresh width here, almost a straw impression to the aromas, golden fruit too. Vibrant, nicely shaped, super acidity. Almost a creamy middle and finish, finishing faintly tannic. Very tasty wine – indeed excellent Savigny.
2019 Corton Blanc
This from (90%) Bressandes plus some Chaumes.
Equally fresh but and extra, more mineral, depth to the aromas. A little gas today – but what energy! A grain of tannin with dryness, creamy again – certainly the barrels – but wide and properly mineral yet deliciously mineral too. Strict in a sense but not to make you go ouch. Really excellent grand cru.
In Renardes, under the wood a small parcel just over 0.1 ha.
A more vertical nose – narrower than the last but deeper and with more floral complexity above too – airy, compelling aromatics. Direct but wide too, airy, beautiful wine – it caresses the palate, it’s floral, it’s simply a picture of beautiful delicious elegance. Bravo.