Tasted in St.Bris with Bruno Verret & Damien De Luget, 11 May 2021.
14 Route de Champs
Tel: +33 3 86 53 31 81
Bruno Verret recounts that his parents and grandparents were viticulteurs and that his great-grandparents had vines too but that this was a time of polyculture. Still, there’s 250 years of family attachment to the vines here.
Domaine Verret is an important domaine in St.Bris, cultivating over 60 hectares of vines, mainly around this village and Irancy plus some parcels in Chablis too – overall half red and half white wine here. There could be more scope for wine from Irancy but Bruno points out “Irancy has a lot unplanted parts that are in the appellation but these orchards and other unplanted parts are part of the character of the place, it would be a shame if that changed.”
Bruno on the approach of the domaine and their winemaking: “We have worked organically for almost 10 years but not with any intent to put that on a label. Finally, we have started the administration for certification as so many people are asking for the wines to be labelled as organic. In the cuverie, we don’t do any pigeage as the concrete tanks are too large. Some of the hand-harvested parts keep a portion of their stems too – if we think they will add something! Overall, I would say that the market for the wines from here is quite local – probably too local,” he smiles.
And on the recent weather here:
“This year, Irancy is a little less touched by the frost than some places but I’m still not sure if there’s a third of a normal harvest! Fortunately, 2019 was nice vintage for use, 15 was was easy, 16 brought hail then 17 was a cooler year and slightly serious for reds also serious and mineral, indeed a super year, for the whites. I see 2018 as mythic – quality and quantity – a little less wines of the Yonne perhaps. For me, it’s about finding the right line between the (often) high maturities and the elegance of pinot in the last few years.”
A range of wines that ran from very good to great – and in both colours too. A domaine that I didn’t know before but will be more than happy to keep up with in the future.
2019 Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre
Pinot vines in St.Bris – south-facing but with cooler soils near the wood of St.Cyr
Vibrant, fresh, with a depth of herbed fruit. Hmm, that’s silky, sensuous shape in the mouth, only faintly accented with a little tannin, fresh, herby but sweet fruit in the finish. That’s a delicious wine.
This again from cooler terroirs, no barrels – ‘the style that my grandparents might recognise,’ says Bruno.
Bright, fresh, slightly floral – suggesting but never fully delivering a little pyrazine. Depth here, more layered delivery of darker fruit flavour. Plenty of structure but not hard – holds a strong finish
2019 Irancy Fût
‘I don’t like this name but we’ve had it since my parents’ – no new oak but elevage in barrels of 3-8-years-old. ‘A wine with a little more elegance.’
A rounder nose, slightly more cushioned – less dark fruit too. Hmm, that’s got a nice clarity and vibrancy – a little more direct. Just a creamy accent in the strong finish that recalls the barrels. That’s tasting very well.
2019 Irancy Mazelots
‘Quite young vines – I hadn’t had the vines long when we were strongly hailed. The wines I’d made up to that point I wasn’t satisfied with – a mix of césar, pinot gris and pinot noir – so I took the chance to replant with a pinot fin – there’s a bit more oak here in the elevage.’
The first impression is of a little gas and some whole cluster then the wine rounds and tightens a little – the impression is of silk and slowly more floral too. Hmm – that has a mouth-filling and energetic shape. Almost chewy concentration in the finish, very faintly oaked – that’s an excellent wine!
An assembly of multiple parcels – old vine selections
Ooh – that’s a great nose – complex, textured a granular complexity. Deep, extra concentrated – warmer fruit the oak showing more too – but what a depth of flavour, finishing more saline and vibrant – super length. That will be great wine – wait 1-3 years…
2019 Irancy Palotte
3 parcels, the oldest 95-years-old, in bottle about 3 months now.
Less width but such a depth of aroma – the fruit a little more cooked in style. Wide, again a fine energy and growing intensity – the tannin is present but with a fine grain and no astringency. Almost a little chocolate then a super burst, an explosion, of finishing flavour. The nose almost too ripe for me the rest of the wine most certainly not – the last impression is of great wine!
2015 Irancy Palotte
A more open nose, faintly spiced, almost a little marsala-style note that slowly shows a little pyrazine – but always on a subtle level. A mineral impression, silky and fresh – the micro-grained tannin is still present – a wine of muscle and drive – no fat – impressively mobile and still intense in the finish – I’d carafe and then really enjoy this!
2014 Irancy l’Ame du Domaine
‘To look at a colder and more complicated vintage’
A little less colour and certainly a more developed colour. That’s a nice nose – a suggestion of smoke, of stems. Driving, direct, structural wine but also with a lovely texture that binds the parts together – impressive and relatively young wine – I actually prefer this to the 2015 and would enjoy it now – but there’s no rush.
Another cooler vintage…
A nose that starts slowly but slowly adds some more perfumed impressions. Hmm – Wide, filling the mouth – plenty of wine here, faintly grained at the base. Layered, really hyper-complex. Not so demonstrative and ‘fruity’ as many – but great Irancy! Bravo!
2019 Bourgogne Côte D’auxerre Chardonnay
Vines in St. Bris – plenty of barrel used here but none new
This nose is a combination of a core of ripeness and a frame of freshness. Round, silken, a little richness to this yet there is energy here too – faintly saline finishing – nice clarity here.
White clay here, still young vines – 10 years – all barrel elevage. This the current commercial vintage here.
That’s a nicely perfumed nose – very inviting. A direct impression – full of flavour – that’s a super finish – of weight and moreish flavour. The minerality is present here too – that’s a great Bourgogne.
2019 Bourgogne Côte d’Auxerre Les Gaudières
For the 2020 they will use a diam-type of cork
Slightly smoky and deep – a faint reduction – ‘this has closed a lot since bottling.‘ Some gas, mouth-filling – lots of flavour energy – lots of everything, including a little oak. A wine that needs to come together but it has everything – a fine length too…
This nose starts small but slowly fills the glass becoming more and more perfumed. That’s attractive – overtly mineral but not overtly structured, mouth-watering – a small dry finish from the tannin – that’s a delicious wine…
The first bottling of this…
The nose has a direct mineral and pyrazine note – it’s also more overtly sauvignon than the 2019 today. I love the mouth-filling, energetic shape of this wine – the finish is delicious.
2018 St Bris Vaupiary
Between St.Bris and Irancy, only Sauvignon Gris, all barrel elevage, 14 months, hardly any sulfur
More golden fruit – rounder, ripe and roast. The form in the mouth is more interesting to me – mineral, mouth-filling, super clarity and really long – ripe clean fruit here. Simply excellent wine.
2019 St Bris Vaupiary
A more open nose – though less focus than the 18 today. That’s just super in the mouth again – silken, mineral, a little contemplative, very long – ooh that’s really excellent wine – A nose short of great!
2019 Chablis 1er Beauroy
50% barrel elevage, none new
A nose that starts tight but opens slowly in the glass. Quite a concentrated wine, overtly mineral too – the concentration dampening the power of the energy – but that’s a super wine – pure and quite powerful.
2017 Chablis 1er Beauroy L’Ame de Domaine
All barrel elevage
The barrel is there – a slowly fading accent but this is a broad and impressive nose. Mouth-filling – more overt freshness vs the 2019 – still concentrated – still plenty of oak too – return in 5 years!
A purity of ripe fruit – more lime than lemon. Intense, fresh – a wave of strong-flavoured energy – ooh that’s a super wine – still for keeping – or carafe – the oak is still perceptible but only just. That’s has the potential to be a great Beauroy!