Tasting in Irancy with William Charriat, 10th June, 2014.
Domaine William Charriat
69 rue Soufflot
Tel. +33 3 42 22 21
“I make Irancy like my grandfather and my father did.” starts William.
“You should wait 3-5 years to drink Irancy, but it will last 20 years – no problem. Including Cesar makes the wines a little more rustic when young – there’s 2-3% here – but youth isn’t a malady!”
The Charriat family have been around Irancy since 1580. In 1970 the domaine was 2.5 hectares but there was also cereals, cherries and animals – this was the way of life then. William took over the domaine in 1998-99 and has, since, built the area under vine up to 18 hectares.
Fermentations are in stainless-steel and without temperature control – “I like nature to do its thing…” There is some pigeage but less than was common 20 years ago. The cuvaison now lasts for about 15 days and there is a little whole-cluster in some vintages. The 2010 is not yet bottled, the domaine currently commercialising their 2007, 2008 and 2009 vintages!
2003 was the first vintage in the new (current) cuverie where we tasted the following from tank:
“A ‘nice’ harvest. There wasn’t a lot but the quality was fine.” The malo had finished about 2 weeks before we tasted.
Here is a lovely aromatic – quite floral. Energy, depth and a growing intensity – it looks good!
Here there’s a faint reduction with deep dark fruit to accompany. This is more muscular and shows a little more structure too – yet the texture is fine. Long finishing.
“A more delicate vintage” notes William.
The aromatic has more herbs though William says that this will fade. Rounder, and rather supple with some tannin. Long again.
This will be bottled in May.
Here is lovely dark-red fruit and a higher toned note that suggests flowers. Plenty of structure and super freshness. There’s a burst of flavour in the mid-palate that’s almost Chablis-style in its mouth-watering sucrosité. Long too. This is brilliant.
Then we moved to the barrel cellar to taste the bottled wines – the cellar containing ‘Porto’ barrels of over 100 years-old plus 600 litre demi-muids.
I have a different glass and I’m not sure if that’s why the nose seems a bit soapy. In the mouth this quite round, has good width, a little tannin and a lot of length.
“Here’s the character of Irancy that I hope to capture every year” notes William.
The nose (or glass!) offers prettier red fruit and some herbs and flowers. Lovely in the mouth, showing nice energy and plenty of well-managed structure. Lovely length too…
William: “The press decried this vintage at the time, and it might not be a wine for the ages, but it’s ready now and will drink well for the next 5-6 years.”
Here is a rounder nose, one that’s tending towards strawberry. It’s rounder in the mouth too but still shows good intensity. The tannin is relatively fine-grained. The mid-palate is brighter before a modest finish. Tasty wine.
A south-facing plot where there’s more like 8-9% Cesar in the blend.
The aromatic is a floral/herbal blend with a ripe-cherry undertow – nice. Muscular but no fat, lots of intensity too. It’s really big in the mid-palate and with a healthy lick of tannin too. Super!
2008 Irancy La Palotte
From a 0.25 ha plot.
The nose is wide with a few herbs and some spice. A wine that’s round in the mouth, backed with plenty of concentration and intensity. Long-lasting flavour – this is very tasty.
William describes this as cuvée TPMG – ‘Tout pour ma geule’ – or roughly translated, only for him to drink!
The nose is lovely with a leafy, sweet old pinot impression – a little swirling and becomes more saline. Round and softer than the previous wines – a little strawberry note begins to develop. The tannin is still present and correct, the finish long. This is another very tasty wine.
1993 (Bourgogne at the time) Irancy
The nose starts a little diffuse, slowly tightening in the glass and showing more fruit. The tannin is more modest and the wine is very long finishing. The intensity is of a lower order – William noting that the rendement was probably 60 hl/ha in those days versus under 50 these days.