Tasted in Beaune with Jane Eyre, 30 June 2016
29 Boulevard Clemenceau
Tel: +33 3 80 22 80 96
Chris Newman is from New Orleans, his father was lucky enough to buy some grand cru vines in 1952, vines that were looked after by Domaine Guy Castagnier for 25 years. Chris eventually bought the grand crus from his father though later sold them – though this was no chasing-in, as Chris spent the money on more vines in the Côte de Beaune nearer his base.
The domaine is now all Côte de Beaune with a little over 5 hectares of vines. It’s a very discreet operation from a super base on the Boulevard of Beaune – it was once the home of négociant Léonce Bocquet – they have really impressive and large barrel storage cellar. Jane Eyre has been making the wines here for Chris, since 2006. Jane mentions that “Chris also began a négoce side to the business last year, but it’s really not easy to buy grapes these days.”
Jane notes “The wines are very much Chris’s but we are quite close in ideas so that works really well.”
The US is the main market for these wines, followed by Japan and Scandinavian countries – Australia too! I would add that a number of bars in Beaune often have the wines too.
I remember some years ago buying a bottle of the Côte de Beaune, in a bar in Beaune. I forget the vintage but I never forgot that I didn’t really like the wine – rather oaky and with an impression of fatness and make-up to the fruit. I was expecting much better knowing that Jane was making the wines. There are no-longer any grand crus in 2014 and there was also no Beaune Grèves because that was hailed.
Honestly I found these wines just a little like the Curate’s Egg there was hardly any (red!) that I really enjoyed the aromatic, but get past that and they were really quite tasty wines.
2014 Cote de Beaune Grand Chatelaine
The vines sitting between those of Jean-Claude Rateaux and Emanuel Giboulet. Bottled in Feb and was last to go through malo, all destemmed, 20% new oak one barrel from 5 no fining, no filtration. Always behind the other vineyards of Beaune for ripening.
A deep nose, slightly oaky, giving an almost balsamic impression. Fresh, quite intense fruit, really gets better and better in the mouth – I found the nose and first palate so-la-la, but really from the mid-palate onward this is super.
2 vineyards; Lulune, some Beaux Fougets too – a vineyard bought in 2011 – not much yield since then due to mildew and hail. This bottled in December.
Also a hint of oaky, almost balsamic, but it slowly fades with swirling. Nicer in the mouth, good texture and an ingraining flavour. Again the style is of a wine that gets more and more interesting as you keep it in the mouth. Nice length, tasty too!
1 hectare bought in 2009, the lieu-dits Aux Fournereaux and Rivaux, but a single block of vines on whiter soil. Bottled in February.
A bright red fruit here, adding some floral notes. Fills the mouth, some tannic drag here, really lovely mouth-watering flavour and whilst as long as the other wines, it’s more elegant with a fine line of flavour. Super.
Also from 2 lieu-dits; Levrière, near wall of the Château Pommard – vines from 1921 – Plus Vaumuriens with about 50-year-old vines. Three barrels, one new, bottled in February.
A deeper nose of deep red fruit – accented with spice. Here is a fine vibrancy of flavour, good energy, really wide and fresh finishing flavours. Here you can see some tannin but the palate actually has less overt tannin than the Monthelie . Tasty and persistent wine.
2014 Beaune 1er Clos des Avaux
4 barrels, 25% new, bottled in December. I asked about the oak – ‘Cavin, Hermitage & Berthomeau, so nothing special.’
A similar oaky spiciness – I’m now sure it’s oak not ‘balsamic’ that I’m perceiving on the nose, though the aromas are slowly becoming more silky. Plenty of energy – red fruited but spicy red fruited. Good length again.
2013 Beaune 1er Grèves
Top of the hill Grèves on sandy soil. No new oak as there was only one and a half barrels worth, so elevage in an older 300 litre barrel.
Spicy aromas but then beautiful fresh fruit of gorgeous clarity. A little more structured but fine energy and lots of fun in the mouth, lots of complexity. I like this very much!
On The border with Bèze – 21 rows.
Again the spicy nose. Ooh… This is gorgeous on the palate, meltingly complex, a little background oak but only as an anecdote – not super energetic, but super all the same. Gorgeous wine.
2 parcels, one in the middle next to Bart plus one higher up next to de Vogüé.
The same spicy characteristic – but a floral fruit starts to push it to one side. Full of energy this, wide and with a super growing intensity. Ouf then the finishing wave of flavour. Super again!
2014 Côte de Beaune Grand Chatelain Blanc
3.5 barrels worth.
A ripe character to nose. White flesh-ed fruit – nectarine? Hmm, I like this in the mouth – good acidity, some weight of flavour, ripe but controlled. Lovely finishing too with an impression of stone fruit. Tasty!