Tasted in Melin with Sophie Labry, 28 June 2018.
Domaine André et Bernard Labry
Route de Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 21 21 60
Sophie Labry is the third generation winemaker at this domaine in Melin. It was Sophie’s grandfather, André, who was first installed here, followed by Sophie’s mother and father – Monique and Bernard. André came from Le Rochepot, Sophie’s grandmother from Melin. Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune is a large part of the exploitation, Sophie explaining that a generation ago the family were not just vignerons, rather it was a mixed farm set-up with hens and cows et-cetera.
Today the domaine also has hints of Pommard, Meursault and Monthélie but the Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune remains the largest contributor. There are single red and white cuvées of Auxey-Duresses which bring together a mix of 5 parcels. The domaine has 13 hectares of vines, 6 of Hautes Côtes and approaching 5 of Auxey – ‘and the rest are anecdotes‘ smiles Sophie. Henri Latour and Bernard Labry worked a lot together so this domaine has a lot of lyre-trained vines.
“I detest new oak,” announces Sophie, “I tasted too many barrels when testing for residual sugar and became too sensitive to the oak. I do like to have the end of the red fermentation in barrel though.
“We lost 75% of the harvest in 2016 – and 2015 was only half a harvest – so we currently have no new barrels whilst normally there’s 5-10% new ones for the elevage.
“95% of our production is sold in bottle here – actually all in 2016 because of the low yield. In fact the 2016s were bottled relatively early as there was no wine – and we will have to do the same in 2017! It’s the ‘professionals’ that are least understanding about this as they simply want to sell something, the individual customers understand better!”
“I’m an assistant to the winemaking, rather than a winemaker – If its going well I do nothing, I’m lazy! But I rule nothing out – well, nothing legal!”
Not just fun and ebulliently telling it like it is, Sophie also makes some outstanding bottles – I rate them very highly in the neighbourhood!
2016 Auxey-Duresses Blanc
One part on the road to St.Romain, planted in 1960s – half is red as they ran out of white cuttings to plant! Then a vine off another road that mounts to St.Romain from Melin – going over 300m high, the last a plot near Meursault Vireuils.
Fresh, direct, not so wide or deep but inviting all the same with its energy and fresh, depth of flavour – really attractive depth, long and persistent. This is super.
2015 Auxey-Duresses Blanc
More depth and a little spice too. Rounder, sweeter, certainly easier to appreciate. I prefer the 2016 but this is delicious wine… The minerality really kicking in in the very long finish – ‘Yes they become more in this style, perhaps Meursault style as they age.‘
2016 Auxey-Duresses Rouge
Mainly barrels of 500 litre.
Ooh that’s a beautiful red fruit. Ripe, pure and inviting. Supple, delicious wine growing in intensity. Only modest tannin, round, layered and with super finishing volume – mineral finishing, reflecting the white.
2015 Auxey-Duresses Rouge
A more compact nose, faintly spiced. In the mouth a little more direct with a little more layering of the flavour – less round and embracing after an extra year, but ripe and tasty all the same.
2014 Auxey-Duresses Rouge
Here the nose is more pinched, though still with a ripeness of fruit. Hmm, direct, lovely texture, a warmth to the fruit, a faint finishing astringence but I like the line very much here. This is very much more in the vein of what Auxey from Melin is – I think!
2015 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc
All the Hautes Côtes production is in lyre here, unfortunately two-thirds of the Hautes Côtes was lost to the frost in 2016 – there should be as much as 20,000 bottles…
A narrow nose but it’s fresh and clean, slowly adding some floral notes. A width and depth here, depth of texture too. A little structure but with a relaxed and mouth-watering delivery of tasty, saline flavour. Holds very well with an attractive mineral impression. Lovely wine.
2015 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Rouge
A little compact but with a lovely cherry note. Supple, some richness of flavour, layers, very fine fruit. Delicious, fine textured a little fat and lot of delicious fun – bravo! The nose is just getting better and better. Fine purity…