Tasted in Corgoloin with Vincent Bottreau, 10 June 2019.
Tel: +33 3 80 62 98 73
If you remember, it was Vincent Bottreau who took on the role of winemaker at Domaine d’Ardhuy, in place of Carel Voorhuis. Vincent finished the elevage of the 2016s at Ardhuy, but his first full vintage – responsible for all aspects of the estate, was 2017 – so time to take a look.
Ardhuy has nearly 40 hectares of vines producing 40 cuvées from over 125 registered parcels. 7.5 hectares are chardonnay the rest is pinot – they have ‘just’ 2 hectares of regional wines plus a very well situated half a hectare of Clos de Vougeot – once a whole hectare placed between Méo and Eugénie. After Drouhin and Vougeraie, Ardhuy had the most hectares of biodynamic vines – but all were fully certified by Demeter – not something you would note on the labels of those other two names. As you will see, there are some changes here, for now.
Vincent explains the changes: “From 2012 to 2017 we were certified Biodynamic and organic, starting in 2018 we are taking a pause in certification. We plan to return to proper certification, but Rome wasn’t built in a day – maybe it will take 3-5 years – I want to rationalise some aspects of production, of equipment, etcetera. I’m still not sure if all the 38.5 hectares will be certified, but we will start small and do it right – it’s not just about the rules, it’s about the spirit and commitment too. The 2017s still, correctly, have the Demeter label, but it’s a whole new team here now – tâcherons excepted.
“It’s my taste, of-course, but maybe a little more freshness in the whites and a little less extraction for the reds is my aim. I’m using 6-7 different coopers, toasted with pressurised water to increase the penetration and lower lactones and tannins. From 2018 we will move to DIAM closures – for at least half the production, so about 80k bottles – it’s not just DIAM of-course, it’s how reductive or not the wine is at bottling time, how much sulfur is used at bottling and of-course what type of DIAM is being used. I’m looking to avoid heterogeneity, I want to just talk about the wines!”
Vincent on 2017:
“It was a very early vintage with some frost damage at the end of April – 25-26 April – fortunately much less damage than the drastic losses of 2016 – we saw only 10 hl/ha average that year – but we have actually decreased the prices a little in 2017 and will do the same with the 2018s. It was a very dry summer which stressed the vines at the end of August – but just a little rain at the start of September helped release the last of the maturity. Very little sorting was required – between 0-100% destemming – Demeter vinifications – so no additives. I prefer pumping over and used some pre-fermentation maceration – but with a big focus on hygiene.
“It was previously a single cooper here, with 8-16 months of ageing, depending on the wine. Some light fining and filtration on the whites but not the reds. We have 40 hl/ha for whites and 35 hl/ha for the reds – add 10 to that for the 2018s but more to give balance to those 2018s – the technical parameters were quite alarming from an oenological perspective!
“I think of 2017 as more classical than 2018.”
It’s really interesting to see the changes here. I was a big fan of the previous work of Carel, he always had the same great wines – properly great wines – but he had cuvées that never really showed that well. In the 2017 vintage, at least, Vincent also has great wines, but he also has an admirable consistency and, perhaps, a little more clarity. It will take a couple more years to decide if that’s the vintage or if it’s Vincent – but this is a great first result with much to recommend.
2017 Côte de Beaune Villages Les Combottes
The domaine has 9 hectares in Ladoix – including this.
A nicely energetic fresh and dark-red fruited nose. Supple, layered red fruit – nicely textured – long. Very nicely finishing. Delicious – indeed excellent CdBV!
From 4 different parcels.
Vibrant, a little more depth to this aroma. More depth to the texture here too – a small rasp of ripe, fine, tannin. A little touch of bitters in the finish. Wait 6 months more for this one – very tasty.
A monopole of a little over 2 hectares. More millerandes, later harvested, longer aged.
Ooh – a similar style of freshly deep fruit but here with a much more forward floral component. Again more depth – a slightly different, more plush, texture, more overt cherry style fruit. Saline bitters in the finish – really a wine that’s rather complete.
2017 Ladoix 1er Basses Murottes
It’s my vin de garage says Vincent.
A deeper nose and more cushioned – inviting but less purity. Round – mouth-filling volume. A modest but present lick of ripe tannin. Big finishing – lots of energy. The finish has aspects of the others, but is bigger if, as the nose, with a little less clarity – but very yum!
A blend of Boutières and Valozières.
More modest colour. Some redness of fruit but also a little saline – clearly different again. Bright – mouth-filling, mouth-watering. Plenty of structure, but nothing austere, a slowly mouth-watering finish too. A more saline and granular style but yum again!
2017 Aloxe-Corton 1er Les Chaillots
Almost 1 hectare of vines.
Modest colour again. A nicely wide and saline nose – similar to the last. Ooh – that’s a great wine – more fat, more concentration, supple, concentrated and so delicious – maybe needs a little more energy for absolutely great but this is excellent and delicious – oh, and long!
Exploit 11 hectares in Savigny across all cuvées and colours.
Limpid, modest but bright colour. Floral, fine and sweetly appealing dark red fruit – reminds of strawberry. Drive, more structural, depth – really an involving wine here – concentrated and deeply flavoured – wait for this – it’s worth it – a little finishing tannin. Bravo I think for the label.
2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Aux Clous
6.5 hectares here!
Medium coloured. A modest but very inviting and complete aroma. Round, good structure – a small rasp of texture. Delicious mid-palate flavour and nicely long. Excellent!
2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Peuillets
Almost always one of the earliest vines to be harvested here.
More depth of colour. Hmm – a nice depth of dark fruit – saline top notes. Supple, concentrated, lacking the herbiness of most Savigny in 2017. Slightly structural. Excellent wine – so good!
2017 Pommard 1er Fremiers
A little more colour again. The first wine with an overt oak – there was just one barrel – so all new wood, but it’s not toasty or vanilla. With aeration this is more floral and more attractive. More structural on the palate but no hard grain, more of a textural drag. Concentrated finishing. This will be super – but wait at least 2 years – you should be rewarded.
2017 Corton Renardes
A good aromatic width. A little give and easiness to the texture but here is a brilliantly wide complexity of flavour. Excellent. A little less focused today, but brilliant none the less.
A little less colour. Ooh – more purity coupled with fine clarity of complexity – that’s an incredibly inviting nose. Supple, more muscular – but lithe, fine muscle – great Corton – approachable but super wine and so persistent.
2 parcels almost 1 hectare.
Hmm – this has a characteristic, almost almond depth to the super aroma. Bigger again – filling the mouth, cushion with nan accent of astringency – but just an accent. Here is material – more guarded than Pougets but fuller. Potentially great!
2017 Côte de Nuits Villages
The first wine with DIAM here. It’s the younger vines of the Clos des Langres but 60%cheaper!
Hmm – here’s a really attractive, floral but deep nose. Supple, saline, good depth of flavour and a little fat. A mineral finish. Very nice indeed.
Hmm – more concentrated aromatics, faintly but finely floral. A more structural wine too – more to wait for – I never said this before for this wine – but bravo – though be patient!
A little extra colour. This is a tighter, much more compact nose – pretty higher tones, spiced tones, occasionally escaping. A different shape, more depth of flavour, a very fine tannin, very, very fine. Almost open-ended flavour – a great, great finish. This could be great wine in the future – the finish already is – it’s tighter in the first part though!
One we forgot:
2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Narbantons
Open, floral. Hmm, this has impressive depth. In the mouth, round, much redder fruit – attractive and driving with a little minerality. Faintly astringent in the finish – but only faintly. Long, mineral only very good after the Clos de Vougeot – but excellent Savigny!!
Bottled already – DIAM
A little deeper colour – more confit, ripe fruit too – but attractively-so. Hmm, that’s big, energetic, layered. Great Bourgogne.
2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune, Sélection Gabriel Ardhuy
This a négoce wine. All stainless elevage.
A big, bright and energetic nose. Direct, intense, some good texture, a slightly exotic, tropical fruit. Tasty.
2014 Ladoix Blanc
Blend of Combottes, Chaillots and Chagnots. Vinified in stainless steel with temperature control but with later elevage and malos in barrel.
A big aroma, slightly saline, very slowly growing some green citrus notes. Big in the mouth – energy – slightly phenolic texture, more than interesting, almost a suggestion of gas still in here and it will be tastier without but who knows about the freshness! Lovely.
2017 Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc
Planted in 2013, this the first vintage because it was frosted in 2016 – only on barrel and this the last bottle at the domaine!
Round slightly exotic but much more composed fruit than the first white. Supple, layered, great texture. Mobile – ooh that’s really lovely. Excellent!
2017 Puligny-Montrachet Le Trezin
A floral nose, almost a little mineral reduction below. Plenty of mouth-filling volume. Nicely energetic, lovely energy in the finish too. Nice wine
Old vines from 1932/33.
Hmm – that’s the most exciting and complex of these so far – really inviting and with lovely clarity. Super drive and minerality. A very young wine. Bravo!
Over 2 ha. A blend of Pougets, Carrieres, Rognets and Languettes
Instead of an aromatic volume, this has a very impressive width – tighter but impressive. Layered, an insinuating intensity, mineral. This is super complex and at the same time, super young. Not a delicious wine by any means today but with tons of potential – I’d really love to taste this again in 3-4 years…
2018 Savigny-lès-Beaune Clos Godeaux
DIAM and all new oak
Much more open aroma – complex faintly mineral, almost faintly fumé. Big energy, intense, complex. Really a concentration to this wine.