Dublère – vines outside the front door
Visited and tasted 31st July 2010.
I can’t speak highly enough of this small but beautifully-formed group of wines. If you have the chance, then do yourself a favour and try them…
For 2009 (not tasted here), Blair has used some whole bunches for the very first time – it will be a year-by-year decision as he dislikes ‘green tannins’. 2009 will also see a new Chassagne (blanc) cuvée; Les Chevenottes.
New vines have been recently added to the domaine; three new parcels that almost double the domaine’s size to just under 3 hectares: The first is some Savigny-lès-Beaune Vergelesses blanc (almost two thirds of a hectare). A parcel of Nuits 1er Les Bousselots and finally a second parcel of Corton-Charlemagne ‘surrounded by Bonneau du Martray near the cross’.
We briefly discussed the topic of premature oxidation, and Blair had the following to say:
For me, the fundamental problem is that (given the new presses) the grapes, the must and the wine are not exposed to enough oxygen. They have to be continuously and generally exposed to oxygen from the beginning so that everything that can oxidise, does oxidise and then falls out – it can’t be overprotected with sulfur. My juice stays in the tray until the press has finished its operation (3 and a half hours) and I’m ready to pump it out. I can’t say that I’m right, but that’s what I think it is. So far my 04 Corton-Charlemagne in half bottles is still fine – in fact a little on the reduced side.
The other thing is that I work on the reductive side; I put more lees in the barrel than many (producers), I do stir, but gently, until the end of malo – which actually does have an antioxidant effect because it puts the antioxidant lees into suspension without adding more oxygen. I don’t rack either, hence, everything tends to be on the reductive side.
In bottle for about 6 weeks. Medium-pale colour. Gorgeous soft and ripe red fruits. Some fat, wide and nicely complex. This has energy without any acid emphasis. Mineral flavours in the finish. Medium concentration and elegant. What a super starting point.
Medium colour. A little deeper red fruit. Lovely berries, more energy and lovely width. Again a mineral, slightly savoury finish.
The aromas are a mineral/fruit mix. Also this has a mineral/fruit stance to the flavour. This really oozes flavour from your tongue then lingers on a fruit note.
A new wine in 2008. Deeper, denser dark red fruits rounded with some higher tones. There is lovely width and depth here and a good expansion in the mid-palate.
Medium colour. This is a little spicier, it’s the only real hint to the change of Côte. Very round, silky and slightly plush – super balance. Good width, I think this should be a brilliant value choice.
It needs some swirling to lift a little reduction. Dense fruit, but much tighter than the preceding Morey. Instantly this is from a different category; it starts narrow but widens, showing a super cream-framed depth. Long, mouth-watering and very, very successful.
Fresh with a super-intense core of fruit. Plenty of acidity but it has the foil of a rippling width of flavour. Stony fruit in the mid-palate. One critic ordered 6 cases after tasting this – I ordered a more modest one!
Dense, wide Chassagne fruit aromas. Mouth-filling, again (like the others) there is a good width. This is both classic and very good Chassagne.
The aromas have width, are super-dense but deep and fresh. This has really 1st class texture. It is linear and mineral, the intensity growing all the time. Truly excellent – chapeau!
There’s a dense core of fruit on the nose. It’s wider and more mouth-filling than the (slightly) austere Charlemagne. Very good intensity in the mid-palate too. Heavenly.