Tasted in Fixin with Amélie Berthaut, 16 July 2014.
Domaine Vincent et Denis Berthaut
9 Rue Noisot
Tel: +33 3 80 52 45 48
I’m sure that most of you will remember my enthusiasm for this domaine, in my book I called them (something like) the Mugnier of Fixin – in essence, a world away from the ‘rustic Fixin’ label, assuming that popular construct actually holds true. Well, thing s are changing very quickly at this domaine…
Amélie, daughter of Denis has joined the domaine. Despite Denis refusing to give up his tractor to let Amélie play with his vines, she’s been given a free hand in the cuverie for winemaking decisions. Not just that though. Denis’s wife is one of the two Gerbet sisters who run that Vosne-Romanée domaine – one is officially retired, the other (only) technically retired, so Amélie and her two cousins are beginning to receive vines from this slowly shrinking domaine. So far, Amélie has added 1.5 hectares of Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits, 1 hectare of Vosne-Romanée villages, a little Vosne-Romanée Petits Monts and the equivalent of one barrel of Echézeaux. That’s impressive – but there will be even more from her mum in a couple of years…
I did ask how the domaine had been affected by the hail, Amélie responding “Fixin was hardly touched. We have lost maybe 25% of the potential crop in some plots of Vosne-Romanée, but frankly, it’s nothing when compared to the Côte de Beaune.”
Because the 2012s were bottling, we mainly took a tour of the baby 2013s, so (in this case) many of the notes are rather short and it’s rarely possible to declare a ‘do not miss’ wine. But this is an address to watch, and maybe one to set up your allocations now, while they still have wine!
2013 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits
The vines are at Concoeurs, planted by Amélie’s grandfather. The plot is 10 hectares of 40-50 year-old vines, Amélie having to-date, 1.5 hectares. “There’s not a lot of soil to cover the local limestone here,” she says. They are actually replanting a part, breaking-up the bedrock a little so that it’s more permeable to the roots.
This has a very pretty fruit nose and an added floral note. Round and very pretty. I’m really surprised how good this is for the vintage/appellation combination. It should be lovely.
2013 Vosne-Romanée Les Petits Monts
The families Gerbet and Sirugue had the major part of this vineyard, but it’s been split a few times now. Tasted from a new barrel.
Nose isn’t really formed yet, but there’s a nice texture and a little more tannin towards the finish – a finish of lovely black cherry!
From Les Treux.
Super depth of aroma here with a lovely floral note too. Ouf! A beautiful mouthful of gorgeousness!
Made with 40% whole clusters – “It’s my little baby” smiles Amélie.
The nose is beautiful and fresh. The flavours are about intensity coupled to clarity. This is very yum!
Moving to a different cellar, we try the following:
2013 Fixin 1er Les Arvelets
Also good colour. Again, there’s still some malo on the nose. More depth, but with gas too. Yet there’s a lovely line of fruit flavour and very good length. The last drops in the glass have a very pretty aroma indeed.
Bottled 3 weeks earlier.
Wide and pretty aromatics, if still slightly spritzy. Full and round, supported by the faintly dry tannic texture. The nose improves as the gas leaves, becoming rounder and fruitier.
A mix of 2 parcels, Crais and Burie.
A growing, smooth depth of aroma, that seems to keep growing. Big, round, fresh and tasty, but the tannin needs a little time to settle after bottling.
2008 Fixin 1er Les Arvelets
A higher toned nose of faint spice with rather modest depth – yet it begs you to keep sniffing – very nice! The leading-edge of acidity is faintly tart, but the flavour is wide and interesting and there are no rough edges to these tannins. Very tasty…