Tasted in Beaune with Elisabeth Debois, 17 July 2015.
1 Place Saint-Jacques
Tel: +33 3 80 22 62 58
Almost hidden away, in the street behind the Bar-Restaurant, Boulevard 21 – on Beaune’s periphique/boulevard – is Domaine Debray.
For as long as anyone can remember, there’s always been a cuverie here; in recent memory this was the home of various négoce and a Domaine Parisot. The current domaine was created 3 permanent plus an apprentice. Created in 2006 by Breton, Yvonnick Debray who after selling wine for many years decided to invest in vines and his own production. This domaine produces wine from a mix of domaine and purchased fruit. When I visited, Chef de Cave Jean-Philippe pointed out a lot of empty barrels – the result of consecutive low-yielding vintages…
The cuverie has mainly stainless-steel tanks, but there are also some older concrete ones too. They vinify the grapes of about 8 hectares of vines that account for 25+ cuvees. All the reds are destemmed and see a cold maceration before their fermentations. Their grape purchases are mainly from long-term contracts, though some whites are delivered as must. They bottle everything themselves, using only natural cork.
Wandering around the cellar Jean-Philippe notes that there would normally be 2 levels of barrels here, but at the moment there’s just 1. In 2014 there’s more red than white in the cellar, but generally there’s equal amounts in most years…
90% of Debray’s sales are in France, included in that total is a significant quantity of bottles sold to visitors to their cellars – tasting seem always available. Plenty is also sold through salons in France, but they would prefer to sell more direct.
New oak here is normally between 20-30%, but can be as high as 60% for some grand crus. Good, competent wines here, with no real stand-outs…
2013 Saint Aubin Blanc
Wine from two parcels.
Ripe, round, showing yellow fruit. Round in the mouth too, good leading acidity and a growing weight of flavour. Very round, rather ripe but with energy and bags of flavour. Tasty with a good finish too.
2013 Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc
This one bought-in, so not sure how many parcels.
Wide and sweet, with a weight of aroma – wider than the St.Aubin. More direct in the mouth, lithe and energetic – lovely. There’s plenty of oak flavours too but they are very well melded to the overall impression. Very good and with a fine finish.
From the Clos de Meichevaux. apparently this wine has only just really opened – ‘We didn’t understand this wine for many months.’
More modest aromatic weight but it’s silky and a little honeyed. There’s more intensity, more minerality and a very good weight of flavour in the mid-palate. Very good wine. More structured with a fine intensity in the finish – it holds well too…
2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot
Less forward aromas, but there’ s an insinuating depth. Big in the mouth, indeed mouth-filling, plenty of complexity too. A little too easy for Morgeot? Maybe but it’s very tasty wine with a long line of finishing flavour.
The nose offers bright top notes over riper red accents. Wide in the mouth, plenty of acidity and just a little padding. Good extra flavour in the mid-palate. A good tasting wine with nice violet flower aromas from the last drops.
2013 Santenay Clos Rousseau
Wild and deep with lots of aromatic weight – I have to say, this is very inviting. Again plenty of acidity, but there’s also a good punch to the flavour, and a nice, slightly plush, texture. A fine burst of finishing flavour too – lovely.
2012 Pommard 1er Chaponnières
Deep, fresh at the top with darker red fruit below – this nose is almost a little wild, but alluring all the same. Bigger in the mouth, cooler fruit, just a little textural, astringent drag from the structure, but this muscled wine has intensity and lots of interest. A good extra dimension of flavour in the mid-palate too. Nicely mouth-watering and showing long flavours. Good wine with no hard edges.
Not on label, but this is from Renardes.
A discreet nose but with good width slowly adding volume with more time in the glass. Instant impact after the Pommard – more structure but less astringency – very fine-grained tannin. A large wine but one that again shows no hard edges. Lovely growth of flavour in the mid-palate which very slowly fades in the finish. A well-proportion grand cru of suave texture rather than one that shouts. Fine.
2013 Vosne-Romanée Les Barreaux
Deeper aromas, almost a little more phenolic but also more complex too – with flashes of pretty, deep red fruit. Round, sweeter than the Corton, if not with the same impact. Good flavour and there’s some complexity too. Clearly less weight and complexity of the finishing flavour, but all the action here is up front – and good it is too.