Brouilly & Côte de Brouilly – 2017 (2016, 2015…)

24.8.2018billn

Tasted in the offices of InterBeaujolais in Villefranche, 19 and 20 July 2018.

What was already apparent last November when tasting 142 2017 Nouveaus, was confirmed by this early tasting of 2017s from Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly: Clearly 2017 is a ripe and concentrated vintage in a similar vein to those of 2015, 2011 and 2009 – it’s even looking like we may get the same in 2018 too! I will be returning to Beaujolais in February for a wider appreciation of the 2017 vintage.

Where Beaujolais Nouveau scores over these ‘cru’ wines, in general, is the labels. Nouveau labels can be such fun – unlike so many of the ones tasted today – most of which would be totally anonymous on the shelves of the wine department store. Some (rare) interesting labels above…

What I note from the 2017s is that I’m often impressed, very impressed, but at this stage I hardly ever wrote ‘delicious’ – they are largely too young for that…(?) – but they are certainly wines that promise much.

There was clearly an obvious higher quality for the 2016 Côte de Brouilly over the 2016 Brouilly – less overtly so in all the other vintages – perhaps the extra heat/ripeness of the 2017 and 2015 vintages flattened out some of the difference – but it was marked for the 2016s. On a more modest level, I find a relative extra freshness to wines from Côte de Brouilly versus those of Brouilly. Many of the 2016s showed a pyrazine character which was much rarer in the 2017s and 2015 – which makes me think that ripeness is a factor for this in gamay…

The concentration but relative freshness and lack of cooked flavours in the 2015s was so impressive with these wines. Like all of these the tannin shouldn’t be underestimated, yet it’s rarely intrusive – more an accumulative factor for the taster!

The wines are all served blind, I only get the chance to pair my notes to the list of wines after tasting – it’s a system that I like – plus de-frocking the bottles for photos at the end. InterBeaujolais for a while, internally, have been using two designations for the types of wine – ‘wine of character’ and ‘wine of exception’ – the latter a category for wine above €15. The only selectioning done for the blind tastings is that the more expensive wines are grouped at the end of the particular tasting section. I was really surprised to see how highly I rated the single estate Duboeuf wines – once the sample numbers were paired with the list of wines – likewise Château Ravatys seems a must-visit domaine for me.

The starting point: 2017 Brouilly


2017 Georges Duboeuf, Château de Nervers
Nice depth of colour but still transparent. A nice cherry-stone spice openness. Classic, fresh, intense but sweet attack – energy. Really a super line of strong finishing flavour – excellent.

2017 Domaine des Lys Sacrés
Darker and heavier glass bottle. Similarly deep but transparent colour. Much more a boiled sweets and bubble-gum nose – I prefer the previous. Likewise a bubble-gum, classic BJ impression but I have to say with wonderful texture from the tannin – really close to the borderline into astringency but never crossing. Impressive.

2017 Domaine Lathuilière Gravallon, Vieilles-Vignes
Heavier, and wax-topped bottle. Deep, transparent colour. Depth of slightly roast, dark fruit aroma with some fainter floral complexity. Fresh, sleek, nice texture, and a growing intensity. A strong width of finishing flavour – low/no sulfur style – long. Tasty wine.

2017 A Pegaz
Deep and transparent. A more compact nose of spiced dark cherry. Fresh, good energy, nice texture again – dark fruited and licorice infused. Good wine with a nice vibration of flavour.

2017 Collin Bourisset, Les Terres Bleues
A hint darker colour but still transparent. Hmm – concentrated, a little tight but the fruit is dark, fine and wide – getting better and more floral all the time – perhaps the best so far. Mouth-filling, concentrated flavour with enough energy, but clearly – and most obviously so far – a wine to wait for. Love the finishing complexity. Great wine in the making – be patient. Bravo!
2017 Domaine des Fournelles – Guillaume Dumontet
Deep but transparent colour. A big nose, fruited and floral – very round and attractive. More freshness and line here – growing in beautifully fruited intensity – this is an excellent wine, and the first that makes me directly think ‘Brouilly!’ Bravo.
2017 Pierre Marie Chermette, Pierreux
Heavier sommelier bottle. Deep but transparent colour. Hmm a super-inviting nose of pure and deep cherry fruit, accented with flowers – gorgeous. A little tannin, a lot of volume. Relaxed fruit over the palate. Simply excellent wine in all dimensions. Bravo.

2017 Domaine les Roches Bleues Lacondemine, Les Mignonnes de Pierreux
Deep and transparent colour. A nose that’s reminiscent of the last, a little less volume but a faint extra spice to compensate. Fresher, brighter, more energy. Really a super finishing intensity too. Excellent.

2017 Domaine de la Maison Rose, Jacques Charlet
Deep colour that’s almost saturated. Spiced dark cherry aroma. More depth of flavour, less overt fresh energy, tannins wrapping the palate. This is very serious wine. To wait for but it’s very good.

2017 Famille Chasselay, Les Balloquets
A little aromatic freshness though this is a tighter nose than most. Silky, easy, wine. No great distinction but the depth of flavour and length of finish are both good.

2017 Château Thivin, Reverdon
Also a modest aromatic, almost faintly lactic, but there’s a pretty dark cherry fruit behind. Fresh, open-fruited dark-red cherry fruit. The finish is good. Nice wine…

2017 Domaine Fanck Chavy, Cuvée Julmary
Deeply coloured – almost saturated. Narrow but deep nose of very dark cherry. Plenty of tannin for this mouth-filling wine. Fruit of concentration but freshness too. Long finishing. Very good but a baby – have patience…

2017 Domaine de Sermezy, Saint Pierre
Not the deepest nose, but one with violet aroma complexity. Pure silk, this apparent lack of overt texture making the wine seem a little soft. Open fruit flavour. Easy though tasty wine.

2017 Georges Duboeuf
Depth of colour to match the ambitious weight of the bottle. The nose is very inviting too – dark-fruited depth with a faint twist of bubble-gum. Good volume and layers of concentrated, complex flavour. The ambition seems to have delivered on all levels. Bravo.

2017 Crêt des Garanches Dufaitre Genin, Préférences d’Olivier
A width of aroma, faintly straw/grass notes, with pretty and pointed red fruit complexity behind. Supple, very modestly tannic, red-fruited, open and with a good punch of finishing flavour. Very good.

2017 Richard Rottiers
Versus many here (in 2017) the colour is modest. The nose is similar to the last, less straw and a little darker fruited. Silky like the last with more energy and clearly a strong vanilla component too. The finish is a strong one, though also with a central core of vanilla…

2017 Maison Jambon, Les Maisons Neuves
Deeper colour again – still transparent. A very different nose – relatively tight with a stewing rhubarb fruit impression. Fresh, direct, modestly tannic. Mouth-watering in the finish. Lacking the weight and complexity than many others are already showing.

2017 Domaine de la Roche Saint Martin – JJ Béréziat
Deep colour – almost saturated. A very compact nose – only showing some freshness today – but there’s an implied inky depth here. Round, with concentrated flavour of fine depth and complexity – I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a little barrel here but if so it’s very well-integrated. Slowly mouth-watering length – a wine that’s modest of aroma and finish but impressive in the middle today…

2017 Domaine Ruet, Voujon
Modest volume of aroma but dark-cherry-fruited at the core. Soft entry, than a faint halo of tannin. The fruit is red and has some attractive complexity. The finish being the tastiest part – a wine that grows on me but needs to work on its first impressions…

2017 Domaine les Capréoles – Cédric Lecareux, l’Hydrophobe
A little weightier bottle. A deep nose of plenty of complexity, perhaps growing some oak influence too. Round, very fine texture, layers of flavour, well-integrated oak. A wine to wait for to further reduce the oak influence but it’s very fine…

2017 Domaine Paul Janin et fils
Modest volume of aroma – hinting at a dark depth of fruit – seems fresh though. Fresh in the mouth, silky, red fruited and with some complexity. Quite chewy finishing flavour and nicely complex here.

2017 Château de la Térrière
Hmm – more aromatic width here – attractively so with a modest spice to the cherry skin notes. Mouth-filling, mobile, very fine tannin, dark fruited and the first with a saline accent. Really a mini explosion of finishing complexity. Bravo!

2017 Collin Bourisset – Domaine de Reverdon
Deeply coloured but holding onto transparency. A compact nose with some dark stewing fruit. Clean, fresh growing in volume. A concentrated but fresh style of wine that has a beautiful finish. More work needed on the first impression but this is still a super wine.

2017 Georges Duboeuf – Château de la Pérrière
Another nose of compact proportions – has height and depth but is quite narrow – Very attractive top notes of floral fruit though. Wide and melting it’s lovely flavour over the palate. A freshness and a delicacy to the flavour here with no lack of concentration. A suggestion of barrel approaching the finish? Maybe. A very fine wine. Bravo!

2017 Domaine de la Grume – Nicolas Boudeau, Grain d’expression
Another tight nose – some attractive fruit aroma in the depth. Volume in the mouth – freshness too. The flavour is not the most attractive fruit – perhaps faintly roasted in style despite the freshness. The finish is okay…

2017 Domaine les Roches Bleues Lacondemine, Soleil de Brulhié
Deep colour though transparent. A tight nose – faint higher cherry fruit tones. Ooh – this is a ball of concentrated, energetic flavour. Slow-moving waves of finishing flavour. Dark-red fruited, rather primary – but with a lot of potential – excellent!

2017 Earl Dufour, Clos Ponchon Pisse Vieille
Quite fine but modest intensity aromas. Vibrant in the mouth – a combination of energy and tasty complexity. Faint bitters in the mouth-watering finish. Bravo!

2017 Robert Perroud, L’Enfer des Balloquets
A heavy bottle. Not a big nose but certainly more action than the last bottles – dark fruited with an almost liqueur aspect. Silky, narrow entry but the flavour broadening over the palate. More mineral aspect than many wines and long finishing too. Not a complete wine today but many excellent aspect – if they come together and integrate, this will be great!

2017 Georges Duboeuf – Domaine de Lafayette
Another heavy bottle. Much more width of aroma – some florals over more modest, but attractive, fruit. Silky, layered, sinuous wine. Such great texture and such beautiful complexity – probably some very well-judged barrels in the elevage – but this is gorgeous, sexy wine. Bravo…

2017 Pierre Jean Béréziat, Clos Reisser
An even heavier bottle! A very faint reduction on this otherwise quite tight nose. Mouth-filling, fine freshness and good energy – still a hint of reduction. Fine and clean fruit in a long finish. Primary and not the most open wine but there is much potential here – possibly excellent.

2017 Philippe Dupond, Côtes de Nervers
We’re in the midst of a series of heavy bottles – unfortunately for the delivery person! Modest volume of aroma but a fine width in the depth of bass-notes. A compact ball of good fruit and energy – as it slowly relaxes the flavour melts over the palate. And it’s fine flavour too. Super!

2017 Château de Vaux – Yannick de Vermont
Tight, faint breadcrumb aroma – faint spice too – but nothing more to start. Good volume, round, supple wine. A little finishing bitters. Well made and concentrated. Like practically all here – to wait for…

2017 Jean Loron, Les Thibaults
Again tight, dark-fruited at the base, eventually with an accent of florals. Intense, slowly mouth-watering, melting with very dark-fruited flavour. There’s a little extra floral mouth perfume here – very attractive – even on such a young wine. This will be excellent…

2017 Jean Loron, Château de la Pierre
Deep, narrow, concentrated liqueur fruit aroma. Concentrated in the mouth, accented by modest but present tannin. Excellent depth to the flavour – and super flavour too. So much promise…

2017 Georges Duboeuf, Domaine de la Martingale
Modest volume of aroma – particularly a high-toned aspect to this dark fruit. A hint of gas, because of that more highlight given to a touch of tannin on the tongue – slightly astringent – long finishing. I love the energy of this wine, but the structure very firmly says wait. Lots of potential…

2017 Patricia et Bernard Jomain, Cuvée des Poêtes
A nice width of aroma, tighter below for the fruit, but it’s quite an attractive darker-red fruit. Round, silky, fine depth of fresh-fruited flavour. The finishing flavour is melting and delicious – there I said it! Bravo!
2017 Château de la Chaize, Rien de Trop
A bottle that’s more appropriate for weightlifting or crossfit. A nose of dark-fruited depth, faintly stewing fruit – but only faintly. Beautiful in the mouth – transparent, good energy, beautiful coated in non-astringent fine-grained tannin. Simply top drawer. Bravo.

2017 Domaine Laforest
A little more volume of aroma here – breadcrumb and a mineral-inflected dark-fruited depth. A mix of impressive volume and equally impressive energy. The flavour melting and opening wider in the finish. Another excellent young wine – it could be great.

2017 Château de Saint Lager Pizay
Another aspirational bottle. Lots of aromatic volume, majoring on freshness and an inky depth of fruit. Open, transparent, layers of well-defined flavour – fine combination of clarity and complexity. Top drawer

2017 Louis Agamy Tête
A nice freshness of aroma, the depth of fruit being much tighter. Lots of volume and good concentration too – a hint of astringence to this tannin, but it’s only a modest accent to the ‘whole.’ Very good complexity to the mid and finishing flavour – almost as good as the last with a little extra floral component. The latter seemed to have a little more class.

2017 Domaine N et F Jambon, Vieilles Vignes
Modest width of aroma but a nice vibrancy to the depth of aroma, an accent of floral perfume slowly evolving. Really concentrated in the mouth, the fruit is good but the concentration seeming to skew the flavour a little. But the flavour is relaxed in the mid and finish. And such a fine finish – this will require some patience, but it’s potentially great!

2017 Domaine D’Argenson, Les Pierreux
Modest volume of aroma – starting with a little breadcrumb before slowly adding a sinuous depth of dark cherry fruit. Modest volume in the mouth but still there’s a nice blend of freshness and flavour complexity – accented with violet perfume – and a very good finish. Super…

2017 Château de la Chaize
Finishing the 2017s with another weight-lifter’s bottle. Another breadcrumb aroma that gives way to very lovely dark-fruited cherry. Directly a wine of width and density – only slowly the dense mass starts to melt at the edges, at first with oak-inflected flavour before a more general width of tasty, mouth-watering, flavour. I wine for the patient but excellent…

2016 Brouilly:

2016 Romaine Jambon, Les Vieux Ceps
Directly there’s an obvious age difference to the colour – also still quite deep but transparent. Deep, dark, faintly spiced aroma. Lots of mouth-filling volume and concentration – the flavour is almost a little volatile – I mark it down for that – but the texture and shape of the wine is excellent, likewise the finish.

2016 Domaine André Colonge, Gorge de Loup
Possibly the palest colour of the tasting – so far. A direct pyrazine aroma. Lots of width, the pyrazine element is very obvious on the palate – mixing with the fruit to show more licorice – indeed the finishing flavour is long and less affected – it’s quite nice here.

2016 Laurent Martray, Combiaty
A heavier bottle and colour that could be a 2017. A little pyrazine again and a little rubber below – presumably reduction but it’s not obviously so. Round, more delicate than some, layers of flavour – actually there’s super complexity – but yes, a little reductive. Long and interesting. This will be super – but for now use a carafe.

2016 Domaine Bertrand, Pisse Vieille
Modest colour but a far from modest nose – tons of aromatic interest, round, only modestly darker-red fruited. Easy in the mouth but slowly increasing in intensity and a certain mouth-perfume too. Really a great finish – bravo here. So a great start and finish – the middle needs more work but this remains an excellent wine!

2016 Guillaume Duvernay, Rouge des Sables
Such a deep and young colour – more like a 2017. A narrow nose but fresh and clean. The palate is broad and slowly mouth-watering but the fruit a little roast in style. I like the finish much more though – another wine that’s great in parts…

2016 Agamy Louis Tête
Modest colour. A compact but attractive nose – slowly showing some dark bramble fruit. Mouth-filling, a halo of modest tannin and a fine combination of structure and fresh, tasty, flavour. The floral inflected finish is super. This is a super and joined-up wine – excellent!

2016 Georges Duboeuf, Pisse Vieille
Heavy bottle. Deep, young colour. Just a little mushroom in an impressive width of aroma. Supple, perhaps a little gas and faint astringence. There are extra dimensions of flavour as you approach the finish. A difficult wine today but with everything for the future. Bravo!

2016 Franck Chavy, Cuvée Julmary
Heavy bottle, deeply coloured – there’s often this connection – HBDC! Breadcrumbs and a faint reduction to start – the dark cherry-skin fruit slowly coming more to the fore – even a little peony. Ooh deep, fresh, plenty of tannin – almost rustic – but the mouth-watering aspect brings more and more flavour interest. The finish is modestly intense but long. For the patient but with much material – it will be worth the wait…

2016 Florent Rude
Heavy bottle, deeply coloured – though a little less youth to this colour. Super nose – a little vibration of minerality – a suggestion of pyrazine and an overall complexity that begs you to take a sip. Young flavour of both volume and energy – certainly a little pyrazine in the flavour – long, complex mix of mouth-watering flavour and a little tannin structure. Baby wine – be patient – but there are rewards here.

2016 Château de la Chaize
A heavy bottle yet a more modest, if young colour. The aroma is round if a little compact, slowly growing with an almost strawberry note. Good volume and width with a small accent of tannin, slowly mouth-watering, tannin finishing, quite young here. Super wine to wait for!

2016 Patricia et Bernard Jomain, Cuvée des Poêtes
Good colour, young too. An open and very attractive nose – dark-red fruit that implores you to drink. Fresh, lots of mouth-filling volume – a fine ripe grain of tannin to support, perhaps some background oak, layers of finishing flavour. Bravo!

2016 Jérome Mathon, Arène Granitique
A deep colour, already with some age. A mix of flowers and pyrazine – even a strange melon-fruit character. Freshness and energy, the fruit is a little non-standard, but the finish is a good one. An interesting mix this wine – but non-standard is as good a descriptor as any…

2016 Georges Duboeuf, Domaine de Lafayette
A weight-lifter’s bottle. Dark fruit with a nice vibrance. Volume again, a little mineral in this case, high-quality fruit and with slowly changing complexity of flavour. This is excellent – really a top-class finish if tasty flavour. Bravo!
2016 Philippe Deschamps, Cuvée Prestige
A high-toned red-fruited nose, of good impact. Hmm – this is a super blend of volume and fresh flavour complexity – delicious flavour. Fine finishing. Just an excellent finish, too. Complex, well structured, delicious wine – bravo!

2016 Domaine de Saint Ennemond – C et M Béréziat, Vieilles Vignes
A more modest nose – very faintly floral top notes, much more guarded below. Lots of volume, flavour complexity too – I love the energy here, layered with flavour and plenty – though not too much – structure. Layers of finishing flavour. If the finish improves this will be great wine to match all the other components.

2016 Gilles Gelin
Heavy bottle, deeply coloured. Some depth of aroma, starting above with a little breadcrumb but becoming finer with air. Wide, fresh, good energy and associated complexity. The fruit is a little stewed but admirably complex and a little saline. Very nice!

2016 A Pegaz
Not a large nose but one with both freshness and purity. In the mouth sweet fruit with energy and perhaps a faint oak backing – but well-judged oak. Layers of deep flavour in the finish – simply super here. Excellent wine….

2016 Domaine du Benoit Père, Fût de Chêne
Heavy bottle, deep colour – maybe I should simply say HBDC! A faint vanilla top note to this (still) very lovely nose. Fresh, mouth-filling volume. Layers of flavour – for sure vanilla-inflected – mouth-watering, delicious despite the wood. Of-course I would wait for the vanilla to fade, but here is a very high quality wine. Bravo.
2016 Domaine Dit Baron – Gilles Aujogues
Young colour. Hmm – quite an involving sweet width of dark fruit on this nose. Concentrated, modestly tannic, slowly growing in intensity. The finish has modest weight but the fresh layers of flavour hold very well in the finish. Simply first class!

2016 Domaine Ruet
HBDC, a little more age to colour. A nose to fall into – faintly spiced width to this fruit. Fresh, indeed bright fruit – a little bubblegum but dark fruit and a certain structure behind too. The finish intense and long. A more structural wine than most – and I like it very much for that – excellent!

2016 Romain Jambon, Les Eronnes
This shows an attractive, half-sweet nose – almost with an acacia flower – it’s really inviting. Freshly and vibrantly fruited. Mouth-filling, well-textured flavour. Long, a little more structural in the finish – bravo. Such a great wine.

2016 Domaine Bertrand, Vuril
A little more modest colour – also showing some age. High-toned nose with an obvious pyrazine component, mixed with floral perfume – the end result something rather attractive. Fresh, decent volume, high-toned fruit with a hint of pyrazine. High-toned finishing flavour too. A wine with great and less great parts…

2016 Olivier Pezenneau, Combiaty
HBDC. Hmm – this has an open and alluring nose. Bright, fresh, before the flavour then starts to melt over the palate – quite some intensity here. Beautifully perfumed fruit in the finish. Bravo.

2016 Dominique Piron
An invitingly deeper, faintly spiced fruit. Modest volume and a certainly tannic first impression – the flavour then becoming more mouth-watering and capturing the interest. Lovely finishing – the best part – very tasty here.

2016 Georges Duboeuf, Château de la Pérrière
High toned florals and a little pyrazine for this nose. A direct wine, showing a more overt acidity than virtually everything beforehand. Perfumed flavour in the finish. Good at the start and in the finish – more modest in the middle.

2016 Domaine Chevalier Métrat
A little reduction to an otherwise round nose. Bright, fresh, complex and energetic. A little structure before the meltingly fresh flavour takes over in the finish – and it’s super flavour here. Excellent wine!

2016 Richard Rottiers
A deep nose, faintly spiced fruit, fewer higher tones. A little salinity to the leading edge here. Complex fresh and with energy. This is another excellent wine with a nice lick of structure to keep everything in order. Super.

2016 Pierre Marie Chermette, Pierreux
HBDC – actually the colour is not that dark! A modest nose but with an attractive freshness. Sleek, good line of flavour, slightly roast but still attractive fruit flavour. A lovely mouth-watering width of finishing flavour. Lovely wine.

2016 Domaine du Benoit Père
Deep colour, still with some youthful purple. A narrow but deep nose with attractive, faintly spiced fruit. Wide, deep, lithe – I like the texture, just accented with tannin. The finish is long, modestly involving – but there’s lots of up-front interest to this wine. Very tasty!

2016 Domaine les Roches Bleues Lacondemine, Des Lys
HBDC. A little floral perfume to this nose. Bright, good energy, plenty of dark-fruited complexity. The finish is of modest intensity but there’s nothing modest about the fine, long, line of flavour. Super.

2016 Domaine Rochette, Pisse Vieille
Hmm – this is another nose of depth but this one starts with a little mushroom in that depth, a minute later it’s gone. Bright, good volume, then a fine intensity of beautiful, pure, dark fruit – this is really something! The finish is more structural. A wine of brilliant and less brilliant parts today – but with great potential.

2016 EARL Dufour, Clos Ponchon Pisse Vieille
Deep colour. A modest width of aroma but with plenty of dark-fruited depth. Plenty of mouth-filling volume – dark fruited sweetness but countered with a fresh structure. Super width of finishing flavour – the best part of this wine – super.

2016 Henry Fessy
Rather modest colour – and there’s no-longer the purple of youth. Pretty red-fruited width of aroma. Fresh, more direct flavoured than round, plenty of acidity but nothing sharp. The texture is good and the finishing intensity is both excellent and persistent. A lighter but fine wine.

2016 Robert Perroud, Pollen En Saburin
A really heavy bottle. A pretty and floral sweetness on an otherwise tighter nose. Lots of width, energy and flavour dimension – this is quite something. In the finish too – so complex, energetic and changing. Bravo!

2016 David Large
A fresh, clean, dark-fruited nose – slowly taking on more floral aspects. Bright, faintly pyrazine inflected flowers and fruit – another wine of energy and complexity – intense in the mouth-watering finish. Excellent wine…

2016 Domaine du Barvy – Dominique Bouillard
Bottle #1 heavily corked – the first after 78 good ones!
A modest nose, clean, but a little too unobtrusive. Plenty of mouth-filling volume – modestly carbonic flavour with decent energy. Plenty of finishing complexity – a good, correct bottle.

2016 Ferraud P et Fils – Domaine Rolland
HBDC. Okay, only a ‘relatively’ deep colour! A little breadcrumb top note and tighter below. Wide, sinuous wine over the palate – supple and slowly adding some tannin. The mid-palate is okay but the finish is excellent, slowly flooding the palate with easy but freshly attractive flavour. Super here.

2016 Franck Chavy, Gamay Noir
HWTBDC – (wax-topped!) Oof plenty of aromatic volume here – lots of vanilla oak included. Sweet fruit, layers of slowly mouth-watering flavour with a hint of tannin. The vanilla is more modest on the palate but there’s certainly plenty of oak-aided sweetness in the finish. Good all the same…

2016 Laurent Martray, Corentin
HBDC. An open nose – plenty of aromatic impact – a silkiness of dark fruit with an inky depth. Fresh, nice attack in the mouth – plenty of freshness in this attack, the flavour slowly taking over as it melts over the palate. A weighty and long finish – here with a little salinity. An impressive wine that will need some time in the cellar to become delicious – all the same it’s fine.

2016 Château de la Térrière, Cuvée Jules de Souzy
HBDC. Less impact of aroma but still forward and showing plenty of volume. Fresh again, super energy, coated with a little structural tannin, tannin with a faint bitterness, but the flavour is hauntingly long if of modest intensity. An excellent wine.

2016 Château de la Chaize, Les Amants Magnifiques
A little high-toned spiced, probably oak-inflected complexity to the aroma – silken fruit below – lots to like here. Sleek, silky, growing in intensity but always beautifully packed and becoming ever-more complex as you head into the back-end of the wine. Super finish. A beautifully packed, concentrated and fresh wine. Bravo.

2016 Henry Fessy, Les Brulées
Hmm, not so much aromatic width but there’s depth and a beautifully higher-toned complexity – compelling. Fresh, bitter-sweet fruit flavour – the bitter from the modest tannin that encircles the wine. Small layers, waves of finishing flavour. Very good but today the bitter dominates the wine a little too much…

2016 Laurent Martray, La Folie
A more guarded nose, hinting at a depth of fruit without ever fully demonstrating so. Wide, very well textured and concentrated – a certain salinity to this wine, and a growing presence from the fruit. Starting mineral and structural, finishing more with the flavour of fruit. Very good wine, and I’d be moderately patient with this one…

2015 Brouilly:

2015 Domaine André Colonge, Gorge de Loup
Colour that still shows a hint of purple. A narrow nose, quite high-toned, perhaps with a faintly stewed fruit – but the fruit aroma is anyway quite faint. An underlying rain to the palate – lots of volume and freshness – not directly showing concentration but certainly an intensity of flavour. The concentration is clear in the finish, still holding onto that bead of tannin. Good wine.

2015 Georges Duboeuf – Château de la Pérrière
A more open nose of dark fruit – but certainly more appealing than the previous wine. Fresh, nice line, high-toned flavour, plenty of intensity then a big and intense wave of finishing flavour too. Slowly fading but with quite some persistence. Bravo!
2015 Domaine Les Roches Bleues Llacondemine, Foudres de Chêne
Deep colour, just transparent. Hmm – now this is a very attractive nose – not the high tones of the last – more a middle register of sweet but excellent fruit purity. A little tannin and then concentrated layers of excellent flavour – clean, beautiful fruit. Great wine!
2015 Georges Duboeuf – Domaine de Combiaty
A deep nose, slightly of toasted bread, slowly becoming dark-fruited with swirling. Hmm, here is a great fruit, transparent, a certain sweetness and purity – depth of controlled, ripe tannin. Another great wine in this series!
2015 Guillaume Duvernay
Practically black wine! Surprising aromatic freshness given the colour – indeed quite a pretty fruit. Fresh, balanced, slowly adding a base of tannin – eventually lots of tannin. A wine for the ages and a beautifully balanced one at that!
2015 Agnès et Franck Tavian
Ooh – big, open-armed aroma that begs you to drink – beautiful. Silken, fresh, growing in volume and intensity all the time, adding a little salinity to the overall complexity. So different but again brilliant wine. Bravo…

2015 Jean Guillaume Passot
Another wine that’s almost black. But this one’s corked.
Number 2 – spicy but more saline – a round nose of depth and concentration. Big, but with plenty of dimensions to the flavour. Lots of dimensions to the finishing flavour too. This is excellent!

2015 Georges Duboeuf, Pisse Vieille
A nice width of attractive aroma here, not so big as previous wines. Supple, concentrated, slightly cushioned texture. Lots of interest and real depth to this flavour. Ooh this is long and good with clinging, delicious flavour. Bravo!

2015 Domaine du Barvy – Dominique Bouillard
Relatively a modest colour – for a 2015. The nose has a good depth of slightly roasting red fruit. Good volume and a nice roundness to the wine – in such a brilliant series of wines this is quite a modest thing. Fine in isolation though…

2015 Georges Duboeuf – Château de Nervers
A slightly toasted nose – some width here but the depth is a little tight today. Really mouth-filling, complex and with fine energy – a little bitterness creeping into the flavour – but the finish is a weighty and very tasty thing. Really excellent in parts but the middle of the wine need to develop further…

2015 Henry Fessy
Another deeply coloured wine – not as black as some, mind. A nose of freshness but essentially tight in most directions. Hmm, here is a very attractive, faintly saline complexity – the depth of aroma is still tight but this is still lovely. Lots of volume and growing intensity. A wine with a licorice depth to the dark fruit flavour – but largely there are no stewed flavours to be found in the first half of this exercise. Excellent!

2015 Florent Rude
It’s relatively faint, but the top notes for this wine make a lovely blend of spice and flowers – very inviting. Big, fresh, almost muscular, but with zero hard edges. A modest intensity but long and tasty finish. Excellent wine.

2015 Domaine de la Grume – Nicolas Boudeau, Grain d’expression
A freshness of aroma over a tighter, inkier depth. Big, fresh, vibrantly flavoured. Growing plenty of tannin, this is a wine that you easily drink for 20 years – but even enjoy today. Long, a little tannin to add fur into the finish, but again, such an excellent wine.

2015 Dominique Piron
A good depth of dark fruited aroma – tighter up top, just a hint of salt and spice. Supple, concentrated, such a width of lithe-muscled fruit flavour . Another excellent wine…

2015 Domaine Dit Baron – Gilles Aujogues
Ooh – another practically black wine – the third – but fresh and aromatically interesting all the same. Such a depth of dark flavour, muscled, slowly adding tannin – tannin that adheres to the roof of my mouth. The flavour is modest intensity but very long. A wine for the ages – to blend such weight with purity is quite an achievement – bravo!

2015 Romain Jambon, Cuvée Y
More width of aroma here, and one of the few where the fruit shows a more cooked impression – still pretty good though. Round, extra sweet, a grain of tannin, and very long – this is super-tasty stuff. Excellent.

2015 Domaine Ruet
A more mineral, graphite impression to the aroma – behind dark and sweet fruit. Full, but still freh, growing structure and a mineral aspect to the tannin that overshadows the fruit today – but the fruit is resurgent in the finish. This will be a great wine!
2015 Robert Perroud, Romain En Saburin
A heavy, wax-topped bottle. A nose with a hint of white pepper, but really quite tight below. Big, concentrated, mineral, plenty of energy. Perhaps even a little well-judged oak in this. Simply a great thing – in another 5+ years.

2015 Domaine Nadine et Florent Jambon, 1904
Another heavy, wax-topped bottle – this time black wax, the last was red. Ooh – there’s a lot of vanilla oak mixed with a redder fruit and a faint pyrazine. Silky texture, an oxidized style of vanilla – but actually on a modest level, though it’s the most overt component in an incredibly long finish. Sooo impressive – not my personal style, but still an excellent wine!

2015 Domaine du Benoit Père, Millésime
Another nose that is full with vanilla, lots of depth too though. Mouth-filling, very fine tannin, hardly astringent, layers of complexity – I love this complexity even though I don’t love the vanilla. Long, almost (not quite) refreshing in the finish. Another wine that’s not my own style preference, but it’s a great wine…
2015 Henry Fessy, Les Brulées
Hmm – a nice width of freshness for this nose – even a hint of floral perfume. Big, concentrated, inky flavour that certainly lacks any semblance of delicacy, but melts with impressive complexity. Another great, super-serious wine – the last flavours are delicious.
2015 Romain Jambon, La Pointe des Einards
An inkily spiced fruit nose yet with impeccable freshness and even a floral suggestion. Fresh, lots of delicious complexity here. Long, the flavour adhering to the palate – another great wine…

2015 Pierre André Dumas, Les Pierreuses
Tada – black wine alert – that’s number 4. Rather tight below and a little breadcrumb above – this is giving nothing away. Mouth-filling a mix of both flavour and fine-grained tannic structure. Yet, the fruit remains fresh and mouth-watering once it breaks the bonds of the structure – but you have to wait until you are well into the finish for that – Potentially great wine for the patient!

2015 Pierre André Dumas
A lovely floral top note here – the most overt of these 2015s. Mouth-filling, freshness and structure, saline, but eventually the floral fruit is coming through. This achieves the same as the last wine – it’s massive but there is purity here too – bravo!
2014 Brouilly:

2014 Domaine Ruet
Clearly an older colour, more modest in intensity too, yet the nose is lovely – full of volume and soft red fruit. Supple, concentrated, a wine that’s very approachable despite a little rasp of tannin. There’s a coffee – complexity in the mid-palate – or that’s the Nespresso returning after my short break. Long finishing. Excellent 2014!

2014 Pierre André Dumas, Les Pierreuses
Such a heavy bottle at this time of day! Spiced and more overt freshness to this nose, but the latter was the more attractive. Bright, a lovely line of fresh flavour – better balanced than the last wine. Young, complex and very tasty wine. A bravo 2014!
2013 Brouilly:
2013 Domaine Dit Baron – Gilles Aujogues
A pretty freshness of aroma – more attractive than either of the previous 2014s as there’s more precision and a little floral anecdote too. A little licorice in this flavour – no aniseed. Mouth-filling volume. Intense and young finishing. Excellent, indeed bravo 2013.

2013 Château de Nervers
A much deeper nose with a subtle vibration, but no interesting higher tones. Lots of fresh volume. A flavour that fades a little too quickly but it’s a fine flavour while it lasts. Good wine.

2013 Brouilly:
2011 Domaine de la Grume – Nicolas Boudeau
Lots of fresh, high-toned width to this nose – tighter depth. Hmm, muscular, lithe, fresh wine – the tannin has become very silken, the finish has such an impressive persistence. This is quite something. Bravo!
2017 Côte de Brouilly:

2017 Domaine Coteaux des Oliviers
Deep colour. Hmm – an open nose with a width of inviting chocolatey fruit. Round, sumptuous, super texture, faint tannin. A vibrant finish with a little minerality. Bravo!

2017 Domaine des Maison Neuves – Famille Jambon
Much deeper colour. A fresher aromatic but still with fine and pure dark-cherry depth. More width, a little more astringence but the tannin is hardly grained – fresher and with more finishing dimensions of flavour. More mouth-puckering but really excellent – wait 2+ years…

2017 Domaine d’Argenson, Cuvée Première
Another ebullient nose – fresh, open, with a more floral-fruit combination. Closer to the last than the first in structural terms; fresh, concentrated and showing a small astringence. Very long, so impressively long but also wrapped in some mouth-puckering structure. Excellent again, but like that last wait at least a couple of years.

2017 Domaine des Fournelles – Guillaume Dumontet, Godefroy
A tighter core of aroma here but still vibrant. Supple, a more relaxed, louche impression versus the first wines, less overt freshness but certainly luxurious. Long with small waves of finishing flavour. Practically delicious already – just a slight jarring from the tannin. Excellent.

2017 Domaine de la Roche Saint Martin – JJ Béréziat
Practically black colour. A narrow but inky deep nose but fruit remains fresh. Mouth-filling, plenty of tannic grab. A little depth of fruit that hints at chocolate. A finish wrapped in furry but super-fine tannin. Be patient but this is a great wine.
2017 Georges Duboeuf – Domaine du Riaz
Deeply coloured. A less overt nose but with a silky width of pure fruit. More line and freshness – plenty of tannin but only borderline drying and with virtually no grain. Hmm – this is compelling stuff. Less massive than a few before but just a beautiful thing – balance and elegance. Have some patience but bravo!

2017 Trenel
Deep colour. A nose that’s almost showing too much intensity, the fruit tending towards volatile. Nice width over the palate and a supple, melting shape. The fruit reminds of the nose so isn’t my favourite, but the shape and texture are very fine – a good length too. Not my style of wine…

2017 Georges Duboeuf
Very deep coloured. Fresh, very dark fruit, but with a super purity of aroma. Mouth-filling, almost no padding, but still with super depth of flavour. The structure (tannin) says ‘keep out!’ but the finish is excellent. Be patient, but the wine is excellent!

2017 Domaine Laforest
An open and vibrant nose with violet flowers mixed with impressive, pure fruit. Massive volume – no space is left in the mouth. A floral-inflected fruit that is redolent of the nose. Hmm, such a beautiful line of finishing flavour here. Bravo – but wait!
2017 Jean Loron, Les Esnards
An open and comforting nose – fine fruit – it’s the invitation that it should be. Supple but inky deep flavour – lots of dimension here. Vibrant, brilliant finish – intense and complex – bravo.

2017 Domaine des Maison Neuves – Famille Jambon, Number 1
Lots of aromatic volume – here the first wine with a clearly spicy component, perhaps a little vanilla lurking behind too. Supple despite the massive shape. Significantly oaked, the combination with the fruit making a singular style of flavour. It lacks the purity for my own taste but it’s a very impressive wine…

2017 David Large, Heartbreaker
Deep, pretty aroma, slowly adding a pure berry top note – lovely. Not the biggest but here is volume and a vibrant style of flavour. Lots of energy and a really impressive finish that holds so well. Beautiful wine. Excellent!

2017 Nicole Chanrion
Deeply coloured. Starts with a little breadcrumb before the dark, pure fruit begins flexing its very attractive aromatic muscle. Lithe, pure, cool-fruited, mouth-watering flavour – excellent. The width and energy and clear deliciousness of the finish are compelling. Bravo!

2017 Château de la Chaize, Brulhier
HBDC – though in the context of those Brouillys – not exceptionally dark! Ooh – a beautifully open and complex bowl of dark berries and cherries – yes! Supple, deep concentration, less beautifully defined as the last but no loss of sumptuous, delicious flavour. Excellent wine.

2016 Côte de Brouilly:

2016 Patricia et Bernard Jomain, Cuvée des Poêtes
The purple colour is gone. Hmm, an overt nose but mainly of pyrazine and a little red fruit behind. Sweet and easy fruit over the palate, plenty of pyrazine still, holds well. Easy wine that does its job but with no particular distinction.

2016 Florent Rude
Chalk and cheese versus the last – deep colour, holding onto some of the colour of youth. Deep, vibrant, fresh – narrower than the majority of 2017s. Round, supple, depth of melting flavour – super flavour. A little deeper register than most 2017s but a top wine – bravo.

2016 Georges Duboeuf
Open, fresh, relatively narrow nose. Good volume, a mine that makes little in the way of comment before you hit the mid and finishing flavour – here it slowly delivers a mouth-watering and mineral flavour subtly edged with fruit. Good but just a little anonymous at the start.

2016 Domaine Baron de L’Ecluse Pegaz, L’Ecluse
Less aromatic volume but with a pretty floral ‘extra’ to the nose. Ingraining flavour, good volume, a little mouth-watering style that reminds of the last wine – but with much more supplementary action. This is fine and long too. Very good.

2016 Crêt des Garanches – Genin Dufaitre, Préférences d’Olivier
A very deep nose – red fruit and pyrazine. Direct of line rather than round, very silk though still with and astringent tannin – sleek, and deliciously long – quite a bit of pyrazine to the flavour too.

2016 Château des Ravatys, Mathilde Courbe
A little more youthful colour. Open, pure, transparent – such a pretty nose. Fuller, but fresh, melting fruit of fine clarity. Not massive but certainly beautiful – bravo!

2016 Olivier Pezenneau, Le Guélat
Deep, young colour. Hmm, possibly the first CdB with a little stewed aspect to the fruit. The fruit seems fine in the mouth – concentrated for sure – and with fine depth to the flavour. Very good.

2016 Ferraud Père et Fils – Domaine Rolland
A bright and open, highly aromatic wine. Wide, beautifully textured, silky wine. The flavour is long and the fruit is good. Fine!

2016 Domaine Ruet
Deep, a vibrant nose – perhaps a hint of pyrazine but the overall effect is more mineral. Wide over the palate again and just as silky as the last, though with a hint less delicacy and certainly less sweetness of fruit. I very much like the finish though – here it’s super.

2016 Jean Guillaume Passot
Practically black colour. A deep nose, but probably because of a faint reduction. Concentrated but not dense, the flavour is massively constituted whilst remaining open. Potentially a great wine here but certainly requiring extended aging. Bravo – and such a length of partly mineral finish.

2016 Georges Duboeuf – Domaine de la Madone
A big nose, deep, concentrated and of dark red fruit – impressive but short on elegance. Supple, fine muscle, beautifully fine textured. The finish fades very well. A wine that’s impressive from many points of view but lacks some delicacy.

2016 Louis Tête, Chante Loup
Also a nose of some power – showing quite a depth. An extra freshness vs the last wine, good texture, melting flavour of fine purity dark cherry. Long, and layered in the finish. Bravo!

2016 Domaine Coteaux des Oliviers, Fût de Chêne
Still young colour. A lovely deep, inky-fruited nose, perhaps with a little oak accent slowly growing from the depth. Supple, lots of volume in the mouth – fine in texture. Modest length but overall, this is a fine wine.

2016 Domaine Baron de L’Ecluse Pegaz, Vieilles Vignes
Deep, concentrated aromas, quite a red, conserve fruit. Mouth-filling, transparent – love the clarity of flavour here – edged with a little tannin. The finish is sustained, holding a little structure. Excellent.

2016 Château des Ravatys, Cuvée Louis Pasteur
HBDC – and still a colour of youth. Deep, macerating fruit – not overtly fresh – but seemingly pure. Intense, mouth-filling wine. Layers of flavour with good energy and purity. Another excellent wine.

2016 Domaine les Roches Bleues – Lacondemine, Soleil de Brulhié
Another colour of depth and youth. Inky depth of aroma – all clean and sound. Bright, direct, liqueur fruit, but fine purity and good structure. Super intensity and length of finish. Bravo.

2016 Domaine du Barvy – Dominique Bouillard
More modest colour, less youthful. Such a deep nose – impressive and also attractive fruit of red register. Supple, round, no overt astringence here, though the teeth betray a dry coating. Long and very good – I like.

2016 Domaine de Rochette
The last hints of youth are still visible in the colour. Bright red cherry – a such an open nose. Mouth-filling, with a super combination of fresh, pure but not overtly structural flavour and texture. Lots of finishing dimension of flavour too – bravo – a really classy finish!

2016 Domaine du Benoit Père
A nose with freshness and some dimension of aroma – partly with a pyrazine component. Fresh and attractive in the mouth, an accent of structural astringency but nothing too overt. The length is very tasty and the pyrazine brings a nice extra complexity here. Very good.

2016 Nicole Chanrion
HBDC. A tighter nose but with a nice freshness and slightly mineral character – it’s inviting. Fine mouth-filling presence, and a lovely, slowly melting impression to excellent flavour. Fine texture fine finishing flavour complexity – delicious and bravo!

2016 Domaine Joncy, Le Volcan
Still a youthful colour. A modest width of aroma – but fine and nothing untoward. Intense and concentrated the complexity only slowly leaching from the centre, slowly mouth-watering. But lovely flavour. Fine textured if a little monolithic today – but has great potential – be patient.

2016 Château des Ravatys, Réserve
HBDC. Ooh – that’s a lovely nose – fresh, deep, pure dark fruit and a little mineral – lovely. Supple, fine texture – deeply satisfying flavour – not as fresh as many but still one of the best 16s – really bravo!

2016 Domaine Dit Baron – Gilles Aujogues
HBDC. A good freshness and volume of aroma – if not the instant appeal of the last. Fresh, a little astringent, more volume and a really good depth of flavour. A little more patience required for this but it’s still excellent wine.

2016 Robert Perroud, Foudre N° 5
HBDC – it’s boring when they are all the same – eh? Lots of freshness and interest on the nose. Round, layers of flavour, beautifully fine texture almost no astringency. A little ripple of tannin over the tongue in the finish. Mouth-watering but modest intensity finish. Super.

2016 Domaine du Jean Père
Deep colour. A nose that starts compact but soon fills the glass with fine floral references. Round, fine of texture, hardly any astringence, long flavoured. Simply excellent wine…

2016 Domaine Lagneau, Vieilles Vignes
Practically black colour. A nose that’s rather tight but at the same time fresh and deep – an inky depth. Round, a relaxed structure but structure all the same, dark, pure fruited in the depth. A wine for the patient, but a super wine.

2016 Henry Fessy
Still some youthful purple highlights to the colour. Fresh aroma and quite deep too. Mouth-filling but with a hint of softness – no hard structural elements – slowly melting, partly mineral flavour. Long and interesting if of modest intensity. Another super wine.

2016 Georges Duboeuf – Domaine du Riaz
A nice aromatic freshness and purity here, faintly accented with a lovely floral. Supple, cool-fruited, a little extra weight of faintly dry tannin but hardly any grain. Tasty wine but wait a year or two before starting to harvest. Lovely.

2016 Le Grappin
Good colour, still with lots of youth. The nose is big, with a hint of low-sulfur funk. Mouth-filling, slightly astringent, but the flavour flows deliciously from the core – a big wine, quite structural – I would wait a year or two, but this is excellent.

2016 Domaine Lafarge-Vial
Another with a youthful colour. Another fulsome nose – perhaps a suggestion of barrel to the concentrated but fresh fruit. Round, ooh this is silky – faintly oaked but with very fine integration. A little rasp of finishing tannin with oak. Bravo.

2016 Château Thivin, Les Griottes de Bruhlié
Another big nose – dark-fruited freshness. Very silky again – faintly astringent edge to the structure. A slight macerating aspect to the fruit – but it’s a beautiful line of fruit. Lip-smacking finishing flavour with a little mouth-puckering tannin evident. Excellent wine, worth waiting for.

2016 Laurent Martray, Les Feuillées
Some youth to colour. A nose of impressive depth – some pyrazine and flowers in the mix. Another wine with beautiful silky texture and here with such a fine and complex flavour that holds a very fine line into the finish. The pyrazine is just a tiny extra note of complexity – simply excellent!

2016 Famille Chasselay
Practically black colour. Inky deep nose with the merest suggestion of pyrazine. Supple, beautifully silky again, hardly any astringence, a width of flavour that is growing all the time in interest. Long and fine. Excellent wine.

2016 Laurent Martray, Lois
Pff – a bottle so heavy that I can hardly lift it – 1.7 kg – wine included! Youthful colour. Hmm, this has a nice mineral edge to the fresh aroma – very appealing. Round, super silky, complex, a little saline, here showing some vanilla oak – too much for me today, but what a beautifully made wine, a wine of finesse – bravo!
2016 Château Thivin, Zaccharie
HBDC – and a young colour too. A depth of inky fruit aroma – but highly attractive aroma. Wide, complex, not super exuberant freshness but plenty of flavour complexity – maybe even a little well-judged barrel – this is another exceptionally good 2016 – bravo!

2016 Domaine Joncy, Inattendu
Big bottle, youthfully black wine! The fruit aroma is rather concentrated, bordering on a little too much, accented by a faint vanilla? Mouth-filling, beautifully textured wine – the fruit is practically macerating and very dark cherry-skinned but retains a certain freshness – I don’t find any oak on the palate. Trying too hard? We will find out in another 10 years or so – this wine demands it – still a super effort!

2016 Domaine Baron de L’Ecluse Pegaz, Les Garances
Still holding onto a little youthful colour. The nose shows freshness yet it’s a little tight. Round, super-silky again – luxurious wine – staining flavour but of purity, length and distinction! What a finish too – a challenge for best wine so far! Equal billing – Bravo!

2016 Pierre André Dumas, Origine
Not a super-deep colour but also with plenty of youth. The nose is deep but offers some nice notes of delicacy. Again a texture of silk. Wide, lots of mouth-filling volume. This is a truly excellent wine, but suffers in comparison to a couple of the previous bottles.

2015 Côte de Brouilly:

2015 Château des Ravatys, Cuvée Louis Pasteur
Deep colour still with purple hints. An equally deep and enticing nose. Deep, round, layered sweet fruit – more like a Brouilly than a Côte de Brouilly. Long, clean finishing. Excellent wine…

2015 Florent Rude
Again, deeply coloured and still the colour of youth. A little sweet freshness above, relatively tight below. Big, fresh, cool fruited, some structure, really a lot of fresh complexity. Massive wine but with balance and control – bravo!

2015 Agnès et Franck Tavian
Another youthful but deep colour. The nose is super concentrated at the core but with nice waves of freshness. Supple, concentrated but not monolithic – there’s a good, mouth-watering flavour set against a nice texture. Slowly mouth-watering finish too. Long and for the patient but excellent wine.

2015 Domaine du Jean Père
Just a little more age to the colour here. A freshness of aroma comes first but the depth is more spiced. Supple, concentrated wine – really a presence in the mouth, layered and slowly leaching fine flavour. Long and with fine flashed of finishing complexity – excellent!

2015 Domaine les Roches Bleues Lacondemine
Still holding onto some youthful colour. A fine top-note of freshness, more concentrated below. Open and concentrated but with freshness rather than weight – the intensity always climbing. Really, an ingraining quality to the finishing flavour – all the while with openness and balance. Bravo…
2015 Domaine Ruet
Practically black colour – and still very youthful. Lots of pure, sweet, conserve fruit notes – dark-fruited. The flavours reflect the nose with not just black cherry but blackcurrant too – but delivered with clarity and freshness – admirable purity on display here. A little finishing astringence to this baby. Bravo, but be patient.

2015 Robert Perroud, La Fournaise du Pérou
Improbably deep yet still youthful colour. A complex, faintly spiced, mineral-inflected dark fruit. The palate is really intense – a line of concentrated yet fresh flavour that runs mouth-wateringly into the finish. The last notes hold persistently in the finish. Yet again, be patient but here is excellence.

2015 Château des Ravatys, Réserve
Practically black colour – and almost saturated too. But the nose is a little too much, nudging the borderline of volatility – perhaps just avoiding – but anyway losing elegance. The plate likewise has a concentration of fruit that loses some purity – doubly so as here there is component of vanilla too. Such a big wine, which I hope ages well, but I wouldn’t be investing to see…

2015 Domaine Dit Baron – Gilles Aujogues
Deeply and youthfully coloured. A nose with some freshness over a more concentrated core of fruit. Lots of mouth-filling volume – here with a more concerted intervention from the tannin – slight astringence but nothing to worry about if you have at least a couple of years’ worth of patience. Very good.

2015 Paul André Brossette et Fils, Empreinte
Young, still quite deep colour. Pretty and fresh notes of aromatic complexity – very inviting. Another wine with plenty of tannin, very fine-grained tannin, but super dimensions of complex flavour behind. Long, lingering and excellent. Bravo!

2015 Domaine Joncy
Another practically black wine – flashes of purple at the edges. A deep nose and the fruit concentration here is a little stewed – approaching volatile. Yet it’s far from sweet on the palate – direct, almost stridently presented, with plenty of tannin. Dark-fruited and showing plenty of complexity – but a long way from delicious.

2015 Domaine Chevalier Métrat
Very deep colour, holding onto a little purple. Hmm – a fresh, pure-fruited, very enticing nose. Round, lots of delicious fruit, edged with a mouth-watering, growing, intensity. Long, with a fine weight of finishing flavour to – simply excellent wine!

2015 Henry Fessy
Good colour – barely holding onto the last hints of purple. Deep, faintly spiced fruit on the nose. Freshness and a fine texture – the fruit is a little bulky, if not quite monolithic. The finish is super though – a wine that’s great in parts – I love the finish here!

2015 Château des Ravatys, Mathilde Courbe
Deep colour again – and like the majority of the 15s, holding onto a little purple colour. A good freshness of aroma, one of the rare 2015s (so far) showing a suggestion of floral aromatics. Lots of volume in the mouth, good transparency to the fruit too – this is excellent. Concentrated, flavour that lingers long. Bravo…

2015 Domaine des Fournelles – Guillaume Dumontet, Elixir
No purple colour here. A complex nose that’s suffuse with pyrazine. Wide, lovely volume and texture – layered flavour – really a super wine, though the pyrazine is here too – less invasive though. It’s an excellent wine.

2015 Marie Noelle et Sylvain Métrat, Demi Muid
Another ambitiously heavy bottle. An aromatic that is concentrated, showing some freshness, but also a stewed aspect to the fruit. But in the mouth the combination of energy and flavour is vibrant and really quite exciting – the texture is also excellent. I’m not convinced by the fruit but the rest of the wine is on a high level.

2015 Domaine du Jean Père, Les Berthaudières
An even heavier bottle – if that’s possible – probably I’m just tiring! Ooh – that’s a fine nose, deep, fresh, complex and very inviting. Great shape in the mouth, not too sweet, plenty of structure but the blend of energy and flavour is first-class. Vibrant finishing flavour too – here you are left with plenty of tannin as an adieu! Great!
2015 Goujon Dupré
Black wine again. The nose is almost liqueur-like but totally inviting. Mouth-filling, fabulously textured, the flavour almost but not quite monolithic – slowly changing and melting over the palate – perhaps a suggestion of vanilla-oak in here. But great wine. Virtually a stealth tannin here – a minute after swallowing I can barely talk – patience!
2014++ Côte de Brouilly – The finishing straight:

2014 Domaine Dit Baron – Gilles Aujogues
A modest and of-course less youthful colour. A modest width of red-fruited aroma. The palate shows a little saline-inflected accent to flavour of good width and openness. The finish complex and tasty – of-course only a modest intensity versus the 2015s…

2014 Domaine Joncy, La Trad’Nature
Red wax-topped. More depth of colour. Hmm, a nose of depth faintly lactic ‘nature’ in style – sauvage – but a lovely invitation. Round, really mouth-filling, almost silky. A sinuous, delicious wine. Bravo!
2013 Dumas Pierre André, C ed BY
A further development of colour. A narrower nose but interesting in a good way all the same – really a nice depth. Supple, much more intense and mouth-filling than the 2014s, faintly astringent, mouth-watering flavour that holds a long and tasty finish. Really excellent wine and a bravo 2013.
2012 Dumas Pierre André, Alchimie
Ooh such a beautiful nose of delicacy and purity – beautiful! Round, complex, growing sweetness and complexity mixed with energy. Excellent also a beautiful 2012! Bravo.
2011 Agnès et Franck Tavian
HBDC. But this has an elegant width of highly attractive aroma. Volume, intensity, concentration – still such a baby, but there’s complexity and (now) a cushioning to the tannin. Faint saline hints to the excellent finishing flavour. Bravo – super wine!

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