Tasted in Chambolle-Musigny with François Millet, 25 July, 2019.
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé
7 Rue Sainte-Barbe
Tel: +33 03 80 62 86 25
François on 2019, so far:
“We were lucky, we escaped the frost, unlike the Côte de Beaune. Hopefully, we will see no hail in the closing weeks before harvest.”
François on 2018:
“Actually the malos of our 2018s are not long finished and the wines have only just been racked, so some are cloudy. I worked to cool the cellar to postpone the malos, hence, they are not long finished.
“This is the third year with a drought in July and August. It was a vintage where we picked early – 30th August – we had no reason to wait, all was ripe, and if overripe the flowers are gone. There wasn’t a large amount of juice but more than I was expecting. I’m happy that we see red fruits, I was expecting darker and spicier – it helps a vintage not be characterised too early as over-ripe. It’s definitely a terroir vintage if you didn’t push too hard.
“You will note the very deep colour of the wines – and no, I haven’t changed my techniques for wine-making – the grapes had very high skin ripeness, and this colour is the result of that, despite ‘infusion’ from pump-overs rather than ‘extraction.’ Over the years I have seen some impressive colours but none more than in 2018.
“We can talk about the difference in climate, but I remember in 1977 and 1984 when we had only had rain – there was even a ski-lift not far away in the Morvan until the end of the 1980s – I prefer this! Clearly, these 2018s are out of the norm, so I wouldn’t for an instant consider them as any type of benchmark. With that caveat in mind, this remains a vintage that has a lot of potential – I hope I’m still alive to taste them when some of their potential is realised! ”
What a great set of 2018s – of-course they are indeed ‘outside of the norm,’ but they are magnificent. That the 2017s, in comparison, avoided blushing shyness is as impressive as the wines themselves – and they will be open and delicious for a long time before the 2018s.
Fresh, dark, indeed very dark fruit aroma. Here is some drive to the palate, still some gas too. A mineral, sleek, fine-textured wine. The flavours are only slowly fading. Delicious!
2018 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
Hmm – here’s an inky depth though a fine floral note also begins to rise from the glass. Ooh – so much more weight of flavour and depth to the texture – very fine tannin rounding the weight of mid-palate flavour – this, for me is invariably grand cru level, great wine though one that is typically much tighter after bottling, and for some years after bottling too. Fabulous!
‘Just infusion’ but practically saturated colour here.
Deep at the base, a little more open above. Hmm – wow flavour – so wide, a grain a fine grain of tannin. The main source for the texture seems to be the tannin. Grand Vin I think
‘This wine needs contact, there were some punch-downs for this – the wines have more structure in the north.’
Purple, almost saturated. Myrtille – ooh an aromatic purity of fruits here – wow! Sleeker, driving, juiciness, wide, mouth-watering. But only slowly mouth-watering, almost a hint drying as you follow it. Great young wine and a completely different shape to the Chambolles, the perfume is palpable. Volume in the mouth, freshness and energy – this is great Bonnes-Mares, layers of flavour expanding over the palate onward into the finish – just a bravura performance!
Again almost saturated colour, but less purple. A finer, if less overt nose; faintly complex, slowly releasing some floral notes to add to a generous pepper – there’s even cinnamon complexity here. Ooh, this has less direct weight, less full volume after the Bonnes-Mares but here is a wine that’s more open, with more drive and a great, growing, tension. A strong rose mouth-perfume in the finish. A wine with a certain reserve today, but here is character. The last drops in the glass liberate such a fine aroma – ooh, great!
“All bottled between Janaury and April. There was some compensation of volume after 2016, even the old vines needed some green harvesting – saignée is a middle-ages medical technique, I don’t do that! We picked from September 2nd so both the 2017s and 2018s were picked earlier than the 2015 harvest, which began the 4th September.
“You still need to recalibrate after the 2018s. Certainly we didn’t have many millerandes in this vintage – the flowering period was really good, which explains the many big bunches, the key to this vintage was limiting the yields.”
A deep nose, perhaps some CO2. Hmm, open, layered, saline, fine texture, vibrant red fruit of much more delicacy than the 2018 today – I prefer the drive here. there is more perfume of roses in the empty glass, too.
2017 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
Wide, floral, a depth of aroma, but still with much to unfurl. Fresh, a little extra depth to the texture after the last wine. Long, slow-moving waves of flavour. Engrossing…
A cushioned, more encompassing nose – red cherry liqueur in chocolate! Sleek, elegant, tiny points of tannin, more of a textural drag than an overt grain. Ooh, this is a beauty, narrowing further in the finish but this finish is like a long road disappearing off into the horizon. Great again…
Hmm, this seems a little more open than the nose of the 2018 – always a faint coffee bean in the aroma here. Hmm, such a dynamic, beautiful flavour – less overt (visible) weight than shown by the Bonnes-Mares but still more of everything else – this is great wine and will show that way for much time before you can see the same from the 2018.