Tasted in Vosne-Romanée with Nicole Lamarche on July 19 2019.
Domaine François Lamarche
9, rue des Communes
21700 Vosne Romanée
Tel: +33 3 80 61 07 94
Since the 1st of July this year the labels from this domaine will say Nicole, instead of François, Lamarche. That said, the label is generally unchanged as this text is only small, and is found at the foot of the label.
Nicole on 2018:
“So far, only the Bourgogne has been bottled, and that was done this week – with a good moon. All the rest are still in elevage.
“It was a hard vintage, hard to keep the acidity and not have too much alcohol. 13.6° is the maximum that we have in this vintage. I needed to do a lot of analysis – 3 times per day – before finally bringing in our whole 11.5 hectares in 5 days – which needed 56 pickers!
“For me, I think that 12.5-13° is the best for balanced wines, wines with tension, that’s what you need for pinot noir and we achieved that. Syrah can wear its alcohol much easier, but not pinot I think.”
I had a wide-ranging discussion with Nicole about the vintage and the style of the domaine’s wines, here are some of Nicole’s thoughts: “We make a maximum of 60,000 bottles per year, here. I work a lot on the skin tannins, I want them to be round, it’s the style that I prefer to make so, Bourgogne apart, I think it’s best to keep them a while before drinking. It’s also nice that after so many years of people saying that our plant material wasn’t very good – because of their SO4 rootstocks – that now the vines have good maturity, people are beginning to say that SO4 is so very good!
“I haven’t increased my price for the last two years and I won’t this year. For me, wine is for drinking with friends, it’s about happiness – this is my philosophy. I’m a farmer who works with nature. You can always have more money, but if you die tomorrow the money stays here – too many estates forget that they are farmers… Commerce is not my vision… ”
What a splendid range of wines in 2018. The Bourgogne, and to a lesser extent, the villages Vosne show some of the warmth of the vintage – the remaining cuvées show a more classic balance – though clearly, they are not from a cool year. A number of cuvées remain untasted due to their stage in elevage when I visited, but this is a very fine address for 2018s.
2018 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Ripe, round, attractive aroma – it’s a clear invitation to drink. Round, with a little grain of ripe tannin, widening, becoming more and more attractive and wider with time on the palate. Yum!
Made from a blend of 5 plots
A bigger nose, finer spice, but still wine of ripeness. Fuller, more dimensions to this flavour – much wider, more energy, much more complexity in that width too. Floral. Great villages in the finish – overall, today only ‘excellent!’
2018 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Chaumes
Here is the fineness of perfume that was lacking in the first two wines – it’s just so very attractive. Cooler in the mouth, wide, faintly tannic, vibrant finishing – actually not better than the great finish of the villages, but the nose and general balance is on another level! Super wine.
“It’s because it’s in a hole that it’s only a 1er cru”
A deeper aroma, again very fine, but much less open or wide when compared to the Chaumes. In the mouth you will find more drive and more energy – this wine is clearly more dynamic than the Chaumes, finishing more perfumed, like the villages – the finest package so far and long too. Bravo!
A wilder nose, some florals, a little ‘noble herb!’ Ooh, a much silkier entry, super texture, still growing with a fine rasp of tannin – more luxurious wine, the flavour holding on, so long. Potentially great here!
More volume of aroma, with more weight of floral perfume. Lots of volume in the mouth too, faintly saline flavour with floral-inflected fruit – here with more structure. A super shape to this wine, fine complexity. Simply excellent Echézeaux.
Three plots, each about the same size, situated at the bottom, middle and top of the Clos.
Higher-toned, wide, saline, faintly floral less deep just now, but that’s still a very attractive nose. Ooh, that’s got some power, architecturally shaped, complex, super energy, sizzling energy, electric finishing – young but still drinkable – nothing austere. Practically great!
There is volume to this nose, but no impact – it’s such an airy aromatic today. Ooh, extra volume – elegant, layered, playing over the palate. There’s a very impressive depth of flavour, yet this is still a wine of delicacy. Certainly, I would wait longer for this, even than the Clos de Vougeot. You think this wine is finished then comes another wave of flavour. Bravo! “It’s my baby monster!” says Nicole!