Tasted with Jean-Marie Chaland, 19 October 2020
Jean-Marie on 2019:
“About 34 hl/ha on average, the result of a mix of frost and hail – 50% frosted – then came a difficult period of dry, so half a harvest in 2019. Serious, dense, rich, were my impression of the grapes, but with good pH’s and not too much alcohol – they could be wines for the ages!”
Jean-Marie on 2018:
“2018s are my current vintage so I prefer to show those. The vintage wasn’t too dry, or too sunny, certainly it was warm but I’d say moderately warm. We saw a little mildew at the bottom of the hills, otherwise all was okay. We have a lot of old vines so because of that the rendement was not at all bad – but rarely more than 50 hl/ha.”
Other than the quite oaky Thourissey – almost more than I remember last year – this is a very fine result; one of my first calling points for great Viré-Clessé.
All cork seals for the wines here, each individually checked for TCA:
2018 Viré-Clessé Chazelles Vieilles-Vignes
South of Viré, Chazelles is on whiter limestone, oolitic. Lots of clay too, of different colours – and deep.
That’s a nicely vibrant nose. This is big, has a certain richness but is also nicely energetic and mouth-watering. That’s very tasty wine with layers of tasty finishing flavour. The oak that I noted in the flavours last year has now been absorbed by the wine.
2018 Viré-Clessé La Perrière
30-yo vines on a plateau
A little more floral freshness to this aroma. Supple, this feels great over the palate – perhaps a hint of gas as it’s not the smoothest – but there’s much joy here. Really enjoying it. Excellent wine…
2018 Viré-Clessé Thourissey
Extreme north of the appellation, the vines on a high plateau. Vines of ~100 years – only 5% new oak – plenty of clay in this vineyard.
A bigger nose – mainly due to the visible (smellable!) volume of barrel aromas. Open, a nice clarity – this is really lovely in the mouth but I wouldn’t hesitate to wait 3-4 years for the oak to fade – long finishing… At least excellent wine, maybe even better…
Direction Viré, again an older vine.
A little smoky muskiness of muscaté – but a nose that’s attractively smooth is my impression. Direct, beautifully textured, driving, excellent wine – very mineral – a cracker. A finish that grows and grows – bravo!
A clos only 200m from the last wine, quite high – 0.30 ha of older vines – under the forest so it’s a cool place. This the first vintage – a family purchase in 2017 – grey-blue marne here.
Not so wide a nose but there’s a nice depth to this. Direct like the last but with more width too – again a super texture – this is a top wine. Growing in intensity, faintly saline in the finish. Another bravo!