Tasted in Sologny with Julien Desplans, 02 November 2020.
Julien on 2020:
“It was hot and very dry, though no frost in the early season. Our production that was about average – some cuvées higher, some lower – we would say correct. We worried about excessive volume for a time, but the grapes stayed small so the volume of juice wasn’t too much. A year where it was very clean in the vines – early harvesting too – but in the end not as early as we first thought. We still harvested in August but towards the end and sometimes making a pause before the harvesting the next vines – we were ready from the 15th. In 2020 we had no contracts with must either, only grapes from these contracts. We finished 7 September and it was only really at the end where the degrees started to increase very quickly. Impressive analytics – pH 3.05-3.10 for many wines but most still in the region of 12.8-13.7°. At this stage, there’s no logic, the wines remind a little of 2014.”
Julien on 2019:
“The domaine was touched by frost in Pierrclos and St.Véran this year, otherwise, we were okay. At the Maison it’s more a question of the generics at the bottom of the hills where there’s very little volume, here there were significant impacts. We harvested quite late – starting 13 September and finishing at the end of the month – the phenolic maturity just wasn’t there to start with. So 19 and 20 are two warm vintages, but the maturity came at very different stages.”
That’s a great set of wines here. Rarely dipping below ‘excellent’ and usually only because they showed a little less energy. We can dispute whether I should have recommended two of the three Chablis – clearly not great Chablis, but great chardonnay all the same. There’s so much to recommend, though!
Virtually all are bottled, just the three domaine wines plus one other are to be bottled in the next two weeks. Most of these tasted were in screw-cap but they actually use more DIAM – it’s market dependant – screwcap since 2004 – for more than half of the wines at that time – there’s the least sulfur of the bottlings in these wines, and Julien says that they are even selling screw-caps in France now – an advantage is that the wines are less ‘tired’ in the first few weeks following bottling:
2019 Mâcon-Villages Terres de Pierres
The largest volume cuvée produced – 20-25k bottles depending on the vintage – only stainless-steel elevage.
Hmm – that’s a wide and bright nose – plenty of green citrus fruit here. Round, supple, layered – a wine with a hint of richness, almost a suggestion of the exotic, but always slowly melting with flavour around the edges. Holds well – tasty wine.
9 months in older barrels – much from Charnay, a little Pierreclos too.
Ooh – now that’s showing a little more freshness and zip – it’s really inviting. Extra zip in the mouth too – melting, energetic, cooler fruit, beautiful wine – that’s great!
2019 Bourgogne Grande Elevage
80% from Bussières with a small amount new oak in the elevage.
A more floral nose, underpinned with pretty citrus. An extra sweetness and also depth to the flavour. I see the oak slowly growing in the middle, bringing a little creamy sweetness. Big finishing – much weight of flavour here.
Vines opposite domaine parcels
Wider and more open, lots of green fruit and faint herb in this wine. Depth of flavour – a more supple texture, long, butter and saline finishing. Excellent
2019 Mâcon-Charnay Clos St.Pierre
This the most clay of these Mâcons, one of earliest parcels harvested. All barrel elevage with a small amount that was new.
A lovely nose – the freshness of floral perfume with an underpinning of agrume fruit. Wide, beautifully textured, growing even larger in the mouth. Also with a width of fine, slightly saline, finishing flavour – that’s a really great finish. Seamless but still powerful wine – Excellent.
2019 Mâcon-Bussières Vignes de Montbrison
Argillo-calcaire, 20 metres away from the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation – this harvested at the end of the harvest. All barrels for elevage, 20% new.
Perfume again – a deeper perfume – less width but plenty of aromatic depth. Easy over the palate, beautifully textured again, very wide finishing – a little less saline but no less holding my attention. Another excellent wine…
2019 Mâcon-Pierreclos Lieu Secret
Old vines with a small yield each year – 25% new oak in the elevage.
Perfumed again, but a different perfume again – a lovely clarity of fruit in support. Fresh, mouth-filling. A wine of width, faintly oaked, but with a growing, mouth-watering depth of flavour. The oak curtailing the energy a little – but give it 2 years and you’ll have everything. Great finishing. Excellent wine again – a more layered style of finish here.
This wasn’t planted in the 1930s, perhaps because of that it’s not in the Pouilly AOP – vines on limestone with some altitude. Harvested end of September, all barrel elevage, 25% new.
A nose with a little bit of everything; green citrus, the perfume of flowers and fruit and a core of pure and powerful fruit. Mouth-filling, but completely open and inviting. Lovely texture again – there’s a mouth-watering clarity of flavour here that’s, frankly, super. Great finishing. The oak is never overt but I’d still wait a couple of years before opening this. Really a great bottle…
All from Viré, high on the hill, only stainless elevage.
A more vertical nose, deep and high toned – a little less wide – almost a suggestion of smokiness. In the mouth, sleek, fresh and mouth-watering – a cooler fruit. The finish becomes a panorama as the flavours widen out, not as forcefully finishing as many others, but no less long – subtlety here. Excellent wine.
Three parcels assembled – Les Pommards, les Clos, Chatigny – all barrel elevage with 15% new.
Another super perfume – the signature of most of the wines so far. More fresh impact, cooler impression to the fruit too, here also with a mineral side. Faintly oaked as you head towards the finish – wait 2 years for this to fade. Everything about this wine is a head-turner – bravo!
2019 St.Véran Vigne de Saint-Claude
From Prissé, higher than some Pouilly parcels. Older Vines high with a little more west orientation – limestone but well-draining. About 25% new oak used in the elevage of these
An extra impact of perfumed, aromatic, freshness. More mineral, growing in intensity – a little more evident energy too. Complex in the middle – helped by the oak – slowly, fading – a long diminuendo. I love the start of this wine, but prefer the overall performance of the last. This is excellent all the same.
From Côte Rôti in Davayé – hence the name.
The most modest volume of aroma of all these wines – but pure and inviting. Direct, a little more attack then a more chalky style – the oak is showing today but not over-the-top. Vibrant finishing – that’s a great finish! Wait a couple of years, but given a bit more expression from the nose and this could be great!
2019 Pouilly-Fuissé, Terres de Pierres
70% tank, 30% oak elevage
An easy and inviting width of aroma – certainly simpler than the last wines. Great texture, mouth-filling with modest, but sufficient, energy. The finishing is also of modest amplitude but still a fine length. A wine to comfort you – it’s delicious – but look elsewhere for complexity…
2019 Pouilly-Fuissé, Grand Élevage
Not yet bottled, longer elevage here; all barrel, 20% new, now assembled. Mainly from Vergisson.
The return of the perfume – a nose of depth and amplitude. Lovely in the mouth with cool-fruited energy and a bit more evident structure. Long with a certain intensity too. That’s excellent!
2019 Pouilly-Fuissé Terroirs de F
A mix of 3 terroirs from Fuissé – there’s more marne in this area, plain west-facing vines of about 60 years-old that were ‘very late’ harvested.
Even more perfume – perhaps the most of all these so far – super. Mouth-filling – energetic, beautifully structured but still supple – just an accent of greener skin to the fruit complexity. A chalky, and impressive, finish. Simply excellent wine.
2019 Pouilly-Fuissé Terroir de V
A mix of terroirs from Vergisson – from Crays and some lower parcels – 25% new oak.
Another fine perfume – almost as forward as the last. Wide, sleek, a little structural again, the style more mouth-watering and melting in its flavour over the palate. Complex, very fine finishing – beautifully complex here.
2019 Pouilly-Fuissé Les Crays
‘A solar place but also one with a hydric stress so not always an early harvest’
A deeper nose, more classically PF with a touch of aromatic oak replacing the perfume. Round, composed, indeed a wine that has a lot but is reluctant to show it. The finish – spreading wide over the palate is the most open part – and it’s very, very long. Certainly excellent but it has to show more for great…
2019 Pouilly-Fuissé Sur La Roche
South-east facing vines, not much soil, lots of limestone. 25% new oak in the elevage. ‘Less hydric stress so a more classic maturity here.’
The return of the perfume – wide and inviting. Mouth-filling presence but also with a good line to the flavour – ushering you towards the middle and the finish beyond. Great texture, layered, mouth-watering, flavour and finshing with a little extra saline accent to the last burst of flavour. Excellent
Really a Combe. A part of is almost 100 years old, the younger part 80! Harvested in multiple (3) passes – from early to late. Low volume harvest for this cuvée.
Beautifully perfumed again with a certain extra complexity – yes! Ooh – sweeping, mouth-watering, beautifully textured wine. Plenty of oak flavour today – so wait 2-3 years. But this is a great 2019.
2019 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Sous le Puits
‘Late harvested for Puligny but early for us!’ None of this 2020 as couldn’t buy as grapes.
A very different style of nose, width, not the floral perfume of the others – but a freshness to this modest volume nose. Lovely in the mouth though – wide, incisive, gorgeous texture – really an extra finishing complexity of fresh flavour too – a different style for sure – but a super Puligny…
2019 Chablis Terres de Pierres
‘Complicated – a warm vintage less typical. This a blend of grapes from more northern slopes to try to retain a Chablis character.’
A very different nose – more pungent depth of chardonnay fruit, faintly but differently perfumed. Lithe, nice line, a good sinewy shape to this wine – more green fruited. Clearly fresher and more mineral than previous wines – but you probably still wouldn’t guess Chablis. Delicious all the same.
Touching on Butteaux.
Hmm – that’s a big and interesting nose – almost the impression of smoky chalk. Fresh, driving, but also layered flavour-complexity. Love the energy and shape of the wine here. Complex, saline, almost warmly spiced in the finish – and it’s a great finish. Not ‘great chablis’ but a great Chardonnay…
Earlier harvested than the others, all tank – from Beugnons
The return of some perfume, a fine clarity of yellow citrus too. More driving energy – a clarity of flavour – fine purity here – just a little more chance that this could be a Chablis – it’s still great chardonnay of course! These Chablis I’d wait 5 years to see what happens…
2019 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
This with barrel elevage – only 3 months in older barrels then in cement tank for 6 months.
There’s a weight of aroma here, more classically pure and saline. This I would probably guess to be Chablis. Though there’s ample middle concentration and super-silky texture. Mineral wine, composed, not overly energetic – but enough. This is lovely…
2019 Triangle de Guffens
One third each from Barsac, from the domaine and Château des Tourettes; chardonnay, viognier and Semillon – ‘There’s 28% chardonnay in this – if you increase to 33% it takes over!’
Here is a nose with presence – round but concentrated – the herbed complexity could easily be from the chardonnay – little else on display. Drive and energy here – cool fruited – hmm, mineral, perhaps just a little floral from the viognier in the middle – but then it’s gone. Fool your friends with this – it’s delicious!
To finish, two domaine wines…
Domaine – all to be bottled in 2 weeks, practically 15 hl/ha for all these! Usually hrvested in multiple passes – this the ‘premier jus’:
Perfumed again – below just a little tight. Wide, pure – the most insistent energy of the wines today – ooh that’s a great mouth-watering mouthful of wine. The best energy and with crystalline flavour – bravo – easy!
Three parcels, fast harvested – 5-6 barrels from a hectare – not much more than 15 hl/ha
Tight again, less overtly perfumed, possibly because of that. Wide, vibrant again – more mineral than the last with a little more insistence to the intensity. There’s an extra floral dimension to the this more elegant and discrete finish – really a long, slowly fading to the never loud diminuendo of flavour.
A very faintly smoky reduction – but then it’s gone. Wide,fresh, love the structure here, very faintly textured with a tannin – insistent – more lime than lemon is the citrus impression – and that brings a zesty impression in the finish. Super again.
But if I could take only one, based on this tasting it would be the Pierreclos…