We gathered in the Hotel de Poste in Beaune on Friday 18th November to taste through samples of the 2010s offered by the Syndicat members. Certainly the list of producers was far from complete, but an excellent selection of 83 wines from 32 producers was spread across three tables for us; Villages, Premier Crus and Grand Crus. Some wines, whilst coming from Gevrey, had producers based elsewhere, for instance Fixin, Morey and Marsannay.
It is the first time that the Syndicat has made such a tasting, after deciding earlier in the year that they shouldn’t send samples to publications in March when the wines are usually in full malo – they prefer to show their wines to a ‘professional’ audience when there is something of the final wine to discern. Good for them!
Quite a number of Gevrey vignerons were on hand to discuss their wines, indeed there were more vignerons than press after a majority of those that signed up chose not to attend – sad but on their heads be it. The tasters that remained were mainly assiduous in respecting and appraising the contents of each and every bottle. A nice lunch was served that included a selection of vintage 2000 wines – but we had to work for our supper (lunch!), by explaining to the whole restaurant, microphone in hand, what we had so-far found.
Including lunch, admittedly a leisurely lunch, it took me about 5 hours to make all the notes and what more reassuring aspect could you have about the tasting, than that it took 24 hours for my blue-coloured tongue to return to normal – we haven’t had that for a few vintages have we(?)
This was a very good showing indeed – occasional wines were a little out of sorts, some a little austere and others were stylistically marked by oak. Despite all that, I found the average presentation much better than is normally the case for big en-primeur tastings in London, despite this tasting being about 2 months earlier in the calendar; I assume the ‘mere’ fifteen mile trip from Gevrey to Beaune allowed the wines to be fresher and probably not require additional doses of sulfur.
The nose offers a good depth of round cushioned fruit. Lithe, wiry and with an excellent expansion in the mid-palate. Very, very good wine.
The nose has plenty of floral and high tones. Quite fresh, indeed a little acid-forward. After the Bouvier this is a little slight though with good finishing flavour, edged with licorice. Almost good but no more.
The nose has lots of depth, some oak too – but it gets away with it – just. Sour cherry-fruit flavour goes with excellent acidity – narrow in the finish but quite long. Good.
The nose seems a little diffuse, yet there seems to be much to hold my interest. Round and friendly, actually a bit simple, but saved by a great finish. Good.
Dark but pretty fruit. Lithe though with slightly tart acidity. Good width but less compelling than many. Almost good.
The nose is deep and complex – understated stems, flowers too – there’s everything in here. This is quite mineral and intense with plenty of growing flavour. Excellent.
The nose is a little tight – just a few faint florals. In the mouth this is wide with almost good tannin. The acidity is a little tart but I find this quite engaging. Good.
The nose is more involving than that of this domaines ‘Billard’ – a little cushioned, high-toned and perhaps with hints of stems. Hmmm. This is lithe, intense and has a lovely finish. Excellent.
Concentrated red cherry fruit. Not as structured as many despite excellent acidity. Very good in the mid-palate and the flavour holds well. I quite like this.
The nose has nice depth with some high tones. More mineral than the last wine and with very good acidity fitting well with the intense flavour. This is a hint softer than some but it’s a very good wine.
At centre-stage there’s some vanilla-oak but not too overpowering as there’s plenty of high-toned interest too. Not super depth to the flavour but everything is in place on a reasonably subtle level. It’s certainly a pretty wine, perhaps it’s just a little tight as there’s not much impact.
Plenty of oak that supports… well, it’s hard to say because of all the oak. In the mouth this is rescued by a lovely, lithe and fresh personality. If the oak reduces this could be good.
A tight nose. There’s a little astringency, plenty of acidity and a decent intensity. In the mid-palate the flavour expands really well. Good wine.
A little too much reduction; slowly there’s some cohesion and a creamy depth. There’s a high-toned width and matching flavours – again a little reduction masquerading as oak. Too early to say.
(Sur fût scribbled on the label) The nose is tight and just a little oaky too. Plenty of oak flavour too but the basic structure and lingering flavour is almost good.
(Sur fût scribbled on the label) Depth and texture to the nose – there’s certainly some oak but this is very pretty. In the mouth this is a little cushioned and shows very fine tannin – lots of growing flavour. Already this is very tasty and very good.
Some sweetness and quite a round nose. Good acidity with understated furry tannin – interestingly long. Almost good.
The nose is round, with lots of engagement. Very, very fine texture and plenty of flavour. Very good balance. Very nice.
The nose is quite understated but seems fine with very pretty floral aromas. Again there’s very silky tannin – you could almost miss it. It’s hard not to love this wine. Excellent.
The nose has both high-tones and depth but today limited width. Tannins are once-more very, very silky – the intensity grows impressively in the mid-palate. Excellent flavour, excellent wine.
This smells rather nice, eventually with pretty high tones and perhaps some stems. Ooh – here is a different weight, perhaps a premier cru weight of extract. Potentially excellent.
High tones mix with oak notes. Round and quite full but with plenty of structure and freshness. Whilst there’s plenty of oak flavour, there’s plenty of flavour in general. Despite the oak, excellent.
There’s a little reduction but a smooth width to the nose too. Understated tannin and a good shape to the acidity, the fruit flavour leaching from the gaps in your teeth. This is very good.
Flowers and depth on the nose – not so wide. A fresh complexion to the flavours and structure. Super intensity to the finishing flavour. Excellent.
The nose is interesting; wide and rather complex, eventually with violets. The texture starts silky, the tannin slowly comes to the fore but not much grain. Lovely intensity of flavour in the mid-palate. I like this!
There’s a cushioned, creamy depth to the fruit aroma. This seems quite distinguished, very good acid balance and depth of flavour too. There’s plenty of oak character, but this is excellent.
High-toned bright fruits. Some furry tannin plus very good acidity – the entry seems a little dull but from the mid-palate into the finish this is quite tasty.
It’s a high-toned and interesting nose. Some sweetness to the fruit and a good mid-palate structure. Good.
An understated yet complex nose, slightly savoury. Some sweetness, decent tannin and very good acidity. Slowly the high-toned fruit flavours come to the fore. Good length. This is very, very good.
The nose has depth, but mainly from oak. Toasty oak flavours and whilst the structure seems okay, I really don’t like it.
A very interesting nose, hints of musk and a dark fruit note – okay, I’m involved. Round and reasonably full in the mouth. The acidity is very good if initially hidden by the extract plus a little oak. Long and very pretty – excellent!
Some herbs and an interesting top to bottom depth. In the mouth there’s plenty of width to the flavours with good structure and slowly increasing intensity. A very good wine.
The Premier Crus
Tasted Friday 18th November 2011. The obvious difference when you move to these premiers (from the villages) is the extra sweetness and more intensity. I only found one of the wines a little austere – there were more in the grand crus. The average quality here is excellent though.
The nose is very pretty and shows quite some depth. In the mouth this is sweetly cushioned and has a width of flavour that grows in the mid-palate. Not a top 1er cru, but a very nice wine.
Some higher-toned, pretty-much volatile notes but with fine depth. Again, sweet ripe fruit and quite smooth texture too. After the villages this is a hint disappointing, but that volatile note could just be the sample.
The stems are a little obvious right now, but there’s lovely red fruit and flowers too. Hmm – gorgeous – width, texture and flavour – not a bad first impression! There is also some flavour from the stems but something much more stony too – super length. The stems are just a bit gothic right now, if their intensity fades this will be excellent.
The direct berry-fruit aromas are quite pretty – almost a redcurrant preserve. Relatively round with penetrating acidity and again high-toned red fruit flavours. This is the only wine in whole tasting that presents like this, so whilst it certainly has personality, does it have ‘Gevrey-ness?’ I like it anyway!
High toned aromas. In the mouth there is intensity and good texture. Quite linear – this is narrower in the mid-palate than many, but the length is fine.
High-tones blend with a mineral depth – quite eye (nose!) catching. The entry is narrow but the flavours quickly widen in tandem with the acidity. This is an interesting and classy wine – very good.
The nose gives a hint of almond – I’m not a fan of that, but it is just part of a round, generally compelling impression. Fresh and intense with understated but supporting tannin. This is long too – Yum!
Depth and width, partly mineral too with flashes of red fruit – this is very inviting! This starts a little soft, but all the parts quietly impress – long and interesting. This is very good.
Nice pure black fruit aromas underpinned with a little musk and perhaps some stems too. Concentrated, velvet textured and understated but good acidity. A few bitter components – wood probably – in the finish. Excellent.
There are aromas of herbs, high tones and some dried dark fruits. Sweetness and silky texture are slowly joined by a growing acidity. This is rather good.
High tones plus dark fruit – detailed and precise. Some minerality, slowly growing intensity of flavour. Understated structure but good acidity. I like this a lot – possibly excellent.
Aromatic depth, some width too with hints of stems – not too forward though. Some minerality, precise flavours with an intensity that grows and grows. Excellent.
The nose has a little of the stems and a cushioned depth. Right from the start the flavour is intense and of high-toned fruit. Then even more intensity of very bright fruit. Rather individual, but super concentration – I’d put a couple in the cellar…
Plenty of dark, toasty oak. In the mouth, sweet round and concentrated – I love the flavour intensity and the clean dark fruit notes. There’s too much oak on the nose at this age, but in two years…
Not so wide as the Humbert, but very good aromatic depth. Sweet and showing beautifully balanced intensity. There’s good structure and a faint grab to the tannin. Understated with a very pretty length. High class.
The nose has high tones and despite seeming a little diffuse is quite engaging. Good intensity here – it’s very wide too – super shape to this wine. Very long. Despite the nose, excellent.
The nose seems cushioned and has plenty of dimension – almost a hint of 09 in character. Decent acidity, but what an impressive peak of flavour in the mid-palate. Very good wine.
The nose is wide with a few herbs. High toned fruit in the mouth. Lots of intensity though just a little austere today.
Deep and interesting with high and low tones of well defined fruit. In the mouth this is just a little tart, yet it’s impressively intense. Good but not great.
Cushioned, slightly sweeter dark fruit on the nose – impresses. This wine is just the right side of austere; very good acidity helps very good width. The flavour expanding in the mid-palate with an added mineral aspect. This is very good indeed – perhaps excellent.
Some flowers, this is a very pretty if quite understated nose. In the mouth this is less sweet than some but shows excellent intensity. Fresh, with more dimension of flavour in the mid-palate and very good length too. Excellent, but not head and shoulders above a number of these.
After the Rousseau there’s an added floral dimension with a good, if not deep mineral note. Some sweetness, lots of intensity, very good acidity and a quickly narrowing but good finish. Very good.
The nose is a little tight – there’s a core of dark fruit though and similarly dark oak. Sweeter than the last wines, balanced acidity and faintly grained tannin. There’s an excellent follow through into the finish. Almost very good.
A cushioned sweet nose that reminds me of 2009s. It has a soft entry with plenty of understated tannin – a little oak too. The intensity is good, as is the length. It’s hard not to like this wine, and it’s so much better than their villages sample!
The Grand Crus
The market is the market – there were 27 grand crus on the table – in today’s money, that’s probably 5-6,000 Euros if you wanted each bottle in you cellar – silly isn’t it(?) It’s easy to be swayed by a label, particularly if that label might cost you €300+; so as much as possible I just poured the wine, made the tasting note, and only then noted the name – only the label of Rousseau’s Chambertin was too individual to foil that plan…
Like the step-up from villages to premier cru, here again is a slight extra emphasis of sweetness from the fruit, probably more to do with concentration that actual ripeness, but I suspect both are involved. A number of wines show some austerity but in a young grand cru I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Some wines showed a little too much oak for my personal taste, but what’s ‘too much’ when the wines are 5-6 months from being bottled(?)
Overall, whether villages premier or grand cru, the shape if the 2010 is showcased by these wines; excellent acidity – rarely too much – supple tannins and excellent concentration and flavour intensity. Classic and covetable.
The nose is wide and gives the impression of being textured – not particularly deep. Fresh and pretty yet certainly well-endowed. A soft style but I like the finish.
A deep and creamy nose of dark red fruit, again ‘textured’. Sweet fruit, decent structure and very good acidity – this impresses – there is intensity and just a hint of austerity despite only medium tannins. Good wine.
I like the width and complexity of the aromas. Round and mouth-filling, then the flavours expand into the mid-palate to deliver a wave of acid-led flavours. Lovely.
High-tones and plenty of interest here, subtle oak too. Sweet fruit and a lovely acid balance. Excellent intensity – super.
Precise and pretty notes; rather high-toned but not quite volatile. Sweet but with decent structure below. The acidity is well-judged and helps leach flavour from your teeth – very good.
Lots of dark oak aromas, not too toasty but overwhelming anyway. Sweet, the tannins have some aspects of oak, but there’s good length. If the last months of elevage soak up some of this oak, there’s still a good wine beneath.
Subtly wide, slightly cushioned, slowly growing in depth – the nose is quite an introduction! Wide, not too sweet and with a good base of structure and acidity. Long too – excellent.
A really pretty aroma of violets lifts from the glass. Cushioned with velvet texture – lovely fruit – very good.
Very high-toned notes dovetailed with oak. Wide, structured and a little austere but with excellent mid-palate density – dark in character, but compelling.
Dark aromas – plenty of oaky in the mix. Sweet, the structure is relatively understated, it seems to be partly obscured by the oak. Still, the potential is there for good wine.
Both deep and high-toned fruit plus a not to gothic stem component. Very fine structure swirls with pretty, though slightly stemmy, fruit. The flavour slowly oozes from the gaps in your teeth – yum!
There’s a good depth of aroma, topped with some herbs – very pretty. In the mouth there are also herbs and some austerity to the structure too. Tasty in the finish though…
The nose has both depth and width with clear stem character. Sweet in the mouth with largely understated tannin – very good acidity though and flavours that slowly grow in intensity. A lovely intense finsh. Very good.
Hmm – this smells good – there’s real depth. Round and a little sweeter than the Marchand-Grillot Ruchottes. There is a base of very well packaged structure. Excellent!
Whilst the nose is quite understated, there is a very good width of aroma. The palate has some sweetness and plenty of cushioning texture to the structure. There’s a little dark oak flavour. Understated length, just like the wine. Discretely good.
The nose has a little reduction but not so much that some nice floral notes cannot escape the glass. Round and sweet but the flavours have a bit too much oak about them today, however, there’s very good length of flavour.
The nose is clean and direct, hints of toffee in there I think. Here there is no cushioning texture, simply a very impressive intensity of flavour that flows long into the finish – a lithe and muscular wine. To my mind an excellent Mazis.
Dark red fruit notes are very pretty. Fine texture, very good expansion of flavour in the mid-palate. Very good wine, but behind other Bèze in this series.
The nose is deep yet a little tight. Plenty of tannin – by far the most so far – just a little astringency too, but putting that to one side, to concentrate on the flavours – wow, excellent! Just give it the time you know Cos de Bèze needs.
Flowers and dark fruit, yet the nose is a little tight. Austere and a little tart in the mouth. Plenty of structure, this is a wine that’s long and intense but clearly ‘difficult’ today. A Bèze that needs time – again.
High toned aromas – perhaps a little volatile(?) Slightly grainy texture to the tannin, plenty of tannin. There’s a very good burst of flavour in the mid-palate. I think an excellent wine but perhaps only ‘good+’ for a Bèze.
The nose offers herbs over a dark, almost textured, base – nice. Sweet, with plenty of tannin that shows a hint of ‘grab’. There’s a burst of flavour in the mid-palate followed by a very, very long finish. Will be excellent.
Deep, concentrated fruit aromas – some flowers too. In the mouth this is wide and a little mineral – just a little astringent but the mid-palate flavour is really intense. This is rather good.
The nose is deep and interesting, but today rather too oaky. More structure than flavour to start with but the flavour, whilst remaining in the background, does slowly grow. Overall this is a bit austere; it’s interesting but far from compelling today – it really needs time.
The nose is far from effusive, but it’s quietly complex and wide. This is another austere wine; structure and astringency but the flavour does come through eventually – and very good flavour it is. I think there’s lots of potential here, but again a wine that will need time.
Wide, deep and dark aromas, hints of herbs too. In the mouth this is full and round, it also has plenty of tannin. There’s some austerity but again there’s lovely mid-palate flavour and in this case quite some minerality too. Very, very good.
Aromas are tight here but understatedly impressive and almost textured. Full in the mouth, there’s plenty of structure too but it’s relatively understated compared to many, probably because the tannin is a little less astringent than other wines. Not particularly complex versus the other Chambertins, but the length is a little special. Excellent – what did you expect 😉