Tasted in Auxey-Duresses with Sophie Laronze, 23 October, 2014.
Domaine Terres de Velle
Chemin sous la Velle
Tel: +33 3 80 22 80 31+33 3 80 22 80 31
It’s been more than a couple of years since I last visited Sophie and Fabrice Laronze – last time the finishing touches to the building-work of their newly created domaine were still a few weeks away – today all is calm and seemingly perfect.
The domaine is now roughly 6 hectares, and produces 60% white wine. Sophie says they are really now starting to see the benefit of 5 years of ploughing in their vines. The last owner’s chemical management had left them with all the vine roots close to the surface – of-course because of that you have to start ploughing just the first few centimetres, increasing depth just a little each year – or you risk killing the vines.
Sixty percent of the crop was lost in 2012 – 13 was a little better, but 14 is again poor.
The 2013 whites were racked into tank in September, the reds in October. Bottling for the 1ers will be about February – a little earlier for the rest.
2013 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
A blend of 3 vines; Corpeau, Meursault and Volnay.
A good depth of dark fruit, there seems quite some extract too. In the mouth this is succulent, showing plenty of acidity and structure – but it’s also tasty!
2013 Auxey-Duresses Les Closeaux
“Only sun in the afternoon here, but aeration and lower yields bring ripeness.”
A wider aromatic with pretty, dark-red fruit. A little gas, but a fresh and pretty wine with nice energy.
2013 Volnay Ez Blanches
Fresh and red. There’s plenty of bright acidity but the intensity of fruit flavour in the mid-palate compensates.
Like the Volnay, these are 35 year-old vines that are pruned ‘cordon royat.’
Pretty raspberry fruit plus some florals. Beautiful, fresh, taut with forward acidity but this is completely delicious!
2013 Volnay 1er Ronceret
From just under Champans, 40 year-old vines also prune cordon royat.
Here the nose is less forward, but with equally pretty, fresh aromas. There’s a little more structure but there’s also flavour intensity to match. Super-fresh but brightly flavoured too.
2013 Bourgogne Chardonnay
From 3 vines; one in Corpeau and two in Meursault, one of which is 55 year-old vines in Les Pellans. 10% new oak.
Wide and faintly ginger-spiced – a very Meursault impression. A core of rounded acidity but lovely balance. Fine concentrated flavour. This is excellent.
2013 Monthelie Sous la Roche
22 year-old vines with 30% new oak elevage. Hail wasn’t a problem here in 2014 – but the sangliers took 30%!
Wide and a little higher-toned, faintly mineral though a suggestion of SO2 too. Just a little padding to the palate but really fine acidity and intensity. Super again.
From Les Crotots and Grand Charons. A 2011 purchase with ‘lots to be done!’
A little tight but still a fresh and airy nose. There’s more weight on the palate and a fine acidity. A really super extra dimension of concentration in the mid-palate!
2013 Chassagne-Montrachet La Platière
From below Morgeot in the direction of Santenay.
A nose more typical and forward of Chassagne. Some gas on the palate but also sweetness of fruit and quite some fresh intensity. A lovely extension of flavour after the mid-palate too!
A little Levrons and a lot of Noirots. 55 year-old vines.
The nose is a little dumb today. Some gas but sweetness of fruit too – as the gas fades there’s a super line of clean flavour through the mid-palate and into the finish. This promises much.
80 year-old vines that theoretically should deliver 4 barrels, but these old-vines always deliver small grapes – so just 2.5 barrels.
Wide, not deep aromas – but clearly its fine Meursault. There’s a nice freshness here for Charmes and lovely concentration of flavour – really super – long-lasting flavour too.
These 55 year-old vines almost touch on those of the previous Charmes, yet the aroma is totally different – fresher with citrus. The palate is also wider and more dynamic – gum-boring intensity – really super!
2013 Meursault Les Luchets
From 80 year-old vines.
Fresh and pretty with a fine underlying ripe nose. Quite round but with very lovely depth of flavour and intensity. Freshness is fine too.