Tasted in Saint Aubin with Olivier Lamy, 12 October, 2015.
Domaine Hubert Lamy
20 rue des Lavières
Tel: +33 3 80 21 32 55
Father, Hubert started with 1 hectare in a garage. Today the domaine is a little larger – 18 hectares of which 80% is white. Still, Olivier notes, they are family vines, so if a niece or nephew wants to make wine, he can suddenly lose 5 hectares. He’s farming 45 parcels, which make up about 20 cuvées.
Olivier on the vintages:
2015: “The vintage was very dry, so it was a challenge to keep good freshness as the grape maturity changed very quickly at the end. Malic acid is low and tartaric also not so high, but I picked one barrique worth of grapes 2 weeks later, in mid-September, taking all the grapes the pickers missed – just to see. I used very little sulfur, 15 days fermentation. The whites had good lees so were very easy to decant. Let’s see. Overall a 90% whole cluster ripe vintage for the reds and I’ll try to use no new oak in the whites.”
2014: Last year Olivier said “2014 was almost too easy (in comparison to 2013 and 2012) though the pinots were a little more fragile and needed lots of triage to avoid contamination with the drosophila’s acetic bacteria.”
This year “2014 was wetter in August (than 2015), so we made 3 ‘pre-harvests’ to remove grapes that were growing too fast and splitting as they were attracting drosophila. The flies were virtually only a problem in Chassagne due to higher ripeness of the reds there, perhaps a little in Santenay too. There were no drosophila problems in the whites. It was really the wettest August but then hot in September, and so I harvested a little early. Before racking (there was no sulfur used before racking) the wines were a little flat, but now racked they are looking good.”
Pricing: 2014s up 2-3%, or so. Mainly to cover inflation.
Olivier has been using less and less sulfur for his whites in recent years, despite not being a fan of ‘natural’ – he explains: “Sulfur is very bad for making wine, but is very good for keeping wine. Wines are a little austere and square in elevage but get better and better as they interact with oxygen – this can be the reverse of some other producers.”
2014 St.Aubin Cuvée Paradis
Destemmed. One year in barrel, now in tank but bottling next year. A blend of 2 parcels.
Round, large-scaled nose, also big in the mouth, richly textured, hardly any grab to the tannins. Currently with a bitter chocolate finish. A super ‘entry wine.’
2014 Santenay Clos des Hâtes
Deep, round – a pretty nose. Silky and concentrated – really good weight of flavour here. Extra dimension too. The mouth-watering acidity appears afterwards. Big but also with complexity. Very, very good.
From 65 year-old vines.
A bigger, higher-toned freshness. Some gas but easily the most energy and an ingraining, super flavour. Simply a beauty.
2014 St.Aubin 1er Derrière Chez Eduard
From 56 year-old vines on a steep slope.
A more floral dimension, yet modestly fresh. Plenty of gas, and a width of flavour. Good balance and a hint of richness. Very good.
A fresher sweet red fruit aroma here. Lithe, with fine energy and texture. Slightly cool fruit but with sucrosity too. This is really excellent, and it goes very long, with a faintly salty bitterness in the finish. Super yum!
2014 St.Aubin La Princée
5% new oak, an assembly of about 10 vineyards.
A hint of reduction, but freshness too. Here is plenty of energy and a silky texture between with the mouth-watering flavour. Here is a super, fresh, sweet finish.
2014 Chassagne-Montrachet Le Concis du Champs
“Young vines, only 11 years old.”
Wide, seemingly textured nose, not so deep or high. Bigger and fresher than the nose suggests, with good mid-palate intensity – I love the finish here!
A blend of 40 year-old and 70 year-old fruit – more 40…
An agrumes reduction on the nose. Very wide, fresh, but with a super extra dimension of flavour. I love the energy and complexity here – really super wine!
2014 Santenay 1er Clos des Gravières Blanc
Very young vines in a sort of continuation of the Clos de Tavannes – the first vineyard harvested in 14.
A wide but currently a little dislocated nose. Bigger, rounder, faintly phenolic, a fine intense and round mid-palate. I prefer the Tremblots, but I still like this very much.
2013 St.Aubin 1er Clos du Meix
0.7 metres planting distance here – so 14,000/ha planting density.
Fresh top notes, with a weight of silky fresh fruit below, almost a hint of ripe pear. A little gas but big, round a little rich but fortunately with super acidity, and finishing weight. The flavour holding very well…
2014 St.Aubin 1er les Frionnes
High and low-toned, plenty of gas but really lots of energy and flavour complexity. But lovely white fruit flavour that finishes fresh and interesting. Flavour really adheres to the teeth…
Wide, weighty but with energy and ripe fruit. Again a lot of gas, but I really love these flavours, flavours that penetrate your tongue and gums then spend the next couple of minutes slowly leaching back out. Some phenolic impression too, super.
A little reduction, but modest freshness too. More direct, fresh and perhaps mineral too – grapefruit – very mouth-watering, it begs you to take another sip. A lovely, more weighty reprise in the finish – compelling.
2014 St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
A rather tighter nose. Plenty of gas, certainly a different flavour profile, a little more phenolic flavour if not texture, another wine that really opens out and impresses after you have swallowed – probably exceptional.
Wines now tasted from barrel rather than tank…
2014 St.Aubin 1er Les Murgers des Dents du Chien
A core of ripe citrus aroma. Big in the mouth with an ever-growing intensity, and a texture that’s getting ever-more silky, I’m waiting for an extra element in the finish, but it’s not really coming…
2014 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Macherelles
A reduction of agrumes, good dimension here, a wine that flexes its muscles over your tongue, slightly richer but with plenty of energy. Super finishing weight.
A sweeter, warmer nose yet elegantly wide too. Super texture, really, fine energy and complexity. – a beauty. Really finely finishing with a weight of extra flavour. Even in this cellar – extra special!
2014 Puligny-Montrachet Les Tremblots Haute Densité
A very silky and appealing nose – faintly perfumed. Wide and intense, indeed lovely intensity, and perfect balance. Long but modestly long. Really classy when you consider the appellation – excellent – top 1er cru weight and energy though I can’t find the finishing complexity of the last wine.
2014 St.Aubin 1er Derrière Chez Eduard Haute Densité
A modest but highly pretty perfume. Grand cru weight, complex, intense, layers rather than waves (layers are slower) of flavour slowly fading. I don’t see the impressive extra dimension of mid-palate flavour as in Remilly and Chatenière, but it goes very long in a more primary sense…
2014 Criots-Bâtard Montrachet Haute Densité
This grand cru is now planted at high density – 24 thousand vines per hectare! 2013 was the first vintage labelled ‘HD’.
Modest aroma, indeed a little tight. Wide, round too, an intense core of acidity but richly packed – again very, very long but today showing only a very primary length without the extra flavour dimension – but what length!