Terres de Velle – 2014


DSC08176Tasted in Auxey-Duresses with Sophie & Fabrice Laronze, 12 October, 2015.

Domaine Terres de Velle
Chemin sous la Velle
21190 Auxey-Duresses
Tel: +33 3 80 22 80 31

The 2015 harvest:“A nice year, but the reds have no better yields than the previous year. Super easy to extract the colours and the tannins are very ripe.”

The 2014:“Sixty percent of the crop was lost in 2012 – 2013 was a little better – and yet again 2014 is again poor. Normally there are 2 cuvées of Meursault but only one this vintage as we totaled only 18 hl/ha. One side of Auxey was okay, the other was hailed. We take the time to triage in the vines rather than in the cuverie, but here in the cuverie we have a vibrating sorting table which was very effective in 2014. But as for the wines, we have a nice balance and good concentrations – particularly for those vines that were hailed. The character is a little more gourmand and more pleasurable versus the 2013s at the same stage but with good concentration and balance. We always compare to the previous vintage! A very classic burgundy vintage though.”

Prices:“We still lost lots of wine and the quality is there to see, so we would hope to augment the price just a little – we are anyway confident in the quality. It’s worth noting (I hope!) that it’s not just us – our packaging, cartons and bottles, has gone up 8%.”

The wines…

My first visit of this 2014 ‘campaign’ and I like the overall stance of these wines – fresh in the best sense of the word – just one (white) wine here is showing a little ‘extra-fresh!’. The reds have both freshness and a good clarity – a really good start I think, plenty that I would happily personally cellar!

For now the domaine is happy to stay with natural cork…

2014 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
2 vines, one from Corpeau and the other in the plain of Volnay, usually they are complimentary. The Volnay vines saw a little hail, but not much. – overall about 10% new oak. We don’t look for extraction, rather for an expressive bourgogne.
Wow. a super nose of heavy flowers and red fruit. Wide, some decent weight, almost silky with a faint rasp of tannin in the mid-palate. The tannin holds into the finish, but here is a very well put together wine, and far from simple. Bravo bourgogne!

2014 Auxey-Duresses Les Closeaux
“Only sun in the afternoon here, so one of the last parcels here that are planted to pinot, the rest here are chardonnay – 45 year-old vines.
Deeper aromas, a little more roasted fruit, but slowly it also adds a higher-toned aspect. Here is plenty of gas, but the personality is bright and seemingly intense too, with a fine mouth-watering crunchy fruit finish, again with a little tannin as support.

2014 Volnay Ez Blanches
Despite the altitude of the vines, this parcel is usually one of the first to be harvested – never a problem here about maturity. 25 hl/ha yield is more problematic.
Super aromatic depth, darker red fruit too – occasionally hinting at roast. Wide, insinuating, intense fruit – but super freshness. Long and wide finishing – not a cliché Volnay, but one of intensity and freshness but also complexity too – bravo – like a modest Clos des Chênes with a more mineral intensity!

2014 Monthelie 1er Les Duresses
About 40 year-old vines that are pruned ‘cordon royat.’ There was a little hail but was easy to triage as the vibrating table took out the dried berries.
More red berry, complex, clean and precise – just a faint texture to the nose too – I like it very much. Too much gas to fully appraise, but there is width, and an under-layer of tannin. A fine width of finishing flavour with bright and again precise fruit. A little mineral flavour to finish. Super.

2014 Volnay 1er Ronceret
From just under Champans, 40+ year-old vines also prune cordon royat. ‘Always a good maturity that means we can harvest relatively early.’
An up and down aromatic rather than one of width – the high tones are very pretty indeed – a layer of violet flowers over the highest fruit tones, below is a more stony fruit. Wide, fresh, much fainter gas, more tannin texture and that’s faintly astringent – but a lovely overall melding of flavour, energy and texture. A lovely wine. Some floral flavour in the finish too.

Les blancs…

2014 Bourgogne Chardonnay
This year an assembly of 2 vines, one from Les Pellans in Meursault – 55 year-old vines – and in another in Corpeau Les Canottes on deeper soil with younger vines. 10% new oak
Wide, deep, it compels you to bring the glass to your mouth. Big, round, very silky and a growing, mouth-watering intensity with a faint sucrosity. A reductive quality today.

2014 Auxey-Duresses Les Hautes
A Micro cuvée as this was 50% hailed – so just one barrel. Vines on the border with Meursault, aged from 55-60 years, planted on a limestone soil, actually very little soil before the mother rock.
A wider nose, nicely fresh. More attack and freshness here – more complex and energetic. Really intense with a lot of mid-palate concentration – really excellent length, slightly perfumed. Certainly on the fresh side but not surprisingly, with great zing.

2014 Monthelie Sous la Roche
23 year-old vines direction Nantoux on a limestone, white soil with a fault towards the top of the vineyard. Herewith 30% new oak elevage.
A brighter note, more delicate and precise, here with some floral accents too. Starts narrower and very quickly widens – here is a a lovely, lithe, energetic wine. Fine concentration too – excellent
2014 Meursault
An assembly vines from Les Crotots, Les Luchets and Les Grands Charrons. Normally all fermented separately but due to low yields it wasn’t possible this year – all were pressed together. 20% new oak.
There’s a faint backing of reduction, but this is unmistakably Meursault – and finely fresh too. Lots of material here, intensity, a little green herb, good acidity, just a little more angular and with a joyous crescendo of mineral flavour in the mid-palate and into the finish – patience required here, but bravo! Super finishing.

2014 Chassagne-Montrachet La Platière
From below Morgeot in the direction of Santenay. Some of the domaine’s youngest vines – just 20 years. No hail problems here.
Wider, a good Chassagne herb dimension, just a little less ‘together’ but with plenty of energy. Big, wide, expressive – lovely weight and mouth-watering acidity. Should end up as bottled energy and fun. Yum!

2014 Puligny-Montrachet
From 2 parcels: Les Noirots and Levrons.
A ripe core of fruit but this is more of a high and low-toned wine than a wide aromatic. Just a trace of gas here, but also an added width of flavour. Plenty of acidity but the balance is fine and the energy also so. Good mini explosion of flavour in the mid-palate with a hint of dry extract. Quality Puligny!

2014 Meursault 1er Charmes
80 year-old vines so usually only about half the allowed yields. So, never a big yield, so it was fortunate that in this vintage it was largely missed by the hail, ‘but the small berries choose their own path’. No new oak.
A rather tight nose, fresh and precise but giving little away, yet slowly adds a base of width. Weight, salty, some fat – the acidity is fine. Not very expressive today but all the parts are in place and the understated complexity are here for something very fine. This will be super.

2014 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Referts
’60 year-old vines, and usually not much for us to do as the vines are so well positioned.’ Only 300 metres from their Meursault Charmes but a world of difference in the glass.
Wide and mineral. Less fat but no less intense and concentrated. A more direct and energetic wine with plenty of agrume flavour. An airy nose without full focus yet. Again super.

Burgundy Report

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