Tasted in the Château Pizay, 12 October 2017.
A press trip organised by the producers’ union of Moulin à Vent – a century of wines – that’s 100 wines, not 100 years!
Despite my general reservations about ‘press trips’ this was perfectly executed with a small number of serious French journalists, me and an Italian. Afforded was the opportunity to taste some labels that I didn’t already know and also a first introduction to the 2016s – quite a number of which are already bottle. Note that my main visits to the domaines to taste the 2016s will be in February 2018.
If you are keen to cut to the chase, I highly, highly recommend 28 wines as outstanding – and they are, as usual, highlighted in the notes that follow. But if I had to pick only one wine, then it would be the 2015 Les Greneriers from Paul Janin…
And new names? Well, I’ll be planning to follow-up in February at Domaine du Penlos, Didier Desvignes, Domaine des Caves and Château des Gimarets.
And some views from Pizay:
2015 Vignerons de Bel-Air, Belairissime
Deep colour, a deep nose too, though with some attractive higher tones. Bid, very sweet, mouth-filling wine. Layered in the finish with an attractive counterpoint of bitterness.
2016 Vignerons de Bel-Air, Les Clochers
A little lighter colour. Red fruited, fresher, a little unformed. Supple, lovely in the mouth, sweetness, but layers of delicious flavour. It’s not as big a wine, but I prefer this very much – for today…
2015 Manoir du Carra, Les Burdelines
Relatively modest colour for a 2015. The nose is wide, and also a little modest. Good dimension of flavour in the mouth – really a good complexity. Nicely composed wine and very good.
2015 Mommessin, Grandes Mises
Super deep colour. A nice nose, not too big, with a pretty and precise berry fruit. Lots of volume in the mouth, freshness too. Layers of good, not too sweet flavour. Very tasty!
2015 Mommessin, Champ de Cour
A fine nose but of modest volume. Wide, good volume. A little more herb in the complexity here, a slightly more obvious tannin too. Tasty wine with a great personality.
2014 Mommessin, Grandes Mises
An open nose with more floral references. Hard to taste after 2015s as this is narrower and less sweet, but the flowers on the nose run through the flavours too. The wine comes to me – or the other way round – and is lovely in its own right.
2015 Le Nid, Tradition
A deep nose yet with only very modest volume today. Really a wine of both volume and concentration. Some tannin in here too! Only slowly releasing a little complexity. Big, complex, not too sweet – this would be a super candidate for the cellar. Excellent!
2014 Le Nid, La Rochelle
More open, a little mushroom. Again hard to follow a 2015, but here is a luxurious texture of deep and fine tannin, more herbed-style flavour, and long flavour. Really ,2014s like this are for cellaring a few years. Very good all the same.
2014 Le Nid, Rochegrès
An open nose, again, faint pyrazine and some floral references. More direct, fresher, the tannin has less depth. From a structural perspective, I like this more than the Rochelle, but the flavour profile with plenty of pyrazine, today, is not my favourite – at least until the finish which is elegant and very fine.
Impossibly deep colour. Impossibly deep nose too with a subtle accent of oak an a faint suggestion of flowers. Growing volume in the mouth, a little more composed than I expected. There is modest and (honestly) distracting oak – but on a low level and I think this will be gone in 2-3 years – and this win will live gloriously for much more than 30 years. Great I think.
Les massive aromas than the last and with a more accessible floral component. Supple, open, layerd deliciousness. This is seemingly already open for business and is completely delicious with nothing overblown – in the context of the vintage – bravo!
2014 Xavier et Nicolas Barbet Vieilles-Vignes
A much tighter nose. Easy over the palate with very good sweetness for following a 2014. Supple, wine with modest layers of flavour but delicious and floral flavour. I like this very much.
2015 Collin-Bourisset, Hospices de Romanèch-Thorins
A deep nose, almost a hint stewed. Supple, lots of volume. The flavour is much, much finer than the nose. Very tasty, concentrated and layered wine. Excellent.
A big nose, also very slightly stewed but less overtly as the ‘Hospices’ wine – but then the note departs the glass. Plenty of volume in the mouth, some sweetness. I like very much the cool, composed delivery of fruit. Excellent I think!
2015 Juillard Wolkowicki, Éole
Deeply coloured. Deep aromas too, very faintly spiced. Big, also quite spicy flavour, lots of complexity and a little salinity too, the flavours melting a certain sweetnes over the tongue. Interesting and maybe a hint too sweet for my palate, but really a very tasty wine of high interest!
2014 Juillard Wolkowicki, Éole
A little more modest in colour. Like some other 2914s, there is a little distracting pyrazine on the nose. Supple, very good texture, pyrazine flavour aongst good sweetness of fruit and an overall very nice wine. The pyrazine should become a little more floral with time.
Round, open some aromatic sweetness – very attractive. Nice freshness and volume on the palate. Far from the most concentrated wine, but really delicious wine with a mid-palate to die for – many 2016s seem to be showing like this. Beautiful, attractive wine – maybe for drinking younger.
2016 Richard Rottiers
A less overtly interesting nose, just a hint of salinity is betrayed. More direct and fresh. A more linear and intense wine – if you drink the last you should wait for this. It is classic, if a little austere today. But excellent!
Really an attractively fresh nose for a 2015 – not the most intense though. Cool fruit – really impressive width before diving deep to offer great depth. Composed, concentrated, simply top-class!
Not the deepest nose, but one with a fine and silky width. Supple, concentrated but with freshness – a growing tannic base. Flavours of distinction. Simply excellent!
2015 Paul Janin, Héritage du Tremblay
Also a relatively modest 2015 nose, but still imbued with attractive dark fruits. More volume, more overt tannin, but wait for these to move into the background and the fruit is pure and fine. Excllent and to wait for!
Such a deep colour. The nose is latent but deep – not giving much up. Fresh, cool, fruit, flavour that saturates the tongue without overwhelming it. Flavour melting from your teeth and gums. Poised and brilliant – I’ll be amazed if there’s better today!
2015 Jean-Pierre Mortet
Spicy, herby nose. Fine volume and a lot of freshness. The herby component is part of the palate complexity too. Wide in the finish and very tasty. Very good!
2015 Jean-Pierre Mortet, Les Héritages
A more composed, more interesting nose. Nice structure, great cool style. Concentrated wine. Excellent.
2014 Jean-Pierre Mortet
Lighter colour – after 2015s… Like the 2015s, more than a hint of the stemmy herbs here. The wine is supple, wide, nicely textured. It’s a tasty wine with only modest herb complexity compared to the nose. The finish is really tasty!
A coffee-break after the first 25! Now it’s 09h55 – I doubt that I’ll finish!
2014 Olivier Merlin, La Rochelle
Hmm, quite a high-toned, slightly spiky nose. Supple, layered, actually it’s super palate vs the nose. A little coffee in the finish – or probably that’s me! Very tasty!
2015 Olivier Merlin
A certain freshness and aromatic width, a little less depth. Supple, concentrated, tannin slowly rising from the depths, a certain sweetness too. Very good.
2016 Maurice Gay, Vieilles-Vignes
A little freshness and a little pyrazine. Wide, plenty of freshness, a little pyrazine in the flavours too. The finish with decent persistence.
2015 Maurice Gay, Vieilles-Vignes
A finer nose, wide, just a twist of spice – nice. Supple, deep, a growing concentration, the energy is modest but the flavour is very good and is layered too. This is very tasty. The slow waves of finishing flavour are excellent.
2014 Maurice Gay, Vieilles-Vignes
A deep nose, again with a little pyrazine. Good volume in the mouth – an open palate – red fruited flavour. A modest wine.
2015 Louis Boillot, Vieilles-Vignes
Plenty of aromatic depth, though tighter in the width. Good volume and a nice freshness too – there is a growing intensity here and a clear finbe concentration. Fresh and very tasty wine – particularly in the finish – Yum!
2015 Louis Boillot, La Rouchaux
The the most aromatic impact, but this is both pretty and inviting. Plenty of freshness again, lots of high-toned flavours of growing intensity. Complex and delicious – maybe a suggestion of coffee in this finish too!
Much the deepest nose – spiced and silky too – almost a suggestion cheese – but in a good way! In the mouth this is concentrated but with fine freshness. There is a complexity that plays beautifully over the palate. You could drink this now, but of-course it will get better (and better and better…). Simply a superb wine. Bravo!
2015 Labruyère, Coeur de Terroirs
Good weight and freshness of aroma – almost faintly spiced. Both weight and a certain flesh to the wine and its texture. Really good volume and a tasty finishing complexity Yum!
2015 Labruyère, Le Carquelin
Almost saturated colour. A deep nose, almost a little alcoholic. Really a supple and beautiful texture. There is more of everything here – I personally find it all a little too much – yet – there is balance and very fine flavour, id still a little alcoholic in the finish. Maybe I will be more onboard in 20 years…
2016 Domaine du Vissoux, Les Trois Roches
A round, fresh nose of good volume and a little pyrazine. Relly nice in the mouth, texturally, with a good freshness to add to the modest, silky flesh. The flavour in nice despite the pyrazine element.
2015 Domaine du Vissoux, La Rochelle
A nose of good volume, vanilla accented. Really a very pleasing fersness for the vintage, lots of very fine-grained tannin, though with the distraction of some vanilla. A very good wine I think.
2014 Domaine du Vissoux, La Rochelle
A relatively modest volume of aroma, again with some pyrazine accompaniment. Good volume and freshness, accented again with the pyrazine. In shape and depth this is very fine, though the flavour profile is not my favourite.
2016 Domaine du Penlos, Sous L’Aile du Moulin
Hmm, a very attractive nose – round, red, modestly floral. Supple and with an ingraining flavour. This is lovely – really with a nice width of flavour. Mouth-watering in the finish. Super.
2015 Domaine du Penlos, Sous L’Aile du Moulin
Fine, if modest, width of aroma – very attractive. Fine volume in the maouth, an edge of salinity, super depth of flavour. This is excellent!
2014 Domaine du Penlos, Sous L’Aile du Moulin
A little less colour – of-course. Just a little stewed impression to the aromas with dried fruit too. The flavours on the palate already have a certain dried-fruit style of maturity – but the structure remains young. The finish is lovely.
2016 Mee Godard, Au Michelon
Relatively light in colour. A fine and inviting nose with plenty of freshness. Fresh in the mouth too – a modest flesh to texture and beautiful, mouth-watering flavours that all sugest that you should wait a couple of years before attacking your case of this wine – but to your benefit. Actually, perhaps the most ‘gamay’ wine of the tasting so far – delicious.
2014 Jacques et Annie Loron
A modest nose, with some faint though attractive red fruit. Fresh in the mouth – one of the wines with most energy too. The texture is good and the flavours very good – for a 2014 this is excellent.
2015 Moulin d’Éole, Les Thorins
The nose is wide if only modestly deep – almost a suggestion of cheese. Lots of volume, good attack. Really an very impressive energy here – one of the most tasted so far. The tannin rises to the surface. A wine to wait for. Whilst far from the most delicious today, there is much to be found here, and maybe much, much more in the future.
2015 Moulin d’Éole, Champ de Cour
This nose is very similar to the previous – I really don’t find it very inviting. In the mouth, this is oaked exceptionally sympathetically and the texture is good with plenty of fine-grained tannin. A good finish.
2015 Domaine du Granit, Les Caves
Here a concentrated and very attractive width of dark-fruited aroma. A little sweetness, lots of volume and good energy. This has lots of complexity and really tastes great. Lovely wine.
A wax-topped ‘statement’ bottle. A very deep nose, subtly spiced. This has good volume and really a delicious and melting flavour – really concentrated and with a great finish. Really excellent. Bravo!
Ooh – quite the most lovely, almost delicate but complex and floral nose – bravo! Nice volume, a bubbling, fruity personality. This is completely delicious but with a very different fruit profile to every other wine in the tasting – should I mark it down for that? Just brilliantly delicious!
2015 Terres d’Orées, Les Thorins
Not the deepest colour for a 2015. A relatively modest but very wide aromatic, slowly increasing in depth and complexity – spice, dried fruits. Really a good volume in the mouth, subtle but complex flavour. A wine to wait for, but a really super wine.
Ooh – now that’s a very attractive nose: Faintly floral, wide, just really inviting. Fresher, growing in intensity but still with the padded mass of all these 2015s. Slowly fading, mouth-watering in the finish. A wine of more subtlety and length but delicious all the same.
2016 Domaine des Rosiers, Vieilles-Vignes
A big, bright, bold and inviting, if essentially gamay nose. Round, supple, tasty – indeed delicious – wine, but like the nose this is pure gamay, and I’m looking for more from Moulin-à-Vent.
2015 Domaine des Rosiers, Vieilles-Vignes
A little more concentration on the nose here – subtle but highly attractive fruit. Lots of volume, lots of flavour with decent energy. I find this much, much better and less ‘gamay’ than the 2016. This is excellent.
2016 Domaine de Rochegrès (Bichot)
A wide freshness here, very limited depth. In the mouth this more interesting with fine volume, good complexity and a delicious freshness of fruit flavour. This is lovely wine.
2016 Domaine de Rochegrès (Bichot), Rochegrès
Here the nose is a little more open – though not by much! Ooh – this has more volume and a more luxurious texture. Lots of complexity, faintly saline, fantly mouth-watering in the finish. This wine seems tight today – the finish, whilst long, is really on a very subtle level – it’s delicious all the same.
Ooh, this has a certain extraction beind, but there’s also a fresh, deliciously inviting complexity too. Concentrated wine, really palate staining. Is it too much? The flavour is super, it flirts with being over-blown but never actually making me want to spit. Great wine – for the future. The ample tannin is brilliantly submerged and the finish delicious. Bravo.
Width, more limited depth. Supple, concentrated wine. Like the last starting impenetrable before the flavour melts over the palate. Another palate-staining wine. Great wine – to wait for.
Another tight nose, but it seems more ‘together’ than the last wine. Again, big, concentrated yet fresh. There is an extra growth of tannin here. Mouth-watering stuff. Again brilliant but not for now. Bravo. The essential difference between these TLB wines and some other 2015s is the innate balance in the glass.
Coffee time – encore – I’ve the feeling that I’m earning it!
2015 Domaine des Fontaines
There’s a suggestion of mushroom here – but this is an overall very attractive nose. Round, supple, delicious flavour – a very easy wine to understand – it’s just delicious! Good structure but nothing to deter a thirsty drinker!
2015 Domaine des Fontaines, Clos des Michelons
Modest depth of aroma, but fresh and clean. Again, nice volume, nothing over-blown, delicious flavour. Long finishing. Just a very lovely wine!
Nice on the nose with a subtle spiced complexity. Plenty of volume and fresh complexity here. The wine is absolutely delicious – bravo!
Another very fine nose – complex and interesting – not massive or deep but fine. Lovely depth, width and flavour – a 2014 that easily stands up the 2015 – for that really a big thumbs up – super wine!
2016 Domaine de lris
Fresh, spicy and saline – nice! Lovely depth of flavour and texture.Lots of fruit – gamay style but not too much. Tasty wine indeed.
2016 Domaine de lris, l’Iris
A little tighter but composed nose. Lots of volume, lots of complexity – more high-tones – indeed seemingly more of everything. This is very impressive and will need a little time for extra composure – but I find it excellent!
Not so deep, but there’s weight and an intriguing, inviting spicy freshness here. Lots of concentration – good flavour lots of complexity – this is really excellent – for the cellar – or at a pinch to drink now 😊
2014 Domaine de la Paillardière, 12M
In shape, similar to the 2015 – a hint of mushroom here. Lots of freshness, and really another 2014 that stands up well to the 2015s – there’s enough sweetness and intensity – excellent wine.
2015 Domaine de la Chèvre Bleu, Réserve Philibert
Actually the first wine that’s a little reductive, with a sweetness of fruit behind. Really very sweet, but full of reductive flavour too. Lots of aeration required.
2016 Domaine de la Chèvre Bleu, Vieilles-Vignes
A more open nose, sweetness behind some pyrazine. Lots of energy, lots of flavour complexity too – the pyrazine is in the mix but this is very engaging and enjoyable.
2015 Domaine de la Sionnière, Un Air d’à Vent
The nose is a little stewed. The palate really, really concentrated – growing tannin, massively growing – afterwards I can type, but I can’t speak properly…
2015 Gry-Sablon, Vieilles-Vignes
Fresh and wide nose with a just a hint of spice. Good intensity, really ever-increasing intensity. Long, long, finishing. Very impressive…
2015 Domaine de Colette, Le Mont
Lots of aromatic volume, plenty of herby complexity in the mix. Wide, intense, lots of action, plenty of complexity. Very persistent and even a little saline in the finish. Excellent.
2016 Céline et Nicolas Hirsch
A nice shape to this open nose – plenty of herby complexity with the fruit, eventually just a hint of pyrazine too. A little more volume, plenty of intensity too. Good waves of finishing flavour. Good.
2015 Domaine de Bel Air, Granit et Manganèse
Deep colour – an equally deep nose with vanilla-oak accents. Supple, really massive in the mouth – growing with intensity too. Considering the oak – which I don’t enjoy – this tastes very good. The finish is not the most powerful but persistent, but this is very tasty wine.
2015 Domaine de Bel Air, Les Burdelines
Plenty of high tones here, though the depth is tighter. Good volume, plenty of sticky tannin too and layers of dark-fruited finishing flavour. The finish is redolent of the last – subtly long. Good.
2016 Cédric Vincent, l’Harmonie
Deeply and overtly fruited nose – essence of fruit – quite individual. Big volume, lots of fruit that harks to the nose. Quite the wine apart, but delicious.
2015 Cédric Vincent, Terroirs
The nose is just a little like the 2016 – still almost cordial-like, but more composed. Fresh and bright cordial fruit again. Like the last – delicious but different.
2015 Cédric Vincent, Les Merizes
A much wider nose, perhaps touched by some oak. Lots of volume again – here with the tannin turned up a notch – or two! Really a wine to wait for, not quite tannin to the level of the wine from Sionnière but close! Worth the wait!
Deep, darkly-fruited – but inviting. Full, beautifully textured, very fine though present, tannin. This is a wine to keep but really excellent wine – bravo!
2014 Domaine Bourdon
Bright with good freshness of fruit and a faint pyrazine. Wide, good volume, another 14 that struggles to show after the equivalent 2015 – but here is a lot of wine that will repay mid-term (5-10 years) of keeping. The finish is very tasty.
2015 Domaine Anita, Coeur de Vigneronne
Wow – such deep colour. The nose suggests quite high alcohol and perhaps a hint of volatile – though label notes only 13%. Supple, beautifully textured, wide – such a big wine. The flavours are much more harmonious than the nose. This is very tasty wine.
2015 Domaine Anita, Reine de Nuit
A deep nose again, supple, bubbling dark, sweet fruits. Big in the mouth, really a lot of volume and corresponding energy. Big, big wine. As impressive as a 2015 could be – if trying to impress!
2015 Domaine Bertrand, Les Petits Bois
The nose here is non-standard and quite herbed. In the mouth there’s good freshness and a very fine and tasty line of finishing flavour – by far the wine’s most delicious aspect. Very good in parts.
Quite a nice and wide nose with good high tones. Depth and little flesh to the texture here – very fine fruit behind. Despite the cuvee name – which made me not want to like it – this is absolutely delicious and I find no oak to speak of. Super wine.
Ooh, that’s deep an interesting, despite an accent of vanilla oak. Beautifully mouth-filling, and with excellent texture despite its undertow of tannin. Sweetness, complexity and all-round deliciousness. Bravo!
2014 Château du Moulin à Vent, Champ de Cour
Wide and deep, almost a mushroom style of oak here. Supple, even finer texture than the last – just a little less flesh and more direction. Complex, tasty, herby complexity in the finish. Simply excellent.
2014 Château du Moulin à Vent, Croix des Vérillats
Here the nose is basically the same as the last. Also a sleek wine, direct, good freshness, the complexity slowly melts from the core. Lovely mouth-watering finish that needs a little time – 3-5 years would be a good start. Excellent again.
Coffee time – only 15 more wines to go.
Here is nicely high-toned nose with both fruit and flowers. Fine volume, lots of sweetness and intensity of fruit for 2014 – very tasty fruit. Mouth-watering in a modestly intense finish, but with no modesty about the persistence. Super!
2014 Château des Jacques, Clos des Thorins
Wow – seriously deep colour. Both deep and high-toned, dark, simmering fruit. Big, really big, massive stature and with growing intensity too. It’s really far too much for today, but give it time – maybe 10 years – it’s potentially great!
A deep complex and absolutely inviting nose – nothing overblown here. Big but supple, waves of flavour, beautiful in proportion. Excellent – what more could you want? Lots of finishing power too.
A much heavier ‘statement’ bottle. A more subdued nose, but with some fine and pure fruit complexity – lovely. Good volume, very composed in the mouth with a beautiful blend of texture and flavour complexity – yes! Bravo!
A much tighter nose – there is some depth though. Supple. Good layers of fresh flavour – more floral in style. Also excellent and simply deliciously floral in the finish – Bravo again!
2015 Château de la Terrière, Le Moulin
Ridiculously deep colour! Some simmering almost stewed fruit on the quite large nose. Lots of volume, lots of tannin but also lots of fine flavour too – some oak accenting. Really a fine wine but really a wine to wait some time for…
2014 Château de la Terrière, Le Moulin
A deep and simmering fruit again – but highly engaging. This could be a 2015 in the mouth – so large-scaled, so tannic, mouth-watering flavour. Of-course like the last, drinkability is about patience – super-impressive wine, but wait a minimum of 5 years for it…
Bright and very high-toned nose of simmering fruit. Hmm, this really has a lovely depth of flavour with layers and layers – indeed waves of great flavour. There is, of-course, tannin but well balanced and in proportion to the rest of the wine. You should of-course wait, but this is striking attractive, already!
2015 Château de Bellevue, La Roche – Reserve Caveau
A very deep nose with faint white mushrooms. Massive in the mouth, but counterbalanced by its freshness. Then the tannin exerts control. A wine to wait 10 years for – minimum – it would also be no harm to wait 25… Super but far from gourmand today.
2016 Château Bonnet Vieilles-Vignes
Here is nice clarity of delicious fruit with a little herbal complexity behind. Not the biggest the mouth but fine proportions and very tasty and accessible flavours. Excellent in the finish. Such a drinkable wine – Yum!
A tighter if seemingly silkier nose. Fresh, again clarity of fruit comes to mind – the tannin is on a higher level, but the rest of the wine is equally balanced. Just a super vin de garde with that twist of ‘almost’ drinkable today. Excellent.
Open fresh and sweet nose. Lots of volume and fresh clean flavours. Delicious because of its purity of flavour and slight touch of finishing salinity. Really a great 2014!
2015 Cave du Château de Chénas, Les Perelles Exception
Hmm, a very nice almost fruit-conserve of an aroma. Textured, deep, concentrated flavour. Very fine balance of flavour that might benefit from a touch more energy – but ‘luxury’ texture comes to mind. Tasty in the finish – even with a touch of licorice. Yum!
This has a very attractive pepper-spice to the pure fruit. Hm, super layers of flavour here – delicious stuff. So beautiful the finishing fruit – directly bravo – indeed well done too!
2015 Cave du Château de Chénas, Thesaurus Vinum
High-toned, fresh and pure – except for the merest accent of vanilla oak. Ooh – one of kind salinity across the tannin-infused palate. The tannin is oh-so fine – but there’s a lot – it’s hard to avoid astringence even with such ripe raw materials. But the finishing favours are delicious even though my tongue seems to be vibrating from the tannin ‘experience.’ A wine to cellar – 10 years, but the quality is there. Excellent!