Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with Armand Heitz, 19 October 2017.
24 Rue Charles Paquelin
Tel: +33 3 80 21 33 19
Armand on 2017:
“2017 is a good vintage for the domaine as we had some new vines (and they have some Meursault Vireuils coming in 2019 that was planted this year) and all worked well with the organisation. There was just a little mildew mid-July but only in a few places – i think that the frost had maybe caused a little of the mildew. But the overall result was top – the vinifications passed very well.”
Armand on 2016:
“2016 was very different to 2017, it was hard for our morale; with frost in many of the domaines’ vines there was a big level of uncertainty whether the vines could produce some wine. The harvesting was late, so there was a big risk of mildew with lots of rain. It was almost a surprise that we had some areas that still managed to produced 25 hl/ha – that saved the furniture! The conditions around the harvest were simply what was needed – the grapes were super – in the end it’s only the question of quantity. It was a ‘black frost’ as it was through the whole of the night that the temperature was minus, not like in 2017 which was the classic ‘white frost’ that happens about 5am. Chevalier was really hit above, not in the middle, but then Montrachet below was also badly hit – it was just the mid-part of the hill that was left untouched.
“In the end I could say that the style is a little between those of 2014 and 2015.”
“I make my reds in the style that I like, and I like with stems,” says Armand, and what wines he has crafted in 2016. And not just the reds, the whites are simply excellent. A great address in 2016…
On the right hand side just as you leave the village heading to Volnay.
A deep nose, lots of stems, but beautifully done – round and sweet. This really, really reminds me of my Leroy last weekend! Supple, growing reserves of flavour, complexity too. Wide panorama of finishing flavour. In its style, great!
2016 Pommard 1er Pezerolles
Mid-slope on the side of Beaune above Clos des Epeneaux
This nose has more freshness and less width, but unsurprisingly it is in the same character as the last. Just a little extra minerality at the base of the aromas. Much more linear, indeed narrow but it’s a long and fast ride through the centre of this delicious wine. More fresh complexity at the end is your reward. As a ‘whole’ I prefer the last wine but the finish of this is simply better – excellent.
2016 Pommard 1er Rugiens
From the hautes section with a more sandy soil.
A little less overt stems as there is a more forward freshness and complexity of fruit – not better than the Poutures, just different. More volume in the mouth, though with less density. In return you get a more labile complexity and very fine freshness. This is really a wine that seems to demand the most patience. It has everything but in a form that demands at least 5 years of patience, but really it’s super wine again.
‘I adore this wine’ says Armand. Vine situated just above the road in the bottom part of the vineyard near Lafarge and d’Angerville
A very different aromatic – direct, pure, fresh fruit. A super volume, indeed presence in the mouth. This is the wine with the most overt tannin – fine as it is. Really an achingly long delivery of finishing flavour. Bravo wine without a doubt. No overt stem influence here. Simply top class.
2016 Bourgogne Aligoté
New in 2015, négoce. All bottled before the harvest – necessary for the space in the cuverie.
Fresh, with a depth of golden fruit. Supple, sweet, and it moves over the palate very nicely – there’s lots of good aligoté this vintage. Tasty wine.
2016 Meursault En la Barre
A little more depth of soil here, neighbouring the Clos de la Barre. About one-third of the vines were protected by the wall and a house – so managed over 30 hl/ha – this is possibly the only ‘La Barre’ with such a volume in 2016 I think.
Hmm, a modest but really complex and inviting nose. Wide, lithe, mobile – a really elegant wine that plays over the tongue. Classic Meursault in the mid and finishing flavours. Delicious. I’d like a little more up-front definition, but this simply delicious wine.
2016 Meursault La Gruyaches
At the bottom of Meursault-Charmes – near Puligny.
A faint reductive toast. Hmm, here is a little more energy – fine clarity with a growing intensity. Lovely small waves of finishing flavour. A hint more mineral here. Perfection would be the start of this wine and the finish of the last – I can be picky! But the finish here is also super…
The bottom of the domine’s garden! This is the only Chassagne in 2016 but there will be 4 premiers in 2017!
Hmm. Nice width here and a little perfume to the aromas too. Hmm (again) – delicious from the get-go. Great definition, growing intensity, lithe, ever-changing flavour. Clarity of flavour. Bravo – I love. Super length in the finish too – this is a Chassagne 1er of real finesse.
First parcel is next to (cousin) Vincent Dancer, recently recovered from Drouhin. The second parcel is next to another cousin, Ballot-Minot.
Hmm, more structure to the nose, here with a nice minerality. The palate more overtly so – mouth-watering intensity of minerality but citrus too. This is super-classic Perrières – it has everything you could wish for – except early drinkability – for that I would easily take the Maltroie – but this is truly super wine of balance, energy and fresh complexity. Bravo – great persistence of flavour too.