Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet, 6 November 2017, with Pierre-Yves Colin.
SARL Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey
Chemin du Puits Merdreaux
ZA Le Haut des Champs
Tel: +33 3 80 21 90 10
Pierre-Yves on 2017::
“2017 – well it was nice conditions for working, but it’s really, really too just now if I’m honest. But this was a return to a vintage that was, let’s say, a little more comfortable. Okay there was the episode of frost again and we were hit a little – it’s hard to believe but it was exactly the same date as in 2016 – incredible. Some St.Aubin villages were hit but there was still some grapes. We started our harvest on the 30th of August, all with good ripeness and cleanliness – it was good for the heart. We have a good base of acidity and after our elevage of 18-24 months I think that we will have some good things. The yields were up and down – but overall I’d say a very good vintage from both a quality and a quantity perspective.”
Pierre-Yves on 2016:
“During the life of a vigneron there are vintages that make you think differently about how you work, how you can motivate people and what you should keep back from your production, to tide you over in hard times – this was that vintage. It wasn’t the end of the world but at times I thought it might be so. We had to work not just incredibly hard in the vines but also to motivate people in the first half of the vintage. In the end we have things that are more than interesting – but that, collectively, came at a price – I’m not just talking about a catastrophic production volume. Fermentations? Some were fast, some were slow, perhaps due to the extra or lesser effect of the frost. But it’s a vintage of some quality. We are just starting the first allocations and it’s a nightmare – what do you do with a client that normally has 3 bottles of Bâtard, but you have only 25% of the usual quantity(?)
”We started our harvesting the 22 September but not with high degrees – 11.5 to 12.5° – but after all the hard work the grapes were very clean.”
“Some wines were racked before the harvest, the Bourgogne and Meursault, for example, but as there is so little, once they are bottled we won’t be opening them for tastings. The other wines wont be racked until March, probably.”
PYCM: “Yes the lack of racking and subsequent reductive character is something that I see as an investment for the future.” Practically without peer in 2016 – simply so…
2016 Bourgogne Chardonnay
From vines in the communes of Puligny and St.Aubin. This is just about the only cuvée that has a normal volume; the parcel in Puligny wasn’t frosted and the St.Aubin component only very lightly.
This nose seems to have a hint of sulfur. Wide, delicate, an elegance but with a pretty blend of texture and energy. Faintly floral. Not a big, shouting, Bourgogne but an engaging one and with good length too.
2016 St.Aubin Le Bon
A blend of multiple parcels, but all from this same villages lieu-dit, with 3 generations of vines. In totality, this is the largest parcel of the domain at over 1 hectare.
A little more open freshness. Wider, more incisive and focused, I love the mouth-watering and ingraining energy here – this is excellent, and with just a suggestion of the house reductive style.
From three high vines that were strongly frosted and with too little grapes to make separately. The name remembers the grandmother of PY, and he might choose to keep this cuvée as the assembly has worked very well from ‘relatively modest’ climats.
Open and fresh. Ingraining, waves of growing intensity, delicious waves of finishing flavour, bravo!
Just a little more citrus at the core of this aroma. Wide, really mouth-watering, a hint of sucrosity and lovely waves of finishing flavour. Bravo again!
2016 St.Aubin 1er Chatonnière
A little more herb on the nose. Really much more mineral in the mouth, very different, only slowly opening with a fine clarity of mid-palate, fruit and mineral flavour. Very long, still more mineral, less citrus complexity. A super and mineral wine that really delivers.
2016 St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
At least 50% lost in all these parcels of St.Aubin
A little more density of aroma but also a little less open. Bigger in the mouth, this volume framed with beautiful acidity but also a penetrating acidity – the finishing flavours and steely essence of finishing flavour are simply super…
From now, the following are not racked – all still in barrel:
2016 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Encegnières
The oldest chardonnay vines of the domaine – always an early harvest. ‘These vines, just under Bâtard, have a reserve, so don’t usually suffer with the heat.’
Fresh, deep, modestly reductive. A hint more gas, but fresh, open, wider and with more depth of flavoursome reduction there. Definitely an agrume style of finishing flavour. Vibrant wine.
We lost 80% here, the same in Enseignières and Bâtard
More vibrant though also a little reduced – “Yes the lack of racking and subsequent reductive character is something that I see as an investment for the future.” Oh, vibrant but melting flavour, just a super wine, faintly reduced but then holding a fabulous line of flavour.
A parcel bought in 2013, 2014 was the first vintage from these 50-year-old vines. From the high part of the vineyard. Less frosted here.
Nice width, characteristic faint Chassagne herb. Supple slowly radiating waves of fresh flavour – less initial impact vs many here but absolutely deliciously fresh and long finishing flavours. A little more finishing density of flavour…
Parcel from parents towards the top. ‘It’s my reference for all the other wines, never high alcohol, never low. The 79 was at least as good as my dad’s Montrachet that year.’
More high tones, a hint of smoke, a little pure fruit. Wide, flexing muscle without ever really tightening its grip. Layers of deliciously pure citrus, melting over the palate. This is simply great stuff.
Yes a hint of Meursault spice on the nose here. Supple, almost a suggestion of fat, but gorgeously lithe and finely acidulated – there’s almost the perfect balance of texture and acidity here. Little ripples of finishing flavour – a beautiful finish.
2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er La Garenne
Another new wine from 2013, from PY’s aunt. 86 year-old vines
A little more toasty style of reduction here. A little extra gas, lots of energy, intense waves of flavour – it’s a tour de force but I rather prefer the delivery of the Caillerets and Narvaux, but an electric wine today!
From the top, touching Perrières. It really only finished malo a couple of weeks earlier.
Much more depth to this nose – a weight of aroma. Supple, beautiful balance between freshness and weight – there’s a reasonable amount of oak in here today, but the ensemble remains fabulously delicious. Despite the oak really I can’t resist this!
2016 Meursault 1er Genevrières
A very faint width of smoke. Wide, vibrant, less weighty than the Charmes, but with more bubbling complexity and really a fabulous complexity of mid-palate flavour. Only in the finish a few reductive flavours, but really just part of the overall complexity – fabulous wine!
PY’s Perrières is from the lower part of the vineyard, his Genevrières from the higher part – they have virtually the same position (height) on the Meursault hillside.
Classic pycm nose of volume, freshness and reductive notes. Extra gas, but the complexity and intensity very quickly takes over – here is really great stuff. Really EXTRA-special and just so long…
Normally 2 parcels, 1 in Pernand, the other in Aloxe but almost in Ladoix. This year only the Aloxe parcel survived the frost – a very late malo here too.
A depth of aroma but not much volume. Supple, ooh, waves of delicious, intense, but not too intense flavour. This is must fabulous. Possibly my favourite so far – and I’m not talking about just this address! I’ve never, ever done this before – but I swallowed it – and then I took another gulp! I thought about this wine for hours afterwards…
Chassagne side, one parcel. An old parcel of 70-year-old vines. Lost 70% of this in 2016.
Faint smoke, with massive depths of aroma to plumb. A little more open freshness, intensity, but never overdone, of citrus fruit, ripples of fine finishing flavour. Could this be even better than the Charlemagne? Hmm, that’s a good question – it’s different and it’s the Charlemagne that I remembered – but it’s wine of the highest level.
From the middle of Chevalier, from both the height and width of the vineyard.
A little vibration of reductive aroma but there is more in this modest, overall volume. A little extra fat that I wasn’t expecting, but the complexity of the wine just bolts for the door. Yes there’s some oak in here, but like the Meursault-Charmes, who could care in such a presentation of fabulousness? Not I. This is simply another example of the greatest wine-making that from a volume perspective might be ‘unobtainium’…