Château de Meursault – 2017


Tasted in Meursault with Emmanuel Escutenaire and Stéphane Follin-Arbelet, 23 October 2018.

Domaine de Château du Meursault
Rue du Moulin Foulot
21190 Meursault
Tel: +33 3 80 26 22 75

Emmanuel on 2018:
2018 wasn’t easy to choose a starting point to harvest. Earlier in the season there was much worry about mildew due to rain but, after-all, everything dried so at the very end we had very clean grapes. We started 24 August for one parcel of Perrières which was already 14° and needed harvesting to stop drying out. Our next parcel harvested was 27 August in Charmes. 2018 is the first vintage where all our production is organic – 65 hectares including the parcels in fermage from Merode – that’s an extra 9 ha. (The balance of what DRC didn’t take in 2009.) Very happy… In terms of volume we thought we had 40 hl/ha and we got 50!

Emmanuel on 2017:
At the bottom of the hill, some parts were touched by the frost but we lost no more than ~15%. We had very healthy grapes when harvested – we started controls of maturity already on the 9th of August so every parcel was analysed twice per week. But then came a small heat wave and the sugars were growing 1 degree every three days. So we started a little sooner than first planed – starting on 29th – even these early many parcels showed 13.5°, up to 14° in some 1er cru parcels – there are some parallels to 2009 in this respect. In the end started later than in 2018. But made the harvest by parcel based on analysis. 29 August for whites, and about the 2nd September for reds. I think a great white vintage with freshness and volume, and certainly a more ‘pinot’ vintage than 2015.

The wines…

There is much to admire about the reds here, but they are generously oaked in a forward, but for me unsatisfying way – your mileage may vary, but there is quality here. For the whites it’s simply a great address in 2017 – they know how to charge for their wines, but they are most definitely worth your time!

2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune
Hillside vines in Gollardes and Redrescu, cooler, higher altitude vines There was nothing in 2016 – normally its bottled later but decided it would be nice to have some wine – so bottled end of July. About 25% new oak
Plenty of colour. A round, cushioned attractive nose. Supple, fruity, uncommon depth of flavour for Savigny and virtually none of the characteristic herb accent. Super depth of flavour. Really great SLB!

The rest not yet bottled:

2017 Beaune
Three parcels in Prevolles, Blanchefleurs and Beau Fougeres. One-third new oak.
Deep, pungently fruited nose. Volume, a little richness of texture – a grain of tannin but freshness of flavour though plenty of barrel in the mix too.

2016 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Peuillets
1.6 hectares. Sandy soil opposite Bouchard’s cuverie, Usually one of first parcels harvested but not in 2018 as the maturity was a little blocked.
Oak spice and a depth of fruit. A rasp of fine tannin but a freshness and concentration of interesting fruit above – less overtly oaked but still rather obvious, mainly in the finish. Good supple wine.

2017 Beaune 1er Toussants
Over 1 hectares of old vines.
A narrower nose of very pretty fruit. Ample, supple, depth of flavour with modest tannin highlight with a hint of salinity. This is very good.

2017 Beaune 1er Fevres
0.70 hectares, a continuation of Cent Vignes, with the same vine age, indeed it’s the same rows of vines, it’s just the higher part, all worked by the same person.
Fresh, spiced, open nose. A wine with a little structure and plenty of mouth-watering, growing flavour complexity. Ooh I like this very much… The finish is still a little oaked but give this three years.

2017 Beaune 1er Grèves Les Trios Journeaux
Third vintage for this.
A fine and open nose with just a suggestion of texture – lovely and inviting. Extra width, lovely freshness – supple, mineral, long and with a super finish – still a lot of structure and a little oak in the finish too. Excellent!

The previous wines were sampled from tank, now they are barrel samples:

2017 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
2.5 hectares.
A depth of fruit but here the nose is defined by a lovely higher tone. Muscular, wiry, deep, impressively deep. Serious wine – such a great wine. Bravo, be patient.

2017 Pommard 1er Clos des Epenots
Light top notes over a guarded, tight core of fruit. Fresh, open, less muscled but with more insinuating depth of flavour in the mouth – it’s alive here. I’d be prepared to drink this today while waiting for the last. Super wine with a lovely finish.

2017 Corton
Here a mix of Rognets and Vergennes. It’s the last time there will be only one Corton as there will be the Marechaude ex Merode next year.
Hmm some oak in the depth but this is a very inviting nose all the same. Ooh – volume, silky, round, beautiful balance – almost too delicious so young. Too easy today despite its concentration – what will it be like in 5 years I wonder…

Les Blancs:

2017 Bourgogne Clos du Château
8 ha in bourgogne but 1/3 is classified as Meursault and this is all bio, but the grapes are all assembled… Part bottled but this from tank
A round nose with some yellow fruit. Good volume and concentration of flavour – a growing acid-borne freshness – and to top it off a great finish.

2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune
Sandy Peuillets, the other on the plateau of Goulardes/Goudoulettes – normally 60 barrels are expected…
A lovely, squeeky-clean nose – highly attractive. A suggestion of gas, wide, open fine Savigny blanc. Excellent, then a little extra finishing flavour – probably from oak but not too distracting – still excellent…

2017 Meursault du Chateau
Planning to bottle in December
This has a super nose of freshness and classic Meursault impression. Rather fresh and with lots of volume of spiced-flavour in the mouth. Mouth-watering in the finish – a great start and finish – needs more time for greatness in the middle…

2017 Meursault Le Limozin
The vines between Poruzots and Genevrières. Assembled yesterday.
More width and weight of aroma but no loss of freshness. A little more compact but still fresh – if that makes sense! Melting flavour, more considered but also more mineral. I love the finish. Fine here – but to wait for…

2017 Meursault Clos des Grands Charrons Monopole
More than 1 hectare. High on the hill, stony here – ‘The same altitude as Perrières.’ Still in barrel.
A more considered nose but concentrated and spiced. Likewise in the mouth, fresh mobile, open but also more concentrated. Hmm spicy and long finished… great villages – bravo!

2017 Bourgogne Terroir d’Exception
A bourgogne after a great Meursault villages? And one that costs over €30? There’s a plot in Meursault Perrières that was a quarry hole and later refilled. They had the right to plant but INAO said only with a Bourgogne label. The plot sits directly behind the wall of the Clos des Perrières. It was planted in 1977, delivering about 3,000 bottles.
Plenty of aromatic concentration, a little riper fruit in the core. Freshness, good minerality, less rich than the Charrons but with a fine bubbling energy – more my style preference vs the last – a super finish! Excellent and of-course it goes without saying that you probably can’t buy a better bourgogne 😉

2017 Meursault 1er Charmes
Dessous – lower slopes. They made their first test, separating the Charmes in 12 and then went for it with 13 for the first time. They have declassified their least favoured parcels of Charmes into the villages – that must be the reason that this is the best version of this wine I’ve ever tasted.
Hmm a lovely freshness of proper Meursault aroma. Lithe, direct, a wine of line and of vibration – super. I find this simply excellent. Bravo!
2017 Meursault 1er Charmes-Dessus
From the upper slopes – across from Perrières.
Another lovely nose, perhaps with a little less volume of aroma. Full, subtly but ever-changingly complex. I’m surprised how this shows, almost richer than the last, certainly more complex but less line and vibration than the previous. Waves of finishing flavour that last very, long – it’s another great wine, but if you value upfront expression go for the previous. Usually I’ve found a large difference between these wines but it’s more of a style than quality difference today…
2017 Meursault 1er Perrières
2 parcels that touch but 2-3 days difference in maturity; the old vines are the sooner. The two are always vinified separately, no batonnage today which is quite different to previous vintages.
This nose has some weight but it’s freshly weighted with a faintly reductive mineral core – very attractively done. Fuller, rounder, textured – almost a tannin – ultra complex but in a more engaging way than the Charmes-Dessus. Sinew, lithe muscle. Excellent, beautifully long wine.
2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Canet
Old vines here. From the Meursault side of Puligny. Above the Combettes of Jacques Prieur
Another vibrantly beautiful nose with just a touch of mineral reduction. Full, fresh, complex, end energetic. A wine that is vibrantly delicious. Easy – bravo – dynamic!

2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Gains
Bought half a hectare in 2013 so here is the third vintage. Lots of work in the vines to replace fatigued vines et-cetera and to put in new posts and a little organic fertiliser the ‘re-dynamise.’
Fresh, lovely depth of alive, citrus aroma – no reduction. Lots of volume, a riper fruit – still very fresh – big wine, but fresh and alive. The flavour profile of the last is more my preference, but I wouldn’t say no to this excellent, great finishing wine…

2017 Corton-Vergennes
Plain east facing, planted in 2007. Early ripening with lots of stones. An old quarry delivering 4 barrels worth – usually. From young vines, just 10 years old. This, like all the 1ers is still in barrel
Ooh that’s also a beautifully citrus nose more lime than lemon – highly inviting. Some gas. Lots of volume and energy – but that’s probably the gas. Great layers, indeed waves of finishing flavour. Also a great wine – will be more interesting to see with less gas.

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