Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with Armand Heitz, 01 October 2018.
24 Rue Charles Paquelin
Tel: +33 3 80 21 33 19
Armand on 2018:
“I’m really happy with 2018. 2017 was not bad on quantity, and 2018 too – it takes some of the pressure away to have two correct volume vintages in a row. I haven’t been here so long, and so this is first ‘correct’ vintage I’ve seen! I had 7 hectares in 2017 but jumped again to almost 18 ha with some Beaujolais in 2018 – about half of which will be regionals. The harvest was so easy and consistent – we started in Chevalier and the last aligoté only came in a few days ago. The results are here, but the rain and hail was a constant menace and stress, then there was virtually no rain – which was great for cleanliness and fortunately just enough rain came, though there was still some modest blockage in some areas – but the balance looks fine.“
Armand on 2017:
“2017 is a good vintage for the domaine as we had some new vines. I find the wines have similarities to the 2015s – also a very sunny vintage – so not lots of malic acidity like this year (2018), and also a similar harvest date. In whites 2017 seems richer than 18, the flowering was less good in 17 vs 18 too.”
The reds and whites were all bottled when I visited, “I still worry about losing something if I choose to bottle later,” says Armand. He’s also very happy with the in-bottle development of his wines since he moved to using DIAM closures.
“I make my reds in the style that I like, and I like with stems,” says Armand. And that has never delivered deeply coloured reds at this address – but it hardly seems to matter given the depth of aroma and flavour that he achieves. As for the whites, such admirable consistency of great wines at this address in 2017. Armand comments “It’s the first time I’ve tasted them all together like this since they were bottled, and I’m very happy with their construction. With 2018 to follow in the cuverie – yes, I’m very happy!“
“A project together with Alex Foillard in Beaujolais – it’s a wine to drink and share – a mix of pinot from here and gamay from Foillard. Whole clusters here plus the fruit and lack of sulfur from Foillard. We tasted lots of samples from each other, so 10hl of wine came from Foillard and the rest was done and blended here – the gamay is from Morgon. My plan was to make a bottle that would cost less than €30 on a restaurant table.”
What a super aroma, not obviously Beaujolais but obviously of cushioned fruit. Round, tasty, a hint of rustic tannin – but only a hint. The flavours have that attractive lactic trait of the wines of Foillard – slightly mineral too. Delicious, with a nose that’s fabulous – bravo.
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet, 1er Morgeot Francement
All whole clusters here. A more airy nose, fine but of modest volume. A flavour that belies the modest nose – complex, saline, deliciousness! A delicate but super Chassagne… a little less SO2 used here.
2017 Pommard 1er Clos des Poutures
On the right hand side just as you leave the village heading to Volnay.
Modest colour – like all the reds here. Deeper register, whole-cluster roses, growing red fruit. Hmm more intensity here, a wiry, complex personality, structural but no extra tannin in the texture. This is super – to wait a little longer for but excellent.
Mid-slope on the side of Beaune above Clos des Epeneaux
An extra depth and width, almost a richness to the nose. In the mouth, fresh, complex, intense, layered flavour. Almost 2015 with a twist more freshness, mouth-watering length. This is a great Pommard. Bravo.
2017 Pommard 1er Rugiens
From the hautes section – right in the middle – with a more sandy soil.
A less open nose but still with a faint extra complexity of aroma. Fresh, intense, delicious and ever-changing. Right at the end of the mid-palate some tannin starts to present itself, but only modestly so. Excellent and for waiting a little longer than the Pezerolles.
2017 Volnay 1er Les Taillepieds
‘I adore this wine’ says Armand. Vine situated just above the road in the bottom part of the vineyard near Lafarge and d’Angerville
I have to say, that whilst the general aroma is familial with the previous wines, there’s an extra class to the red fruit here. Plenty of tannin like the Rugiens, but a bigger volume in the mouth – open, tasty, less overtly structural as the two Pommards. Delicious again, but for now the Pezerolles would be my choice of the three.
New in 2015, négoce. Vines in the bottom of Meursault
A golden nose, very faintly saline. Hmm, this is bursting with fruit and energy, layers and complexity of flavour – more saline from the mid-palate. Such great fun – bravo aligoté – really a step up vs the 2016!
From Durots, just under Meursault Durots but the last vintage on its own.
A fine depth of faintly spice – Meursault style – aroma. Hmm, intense, fresh, layered again – great Bourgogne. Such an explosion of great flavour in the mouth – great bourgogne again – I ordered some!
2017 Meursault En la Barre
A little more depth of soil here, neighbouring the Clos de la Barre. About one-third of the vines are protected by the wall and a house.
Also a fine nose, less overt but with a little more depth. More volume and a little more depth of texture too. Also really excellent flavour, proper Meursault flavour – excellent wine.
At the bottom of Meursault-Charmes – near Puligny – not much soil, lots of stones and some clay.
Hmm – here’s a great nose, wide, slightly cushioned, involving and inviting. A little richer but no less fresh, no less alive – ooh this is a great address in 2017. More mineral in the middle, long and great, mineral finishing. Bravo!
The first vintage here. ‘Really a great selection of plants in here’ says Armand, despite them being not so old.
A wide nose, less textured and more mineral. Ooh, intense, and meltingly complex over the palate, part saline – this is hard, they are all so good! Long, hauntingly so – great wine (again!)
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Chenevottes
Also the first vintage for this wine.
A very nice freshness, yellow fruit, complex and faintly saline. Hmm, more considered depth and concentration, no less complexity. This is simply a slightly less explosive version of the Petit Clos – just a little more richness of flavour. Top wine…
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Maltroie
The bottom of the domine’s garden! Another very different terroir in Chassagne here with more clay.
Hmm. The nose is very faintly spiced – reminds a little of Meursault. In the mouth a depth and richness of flavour but always balanced by an incisive complexity with beautifully balanced freshness – I’d be very happy with any of these wines so far. A super wave of finishing flavour here too…
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Tête de Clos
Super clean – a high and low-toned nose – less wide than some. Compact starting, growing in both freshness and energy, floral aspects to the fruit, mineral at the base. A wine that just grows and grows, very fine, mineral finishing – this needs some extra time versus most of the others but with great material for sure.
First parcel is next to (cousin) Vincent Dancer, recently recovered from Drouhin. The second parcel is next to another cousin, Ballot-Minot.
Not so wide but with a beautiful combination of both aromatic depth and freshness. Oof! Directly a punch in the mouth, complex, fresh, intense, wiry, compact but mobile – I feel I could keep writing. To wait for but great things await.
A little extra on the nose – something floral but based in minerality. Ouch not oof – the same impact as the Perrières except more of everything. A direct wine but melting at the same time with fine flavour. Grand Vin – to wait for and with the same personality/esprit as the Perrières – wait, with confidence!