Tasted with Franck and Fred Buisson in Saint Romain, 02 October 2018.
Domaine Henri et Gilles Buisson
21190 Saint Romain
Tel : +33 3 80 21 27 91
“2018 it’s not bad! A good volume, we’ve had small vintages since 2012 – it’s not really been possible to serve all our clients in the last years with the volumes weve had. 2015 was not bad, 2017 was good for reds but we made less than in 2016 for whites. I think we will have super wines 12.8-13° and decent acidity at harvesting, there’s balance and intensity. We’re certified biodynamic, it was really worry – storm, sun, storm, sun in May but we came through. The rain a little before the harvest helped a lot. In my father’s time if it rained before harvest and there would be rot, the last couple of years we’ve been praying for rain before harvest!”
“2017 was cooler than this year but the start of the harvest was not that much later – 5 days – Rognets and Renardes are our earliest picks, the last is usually the the Bourgogne from here on the plateau – it needs 10+ days extra. We had 73 pickers at the end of this year, it’s getting harder to find them as it seems that all the regions are picking at the same time in the last few years. We harvested the 4-21 September – it had been very dry in the summer, cold at the end of April though – by 1 degree we 90% avoided frost – though only with the help of some candles in certain vines – that cold snap certainly slowed the growth some. Lots of rain came in July after a beautiful June, we some damage from mildew but then the weather and vines were fine again. I’m really happy with the quality, very clean – about 30% or more whole-clusters were used in the reds. August wasn’t so hot, I think that helped keep a good freshness for the fruit. I find a little 2002 about this. We still had relatively modest harvest volumes but I have to say that I’m very happy with what we are bottling, I think them really superb – we had quite fast malos this year, and the wines were very clear after racking so we need no filtration.”
They were still bottling some wines while we were tasting. Half bottles and generics are sealed with DIAM here, the rest are all natural cork.
Such a great range of reds in 2017, but the whites are even better – a great address for 2017s of all colours…
Mainly from the plateau above St.Romain – just above Sous la Roche – and the rest from declassified grapes from other vines such as Beaune and from the St.Romain reds (70%) – vinified for the fruit. This cuvée bottled at the end of July plus a second bottling today – one hour ago, that’s this wine!
A depth of aroma, punchy red fruit, with a slowly growing freshness above. Round, supple, sweetness of fruit – delicious, hyper-friendly bourgogne, the merest touch of fine tannin. Bravo – great bourgogne!
2017 St.Romain Combe Bazin
Finer, slightly narower and a little darker fruit. Like the nose, the palate is finer, narrower, more finely defined and focused fruit that’s a little darker. The tannin is slightly higher, but this is freshly and deliciously mouth-watering. Juicy, tasty wine, nicely finishing too.
2017 Saint Romain (Rouge) Sous Roche
3 hectares, a lot of massale selection and over 60 years old – these older vines in the heart of the valley a mix of south and more west-facing vines. Will be bottled very soon – hours!
Finer again, here less overt but with an engaging purity, growing in purity. Hmm, finer tannin, a wine of style, fresh, supple, growing in concentration, there is more width to the flavour here, slowly ingraining. A St.Romain of panache – very stylish, a little finishing bitters. Yum!
This bottled in July – No sulfur during elevage, and a small addition at bottling. 1,800 bottles.’
Much more explosive aromas of darker fruit and a little kirsch. Wide, juicy, pure, more volume, explosive in the mouth too – delicious – bravo!
2017 Beaune 1er Les Prevolles
Below Tuvilains. Bottom of the hill, more clay.
A deeper nose, a suggestion of reduction – or not. Dark fruit. Hmm, a little more depth of texture, still a freshness but a more apparent concentration too. Very modestly tannic, bright in the mid-palate. A super range of reds this year here this is excellent.
A touch less colour than the Beaune, but the nose is forward and more higher toned – the first with a small suggestion of rose-petal whole cluster – beautifully done! Bright, nice clarity, a little touch of tannin, mobile, complex, not a big wine but a connoisseurs wine, always changing. Bravo!
“Whole-clusters: It’s about finding the balance and that depends both on the vintage and the parcel – we never want to think that there’s too much of anything. It’s the same with pigeage and remontage, we adapt for everything.“
2017 Volnay 1er Les Chanlins
To bottle in about 2-3 weeks
The first wine with a touch of aromatic oak – transient oak – wide, almost silky, slowly adding some perfume. There is a touch of oak in the first flavour too today, but this is concentrated, virile, faintly tannic wine – lots of presence on the palate, a wine to wait for or carafe, with good density of finishing flavour.
2017 Corton Le Rognets et Corton
‘A fresher area here, always a tannin of finesse’ Will be bottled this afternoon.
Less direct impact, but a fine width of aroma here, pretty high-toned anecdotes – a real invitation. Hmm, a wine to sink into, profound depth of flavour, complex, changing, a little structure of-course, clearly grand cru. Top! The finish is the only place you might detect a hint of barrel, despite 40% new.
2017 Corton Renardes
Also to be bottled this afternoon.
Hmm, a little less depth of aroma, freshness of aroma and even a hint of almond to the nose – growing and becoming more complex in the glass. The last was on limestone, this more massive. This has more scale but a freshness and depth too, almost a hint finer texture to start but the structure grows here. This is more compact despite its size, the last more approachable today. Both excellent. Today I’ve a slight preference for the Rognets, in 10 years I don’t know… Excellent wine…
“Our different terroirs have different tonalities – it’s important for us to show that, not just a St.Romain blend – we have 4 different hillsides, plain west and east at the extremes. In the 1980s everyone wanted richness, it has slowly changed – maybe with the fabulousness of the young 1996s, but now everyone wants tension not richness. In some respects it may be being pushed too far – do people want to taste something like a Petit Chablis from their Meursault?”
Just racked into tank – 95% declassified young vines, and from the bas des perrieres in St.Romain, bottling jan, feb.
Some roundness of aroma, just a little tight. Hmm, this is fine in the mouth, round but not too rich, a freshness of flavour and approach. This will be excellent, tasty wine with a nice length. Bravo bourgogne again…
2017 St.Romain Le Jarron
This was classified as bourgogne until the late 2000’s. This and the following bottled in August, some frost, -30% or so – here despite some candles, the young vines were the most affected – but all was frosted in 2016. Here is our first place to protect!
A more open volume of fresh pure aroma. Ooh that’s good, a small touch of richness, but purity of flavour, a little floral, a little barrel too but that will, quickly fade. Yum!
80 metres between the bottom and top of the vines, sometimes 5 days between harvesting everything.
A more compact nose, slowly growing, a ripe but fresh fruit. Hmm, depth, texture freshness – this is really beautiful stuff with a hint of bitters and almost a dry extract. Concentrated, balanced, delicious. Bravo and so minerally long… “this is always the first wine that tastes good after bottling!“
The heart of the valley, more clay here, also the oldest vines of the domaine, almost 80 but other plantings too – more than 2 hectares.
Deeper, faintly spiced fruit. Ooh that’s big and yet still vibrant – a wine that fills every part of the mouth, juicy wine, finishing with a mouth-watering minerality and a touch of tannin. Bravo again – I’d take the Perrières first today, but like the two Cortons – in a few years, maybe not…
Plain south, a warmer area, usually one of the first to be harvested in St.Romain. Not bottled, like the bourgogne, a little gas and not yet clear. We keep a lot of lees in a clean vintage like this a mix of barrels with plenty of larger volume demi muids.
A nose with a little more volume and freshness. Hmm, volume but more direction than the last, a fine citrus acidity, I’m loving the line of flavour here. Juicily mouth-watering here, my new favourite for today. Bravo, a must buy…
once more the ‘natural’ version. Like the ‘no sulfur’ red, just a hint of sulfur at bottling.
Unlike the red, I find the nose here very different, it’s complex, energetic, saline with a weight of aroma below that I might say is more evolved – but not oxidised. Ooh – this is beautiful in the mouth – fresh, complex, beautifully dynamic and intense. Then layered as it settles on the palate. It is simply delicious wine – the nose is different – that’s an obvious description not particularly a critique, but it tastes great!
The St.Romain sans souffre ‘exists’ but it’s not ready to taste! “It’s not yet captured – its capricious, it passes through many phases, like a turbulent child! We’re waiting.“
Named for their Grandmother, a mix of Luchets and Chevalier, just a small road separating the too parcels, very old vines, 80 years
Hmm, a beautiful nose – wide, almost a textured depth, faintly ginger spiced. Wide, fresh, beautifully silky yet with only the most modest of cushioning, here is mineral wine but with fresh sucrosity and absolute deliciousness and so long. Great wine, absolutely seductive…