Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet, 08 October 2018, 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 2018:
“2018 another early vintage, but rather slightly earlier than slightly late! This year 12.5° would have been a bit early for the vintage, likewise 13.5° a little late – figgy – I’m talking whites, reds were 12-12.8° here – I always try to avoid extremes. But it’s still something of a mystery – where did all this juice come from? (smile) – the week before the harvest we looked at the vines we were sure that we had 40-50 hl/ha! But they are still fermenting currently, some are fast, some are slow…”
Pierre-Yves on 2017:
“2017 is not yet bottled, so the samples come from barrel or tank. There was much less red in 2018, but more in white… there were a few fewer grapes in the reds than expected, but not enough to account for the difference. Of-course we have short memories and there was a lot of rain in the first half of the vintage. ”
I mentioned to PY that I have the feeling that 2017 could be a slightly fresher 2015 or richer 2014 – depending on your point of view, to which he responded “Here I have the impression that 2015 could eventually be better than 2014 – and the wines seem very resistant to reduction…”
And Pierre-Yves on various other subjects:
“The domaine covers a total of 14 hectares today, 4 of which are rented. At the moment the 4 hectares is not in full production, currently we make just 15 barrels from it – but the idea is first to find interesting terroir and only second to fully exploit… In 2014 the domaine was only 6 ha! I’ve never had a first and second division labelling – négoce or domaine there has never been a difference in how I’ve worked or the standards I’ve set for the grapes at harvest. We were 4 children I had no choice but to find my own place – Caroline too – her brother has the family cellars. 2015 was the first harvest here, the 2014s having been moved in barrel here from the old cellar. I think that we’re more precise since we moved here, working better with the lees, and the reduction is less overt since then.
“I’m a bit less of a fan of months in tank. If I could, I would do everything for 18 months in barrel – or perhaps in wooden tanks – I’m working towards that possibility – but never (almost) fining or filtration before bottling. We do filter some of the lees though.
“I’m staying 100% with cork – I stay 100% natural – the result so far are very interesting, but the wine can age or not, I don’t understand the logic that only the cork can determine whether the wine has longevity or not. That’s the same for the Bourgogne or the grand cru. But I use the best corks, long and wide and I think that they have more complexity with age…
“The first wines to be racked were placed into tank before the harvest – they will be bottled early in 2019. The rest are still in barrel and won’t be bottled before April 2019. There were no additions of sulfur during the pressing stage.
A reference domaine for me – not all the wines have the drinkablility of Niellon, for instance, but those wines were already bottled, these are less further through their elevage and dulled by some sulfur – All things considered, a brilliant result.
Only the reds were in bottle…
Three parcels in the communes of; St.Aubin, Puligny and Meursault, in roughly equal quantities – all with elevage in 350 litre barrels like the rest of the production – some new – maybe 20%
A little mix of sulfur and citrus on the nose. Round, complex, fresh, lively but never sharp – such a super combination of energy and freshness – excellent Bourgogne again this year – bravo – lovely finishing flavour too.
2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
Vines in the direction of Nolay, bought in 2014 – 2015 was the first vintage – from an 8 ha domaine shared with Sauzet – “It could go in the Bourgogne but I prefer to make two cuvées.”
An extra depth of aroma, more clearly yellow-fruited. Rounder in the mouth, but no less fresh – here with a modest agrume-fruited energy – delicious again – different – perhaps a little extra depth of mid-palate flavour. Longer finishing – super…
2017 Pernand-Vergelesses Les Belles Filles
Previously bought this and some Sous Fretile and Charlemagne in grapes but the producer is approaching retirement so now also working the vines too.
A little depth, a vibration of grapefruit reduction. Extra volume and extra, wiry, muscle – there is a strength here – melting, fresh, excellent more steely flavour. Super wine and very Pernand!
2017 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Sous Fretile
A nose of less impact but nonetheless a little finer and more airy. Likewise in the mouth there is volume but more open, complex, interesting, less steely, less overtly Pernand, yet with beautifully, slowly, lingering flavour.
A blend of multiple parcels, but all from this same village’s lieu-dit, with 3 generations of vines. In totality, this is the largest parcel of the domaine at over 1 hectare.
A yellow-fruited and open nose. Attack but neither hard nor sharp – it’s exciting – some agrume flavour, a fine density of flavour – a racy but absolutely delicious wine. Bravo!
3 1er crus combined: Combes, Perrières and les Creots – about the same of each – made first time in 2016 due to the frost, the name is from my maternal grandmother who died about the same time as the frost in 2016. We continue…
A fine, airy width of aroma – very attractive. A little extra weight of concentration too – racy again so I hesitate to say ‘richer’ but there is more depth of both texture and concentration – fabulous mid-palate energy and super vibrancy of finishing flavour – modest intensity of finishing flavour – really lovely stuff. Bravo again, here with more of everything!
2017 St.Aubin 1er Champlots
Also a hint of sulfur but a width of yellow-fruited aroma. Good volume, more compact fruit all the same – but concentrated and with melting flavour at the edges, slightly steely, but agrumed too – a lovely line of finishing flavour
2017 St.Aubin 1er Chateigniere
Older vines than Champlots (30)
Like all of this first series of wines, the sulfur is deadening the difference to a large extent. A little more direct, mineral, slowly offering a little extra sweetness of finising, melting flavour. Fresh good energy – delicious wine. A great finish…
2017 St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
A whiff of sulfur. Extra volume, energy and fine touch of comfort. Super complex, the first showing some oak but excellent, excellent wine!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet Enseignieres
The oldest chardonnay vines of the domaine – always an early harvest. Next to the Puligny of the same name, below Bâtard. Racked and back into barrel with gros lees from now.
Also a hint of sulfur but also with an extra depth of aroma. Fuller, less directly energetic but, beautifully flavoured. A hint steely but beautifully expressive over the palate – precise and gorgeous.
A parcel bought in 2013, 2014 was the first vintage from these 50-year-old vines. From the high part of the vineyard.
Sulfur but also some higher toned intensity and clarity of aroma. Extra – freshness and intensity, directly more mouth-watering but with the required sucrosity to balance – vibrantly deliciously finishing. Bravo!
A big nose, the first that’s much less touched by the sulfur – more open and mineral. Big, vibrant, clearly 1er cru – more depth than the last, fuller too – not more complex but a bigger wine all-round, a touch of barrel right in the finish – top!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Baudines
A nice width of aroma, faintly mineral with citrus inflections. Lots of volume again, more energy too – less cushioning to the last – super, super… More strictly mineral and steely finishing than the last, but also more intense too.
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Caillerets
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.’
Deeper, rounder, a suggestion of reduction. Big, energetic, complex, always changing, a width of complexity. Serious, slightly tart but super impressive density in the finish – there’s a hint of oak here too, but more spiced than vanilla – “I find that each year with the Caillerets, it takes 5-6 years to lose that and it always seems a little meagre to start, it’s a family parcel that is high.”
‘A parcel from my aunt, made since 2013. More than 80 years old vines, high on the hill, late harvested vs other parcels
A width of aroma of some weight, depth of crystallised fruit. Wide, intense, beautifully texture – the first time I’ve mentioned texture here I think – almost a suggestion of tannin at the base. Gorgeous deliver of crystalline fruit flavour. My new favourite!
2017 Meursault Narvaux
Wide but with a little sulfur. Hmm, really an impressive depth of flavour after the Puligny – complex, generous but with energy too. Less volume and texture but actually a little more delicious today. Absolutely great finishing.
A higher parcel on the Puligny side of the climat, almost touching on Perrières.
A certain fuller impression to the aroma and a clear ginger spice, almost direction of aniseed here. Direction, drive – what a wine – intense, slight bitters, intense still – delicious and with real tension – wow Charmes!
PY’s Perrières is from the lower part of the vineyard.
Here’s an open nose, an inviting nose. Extra depth of flavour, rounder, shimmering with extra melting flavour, maybe this is more Charmes than Perrières style. Delicious and fresh – you may confuse blind tasters with this pair. Gorgeous wine again – and of-course bravo – the finish is super long, but today much more modestly intense than the Charmes…
This year 2-3rds from Pernand the rest from Aloxe
Hmm, pretty complexities of fresh aromas from acidulated-fruits. Volume in the mouth, vibrant, almost a little composed, pure and complex. Great wine – I don’t have the same emotion of last year but gorgeous wine all the same.
Vines in Chassagne, just… ‘Bâtard seems to suffer less in hot years – there’s less stress, it has great regularity, it can be generous with grapes so we have to be careful right from the start, removing the buds.’
Fresh, open, complex and with energy. Steely, direct, melting intensity, a waterfall of flavour here. Just mega, but you might reasonably expect more width from a Bâtard, this is quite sleek – great wine nonetheless – so persistent too.
A little touch of sulfur again, but still a certain vibrancy. Extra volume, extra energy – apparently this is really a step up! Large-scaled, brilliant wine – really brilliant wine.
Hmm, depth, freshness – a narrow but very attractive nose. Muscled, depth of flavour, melting concentrated flavour. Great St.Aubin.
I had told PY that this was my favourite wine of the 2016 vintage tasting series – he left the room and came back with this isn his hand, laughing ‘Don’t meet your heros!’ – so let’s see!
The nose is narrow, with depth, clarity and a certain vibrance of flavour. Hmm, a little gas, a depth of texture and concentration too; layered, gorgeous great wine… Long, wide, a touch of barrel in the finish. Not the same level of emotion I felt last year, but undisputedly great, so long…
Are you still awake? Then let’s try PY’s reds:
2017 Santenay Vieilles-Vignes
’Over one hundred year-old vines, the problem is that we don’t have an exact age – when I started with my father in 1995 and they were already over 100, there’s only 2-3 % of replacement vines in the parcel.’ Caroline made the wine – 50% whole-clusters.
Modest colour. Vibrant and pretty aroma – faintly of roses. Volume, freshness, vibrant depth of flavour too. There is clarity, and energy, with a width of flavour here. I love it. Fantastic!
2017 Santenay 1er Gravières
2017 is the first vintage from 48 year-old vines, PY does all the vineyard work.
Pale again – the style here in 2017. A very faint herb to the nose. Fuller, less fine textured, a little grain but there’s energy and complexity to the finishing flavour
Only 500 bottles
A little extra colour. Pure berries on the nose – totally different! Vibrant, complex, delicious flavour – hmm – bravo – gourmand, who cares about depth – just gorgeously delicious.
2017 Volnay 1er Caillerets
Same volume – one barrel for the US and one for the UK…
Also a good depth of colour. A little more herb in this wine – but bright red fruit. More drive, a little more serious, but extra layers and growing wider. Great finishing.