Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with Caroline Colin-Morey, 16 October 2019.
Domaine Caroline Colin-Morey
4 Rue de la Murée
Tel: +33 3 80 21 90 10
In 2017, Caroline’s domaine increased to 7 hectares of vines and this stayed constant for in 2018. 35% of the domaine is now red, with wines from Santenay, Chassagne and Beaune. There were also new whites in 2017 such as Chassagne blanc from her father plus red and white Beaune 1er Grèves.
The 2019 vintage:
“2019 was a little complicated from the perspective of weather but it’s certainly different! Older vintages had a lot of rain that didn’t help ripening, now the rain seems to come early in the vintage – but later it’s hot and leads to lower volumes, but with a ripeness of grapes that we have rarely seen. We started harvesting around 7 September and the chardonnay was already 13.5-14° – the reds more like 12.5°. But I’m very happy, even if just a little more volume would have been appreciated! Fermentations have gone very well actually – with the higher degrees I thought it could have been more complicated as we don’t add any yeasts – but fortunately not! We lit some candles this vintage but despite that we still had plenty of damage in St.Aubin – there wasn’t much growth in May following the frosts as it was also a cold month.”
The 2018 vintage:
“2018 has super quality. I chose with Pierre to start the harvest early, so 22 August. The vines were nice, I’m not looking for 13.5° rather the most interesting balance. The whites had lots of juice but similarities to 2017 remain, but I think the 2017s maybe a little timid compared to the 2018s. Anyway, a good vintage I think in both colours – the reds, though, I think are a little better, with much more colour than the 2017s. We harvested reds in the mornings, using no pre-fermentation cooling.“
I agree with Caroline – based on her wines – that 2018 is more of a red vintage, but look how great the whites are here too!
The first two whites are racked and in tank, all the others are in barrel, to be bottled between March and May next year. The red bottlings before the end of this year. Like usual mainly 350 litre barrels with up to 30% new are the main choice for elevage.
2018 Santenay Les Cornières
Near the Château de la Crée. ‘This had most of the lees removed before barreling as sometimes it brings a green character.’
A nose of volume and perhaps some melon mixed with the citrus. Hmm, a wine of good width but that grows from the centre, becoming more direct with a lithe, intense line of flavor. Persistent too – not quuite with rigour – love the line here. Really upper-class Santenay.
2018 Beaune 1er Grèves Blanc
Long rows of 4-500m shared with cousin Thomas Morey a mix of red and white, vines planted in 2001
A vibrant mineral, yellow citrus nose – yes! More intense, more mobile flavor a wine that flexes considerable muscle before exerting its intensity. Similar style to the last with a wave of intense, mineral flavour – this nicer textured and more open at the start, the previous more intense in the finish. Really excellent once more.
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet Chambrées
The brand name of Caroline’s villages blend. 50-65 yo vines.
Ooh – pungently impressive, mineral, a suggestion of agrume reduction. Wide, quite the widest, intense again, driving with flavour – this time with some salinity too.
Planted in 2009, lost 80% to the frost in 2016. This the third year with a longer (vs the villages) elevage like the other 1ers
A more open nose, a little floral too. Ooh – now that’s something – a big step up – rather than a direct intensity here is a width of mobile, changing, complex and completely delicious flavour – beautifully carried by the acidity. Open super wine – bravo!
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Vergers
Another new parcel in 2016, actually two parcels. Vines predominantly 50-60 years old with a small younger plantation
More depth but a tighter, more closed nose, with subtle ripe citrus accents. Bubbling with energy, waves of mouth-watering flavor – more the intensity of the first wines. Holding beautifully again in the finish – here a mineral agrume finish. Delicious!
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Chaumées
Near Philippe Colin’s vines, near the quarry. Older vines with millerandes.
A guarded nose, only slowly letting some modest aromas slip the glass – the beginnings of a vibrant citrus are implied. Hmm – more mineral, a little (only a little) calmer in terms of the energy and complexity, almost a blend of the previous 2 wines. Gorgeous finishing waves of flavour, still in a more composed style – concentration seemingly higher than Champs Gain – like the last – though not necessarily with drinkability just yet.
From the 3 different parts of this area – all the levels of the vines, different slopes, three different plantations, but the average is 45-50 year-old vines. From the road to the forest, a continuous line of vines from top to bottom vs the two separate parcels of PY
Another rather smaller nose but very, very fine high tones of mineral, of citrus, of flowers – yes! Mouth-filling, silken wine. Growing in intensity but never too insistent. Driving its flavor into the finish – ooh really a great wine – but also a wine to wait for – bravo!
2018 Criots Bâtard-Montrachet
Third vintage, these vines not far from those of Leroy, but it’s the second vintage that they did everything as the vines were only theirs since November 2016 and they bought the harvest in that vintage.
Hmm – a little more aroma volume and much more floral. In the mouth, mineral, almost a Chevalier style to the minerality here but with, perhaps, less acid-emphasis. But this is a super wine of complexity and at the same time real elegance despite a higher level of concentration. Excellent wine!
All bottled just before the harvest – bottles are personalised now, embossed with Colin-Morey Chassagne so now used for both domaines:
2 parcels, this with about 20% whole clusters – a few remontages and 2-3 pigeages.
Hmm – that’s got a lovely purity of berry fruit – red berry fruit – mixed with roses. Ooh, supple, a cosseting mix of texture and fresh energy. For a villages grand vin!
2018 Santenay 1er Comme
Next to Chassagne-Embazées – young, 21-year-old vines. 35% whole-clusters
Good colour again. A little touch more herb but perfumed, all the same, slowly adding the red fruit too. Hmm, more attack, more depth of complexity to this flavour. Ooh – fine in the mid and finishing flavours – lovely wine, indeed better wine – but to wait a little time for – for now drink the villages.
No name for this cuvée yet. Three parcels, one more in the plain. Some fine massale selections from Volnay here, these latter vines always keep with their stems.
A little more profound nose, similar in style to the ‘Comme’ with a little leading edge of herb to the wc aromas before more perfume towards the end. Wider, deeper, flavoured, a little more visibility to the tannin too – absolutely delicious, mineral-accented, finishing flavour – ooh that’s a great finish – excellent – potentially bravo with 2-3 years of patience!
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Champsgains
Only two producers make this in red – Caroline and her father. The parcel is now shared.
Hmm, more complexity, less herb in this one – more directly attractive – still a nice perfume at the end. Ooh, here is an extra depth, a more considered, less energetic delivery of flavour too. But completely delicious. Excellent wine and perhaps more sophisticated too.
Older vines here, planted in the mid-60s, roughly. White planted in the middle, bookended by this red
More like the herb-edged wines – the wc showing perhaps the most of all these. Ooh – that has a lovely depth of flavour, round, full and deep, similar to the Champs Gain in form – long finishing on a more subtle level. Super wine but for patience – I would say 5 years but it’s potentially a great Beaune!