Tasted in Meursault with Dominique Lafon, 11 October, 2019.
Domaine des Comtes Lafon
5 Rue Pierre Joigneaux
Tel: +33 3 80 21 22 17
This year whilst awaiting Dominique a young lady came and introduced herself – this was Léa, Léa Lafon – Dominique’s daughter. Then Dominique turned up, laughing, and saying ‘You two can do the tasting next year – you won’t need me!‘ – The passing of the baton it seems!
Dominique on 2018:
“In 2018 I was worried about mildew, early on. It was a vintage where the growth seemed to keep speeding up. 15 August I made a tour through my vines and I thought that there wasn’t so much wine – I was wrong! The grapes were beautifully clean, though the pHs were ‘average’ but stable – there was also practically no malic acid. I actually started harvesting 1 day before Jean-Marc (Roulot) and all my cuvées were between 12.5° and 13.5°. I think the extra rendement has brought the balance this year but also a bigger difference between villages and premier crus.
“For the reds, we had less volume than in 2017, again very clean grapes, pHs of 3.20-3.35 – in Santenots this is not bad. Monthelie is the one area in 2018 reds that had a pretty good volume, the rest were, maybe, a third lower – but okay I’m comparing to 2017 which was a bit higher than normal. Interestingly the wines really haven’t eaten much sulfur this year – they will stay quite low I think. Different to 2017 but the reds have very good tannins. Lower alcohol than the 19s but it’s only half a degree!”
First to say, what an outstanding range of reds – all credit! Indeed because of that, maybe an all-round more balanced result this year versus the 2017s. There were a few more great whites in 2017 but the reds were much easier in that vintage. Great wines on both sides of the cellar in 2018!
All the reds were sampled from barrel, not yet racked:
2018 Monthelie 1er Duresses
1.05 hectares. The last harvested vines of 2018.
Hmm, that’s a nice width of red fruit, and it’s becoming quite vibrant with air. Nicely structured, pretty with a nice finishing minerality. Always a ‘yum’ for me, this one.
A wine mainly made from the product of young vines from Santenots, plus a little of the same from Champans too from the last to the first harvested of 2018 campaign.
Lots of colour, a little more floral and with more depth. More attack, freshness, length too – bravo villages!
2018 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
Deeper, weighter aroma but it’s all pure dark red fruit. Yet there is drive, freshness and a real energy to this wine. The nose needs to flower, but the palate is already impressive.
100 year-old vines. 27 hl/ha, pruned a little too short this year – that’s the main reason for the low yield, not the vine age.
This with a modest reductive funk, but with lovely depth of aroma. Bright, intense, layers of energy and fruit combined. Powerful yet freshly sleek – this will be quite something!
This is a large 3.5 ha plot. A normal result would be 50 barrels.
Ooh, now that’s a splendid, open, fabulous nose! Mineral, driving, layered, great wine – really.
2018 Meursault Clos de la Baronne
Wide, classic ginger-spiced nose – perfect. Round, rich, but bubbling with energy at the fore. Nice finishing too. Excellent, classic Meursault
This from Crotots, En la Barre and Luraule
A more floral nose – more open, growing, and with intensity and salinity. Long, so long for a villages. Ooh, that’s so good!
A more mineral and citrus addition to this nose. Round but vibrating with energy at the core – ooh, easy to say great!
The vines here now average about 70 years old.
An exta depth to this fruit, ginger-cake spice too. Also vibrant, like the, last but with an extra-fine width. Mouth-watering, slightly broader than the last, equally vibrant.
2018 Meursault 1er Bouchères
Despite the vintage reputation, only 40 hl/ha here.
A little floral – delicate but wide – so elegant. More richness, more depth to the concentration here – so satisfying – for perfectly balanced contemplation.
2018 Meursault 1er Goutte d’Or
A broad open nose of spice accented yellow fruit. Mineral, almost strict but boy this is good – wait for it you will be rewarded. Great finishing too. Wine with a punch.
2018 Meursault 1er Porusots
‘This is the transition between northern and southern 1ers of Meursault’
Hmm, faintly spiced, wide, not the definition of the last or the elegance of the Bouchères. But ooh that’s good over the palate; mobile, melting with flavour, brilliantly finishing.
2018 Meursault 1er Genevrières
Broad, fresh, faintly spiced, – not a big nose but a good one. This combines some of the best parts of the previous wines – clarity and structure but flavour that moves with ease, not over-generous either.
Old vines – 95-years-old. First harvested in Meursault but 55 hl/ha – ‘hard to believe!’
Not a big volume nose but one of elegance and fineness. Vibrant. A little more crystalline in flavour; complex, mineral, slowly ingraining, never shouting – not big but it’s complete wine. A wine of undoubted finesse.
More vibrantly mineral nose, still lower energy than the Gouttes! Ooh, driving, intense, long, melting flavour, wow!
Again not a big nose, but there’s a vibration of mineral energy here. Wide, growing, but not quite mouth-filling. Muscular but proportioned, layered, complex, everything you could wish. Not the tastiest wine today but the most complex and changing and with the most finishing persistence. Undoubtedly great for the patient.