Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with Louis de Belleroche, 09 October 2019.
24 Rue Charles Paquelin
Tel: +33 3 80 21 33 19
Louis on 2019:
“2019 – mostly a vintage complicated by the pressure of oidium – there was some in 2018 too but it didn’t go on for as long as in 2019. Lots of frost in the bottom of the hills and really not a great flowering either – the resulting bunches were very millerandé – so good concentration of-course but lacking volume. We had some sun-burned grapes too. We had a little more rain than some villages but some of the parcels are very easy draining so it was soon gone – so not really possible to generalize on the dryness.“
Louis on 2019:
“Oïdium was again one of the major worries but only at the end of the season in 2018. The year started early but avoided frost – perhaps because we used the candles. The water table had been nicely replenished at the start of the year – probably an important point. Flowering passed very well and brought very nice grapes – but – we worried due to the lack of rain that we might have a lack of juice, almost like 2003 – but finally it was vintage of quantity and quality too that we couldn’t have anticipated.”
What a domaine – in a few short years it’s gone from a modest number of cuvées and wines that hinted at potential, to a large range of excellent or better wines. The finishes of the whites were absolutely splendid, and if they find a little more ‘something’ in the next 12 months, a whole bunch of these whites could be bravo wines!
The first three reds were already bottled but all the rest are waiting for January:
2018 Côteaux Bourguignone Folie Sauvage
A blend of gamay from the Côte d’Or and also Beaujolais, mixed with pinot.
A deep nose, juicy dark fruit – some invitation here. Like the nose, really a juicy wine – full of energy and fine acidity. A depth of finishing flavour, long, modestly mineral, very tasty wine…
Vines on the hill – some altitude here. Wines made with whole clusters.
Plenty of colour. Hmm – this is a complex nose, textural too! Juicy like the last but another level – this is really a very fine wine, intense, delicious – beautifully assembled. Bravo Beaujolais!
2018 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Bottom of Pommard, planting plenty of new vines here too.
Round but deep, darkly fruited, faintly touched by reduction. Fills the mouth – like the last a wine of fine energy and mouth-watering, acid-led fruit. A certain extra depth to the mid-palate flavour – almost a creaminess. This is very attractive and outperforms the label. Excellent wine.
All the following wines were cask samples:
Got these vines at the same time as some St.Aubin ‘villages we didn’t know very well.’ A part of whole cluster – 50% – a single parcel. En l’Ormeaux but not on the label
Also a depth of aroma that’s augmented by faint reduction, but in this case with a little extra floral perfume. Ooh – this is rather good – the flavour winding itself around the tongue, beautifully textured and with fine definition – often the bugbear of Mercurey – this wine outperforms many producers’ Mercurey 1er crus. Bravo!
A mix of parcels.
No obvious reduction though this is showing a little tighter – yet it develops a very fine floral perfume – very it’s inviting. More drive more structure for sure but nothing aggressive – high-toned dark fruit of intensity and drive. Super balance. Fine…
All destemmed in first vintage but found super so now all whole cluster.
Ooh – that’s a nice nose – really a very fine width of complexity – inviting. Good but not an overtly mouth-filling volume – fresh – open, deliciously complex – like the nose – but with a super depth too – no fat. Finishing flavour that you can almost chew. Love!
2018 Beaune 1er Boucherottes
Just under the Clos des Mouches on a small flat area, the roots very quickly meeting the mother rock. All whole cluster.
A fine nose, more elegant than the Morgeot but less overtly inviting today. Plenty of peps, of weight and energy here – this is no small wine. A little fumé oak in the middle but long, slowly mouth-watering finishing. Fine quality but I have a preference for the Morgeot!
2018 Pommard 1er Clos des Poutures
On the right hand side just as you leave the village heading to Volnay, a monopole of this domaine – Half whole cluster.
Deep, not reductive, complex, not super-wide. Nice shape and freshness in the mouth – a certain intensity and a small grain of tannin too – but not overly ‘Pommard’ in structure. This is very tasty but wait 12-24 months before drinking to help round out the shape…
2018 Pommard 1er Pezerolles
Mid-slope on the side of Beaune above Clos des Epeneaux. All whole cluster.
Lots of colour. A slightly wild aspect to this complex and energetic, faintly pyrazine nose. Fine fruit flavour wrapped in a more padded Pommard structure – to wait for but with excellent depth of complex flavour. The finishing impression is yum!
A mix of younger and much older vines, the latter pulled out for replanting after this harvest. Vines situated just above the road in the bottom part of the vineyard near Lafarge and d’Angerville
The faint pyrazine of the last but only as part of a rewarding mix of complex aromas – very inviting. Ooh – depth, freshness, complexity, this is certainly a wine to wait for but what complexity! Fresh, lovely energy. Potentially grand vin!
2018 Pommard 1er Rugiens
The complex nose of the last wine but without the pyrazine – here is such a depth and not due to reduction! Fine mouth-filling volume. Complex, nice energy but not ‘in your face’ bubbling with complexity. A much more composed wine than the Taillepied which as a whole I think I prefer today. Excellent wine!
The domaine is about half white in terms of their planted surface which means, due to higher allowed yields for whites, that they are about 60% white in terms of production volume. All the whites were bottled before the harvest.
2018 Bourgogne Aligoté
New in 2015, négoce. Last harvested parcel of the vintage – unfortunately, the 2019 was completely frosted – the vines in the bottom of Meursault.
A modestly spiced freshness of golden fruit. Hmm, there is a nice open-ness to this wine, pure, detailed and with a warming feeling as you head through the middle into the finish. Particularly delicious finishing with a mineral accent – extra yum here!
2018 Connivance with Aurelian Febvre
Aurelien uses very little sulfur, so the team here reciprocated with this chardonnay from the Auxerois.
Quite a deep nose. In the mouth this is alive and shows very fine energy – the flavour profile is deep, quite fruity and has good clarity. Like the last wine, particularly in the finish, this is really tremendous – before that I was unsure. Great finishing wine!
2018 Bourgogne Chardonnay
A mix of Meursault les Durots and fruit from the bottom of Pommard
Hmm – fresh, mineral, slightly saline agrume fruit. Fresh and lively but with just a hint of fat that softens the texture and helps it melt over the palate. Vibrantly finishing – wow these wines finish so well! Excellent!
2018 St.Aubin La Travers de Chez Eduard
The prettiest white nose yet – elegant with a complexity of citrus fruit. In the mouth too – energy but it’s a wine that dances over the palate. A very fine finish – not so surprisingly good as the previous wines – but as a whole easily the most imprerssive of all these. Excellent!
2018 Meursault En la Barre
Another blend of older and younger vines. A little more depth of soil here too, neighbouring the Clos de la Barre. About one-third of the vines are protected by the wall and a house.
Fresh, slowly augmenting with some floral perfume. Nice width on the plate, an appealing complexity of flavour – beautifully finishing again, here with a width of fine mineral-style flavour. I wouldn’t guess Meursault blind, but I’d be devouring anyway!
Only 4 proprietors here under Charmes next to the large tree – not much soil, lots of stones and some clay.
Faintly floral, faintly spiced – more obviously Meursault I think. Fresh, fine width, deliciously and complexly flavoured. Mineral, none of the fat one might expect from Charmes. Top – really a great villages Meursault!
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Petit Clos, Morgeot
The first vintage here. ‘Really a great selection of plants in here’ says Armand, despite them being not so old.
A different style of nose – a freshly concentrated, pure nose. Ooh here is freshness but also a driving attitude to the flavour, intense but never sharp – mouth-watering. Long finishing – Simply excellent again!
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Maltroie
The bottom of the domine’s garden! Another very different terroir in Chassagne here with more clay. Three different ages of vines from 4 to 65.
An accent of fumé but at the same time this compact nose shows a nice purity. Hmm, so wide, melting with fresh mouth-watering flavour. The nose didn’t offer such a great invitation but this tastes absolutely great. The second half of the wine is brilliant.
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Tête de Clos
Again not a big nose but here is a little salinity to add to the complexity – a nice invitation. Fuller, fine balance – citrus fruit of fine purity – a faint touch of phenolic texture at the base, and again deliciously, complex and persistently finish – a great finish again. A notch higher than the Maltroie even!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Chenevottes
The second vintage for this wine.
Another modest nose, this time focusing on a width of elegant minerality. Ooh – that’s super – mouth-filling, melting with a hybrid of mineral and citrus flavour, delicate complexities of pure fruit in the finish even fresh white pear. Another simply excellent wine!
First parcel is next to (cousin) Vincent Dancer, recently recovered from Drouhin. The second parcel is next to another cousin, Ballot-Minot.
Hmm – here is a nose with more to say – deep, complex but with plenty of high tones too. Like the nose there is an extra volume and intensity in the flavour too. Fine flavour, typically Meursault, but with energy and undertow of acidity that often makes Perrières. Not the biggest finish but extra long… Bravo!
Two small parcels between Leflaive and Bouchard
Extra open, beautifully fresh, clearly the nicest nose so far – complete! Supple, concentrated, a growing intensity of flavour – growing and growing – then vibrating over the palate for a while after you swallow. Worthy of this label, simply a super wine!