Tasted with Nicolas Mestre in Meursault, 20 October 2020.
31 Rue de la Velle
Tel: +33 3 80 21 23 17
I first tasted some great wines from this domaine in Saulieu, and it took another year, but finally, I managed to get an appointment to taste. Not just an impressive range of wines, impressive wines in themselves too.
This 19-hectare domaine has been in the family for 6 generations and it was the current generation, in the form of Nicolas Mestre, who showed me around, and who’s been making wine here already since 2009. Of the domaine’s 19 hectares, the largest part is taken up with just two appellations – Bourgogne and Santenay – but as you will see there are many other cuvées. Nicolas explains that it was his grandfather, Bernard Michelot, who first bottled the domaine wine in the 1950s – and there were only 3 other domaines in Meursault at the time who were doing the same: Comtes Lafon, Roulot and Ampeau.
The domaine has two large sites in Meursault; one more in the lower part of the old town and the other, probably better known as the last building as you exit Meursault on the vineyard road to Puligny-Montrachet. Nicolas explains that the elevage of the wines is split between these two sites. In those sites, half of the elevage is in 500-litre barrels followed by 6 months in tank too before bottling. Since 2018 there are ceramic tanks and egg-shaped ‘grès’ to accompany the rest of the barrels. Most recently (2020) there are glass jars too – of the type that Fabien Dupperay started using for 2018s and are gaining traction in many cellars.
Nicolas on 2019:
“The 19s are now in tank. I’m planning to make the first tests from February, and should be bottling thereafter, certainly plenty will be bottled in March. The reds, I plan to be bottled with similar timing to the whites. 2019 had lots of dryness and a little frost early too – so the end result was about half a harvest – the most hit, were the vines at the bottom of the slopes. Fortunately, we made more in 2020 – not anywhere close to the allowed yields, but enough. The fermantations were okay, some sugar from whole berries needed to ferment to dry but only that.”
A selection that I really enjoyed tasting. The majority of the wines are excellent and some are really great. Enjoy!
The reds were destemmed:
2019 Bourgogne Côte d’Or Pinot Noir
From Grand Coutures direction Puligny out of the bottom of the village.
Good colour. Perfumed, fine red fruit – a little almost chalky texture to the nose. Mouth-filling, concentrated but with lots of energy. This I would wait for as it grows with insistent intensity. But lots of wine here. Extra-long with a little finishing tannin.
A little reduction and a shimmmer of barrel – plenty of aromatic energy. Wide over the palate – oak aside, there’s a super clarity here – that’s a wine of energy but depth, almost richness and of flavour too. A big finish like the Bourgogne. Bravo Santenay.
All cork at this domaine except that screw-caps are available too.
2019 Bourgogne Côte d’Or Chardonnay
Multiple parcels in the commune all at the bottom of the village.
Lots of freshness, and no surprise, plenty of Meursaultness too. In the mouth that’s beautifully shaped. – open but mouth-filling, an intensity that grows – mouth-watering, practically juicy. Excellent wine.
They have always vinified this separately and found it better than the Bourgogne but until this year they had still always blended the two.
More airy, a fine sparkly aromatic complexity with a hint of Meursault ginger. Calmer but wider, beautiful texture and clarity of flavour. Much more composed, less intense though more textural concentration. Perfectly mouth-watering though and perhaps a little more base of minerality. A proper Meursault finish, long, tasty. Bravo Bourgogne!
2019 Bourgogne Côte d’Or Clos Montmeix Monopole
The vines in the garden of the old cuverie – next to the ‘garden’ vines of Matrot in the centre of Meursault.
A deeper nose, not overtly reductive, plenty of ginger spice. Round, texturally sensuous, lots of concentration, a mineral-infused spice to this. Perhaps a base of oak on both the aroma and flavour but more in the style of the second than the first Bourgogne. Excellent. Classic older Meursault style and completely delicious.
An assembly of many parcels, for instance a blend of high Vireuils and low Limozin amongst others.
Ooh – that’s nice – a decent attack but perfumed, practically floral too. A touch of gas. Mouth-filling, glossy – fine-textured – more volume than the Bourgognes but less overtly concentrated. Intensity in the finish, still a little perfumed, accented with a modest touch of tannin. Excellent.
A blend of two parcels.
A big, bright, forward, beautifully clean nose – practically vibrant. Gas. Mouth-filling, good energy too. Lip-smacking citrus skin in the finish. Long, I’d probably still guess Meursault though!
2019 Meursault Sous La Velle
One-third of this parcel has 80-yo vines.
A less forward nose than the Puligny, but wide and with some floral perfume. Lovely clarity, quite a mineral wine for the bottom of the village. Fine energy, practically a little lime fruit. Completely delicious.
2019 Meursault Clos St.Felix
‘Le Village’ on the maps. Next to the domaine, exiting Meursault towards Puligny
Another floral and inviting nose of freshness. A touch of gas, very faintly reductive too. Wide and mineral – concentration without the heaviness of fat. Big, mineral finishing – give this a year or two to settle – delicious and full flavoured – with freshness.
Yes! Great nose – vibrant, open, clarity of aroma – yes again! Gas. Big in the mouth, mineral, mobile, concentrated but with such balancing freshness. A wide and persistent finish. This needs time too but great material. Bravo villages.
A nose with similarities to the last, but wider – fuller – that’s really great. Gas. More open, certainly a more mineral freshness. Plenty of energy. I’d want this to calm a little. It could be as good as the Charrons, if different, but today if I only had one choice I’d take the Charrons. Really long finishing – that’s impressive.
2019 Santenay 1er Gravières
That’s a chunky, perfumed nose – it makes me think of Chassagne. Gas. Really rather mineral in style, perhaps a little meagre after the Meursaults, the gap attempting to be filled with a little barrel. Great nose, wait for the rest…
2019 Meursault 1er Les Charmes
From the ‘top of the bottom’ to the south.
Nice width of aroma; faintly smoky, spiced but with fine yellow fruit too. More density here – the mouth filled but with great energy too, a touch of tannin to the texture. A small but intense and long finish – this holds brilliantly. It needs time but the starting point is excellent.
2019 Meursault 1er Poruzots
A plot that touches Genevrières.
Floral and perfumed – nice. Width in the mouth, not much gas. Wide, mineral, energetic – there’s structure but not really any overt rigour. Lovely wine.
2019 Meursault 1er Genevrières
A lovely aromatic width – complex but not overdone – a happy and inviting balance. Mouth-filling, not too energetic – but enough. Lovely middle flavours – real depth to the fine and mineral flavour here. Slightly spicy, certainly ginger, in the finish.
A little extra aromatic complexity here – fresh mineral and very inviting. Gas. Direct, mouth-watering, almost steely. Then extra dimensions of flavour again – there’s much happening here. Not a wine of weight but one of fine direction. The finish is very long but remains calm, indeed subtle. Perhaps hiding itself a little but the parts are really super… Cewrtainly excellent, potentially a great Meursault.