Tasted in Puligny-Montrachet with Franck Grux, 27 October 2020.
Franck on 2019:
“The end of 2018 was a dry Autumn, the Winter only modestly damp – so already there was some hydric deficit – the reverse of the previous Winter. April started with maybe the most important aspect – lots of suffering due to the frost, most of the Côte de Beaune was touched, but mainly the plains and bottoms of the hills. A little oïdium but really the maladies were nothing to get too worried about. The period around flowering was cold and could have been a lot better – but the important factor was the frost and we are still looking for a proper solution to that – maybe the windmills are not bad – but we have no real solution. Minus 10% to minus 70% – only 1% of our contracts brought the expected rendement! In 30 years it’s my lowest volume harvest – much lower than 2016 which wasn’t overly touched by the frost in Puligny. I don’t know the last time Puligny averaged 25 hl/ha – some of the contracts became too small so I declined them. Some people harvested early, others more ‘classically’ – I waited an extra 10 days as I didn’t think we had the ripeness.
“Half a dozen wines have already been bottled but the vast majority wait. It’s a style of vintage that seems quite resistant to oxygen.”
A great result chez Olivier in 2019 – Franck has fashioned many great, indeed covetable, wines. Well done!
Bourgognes not yet bottled:
Normally about 65 parcels, 65-70% in barrel. To be bottled next week
That’s lovely – open, detail – a fine purity. In the mouth, full of citrus deliciousness. Fine citric finishing flavour. Long, slightly perfumed finishing but almost juicy with just a trace of finishing tannin. Refreshingly delicious. Bravo!
5 parcels, 4 are domaine, all from the commune of Puligny. Also for imminent bottling this all barrel vs about 65-70% barrel for the previous.
Less directly fruity but wide, fresh and inviting. Fuller, deeper, there’s certainly more depth of flavour here and a slightly more zesty accent to the ripe citrus fruit. Waves of finishing flavour – richer but so mouth-watering. Excellent – more of everything, nothing in excess, be a little more patient with this. If you are, I’m sure it will better the previous wine.
Now some bottled wines – since July:
2019 Rully 1er Vauvry
Only 26 hl/ha here, very little batonnage and very little new oak too.
High-toned freshness again, here with a little more weight of lemon fruit. Mouth-filling – easy, some sweetness, a little structure but no rigour. Easier but tasty.
2019 Montagny 1er Cru
10% tank elevage
Hmm, that’s a nice blend of 3 1ers – airy, a little more floral perfumed. More incisive, growing in intensity, Mineral, juicy, ooh that’s a great finish. Super wine
13.8° – That’s a nicely focused citrus aroma, practically citrus skin. Driving, mineral, more juicy, faintly saline. Bravo – top wine! Long finishing.
5 different parcels this year – was 7 last year.
A deeper nose, faintly reductive – though bottled. Wide, clarity of effervescent flavour. That little touch of reduction, then a fine slowly fading, partly saline finish. That’s super.
2019 St.Romain Sous le Château
Also very faintly reductive. Wider, fully energetic, a little touch of minerality in the flavour width too. Holds a nice weight of flavour in the middle. Tension and deliciousness, fading ever-so slowly. Excellent.
2 parcels – Les Pins and Combottes
That classically faintly reductive Pernand style. Wide, mineral, growing in mouth-watering intensity. Really a super finish, mineral but infused with deeper citrus. Love that!
Take the road to Bouze above the trees on the mountain looking towards Pommard – south-facing, long planted to pinot, this chardonnay now 25-30 years old. Leflaive also do the vineyard work here.
A deeper, nose, riper fruit also suggesting a little more exotic and floral dimension. But such energy! Bright, mouth-filling and at the same time mouth-watering, practically juicy. The fruit style has changed for sure. But the finish returns to the salivating citric acidity and perhaps a little tannin from the skins.
The following all from tank or barrel – no fining or filtration at this stage:
Not a wide nose today but deep and inviting – once more rather classic in style chez Leflaive in 2019. Plenty of volume – round in style but full of mouth-watering energy as is the norm for the better wines in this vintage. I love this zesty finish – some tannic bitters here that are very becoming today. Completely delicious wine.
A more open width of aroma here – a super invitation. Lots of gas. But also more overt complexity too – there’s more to find here. Mineral, salivating, gorgeous – wine that begs you to take another sip. Deep and strongly flavoured in the finish – the long finish. Bravo!
2019 Meursault Les Vireuils
Another aromatic world again – spiced, faintly reductive. Mouth-filling, almost shimmering with flavour, slightly reductive but beautifully defined. Long, mineral width, slowly mouth-watering. That’s a super wine again.
2019 Meursault Les Clous
A mix of dessus and dessous
A classic width of spiced aroma. A little gas, then layers of extra richness of flavour, accented with spice – classic Meursault with a little oak showing at this stage – but all in place – I’d take the energy of the previous wine in preference – at least, today! This is very long though.
Only 23 parcels included this vintage – 27-28 is normal – but the yields rarely reached 30 hl/ha
A little more clarity and width of aroma. Mouth-filling, full of flavour, full of energy too, sweeter agrume fruit style. That’s a great depth of completely delicious finishing flavour. Round, rich, supple but simply excellent wine in all dimensions. Sustaining a great finish too. Excellent wine.
Normally from 4 different parcels, vines abutting Bâtard and Bienvenues. This year 3 parcels, one next to Chassagne, one much deeper and another close to the GCs.
Similar width with a little more depth of aroma – a suggestion only of reduction – aeration brings a little floral perfume. Brighter, more attack – more tension – structural wine, melting with delicious but still structured, occasionally floral flavour. Wide, a great finish. Bravo!
This a domaine wine
Deep with a modestly toasty/fumé reduction/minerality. Nice drive, starting direct before widening over the palate. That is extra-delicious finishing with notes of spice in the mix. This is an easy wine to recommend.
3 parcels but still less than 4 barrels.
Today that’s a brilliant nose – faintly reductive agrumes on display, begging you to take a sip… Mouthfilling, some gas. Round in shape but brilliantly incisive and growing in intensity – that will be a great Charmes… classically 2019 in the textural length of finish.
2019 Meursault 1er Dos d’Ane
Domaine – A deep nose, faintly reductive, ripeness but also freshness of fruit – then comes the perfume – there’s no sign of the supposed 14.5°! Mouth-filling, round, slowly mouth-watering. This doesn’t have quite the same energy as the Charmes, and neither the focus nor energy of that wine – maybe that’s the effect of the 14.5°. The finish is pure Meursault, faintly spiced in length.
2019 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos St.Marc
In the northern part of Vergers, only 3 producers of this – Genot-Boulanger, JM Pillot and here. Domaine but less than 20 hl/ha – the shoots were already 5 cm long when the frost came.
A nose of depth and clarity of fine fruit – a great invitation. Big in the mouth – full, almost overfull, of citrus – here a little blood-orange. Long, satisfying, excellent wine – delicious.
Domaine – there are some vintages that this is absolutely great wine – this year a decent yield of 40 hl/ha
A wine that grows and grows in aroma as it gains from the air. Big, concentrated, layered, a monster. But somehow all balances. For the patient but everything (and more!) is here…
2019 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Canet
A single parcel near Garenne.
A nose that’s much more airy and growing in perfumed confidence with air. Intense, mouth-watering a wine that needs to unfurl a little but the finish is a great mineral/floral hybrid that is supported by a modest citrus acidity. Delicious finishing.
The south of champs gains – very poor soil with some small stones but then you hit the bedrock.
A fine nose, nicely vibrant with a composed minerality. Lovely drive and intensity here – a wine that’s dynamic and complex – very mineral, long, layered in the finish even. Radiating small waves of finishing flavour – long. Bravo – already great!
2019 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières
Domaine – An easier, more airy nose – suggesting but never over-delivering on florals. Some gas. A touch of reduction but the shape is super here with some minerality and a depth of juicy flavour. Lovely flavour. I like the shape of this wine.
2019 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Pucelles
Domaine – There’s a little shimmy from the minerality here but overall the nose is very reticent today. Wide, filling all the spaces in your mouth, a wine of power and minerality but with nothing in excess. Long, mineral in character and one that I’d keep for a while – clearly excellent.
In demi-muids, one-year-old, still in barrel on lees
Not a nose of power but a beguiling nose of perfume, of flowers of accents of fruit – yes! Some gas. A faint tannin. A growing intensity of flavour – suggesting a little pineapple. 14.5° but it’s lost none of its focus or purity. Long, floral again. That is simply gorgeous wine…
Domaine – Puligny side, under the egg of Anne-Claude.
A hint less open than the Bienvenues but similar in style with just an impression of aromatic structure. Fuller in shape but not a wine of fat, there’s mouth-watering energy that is the main theme here. Holding more tenaciously and ‘minerally’ in the finish vs the Bienvenues – more a style than a quality difference between these two in 2019 I think.
Domaine – Not the biggest nose but here’s a width of confidence. More intense, though faint gas, driving, direct, touched by the barrel, so mouth-watering – a waterfall of flavour here. This will require a year or 3 to concentrate on the wine at the expense of the barrel notes but truly a superb thing. The finish you think is all-but gone and then you have it again. Bravo!