Tasted with Eric Germain in Meursault, 05 November 2020.
I note a small change to the labels: Red borders for the reds and some red on the capsule too – so when you order a Chassagne Morgeot, you know directly from the label whether you got the white or the red! Also starting/planning to wax the tops of the bottles – black for the whites and red for the reds. Had used the red on their Moulin a Vent for a time before the vines went to Château Moulin à Vent.
Eric on 2020:
“I think it’s going to be a great vintage despite the many complications. It’s easy to say but I think many vines got harvested a little too early – in some areas the reds were ready very early, but the whites absolutely not – it’s part the local culture you have to give the pickers something to do, so you keep picking! I took a more Alsacienne approach and harvested for nearly 1 month with multiple pauses so that we could properly follow the maturities. Some white sectors like Tillets and Clous that are usually late-harvested were some of the earliest that were ready – and with not more than 13.2° in 2020 – unlike 2019. I think we got a great return on our biodynamics in terms of quality this year but still just 25 hl/ha for the reds, closer to 45 for the whites. We lit some candles – quite late – in Puligny Combettes as we are in a bit of a hole there – Sous la Velle and Charmes too, but only there. ”
Eric on 2019:
In 2019 we started early – 28 August and harvested much faster than in 2020 as we were losing water in the grapes – we finished in 12 days vs the 1 month in 20. No fermentation problems on reds, they were easier than in 2020. The white, however, took much more time. The sugars and malos are all done, but they took their time. Some of the generics are already bottled, others are assembling at this stage – bottling, but the crus won’t be assembled from barrel this year. Quite low yields 30-35 hl/ha for both colours. I think a great vintage in red.
It’s not the only address that I felt this, but in all my visits over the years chez-VG, this is the most openly oaky the wines – precision: the whites – have shown. A quirk of elevage or the vintage? Because of that, in a number of cases, I’d really be waiting 3-5 years before taking a look at what we have. I hope that it’s transient because there are many great wines – and in both colours too!
Starting with the reds:
2019 Beaune 1er Clos des Aigrots
Near Clos des Mouches, near the Lafarge vines, for the moment not yet a contract in grapes but hoping to make that change soon.
Wide, a little oaked, super fruit though. Mouth-filling, fine texture, growing a little tannin along the way. More mineral finishing – this is nice here. Lovely wine.
2019 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Maltroie
Buy the grapes from here, not biodynamic though.
A deeper nose of darker fruit. Like the last, fully destemmed. A more imposing volume in the mouth, real depth of fruit flavour coupled with excellent texture. Long, oaked, but this is a fine finish.
From old vines, vinified here
The first still in barrel, like all the following. A more reductive nose – but growing and impressing with aeration. More energetic and sleek – love the drive and texture here. Nothing hard from the structure – floral perfume in the mouth. That’s a great finish too – bravo!
Santenots mainly from Plures and Blancs – over 2 hectares of old vines from 1965 and 1975. ‘Usually with very small grapes and all biodynamic.’ All whole cluster.
A nose of volume and wc perfume, faintly smoky, impressively inviting. The faintest touch of gas. Very wide, mouth-filling wine. There’s plenty of tannin – but with no grain. A big finish – that will be great too – but what a completely different character – today I’ve an easy preference for the Epenots, but in time as the wc melts into the wine – that could change.
2019 Volnay 1er Les Pitures
Close to Pommard Rugiens, planted in the early 1970s, always organic and for the last 3 years, biodynamic. 30% wc here. Like the last wine – 100% domaine produce.
Here the nose has the wc perfume but has a little more clarity and vibration – a beauty and becoming more floral too. Wide, really mouth-filling but at the same time more airy – this is a wine with presence, the palate a little behind the nose in development right now, but the finish not – here it’s great! Excellent wine…
Once a purchase contract, today domaine. Vines cultivated organically since 1950! Biodynamic for the last 3 years. 50% whole cluster
A more compact nose but with beautiful clarity of dark fruit, slowly adding the floral perfume of the wc. More freshness, more energy – missing less in the middle vs the Pitures. Wide, contemplative despite fine energy. Lots of middle and finishing concentration to the flavour. This could be a great wine, again, the finish already is…
2019 Corton Perrières
Vines close to Charlemagne, ‘conventional culture but old vines that bring a lot of minerality.’ All destemmed. Always very small grapes here.
A large nose, large-scaled, some florals too. Also large-scaled in the mouth, a base of tannin but no grain and only a very modest astringency. Floral inflected fruit in the flavour. A big wine but also a relaxed wine – despite the concentration you could easily drink this now – how Corton has changed in the last years! A finer width of very-long-finishing flavour – that’s lovely…
2019 Clos de Vougeot
Only 1 barrel, no wc, not vinified here – ‘from a domaine with similar convictions in the vineyard.’
Lots of colour. Fresh, a more coffee-inflected nose. Proper CV shape in the mouth – large-scaled, structural but open with a wide panorama. The coffee/mocha slightly showing in the middle flavours too. Long, touched with some tannin, a supple wine, a very good wine.
2 barrels from ‘Charmes’, an exchange of grapes for this, all whole cluster, vinified here.
Ooh – that’s absolutely the best integration of wc in this range – a stunningly perfumed nose. Less sweet than the CV, fine width and very perfumed fruit in the flavour – I slightly prefer the structure of the cv but the open clarity of flavour here. Vibrantly finishing. It’s not often I prefer Charmes to Clos de Vougeot, but in this case an easy decision.
13.8-14.5° and all are below pH 3.25. Though many fermentations that ‘took their time:’
2019 Meursault Les Charrons
Thats nicely fresh and forward with a proper accent of ginger-spice. Bright, mouth-filling. Depth of flavour, open easy, completely correct. The finish showing a trace – but only that – of oak. Generous but finely balanced.
More vertical, less width of aroma – finer. Clearly a wine of extra freshness – certainly less generosity – a little more mineral and exciting flavour in the middle. Gorgeous, and great finishing – wait for the oak to fade a little though. Bravo.
2019 Meursault Les Tillets
Domaine, biodynamic, direction Javiller and Roulot, mid-parcel. About 50 years old vines
A broader depth of aroma – fresh but also a little tighter above. Broader, fine clarity – a certain extra heft to this flavour, but currently less open that the Casse-Têtes which I think I’d take in preference today. The oak showing a little more in the finish today too, but still a seriously good finish.
The best of all these noses at this stage – not the largest but the one with the most directions of aroma plus a subtle extra vibration of minerality. Fresh, wide, a little less flavourful but more textural. Mouth-watering in fine fashion – another great villages – just behind the Casse-Têtes in how open today, but almost certainly the better wine – the finish is a cracker. Bravo
2019 Meursault Narvaux
Half from domaine the rest from bought grapes, the latter conventionally farmed but with very few treatments and ploughed. More chalky here. This the first wine that’s still in barrel.
A great nose – complex, fine super clarity of aroma. Some gas. Wait and you have the silken texture, fine, lithe, muscle. A minerality that’s partly hidden by the extra barrel flavour. A long and engaging.
Almost all in barrel, still:
2019 Meursault 1er Les Charmes-Dessus
Three biodynamic parcels all in the top part – 40-50 year old vines.
A creamy width to this ripe yellow citrus. Faint gas. But energetic, a little tannin, but holding a very impressive finishing line.
One parcel at the top with vines that are 60 years old, and are showing a little degeneration in one part of the vines (yellow vines, low yielding)
A finer width of airy aroma – I see no oak here – hardly! Gas. More vibrant again, beautiful over the palate – complex, involving. Growing more and more – great, great finish – bravo
2019 Meursault 1er Blagny
Actually this in tank.
A deeper nose suggesting a little mineral/reductive difference. Extra fresh, extra driving, yes some reduction here. But also a clearer mineral width and an extra dimension of mouth-watering flavour too. Texturally finishing.
All organic, one part in the middle, the other next to Clos de Perrières – a little more than 1 ha in total, some missing plants so a low yield.
The most impressive nose so far – the top and bottom notes delivered with clarity and no reduction. I like the faintly tannic structure here. The width of finishing flavour is just so impressively sustained – it’s a shame to move onto the next wine!
2019 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Caillerets
One of the oldest vines in Caillerets
A bigger nose – but airy, complex, inviting. Some gas, but full and energetic, mouth-wateringly complex. Strong finishing – almost growing wider in its finishing panorama – that’s excellent Caillerets.
Younger vines – only 50 years old!
Yes – more deeply mineral, pure too. Similar volume to the Caillerets, but I see more purity of flavour here, more assured silkiness to the texture, more intensity to the finish – Grand Vin.
Buy these biodynamic grapes and the team here have done all the vineyard work since this year. 0.30 ha
An airy nose but one that’s so attractive – clarity here too. Wider, more effusive, more a Puligny-style tension, a vibrancy of wide flavour. Wider finishing too – a different style but also no doubt, great wine.
2019 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champsgain
The oak is a notch higher here – but the freshness of fine fruit is readily apparent. Great over the palate, vibrant, a little mineral-citrus, lots of oak in the middle but impressively long. Like a number of these I’d really be waiting 3-5 years before taking a look at what we have.
Ooh – that’s a great freshness of aroma, largely absent is the oak of the last. Also in the mouth, flavour delivered with complete clarity, just a suggestion of barrel in the middle. A more mineral style here. Vibrantly finishing, here is some oak – but you won’t care – great wine.
Did all the vineyard work here.
A width of ethereal freshness – a little more complex and floral vs the Pucelles. Also vibrantly pure, more overtly mineral, more overtly large in the mouth. Super-silky. A great mouth-full of finishing flavour, almost as vibrant as the last but more width of flavour. Another great wine and today greater than the Pucelles – as many Combettes were also in 2018.
The same small parcel in Aloxe in conventional culture that, since 2004, has always been separated for this cuvée. It’s the same area as Coche-Dury and Michel Juillot (of Mercurey). It was sold by an heir of Louis Latour but isn’t made every year. Never more than 20% new oak, from Seguin-Moreau and Gauthier.
A super width of aroma – complex – hyper-inviting. Extra-large in the mouth, so mouth-watering, great texture – generous but at the same time properly structural. Great Charlemagne even though the finish is less directly wide and open vs some of the 1ers.
2019 Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet
An all biodynamic, single parcel, one barrel – half the vines have been pulled out so it’s hard.
More vibrant, more reducto-mineral almost smoky – but no gothic reduction here. Great line, mouth-watering, a wine of width vs the volume of the Charlemagne. Super-wide in the finish too. Less chiselled but somehow finer. Simply excellent Bienvenues…
A narrower nose, more focused on its citrus notes – a small extra width of complexity in this citrus – but not the same width as the Bienvenues. Wow. More overtly mineral, a purity/clarity to behold. Mobile in its complexity. The breadth of finish certainly a match for the Bienvenues, perhaps the clarity just a little more – but more two styles than different quality this vintage.
Not the most open nose in terms of high tones but the base – wow – so complex, so much floral complexity included. Not as wide as Bienvenues, not as direct as Batard, but a vibrancy of complexity. Slightly saline, really a considerable power too – but with perfect balance. Touched with a little finishing phenolic texture before widening – certainly a match for the width of the Bienvenues and even more the power of the batard. Sustaining a great finish.