de Villaine – 2020


Pierre de Benoist 2021 Domaine de VillaineTasted in Bouzeron with Pierre de Benoist, 24 November 2021.

Domaine A. et P. de Villaine
2 Rue Fontaine
71150 Bouzeron
Tel: +33 3 85 91 20 50
More reports with Domaine de Villaine.

Pierre on 2021:
I really enjoyed vinifying these, however, it’s true that the volume is very low – around 70% less for the domaine as a whole.

Pierre on 2020:
Ah, Les 3 Glorieuses – 2018, 2019, 2020 – that’s very rare. 2020 was good year and we made 3 harvests in this year! 20 Aug for the early ripening parcels. Our 2nd was the normal vintage and then a third because we had a pause until the end of September for the last part of Bouzeron and some St Aubin 1ers. Much of our viticulture is designed to minimise porriture but these days it is rarer – also the mildew is much less present. That said oïdium has been more present, this year we were more prepared than last year – we used ‘volcanic’ sulfur and other preparations and saw much less oidium. The vintage resulted in a small quantity in the reds but of really lovely quality. In Bouzeron the volume of aligotés was not bad – we made about the same volume as in 2018 – in 2019 we had a bit less.

The wines…

A super tasting today. Expressive wines with different characters – a number of which are worth a special search – bravo!

As is usual here, due to their extended elevage, we looked at the ‘ready’ wines – so mix of vintages – many of the 2020s were assembled only the week before my visit. All cork seals here.

2020 Bouzeron
17 different parcel averaging 65 years old, but the oldest are 115 years old and the source of further plantings.
A quite airy nose – open and inviting. Bright, saline, growing in intensity, nicely direct, vibrant finishing – that’s a lovely and long-finishing end…

All tank samples:

2020 Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Les Clous Aimé
To be bottled next week. Chardonnay from multiple parcels in Bouzeron with a little more depth of soil, mainly south, south-west facing – ‘You press chardonnay differently to the aligoté as the skin is less thick and spicy.’ Elevage in foudres and barrels.
That’s such a lovely nose; more open, deeper, a vibrant faintly noble reduction too, with more floral suggestions. Wider, the same purity and intensity but this spreads out the palette of flavour wider. That’s a simply gorgeous wine. Bravo!

The following, are planned to be bottled at the end of the year:

2019 Rully 1er Les Margotés
The most southern of the 1er crus – but a zone that’s cold and windy.
A fuller, sweeter nose, citrus and creamy oak. Mouth-filling volume, more mineral in style the oak quite apparent here – a wine that you should wait for – maybe 2 years to start with – but the intensity in the finish is highly impressive – beautifully balanced concentration. That’s a really impressive wine!

2019 Rully 1er Gresigny
Very old vines – more than 80-years-old – a place for the massale selections. The continuation of Margoté to the north.
A more profound depth though the top notes are more guarded – the oak, again present, but less overt. Wide, energetic, a clarity of fine and mouth-watering citrus – a fluid delivery of flavour too. That’s more approachable today vs the Margoté – yet impressively concentrated again – in the finish too… Bravo.

2019 Rully 1er Montpalais
The vines that make the border between the cooler southern 1ers and those in the warmer north – about 10% chardonnay muscaté in this parcel.
A more open perfume of flowers here – very attractive. A little softness to the texture, beautifully mouth-watering, the complexity held onto more tightly but the agrume in the middle and finishing flavours is very, very attractive. Softer in style but nothing lacking. Again delicious but today I have a preference for the more incisive previous wines.

2019 Rully 1er Cloux
This mainly foudres and some additional barrels.
A very different style of nose, wider, very faintly spiced – very attractive too. Incisive, growing with a mineral-driven wave of flavour. Wide, again with a touch of softening at the edges but not to the extent of the last wine. Very different in the finish – wider and with an extra dimension in the finish, there’s a little citrus skin here too. That’s a super wine.

2019 Rully 1er Raclot
0.40 ha.
The first nose has plenty of volume and a little more complexity too. Direct, mineral, really mouth-watering – juicy wine. A wine most definitely more towards the mineral than the citrus. The oak is in support but discreet. The finish with some salinity and a little citrus skin. This is excellent.

2019 Rully 1er Rabourcé
2.3 hectares. This with elevage in a Foudre
A fuller nose – full of complexity too – that’s very attractive indeed. The most incisive wine, the most overt personality too. Layered but with energy and freshness. Richness but never heavy – certainly fuller as you head towards the finish – but what a great finish – small finishing bitters and many other accents. That’s a great wine – and it will also repay your patience.

Les rouges…

2020 Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise La Fortune
This to be bottled in 2 weeks
That’s a good width of aroma – a little sauvage with some perfume from the stems. Lots of mouth-filling volume and energy, a faint touch of tannin but little dryness. Complex finishing – really interesting and tasty with some finishing bitters and whole-cluster references. Give this a couple of years in the cellar – it will be very good and it will just keep improving from there.

2020 Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise La Digoine
Bio here since 1986, which allows us to achieve a maturity of fruit that we didn’t have before. The word ‘Digoine’ is an old one celebrating the quality of the water in a place.
Here is a similar aromatic profile yet delivered with an extra level of elegance – it’s very attractive. Incisive, dynamic wine – the energy and acidity collide in the midst of a delicious depth of flavour. Faintly tannic but micro-grained. Here is a wine that is joyful in its energy. Keep for 3 years and drink over the next 15-20. Bravo!

2020 Mercurey Les Montots
A little iron in the soil here. North-east of the appellation, near Clos Myglands and La Framboisière. Plain south-facing, the soil a little red from the iron.
Ooh – now that’s a beauty – a more sophisticated width of complex and attractive flavour. In the mouth – fresh and energetic – really complex – a little more blocky from the tannin today – this will also benefit from your patience but the finishing flavour, working its way through the tannin is completely delicious. Really a personality here. Very good but with much potential to improve.

2019 Rully 1er Les Cloux
The second vintage here
A little narrower and a lot deeper – a redder style of fruit. Wide, mouth-watering, a tannin that’s present but fine. You have to wait to get to the finish of fine acid-fruit to find anything that compares to the personality of the previous three wines – a more reticent showing, yet, still delicious.

2019 Rully 1er Champs Cloux
Organic since 2010 now changing to biodynamic.
A fuller nose of darker fruit with more interest. Here – more width, a more incisive start, energy, moving flavours again with darker, supple fruit. Really salivating finishing flavour another moreish style and with plenty of character too. Simply excellent wine.

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