Tasted with Frantz Chagnoleau in Hurigny, 08 November 2021.
Frantz on 2021:
“We averaged around 60% losses – some areas were 90% though. We protected 2 hectares with candles, and the areas most susceptible to frost we pruned late which definitely helped – except in St.Veran where it looked okay after the frost but then we were hailed!”
Frantz on 2020:
“A good year, less volume than 2018 but good. Despite starting 23 August to harvest, in fine conditions, there’s a fine finesse to the wines. Lower degrees and lower acidity than 2019 yet lower pHs too!”
A great showing from Frantz’s wines – and the best for their labels are not necessarily the most expensive ones. Some great value here…
It’s cork here, apart from the first wine which is sealed with a screw-cap – ‘So allows me the chance to buy the best corks of 54mm.’ All the 2020s are now bottled but the last was finished only in the last few days – ‘We did just a little earlier bottling this year but it was because the wine presented as ‘ready.’’
A clos of over 2 hectares in the north Mâconnais near Clessé and the river – the higher part has a very limestone soil, more clay below – ‘The best acidities come from this lower part. This keeps really well too – the 2011s are superb right now.’
A faint aromatic reduction together with some agrume fruit. Great shape in the mouth, structured and mouth-watering – really deliciously mobile in the middle and finishing flavours finishing with a complex mix of citrus – that’s really a great start – ‘only’ 12.5°
No new oak for this but barrel elevage.
A different nose of more open width and perfume – a little green citrus too. Vibrant, with a little mineral rigour but not too much – clarity and salinity – almost a dynamic style to this wine. Lip-smacking finishing flavour – young vines but great wine.
2020 St.Véran La Fournaise
‘Our most Chablis-style wine – really white soil.’ This has just 6 days in bottle – 600-l barrel elevage, none new.
A higher-toned nose, here with a more yellow citrus of fine purity. Really vibrant, energetic wine – the fruit is richer but that’s largely hidden behind the energy. Still a creamy accent from the barrel – but it’s more of a modest cushion for the citrus.
2020 St.Véran La Roche
More direction Chasselas, later maturing vines. Also the oldest vines of the domaine – 75 – producing very millerande grapes, previously with very low yields ‘but with biodynamic, they have improved a lot.’ Elevage in 228-l barrels – also not quite one week in barrel.
The depth here is of a creaminess from the barrels but the top notes are airy and yellow-citrus in style. Mouth-filling – perhaps more complete, certainly more saline and the ample energy is more measured. The finish has a little more density, if not extra length. That’s a very beautiful finishing flavour though. Simply excellent wine.
All the vines more than 50 years old in 4 different parcels.
A more compact nose but still with an airy style. Frantz has delivered a lot of energy again – this wine bubbles over and around the tongue – the flavour not fully focused after the bottling – but it’s close enough. The finish is a great one – just not yet fully open. I love this finish.