Tasted in Gevrey with Jean-Marie Fourrier, 6th November, 2014.
7 Route de Dijon
Tel: +33 3 80 34 33 99+33 3 80 34 33 99
I tasted with Jancis Robinson for this appointment and Jean-Marie had thoughtfully installed a couple of tables with power-points so laptops et cetera could be plugged-in. Shame I was with my old-fashioned (paper!) notebook: Laboriously typing the notes a couple of weeks later underlined that I should really look for a technological leap in 2015!
It’s been a long time since I last visited Jean-Marie, and he’d long-since built his big cuverie extension (way back in 2007!) by buying the garden of an old neighbour – he’d had an accident before that, so everything in the new winery was built so that he could more-easily do the work. Lots of gleaming stainless-steel tanks in here, long-gone those rows of concrete tanks…
Jean-Marie on 2013:
“It was one of the toughest growing seasons; all the early spraying had to be done by hand (back-pack sprayers) due to the ground being too wet for machinery. The real challenge early in the year was keeping up with mildew treatments as they kept being washed away by the rain. I was almost nostalgic for the days of herbicides!
“Flowering was actually not bad – the 50-110 year-old vines are very consistent, and always produce millerandes.
“It was really sunny, if cool in September, which enabled very good phenolic maturity – actually we’d worked so hard up until August, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves whilst waiting for the harvest! The biggest difference today vs 15 years ago is that I can now afford 3 tractors instead of 1 – so I don’t spend my whole day changing attachments – I just go out and quickly do the job of the day.
“In only 48 hours the acidity dropped massively (7.5 -> 5 grams/litre), so we started harvesting on the 2nd of October but picked everything in just 4 days. Average yields were 27-30 hl/ha. I extended the fermentations with a little sugar as they were going a little faster than I liked – but still nothing has finished with an alcohol higher than 13%.
“You could say that it was the most difficult pregnancy, but the birth was easy – and I think we have good kids!”
All I can say, is that this was the most memorable tasting of my 2013 Reds campaign! And any wine here would be happily accomodated into my cellar…
These 2013 were racked 7-10 days earlier. Jean-Marie, nailing his colours to the mast, summarised by saying “I prefer the aromatic structure and the tannin structure of these 2013s versus the 2012s.” Virtually the whole range receives a maximum of 20% new oak. Jean-Marie is currently looking towards bottling in February.
The ‘domaine’ selection…
2013 Morey St.Denis Clos Solon
Beautiful bright red fruit, finely accented with florals too. There’s a base of slightly ‘grabby’ tannin – but modestly so. Less modest is the tasty fruit. Already a winner, this wine adds a silky coating to your teeth!
From Les Mombies.
The nose starts tight – then ‘pow’ – gorgeous aromatic fruit. Faint gas on the palate but it’s still lithe, with high-toned, floral-inflected fruit. Brilliant – and always a favourite of mine.
85% from Champerrier and the balance from Combe de Dessus.
There’s a little more aromatic muscle here and a hint of salt to the nose too – the aromas seemingly growing in the glass. Wide, with more sucrosité, and although with fine detail less dynamic than the Chambolle – if marginally so. Detial and precision though – gorgeously good!
2013 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Gruenchers
Here is aromatic depth but it’s a tighter width. Gloriously detailed and transparent with dynamic fruit and an undertow of tannin – the first tannin I’ve noted at this address. Slowly a brighter detail also emerges. Another beauty.
Here is a brighter, crunchy-fruit aromatic – very detailed and pretty. Faint gas on the palate but also more depth and texture – a ripe-fruit-led wine, but still fresh fruit. Mouth-watering flavour, indeed a great line of flavour that bursts with fruit in the finish. Bravo!
2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Combe aux Moines
Here the nose has more high tones and is quite mineral and transparent. Also gorgeously transparent in the mouth. This is very wide, with a modest intensity of fruit flavour, yet with a beautiful intensity. Lovely!
A rounder, even more textured nose that develops a beautiful violet note. Fuller and round with a padded concentration. Super deportment, large and incredibly tasty, if super-primary.
In very many years I prefer the Clos St.Jacques to the Griotte, but in this vintage, and despite a little more CSJ complexity, the Griotte is an easy winner for me.
The ‘maison’ selection…
Jean-Marie: “Bought grapes will never exceed 30% of my total production – I like to think of it more as a ‘domaine extension.’ I also won’t buy from further afield than my neighbouring villages – because how do I then know what weather they had?” About half of Jean-Marie’s grape purchases are picked by his own team, and he notes that he only buys from people who also make wine from the same grapes – not from people who only grow to sell.
From vines in Fixin.
Super colour – virtually the same as the Griotte that it follows. Wide, pretty, high-toned aromas – nice even after the grand cru. Some gas, bright fruit and perfectly padded acidity. Brilliant for the label.
2013 Vosne-Romanée Aux Réas
Nicely fresh aromatics again – but this time with darker-red fruit. Again a little gas and lovely fruit, the more you wait, the better it gets as the gas fades. Also super!
2013 Vosne-Romanée 1er Aux Chaumes
A padded but faintly reductive nose. Fuller, yet I find a surprising minerality for Chaumes. There is tannin too – not your typical Chaumes, but all the more fine for that!
Wow! Super aromatic depth – yum! Round in the mouth yet no lack of structure here. A simply gorgeous and far from facile Chambolle.
2013 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Amoureuses
Fuller and rounder on the nose. Gas and some tannin on the tongue – but a slowly growing weight of very pretty fruit – flavour that hold very well into the finish.. Really grand cru length, but today, not the rest, fine as it is.
From Champs Traversins.
Depth, freshness and salinity wrapped in dark fruit. Immediately fuller, and with still-growing intensity. Super mid-palate fruit – a real beauty this. Faint tannin holding onto the finishing note.
From Grands Maupertuis.
Really wide, high-toned and faintly spicy – with depth too! Full, dense, tannic – but fine tannin. Here is proper, frankly excellent Clos de Vougeot.
Beautiful aromatic – high-toned and deep. Not super wide across the tongue but the flavour intensity grows very quickly to fill every space in your mouth. A super mid-palate too – I love this wine.
More taut, mineral and focused – perfectly transparent on the nose. Still the faintest of gas but rather than ‘form this wine just has weight. Pretty much picture-perfect wine – even for Bèze! – Beautiful.
The least aromatic impact of these last 3 wines – but still nicely detailed. Across the tongue this is pure wine; wide, detailed, complex and with a little more padding than its siblings.