Tasted in Savigny (sort-of) with Blair Pethel, the 12 December 2016.
2 Chemin des Planchots
Tel: +33 6 86 92 00 29
Blair Pethel’s new winery in Savigny, is still progressing; his 2015 Chablis wines are there, and maybe the rest of his whites will also make it there – sometime!
Blair on 2016:
“2016 pretty bad is all that I can say. In 2015 I have 19 cuvées, in 2016 I have only 10. It’s the most maddeningly heterogeneous vintage – in 2 parcels I made a correct yield for first time ever, but in Savigny I made nearly zero. I still think it will be difficult to prune to get proper growth in 2017 – let’s see, I haven’t started yet.
Blair on pricing of 2015:
“Just like last year, I won’t be raising my prices for the 2015s – at least not in Euros. I’d rather sell cheaper wine than more expensive wine, so the current market is very frustrating.”
Blair started to harvest after the rain – everything was ripe at the same time – so they picked everything in 7 days, including the Chablis. Blair hasn’t used whole-clusters since 2009, and says he won’t try again. There’s no new oak in 2015 (like 2014), but many of the barrels are 1-year-old – Blair now mainly buys one-year-old barrels.
Blair remains one of the best white wine producers in Burgundy, and his sometimes ‘a little too sleek reds’ are just the perfect fit to the 2015 vintage – a double win! A great address for both colour in this vintage.
First time for this cuvée – but there will be no 2016 as the grape source was from the bottom of Volnay – to be racked in a couple of weeks…
Sumptuous, with wonderful aromatic texture too. Also great texture on the palate. A bright explosion of energy and a very faintly salted black fruit. Top wine!
A deeper, darker, almost blackberry fruit. Direct, linear, fresh and intense – for a Chorey this has a fabulous form – wonderful – and another new cuvée.
2015 Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Planchots du Nord
More perfumed, some flowers, lithe, layered, achingly pretty fruit. A beauty!
2015 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Talmettes
Pretty, quite elegant red fruit. Bright, elegant again, a complex rather than a big wine – lively depth of red flavour though. Mouth-watering – lovely.
A big floral bouquet. Silky, lithe, fresh and complex – yes! Super finishing, long, long…
2015 Volnay 1er Pitures
The nose slowly clears in the glass, to show a blend of flowers and attractive mineral impressions. Fine depth of flavour here, followed by vibrant finishing flavour. Subtly rather than demonstratively long. Tasty wine.
2015 Volnay 1er Taillepieds
A much deeper nose, dark but inviting fruit. Good weight of textured flavour. Really extra, slightly saline, complexity. Yum!
2015 Morey St.Denis Les Blanchards
More airy, red complexity. A little gas, a layered delivery of flavour – waves – again with a little salinity, the mineral flavour clinging tenaciously to the palate.
A really difficult parcel to work, it’s easy to compact the soil as there are springs below.
A growing weight of red fruit – transparently so – nice. Hmm, this packs out the palate very well, mineral freshness, nicely textured as there are no ‘Nuits tannins’ here, just a lovely mouth-watering finish, faintly flowered, this is excellent.
2014 Bourgogne Chardonnay Les Millerandes
Bright, fresh nose. Some gas. Really wide, intense, faintly saline. Really fine fresh wine here with intensity to match. I’m unsure as to whether I like the fruit profile this year, but there’s freshness and intensity galore!
2015 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Vergelesses
Hmm, a yellow ripe citrus here. More texture, more depth, less directly intense. A pineapple suggestion, and a fine, long, faintly mineral fade into the horizon. Pretty good with a great finish.
15% pinot blanc.
Ooh, a little exotic, agrumes too but really a gorgeous nose. Wow – gorgeous again – agrumes, freshness, delicate complexity. Just beautiful wine. Bravo!
A little herb, some flowers too. Fresh, beautiful line, complex in the mid-palate. Super finish, mineral, saline and mouth-watering fruit. A little oak in the finish today too, but not for long…bravo!
These parcels are separated by the width of a vineyard road but also a fault, so a 3m terrace of vertical height too.
A deeper nose, bubbling citrus, but fresh too. Lots of gas. Super line, intense, fine acidity and energy. Hard to keep in the mouth – bravo!
A nose of fresh volume but supported by a deep well of fresh fruit too. Again some gas. Again intense and just a little more mouth-watering. Some oak to fade in the mid-palate, but this has a fabulous finish of waves of fresh flavour. Another winner!
Really deep aromas, though an accent reduction. Slowly a noble reduction. I’m waiting again for the gas to fade – really wow intensity and line here, almost increases in intensity again after you spit/swallow. Brilliant line. No big shoulders here, just a great wine.
2015 Chablis 1er Côte de Lechets
No problem with hail in 15 but plenty in 16. Will rack this before the end of year and then keep in tank for 2 months before bottling.
Bright, fresh classic, indeed beautiful nose. More supple than I expect, a certain softness, but the flavour is fine and with super penetration. More time needed for the first part of the palate.
2015 Chablis Bougros
Much more floral, a width of fine citrus fruit too. Supple, open, really slowly mouth-wateringly complex. Yum
2015 Chablis Valmur
A little more depth, more classic salinity. Supple again. A more seamless texture, fine, really a weight of fresh finishing flavour. Top stuff!