Vougeraie – 2015

Update 16.12.2016(8.12.2016)billn

dsc01911Tasted in Premeaux with Pierre Vincent, 02 December, 2016.

Domaine de la Vougeraie
Rue de l’Église
21700 Nuits St.Georges
Tel: +33 3 80 62 48 25

Pierre is moving on:
I’m not (knowingly) breaking any embargo here, despite having seen nothing official about this, but as I publish this review, Pierre Vincent has his last week employed by the JC Boisset group. He will soon take up his new position at Domaine Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet – I wish him a lot of success, he’s worked very hard and delivered great things chez Vougeraie. Merci Pierre.

Pierre on 2016:
Our volume was down 40% – roughly 20 hl/ha for the reds and 25 hl/ha for the whites. The domaine is spread over 40 km and some areas gave normal yields, but others like Corvées-Pagets and Savigny returned only 5 hl/ha. I’m assembling all three of our Beaune 1ers, that’s normally 20 barrels worth! Fortunately, from a quality perspective, we had lovely raw materials with good acidity and nice sugars.

“Savigny blanc, we had 20 barrels in 2015, only 2 in 2016. It was like a cascade; weak vines, then frosted, then later mildew, et-cetera. Though the whites resisted the dryness better than the reds.

Pierre on 2015:
“2015 was a dream; perfect from Gevrey to Bâtard. Our worst triage was Montée Rouge with 3% – it’s normally 30%! We started on the 28th August for whites, the 2nd sept for reds. All were concentrated, and we had only one problem and that was the yields in reds. 40 hl/ha was achieved for whites, more like 25 hl/ha for the reds…

Sometimes you just need three periods of good weather for a great vintage; 3×15 days – flowering, veraison and harvesting. We certainly had that in 2015. I see the maturity of 2009, but with the energy of 2010.”

The wines…

A number of wines not tasted today as they had just been racked. Pierre has made some great wines over the years chez Vougeraie, but this could easily be his strongest.

2015 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Terres de Famille
Bottled just before harvest – assembled from vines around Vougeot, Hautes Côtes de Nuits, Hautes Côtes de Beaune near Santenay, including about 20% villages with Montée Rouge and Pierre Blanche with 50% whole-clusters.
Bright and fresh red fruit – very inviting. Supple, concentrated, balanced, lovely flavour, fine length. Another great bourgogne!

2015 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Marconnets
All wines after the last bourgogne – 100% whole clusters!
A little reduction but also plenty of freshness. Bright, actually very fine velvet texture, good energy. This is a super wine.

2015 Vougeot Clos Prieuré
‘Old vines, all millerandé each year.’
Bright, floral, whole-cluster notes – really a fine nose. A little more structured but also with melting and complex flavour. This is excellent. Great flavour, fine energy. Bravo!

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin
An assembly of 5 parcels, bottled last week.
A very pretty and precise nose, some whole-cluster notes too. Supple (again) fine texture (again), great fruit. Another fine and textured wine.

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles
Sweetly and faintly spiced, perhaps with pears – very beautiful. Larger, more scale, absolutely gorgeous already today. Just delicious wine.
2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Belair
Also a fresh nose, faintly and attractively redolent of whole-clusters. A tighter but nicely transparent depth. More mineral and direct, wow! More mouth-watering. Long finishing. Bravo!
2015 Chambolle-Musigny
An assembly of 7 parcels, including Baudes and Gruenchers 1ers – 20% worth.
A wide palate of aroma – mainly red fruited, faintly complex, loudly gorgeous. Similar silk and directness – cool fruit – like the last. A wine with a really great line.

2015 Corton Clos du Roi
75 year-old vines, small grapes.
A wide, almost vibrant nose. Fresh, lithe, fine, really mouth-watering and opening in the finish – a real peacocks tail super!

2015 Clos de Vougeot
2 parcels, the smaller at the bottom, the other close to the château, vinified separately. There used to be a big difference between the two but having changed pruning they are much more similar now.
Fresh bright flowers – yum! Muscled, but cushioned, great energy and texture. ‘Fabulous’ I say! It’s the best I ever made says Vincent! Just a brilliant persistence of flavour…
2015 Bonnes-Mares
From Chambolle-side, right on the border with Morey… Like the majority of GCs, 80% whole cluster.
Plenty of depth here. Clarity of fruit, some whole-cluster notes. Lithe, direct, mineral, intensity, melting flavour. Bravo again! The finish has a little more herb as part of its complexity. Simply great stuff.

Les Blancs…
Unlike the reds, which he bottles the moment that he thinks they are ready, with the whites Pierre prefers to make a long elevage.

Staying with cork here, though ‘sometimes the corks are too pliable, too soft.’

2015 Bourgogne Chardonnay Terres Familie
Majority is sourced from Hautes Côtes de Nuits, plus the young vines of the Clos Blanc.
Deep, vibrant, ripe but fresh and saline. A little fat, but very silky almost a fine tannin – little pear and flowers. Flavour-packed, but I’d like a lick more energy.

2015 Puligny-Montrachet
Two parcels near the village.
A beautiful core of ripe fruit. Bright, fresh, clean, pure flavour, faintly salted and very long. This is super. Great finishing flavour – with freshness.

2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Gains
Second vintage – 0.33 hectares that came from Girardin.
A lovely width of aroma, almost a little agrume note. Much more material, more of everything in fact, except for overt energy. Just a little to contemplative for my taste.

2015 Vougeot 1er Clos Blanc de Vougeot
Really a long alcohol fermentation – normally it’s done in January, this finished in August – the malo done at the same time. Will give this a longer elevage.
A little oak, but fine agrume notes too. Oh, this is fresh and dynamic, complex and also concentrated. Still some oak, but really great wine. Bravo!
2015 Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet
Almost 0.5 hectare, former Henri Clerc estate.
Ooh, this is beautiful. A silky ripe core but perfectly pitched. Mineral, but perfect over the palate – faintly sweet, finely textured but with intensity. Also great, very differently structured.
2015 Bâtard-Montrachet
Chassagne side, below Thenard’s Montrachet. 0.2 ha, 4 barrels
Ooh – that’s beautiful – a vibrant, fresh agrumes nose. More power, super freshness – almost mandarin flavour, faintly salted. The finish keeps getting bigger. Great again!.

2015 Le Charlemagne
2 vines, one le charlemagne, one en charlemagne. Now labelled since 2013 as ‘Charlemagne.’
Ooh, this is also a beautiful, vibrant, very faintly (nobly) reduced. Saline, fresh, powerful – just super character, a growing, transparent flavour. Long and narrowing finish – of three great whites, maybe this is number three for me, but that’s really hair-splitting as they are three different characters!

2015 Chevalier-Montrachet
Also from Clerc, the smallest cuvée of the domaine – 2 barrels. Above Bouchard’s Cabotte, Next to Prieur and Dancer, hardly any soil there. The only wine with 50% new oak as there are just two barrels.
Less wide but a vibrantly deep nose – gorgeous. Also salted, this more layered and more concentrated, but not lacking for freshness. Just a wonderfully long finishing note. Bravo. Subtle but with volume.

I’m so happy that Pierre makes great whites 😉

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