Antoine Olivier – 2016


Tasted in Santenay with Antoine Olivier, 06 November 2017.

Domaine Antoine Olivier
5 rue Gaudin
21590 Santenay, France
Tel: +33 (0)3 80 20 61 35

Antoine on 2017:
The weather wasn’t too bad – a little too warm in June and July but it was lovely during the harvest. It’s my biggest harvest since 2009 – it’s not a huge one but more ‘normal’ I would say. The reds look very interesting – probably a medium aging vintage. Whites I’d have liked a bit more acidity, but I think we have more acidity than some places. We harvested the first week of September.

Antoine on 2016:
2016 is my worst harvest – even worse than in 2012 – 90% down in Savigny, 80% down in Pommard, 60% down in Rully. There was too much grass in the vines, and then this was the first year that I struggled to control the mildew. In the end I chose not to use synthetics, but I paid for it: In the worst place in Santenay I lost 20% to mildew, and normally some of these places, like Sous la Roche, I just don’t get mildew! ​The reds are about 55% down. I had to buy a special barrel for the Savigny! 8 cases of fruit instead of 120… It was a great vintage for grass not grapes.

“​It’s a pleasant vintage for a lot of people, not too dry. I think it hard to taste after 2015s because that’s one of the best vintages of the last two years but the reds are really interesting. The whites were racked just before, and reds just after, the harvest. The wines are still ‘natural’ – there have been no sulfur additions yet – I will do after the Hospices weekend – when the clients stop coming to taste!

The wines…

Considering the trials of the vintage, and the small size of some cuvées, this is a great success in 2016. There is much here to covet…


2016 Santenay Temps des (Ce)Rises
​Half domaine grapes and others from friends – six plots, this year all destemmed, 12 months in barrel.
Big open and generous. Supple, generous again, open joyous lip-smacking flavour. Such a great value in 2016.
2016 Santenay les Charmes
All whole cluster, aged in 1/3 new barrels. Easy as there was only 3 barrels.
Hmm – a world of difference – faintly wc, wide, vibrant. Fresh, more complex, layers, great flavours – beautiful acidity, longer, fresher wine with more overt character but not more delicious.

2016 Santenay 1er Beaurepaire
40% wc, 20% new barrels.
A deeper nose, maybe a little reduction at the core. Bright, fresh, vibrant, more melting in style, a meatier fruit core with a little barrel accent, beautifully mouth-watering.

2016 Savigny-lès-Beaune
A blend with some 1er cru – the name not yet decided – “I’m sure a very serious name – 100% new barrel – one, first used as a vat.” Not exactly pigeage, as it was done by hand! 50% wc
Some wc on the nose and an accent of herb but a good core of fruit. Supple, good concentration, fresh with a good finishing line of flavour. A good wine and it’s complex too, a little less distinction than most years but it’s still a good one.

2016 Pommard
Normally 80% sourced from Noizons. All wc, 50% new oak, but only 2 barrels.
A tighter nose, modestly saline. Good volume, a more structural wine, with some oak and wc complexity, a little more finishing tannin, but really the most impressive finishing flavour – quite some distinction here.

Les Blancs…

2016 Bourgogne Aligoté Oublié le Cassis.
A complex origin, some from Rully, some from Santenay and Mercurey. All pressed and then vinified in 350 litre barrels
A big, forward nose of energy. Big in the mouth too. Fresh, nice texture, layers on the finish. A super, and enjoyably big wine. Yum!

2016 Bourgogne Blanc Les Dindes
Almost all from Mâcon – three different producers
Vibrant, almost mineral but inviting. Supple, mouth-filling, great acidity and layers of flavour. This is absolutely delicious!

2016 Rully
A little more than 15% new oak, but larger barrels – 350 litre.
Round, less overt, a little oak spice. Big in the mouth, a line, a long wave of fresh flavour persistent too. At this age I prefer the Bourgogne,

2016 Santenay Sous la Roche
A good width with some ripe lemon in here. Big, energetic, a little fat to the texture, long, beautifully intense – this is great – just a hint of barrel in the finish, but forgivable. Bravo – from less than 39 hl/ha
2015 Santenay Bieveaux
Good volume, faint citrus and some fresher lemon citrus. Fresher in style, melting flavour, a hint less density but on the other hand more complexity. Equally good today, but I slightly prefer the SLR but this finish holds more.

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