Tasted with Andrew and Emma Nielsen in Beaune, 18 October, 2017.
Andrew on 2016:
“The frost hit Beaune and Savigny-lès-Beaune badly; the Savigny red was down about 60%, the white was 90% down! We also have no Beaune Grèves blanc – 60-70% was lost to the frost, the rest to the mildew.
“It wasn’t so bad in Beaujolais, except for Fleurie where we lost everything. The BJ Villages from Fleurie-Lancie was also lost. For the rest we got a good 12% maturity, achieved with the Indian summer. I’m sure 2016 will be more ‘classic’ than the voluptuous 15s, we did a shorter skin contact as there was some rosé grapes. All wines made with no sulfur ferments – maybe it will be Spring before we use our first sulfur.”
The Poncié is hard to taste today, but the rest are very easy purchase recommendations and a few are simply great wines. This is a great 2016 range – even if some wines are missing due to the frost.
2016 Fleurie Poncié
‘Using the Chauvet method, pressed based on yeast count – was done in 2 weeks, which was a little quicker than in 2015. No pumping, no pigeage, half the sugar fermented on skins then barrel aged without fining and filtration etc.
Hmm, a nice complexity, a little minerality too. Round, a little herb, good layers of finish. This to wait for…
2016 Cote de Brouilly
A new wine – ‘Blue granite here, old bush-vines high on the hill – the last pick a full two weeks after the villages Beaujolais. Whole cluster – destemed gamay is the devils work – and in this first year, not the Chauvet method.’
Good deep colour. A little reductive to start, but it opens and freshens in the glass. Hmm, after the more herby structural Poncié, here is a much more overt fruit – waves of delicious dark-fruited flavour. This is a beauty.
38 rows of 60 year-old vines. 50% whole cluster, it was really lovely fruit this year. The best going into our ‘awesome boxes!’ Kept as whole cluster so it’s the fruit rather than ideology per se. On skins for 14 days with no pumping or pigeage. Pressed still with plenty of sugar in the juice and finish in the tank. I want to highlight the aromatics, not extraction. Finally in old barrels – there were only 3 from half a hectare – it wasn’t just some frost here, there was mildew and coulure as the grower is organic. All ferments were no sulfur – first additions early May’
Plenty of colour. A lovely, almost silky and wide red-fruited nose. Supple, so beautifully fruited, ripe clean, precise but fresh and delicious too. Simply beautiful…
‘Again about half whole cluster, did some pigeage for three days after ferment – not to extract, rather to liberate the juice – almost like a little sugar addition each day for three days. One new barrel from 9’
Here really a depth of colour. Modest but beautifully defined fruit of clarity. Hmm, more depth, layers of flavour. Juicy, delicious, extra structure but nothing threatening, dark fruited. Great!
There is no Savigny white or Beaune Grèves white.
‘Near Peronne close to Viré-Clesse on a steep west-facing limestone hill – not much clay here. I press really hard, oxidising the juice before 100% barrel ferment. Here are the favourite 10 barrels – the tête de cuvee.‘
A lovely width of aroma here – a hint of salinity too. Supple, nice texture, a beautiful growing intensity of flavour. Layers of finishing flavour too – a hint saline finishing. Really super for the label – bravo.
2016 St.Aubin En la Beaupain
A long sloping vineyard, west-sloping – a lot of cool air here so it’s the last picked.
Ooh – this is really engaging, racy aromatic with tighter aspect, faintly oaked. Lovely pure citrus and rock, nicely textured, the oak is very subtle in the finish – I expected more from the nose, but this remains a really super wine.
2016 Santenay 1er Les Gravières Blanc
On white soil, from 45-year-old vines. Pressed hard no sulfur during ferment again.
A very faint reductive toast, slowly relaxing with a hint of citrus. Supple, again with mobile, moving, waves of flavour. Lots of sucrosity blended with salinity, always with a weight of, but not oppressive quality to the, fruit. Really works very well, ive a slight preference for the St.Aubin, but only by a short head! The fruit keeps developing. Delicious wine – again.