Chandon de Briailles – 2017


Tasted in Savigny-lès-Beaune with François de Nicolay, 13 November 2018.

Domaine Chandon de Briailles
1 Rue Soeur Goby
21420 Savigny-lès-Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 21 52 31

François on the 2018 vintage:
A very nice harvest – and another special vintage which went very fast. We had a normal growth pattern in the Spring but as it had rained the whole Winter, growth was very fast in the good Spring. Mildew pressure came in July but then it went away with the good weather. 80% of the surface of the domaine is now ploughed by horse. We anticipated the same yield as in 2017 but actually had more. We started 21st August with very ripe chardonnay but the reds were certainly not ready so had to wait a little while longer. We worked in the mornings as was really too hot to harvest in the afternoons – we harvested right up to 21st September – hard but happy to bring in such great grapes. The malos went quickly following the alcoholic fermentation – like in 2017. Our banker is sleeping much better now!

François on the 2017 vintage:
2017 we started the 1st September – also another quite long harvest – usually all is done in 10 days here – but still less time harvesting than in 2018. More in the traditional style of pinot, quite healthy fruit too, though more to remove than in 2018, of-course. Some warm weather but less overt than in 2018. I think it very good in both whites and reds. I could compare the vintage to 2002 and 1992 for the good balance with supple, charming starts – I’m positively surprised by this vintage.

The wines…

Such an excellent domaine in 2017 – profound wines, with an uncommon concentration in this vintage.

2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune
Bottom of Aux Fourneau 1er in deep clay soil. This one of the few that are bottled.
Very attractive red fruit with just the faintest twist of herb. Full, depth of concentration, very fine, almost powdery tannin, and a depth of delicious red fruit. Ooh this is a delicious entré wine, with just a touch of dry extract on the lovely finish – bravo!

2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Aux Fourneau
Still in barrel.
A little deeper colour. Another level to this airy nose, a hint of lactic but also depth and purity of riper fruit. Fuller but with a fresh energy, a very fine grain to the tannin – like the villages – layered flavour. Definitely on their game in 2017 here – a touch of herb complexity in the finish – very wide and long finishing. Excellent.

2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Lavières
The level of whole clusters is just the same as the Fourneaux but ‘the liestone soil here makes the wine much more openly perfumed’
A deep, pungently perfumed nose – lots of attractive and inviting aromatic volume. Hmm, the whole cluster flavour is quite evident here – deliciously so – long, muscular but never hard. Concentrated, excellent wine! Great Lavières.

2017 Pernand 1er Les Vergelesses
This has been racked into tank. Under Ile next to Fichots. Mainly deep clay soils but it’s a darker clay than in Fourneau as there’s more iron.
Plenty of colour. Ooh that’s also a very big aromatic, more spiced than directly whole cluster perfumed. Wider, lovely shimmering intensity of flavour. A long diminuendo. Absolutely as delicious as the Lavières but today, at least, I have a personal preference for that wine.

2017 Pernand 1er Ile des Vergelesses
Racked into tank just three days ago with 2g sulfite per hectoliter – the first sulfur of the elevage. Actually also haven’t used sulfur in the vines for 6 years, just skimmed milk – so no more are the reductive wines in elevage and normally that means that no racking is required. ‘The first difference in the vines is that I think we have a little better photosynthesis, and of-course the workers can go directly in the vines after treatments.’
A less over nose though still with a nice shape. Ooh that’s good – large scaled in the mouth, starting very silky before ink into a finely grained core of round, delicious fruit. This is so good! Excellent wine – such a profound length!

2017 Corton Les Marèchaudes
Also under Corton-Bressandes but more to the north with big ‘tête de mouton’ limestone. The first level on the hill above Ladoix. Usually the grand cru that is most approachable young.
A fine depth of aroma, very faintly lactic. A similar volume in the mouth to the Ile, but this has a much more open with an approachable freshness and easy-going nature. Actually if you tasted these two wines blind you might be persuaded that this is the 1er as there is less impact than shown by the Pernand, but certainly there’s a finer structure here – I’d take the Ile ahead of this. Tasty, open wine with a fine length…

2017 Corton les Bressandes
From 4 parcels, mid-hill, east-facing with a great blend of clay and limestone. This hasn’t been racked from barrel yet.
Less open at the top of the nose but here is a wine with very much aromatic depth, touched by attractive whole-cluster elements. A little gas here. But really such a scale of wine – intense, mouth-filling – really energetic – I can see why they are waiting for this. Such an impressive thing, touched with a modest astringency to virtually grain-less tannin. Big, impressive open and pure. Yes!

2017 Corton Clos du Roi
This parcel at the top of the vineyard – old vines with a low yield – towards the Charlemagne, with poorer soil than in Bressandes, less clay. This has been racked into tank.
Less overt nose again – but there’s an open quality to it. Fresh like the Bressandes, almost as much energy but more depth of flavour and apparent concentration. Complex and tasty finishing – another baby wine with a touch more elegance and perhaps depth of flavour too, though maybe less overt energy vs the Bressandes. Super long…

Les blancs

2017 Savigny Blanc
The first vintage les Saucours, towards the village in the direction of the Autoroute. A cooler area – this should be the second vintage but it was frosted in 2016 – still only a half crop from these young vines. Still in tank and like the reds, first sulfur of the elevage when assembled.
Hmm, this is open, apparently nicely concentrated, mobile over the palate. A certain richness that you don’t always see in Savigny blanc but with all the balancing energy that you could wish. Ripe pineapple style of fruit. Very tasty and beautifully put together.

2017 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Ile des Vergelesses
A deep nose, maybe a suggestion of reduction? It’s still in barrel for now – but maybe not reduced as there’s a fine freshness but still a compact stance to the nose. A little gas, but lots of scale, plenty of energy, a finer quality of fruit vs the Saucours. Complexity and a beautiful finishing texture. Vibrant finishing – a wine where each component is better than the last. A beauty.

2017 Corton Blanc
95% Bressandes, the rest is a contribution from Chaumes
A larger scale – fresh and wide but certainly with a certain concentration behind. Hmm – nice zip. Wide, good open freshness, openly complex and changing, just a few barrel notes here – but this is a fine and quite mineral style of wine but with just a touch of oak richness today. Really long – very classy wine indeed.

2017 Corton-Charlemagne
High on the hill – From the northern side, on the hill in Renardes
Fine width of aroma here – an attractive freshness. Hmm – a little more mouth-filling volume, also more transparency. Fine, very fine on the palate leaching pretty and pure flavour over tongue. Long, and constantly changing flavour that’s slightly more sweet mineral inflected. Bravo – super wine.

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