Jean-Marc et Thomas Bouley – 2017


Tasted in Volnay with Thomas Bouley, 12 November 2018.

Domaine Jean-Marc et Thomas Bouley
10 Chemin de la Cave
21190 Volnay
Tel: +33 3 80 21 62 33

Thomas on 2018:
The cellar looks full! It’s a good vintage. The soil had lots of rain over the winter and it was just as well given the dryness that would come in the sumer. March, April, May were nice, some rain during flowering, but not catastrophic -. yet it was a grey time – not great light. In Volnay and Pommard we had no pressure from maladies. 23 August, 30mm of rain arrived, which was great for the balance. I averaged 41 hl/ha the double of previous years – well below the 50s that were allowed this year.

Thomas on 2017:
Less water at the start of the season, and we just avoided frost – I’m pretty sure the smoke from the fires saved our harvest, though a little of the bourgogne was still frosted. Quite a clean year in the vines and grapes, also warm. 29-30 August brought some rain which de-stressed the vines, plus a couple of mm two days later. We started harvesting the 4th for some young vines Caillerets but went full-speed only the next day – the same as in 2015. 45 hl/ha this vintage for the domaine, we’ve a naturally low rendement here and I didn’t do a green harvest. I’ve just used some compost as the vines/soil was rather tired after the recent vintages.

“I find them little 2015s because there’s a great phenolic maturity – in 2015 we had 25 hl/ha though! 2014 seems a much cooler vintage by comparison.

The wines…

Such a great set of wines – a couple were showing oak which implies a little patience – but that’s no problem as Thomas has an uncommon concentration to his 2017s. Lots wine, lots of great wine!

The first three reds have been racked for one week, the rest were sampled from barrel. “I can make better use of my time during elevage in the new cuverie,” says Thomas, “It depends but Spring or April will probably be a good time to bottle.

2017 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
From Les Lamboits, 0.75 ha, towards Meursault below the route nationale, very draining soil, light soil…
Dark red fruit pure and enticing. Supple – ooh that’s concentrated – Volnay by any other name – bravo! A long mineral line to finish – great bourgogne.

2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
From just above the village of Volnay on the plateau – almost a hectare – clay and red soil, lots of small rocks.
A big, round though slightly reductive nose. Again a supple entry, a fresher style, without the extra layer of fat from the Bourgogne, but a more open complexity. This is excellent – just wait to seee how it shows when the nose clears. Great finish again…

2017 Volnay
There are three villages cuvées here, this from deeper, more clay, soil with one part on white soil to balance the ‘generosity’ of the clay.
A much narrower nose, but silky, darker fruit here. Hmm, vibrant, fresh, open dark fruit. A lick of tannin affects the texture but virtually without grain. Many dimension of flavour plus depth of flavour. The best finish yet – great energetic dark fruit.​

Now not racked, on lees in barrel, some sulfur end of August – “It depends, but Spring or April will probably be a good time to bottle.

2017 Volnay Clos de Cave
Directly behind the house, steep but also on a deep soil, after 3 metres it’s white marl. 50% whole clusters.
Ooh, great. Floral, vibrant fruit – bravo. Wide, more composed in the mouth, dark-fruited, great complexity. The palate needs to open a little but the nose is brilliant. Excellent finishing density to the flavour – not to mention the length too!

2017 Volnay Vieilles-Vignes
Red ground, very little soil though, near the rock, 100% destemmed. Always very small grapes from the old vines here.
Also a great nose – it reminds of the last but with an even more thrilling depth of aroma. Ooh this envelops the palate, a little structure, lots of depth. Density coupled with freshness – bravo. So long… it’s a Volnay Villages Thomas says, almost matter of factly!

2017 Pommard
From Vaumuriens, high on the hill, there’s a cool breeze here and white soil – the opposite conditions of the Volnay VV. This was the last to finish its malo in June. Here no sulfur yet – ‘naturally austere but open from the terre blanche’
Hmm – red fruited perhaps an accent of reduction – not fully formed yet. Hmm – wide, open, complex, airy but not lacking either depth or concentration. Yum!

2017 Beaune 1er Reversées
Vines below Les Avaux and the Clos des Mousse. Very sunny, old vines with small grapes, always the first to be harvested. 50% whole-cluster. ‘I find that this wine can be too easy and fruity, it lacks energy without the whole clusters.’
Open bright and fresh, rather a floral perfume developing in the glass. A touch of gas, more overt wc flavour profile, very floral, compact, concentrated in the middle, slowly mouth-watering and melting in a super finish.

2017 Volnay 1er Caillerets
‘The Amoureuses of Volnay.’ Young vines, just 14 years old. High up near Champans, fragmented rock, not much soil. All destemmed.
A vibrantly floral purity. A touch of class – ooh wow, so much class after the Beaune, a touch of reduction too, but beautiful depth of fine texture, and layered flavour of clarity. Grand Vin – bravo! Then the flavour radiates out in the finish – great!

2017 Volnay 1er Carelle sous la Chapelle
Only 3.5 ha the whole cru – these vines are mid-slope, red soil with lots of iron and big limestone rocks below the surface.
A wider nose, more fruit, depth of fruit, less but still present flowers. A little fizz of CO2, layers coupled to freshness – there’s concentration though more velvet texture vs the silk-velour of the Caillerets. The tannin is just a little more visible. Excellent…

2017 Volnay 1er Clos de Chênes
50% whole clusters in this one.
Wide, a nose of energy, fresh, slowly adding flowers. Open, lots of volume, pure ripe fruit – a wine that’s more about fruit than the previous ones, but with a round freshness thats not forceful like some. Some bitters and really lots of complexity to finish, mouth-watering complexity. This is lovely.

2017 Pommard 1er Fremiets
50% wc again.
A depth of fresh, dark fruit, not so wide, a less overt floral component. Ooh, but this has a certain extra depth of flavour and simply fabulous texture – you would not directly guess Pommard. So complex in the finish, I think a the oak is currently accenting the flavour complexity – but super suave wine!
2017 Pommard 1er Rugiens
100% whole cluster. All on the higher part close to the rock, but none of the red soil of bas…
A narrow but fine nose with a complex spice, eventually with a hint of oak backing. Oak again, but very sympathetic – like the last – wide, a good but not overt energy – layers of mid and finishing flavour, slightly saline and mouth-watering but more notes of an almost coconut oak. Have patience – the finish is more mineral in style.

2017 Bourgogne Aligote
All tank elevage, no sulfur
Hmm an interesting nose but one with tons of interest almost a touch of anise. Hmm, this has a great line – fresh of line, layered and pure. Mouth-watering. Simply super and absolutely delicious.

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