La Pousse d’Or – 2017

Update 10.3.2021(29.12.2018)billn

Tasted in Volnay with Benoît Landanger and Marleen Nicot, 29 November 2018.

Domaine de la Pousse d’Or
8 Rue de la Chapelle
21190 Volnay
Tel: +33 3 80 21 24 03

​Benoît on 2018:
2018 – it’s really not bad! In terms of volume we have the same, roughly, as in 2017. We have the policy of having 5-6 clusters per vine so had no surprises. We also have the policy of picking quite late but this year we went earlier – that surprised a lot of our neighbours! But with not so many grapes per vine we had ripened quickly. 27 Aug was our starting-point but it was a long harvest as we waited for optimum maturity.

​Benoît on 2017:
2017 was an incredible year in Burgundy, from the perspectives of quality, quantity and balance it’s great for all the wineries, but particularly so in Volnay, after the short crops of the last years. The policy here is to limit production to 35 hl/ha, but it would have been easy to make at 55 in 2017. So for us it’s not a high quantity harvest, it’s a correct quantity harvest. Oh – and more good news in 2017 – we will have a second white wine – we are so happy to have vinified and elevaged a Chevalier-Montrachet!

The wines…

Benoît says that he finds 2017 a very good vintage, but more a Côte de Beaune vintage – overall I’d disagree, but in this cellar he’s completely correct. Excellent Côte de Nuits wines, but in the context of the vintage, their Côte de Beaunes are some of the greatest this year!

In 2017 we start tasting the Côte de Nuits first – it just seems better that way today.” Racked in October, all in stainless-steel right now. They will probably start to bottle the CdN wines in March, maybe later, but will ‘respect the phases of the moon’ for that.

​2017 Chambolle-Musigny
A round nose that’s slightly textured slowly adding some higher tones. Fresh, direct, but with depth of flavour concentration too. Layered finishing with a little halo of brightness – long finishing. Super…

2017 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Feuselottes
Here the nose is narrower, but fresher and deeper. Extra depth – more open freshness and energy – a fine clarity here with an almost earthy depth of finishing complexity – this is really excellent – complex, energetic fine Chambolle.

2017 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Groseilles
Plenty of colour in all so far. Tighter but with pretty top notes of aroma and a suggestion of reduction behind. Wider, more overt depth of flavour but not the same fresh precision of the Feuselottes – its’s more a broad weight of complexity here. Very different character, a touch of licorice in the finish. Super but if I had to choose just one I’d take the Feuselottes!

2017 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
More open, there’s freshness and a bit of muscle to the nose. Open, fresh, transparent, beautiful airy flavour. Layers with mouth-watering, faintly saline inflected flavours. Long, changing, delicious – the least overtly powerful of these but with a very fine and transparent quality – very long too…

2017 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Amoureuses
Hmm – transparent and very inviting nose – not showing the same depth as the other wines, but very fine. Fresh, a wine of drive and intensity – a touch of tannin on the tip of the tongue too – Broad, complex, almost a little explosion of finishing flavour – have a little patience the structure says, but the flavours are really delicious.

2017 Bonnes-Mares
Relatively a tighter nose, but there’s purity and an implied depth, a weight of aroma below. Sleek, fresh, of line – it reminds of the Amoureuses in its shape but growing wider and with a more controlled – though more – tannin. Beautifully balanced and round. The chance of really excellent here, just adding a hint of floral in the slightly saline finish too…

2017 Clos de la Roche
Much more open, complex and inviting – really a mega invitation. Round, like the Bonnes-Mares – superbly balanced and round – no edges – lots of everything – but this is a little more open than the BM today – a really great wine though. More demonstrative in the finish too.

​Côte de Beaune – will bottle these in December, except the two Cortons:

2017 Santenay 1er Clos Tavannes
Hmm – this has a fine weight and purity of aroma considering its position in the tasting. Open, mobile, beautifully red fruited, just a little less class to the grain of tannin, but not much – less inherent depth but there’s a more open and accessible complexity today. Delicious, in fact bravo following the grand crus.

2017 Volnay 1er Clos d’Audignac
Named after the owner in the 800s who planted vines here – François d’Audignac
A fine freshness again, a little warmness to the fruit here. Silken, open, a classier depth of texture and fresh fruit – Wider, interesting and persistent finishing. Beautiful…

2017 Clos de la Bousse d’Or
Like all of these, great colour. Wide, fresh – a little more astringence of tannin, but the reward comes in the mid to finishing flavours which are vibrant and pure. There’s a weight to the persistence of flavour here. Ooh that’s good – but have more patience here.

2017 Volnay 1er Les Caillerets
Hmm – a zen nose – there is a single pure tone – a line of aroma – yes! Fresh, much sleeker than the Bousse – more energy too – fresh, open and complex – growing after swallowing and only then adding floral components – ooh this is already great!
2016 Clos de 60 Ouvrées
A more cushioned nose, more rounded but very inviting. Like the nose – this big, round and cushioned – delicious, melting with a composed yet lovely energy, not quite the same clarity yet at the same time more complete and mouth-watering. Great!
2017 Pommard 1er Les Jarolières
Hmm – a fine depth and overall volume of dark fruit here, slightly cushioned – completely inviting. Fresh, open, perfectly structured, power but refinement of flavour too. Ooh that’s great Pommard – Bravo!

2017 Corton Bressandes
Not a nose of impact, or particular depth, but such a fine and growing mix of fruit and growing floral perfume. Here is the first wine I detect a little oak in the mid-palate – perhaps more through reduction. But volume, concentration but balanced delivery. Excellent.

2017 Corton Clos du Roi
Less aromatic volume than the Bressandes but another level of refinement – it’s a seriously great invitation. Much more volume, more open – the Clos de Vougeot of Corton in its architectural volumes and openness – layered delicious fresh, pure flavour – bravo!

Now for the Amphora wines:

2017 Volnay 1er Bousse d’Or Amphora
Clean, pure – zero artifice. Open, such clarity, a touch of tannin (who needs oak for that…) layered, contemplative but with all the balance you could wish for. More weighted in the finish, persistent. Sooo good….
2017 Volnay 1er Caillerets Amphora
Ethereal aromatics of pure fruit. Extra depth, line and apparent concentration – even more here, again touched by a halo of tannin but minor. Open gorgeous, long flavour that’s more of a line than the depth and extra weight of the Bousse… My new favourite!

2017 Volnay 1er Les 60 Ouvrées Amphora
A tiny touch of lactic but high-toned behind – less open and pure today than the previous two wines. Great volume, perhaps a touch of gas – really very open, layered – a third completely different shape to the wines. Beautifully finishing though clearly the least ready.

And to finish, les blancs:

2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Caillerets
Ooh – that’s a direct nose – full attack at the moment, sweet, fresh agrume notes. Volume, a touch of tannin – energy, weight – really all the parts for greatness – they just need to be knitted together – it’s already close. Will be great – you only need to experience to finish to see that!
2017 Chevalier-Montrachet
First vintage on fermage – nearly 3 ouvrées – will have about 800 bottles or-so – larger barrels for elevage.
Also a forward nose with plenty of attack. Ooh this is really in place, concentrated, penetrating with great but not harsh acidity, – layers, like water flowing over the palate. So wide in the finish – great, also with a little finishing tannin…

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