Tasted in Fontaines with Benoit Pagot, 08 November 2019.
11 Grand Rue
Tel: +33 3 85 91 49 66
Benoit on 2019:
“This year about minus 30% volume. It was really the flowering and the dryness that were to blame. For info, we started our official conversion process for organic certification in this vintage – we’re looking to have certification for all the domaine wines.”
Benoit on 2018:
“From July right up to harvest we had no rain in Mercurey – so it’s not been hyper-generous there – we lost about one-third! It was really a Rully-Mercurey problem, though in Rully there were some storms so the wines had about 1° lower. The whites that didn’t start very expressive during elevage, only really opening up after racking – the reds by-comparison were open and generous very quickly. The wines have good expression but seem to be improving all the time and with good differentiation too. I would say that in the Côte Chalonnaise 2018 has a present, powerful, dense fruit, like 2017, as it’s not meagre like 2016 or over-rich like 2015.”
Gouffier have established themselves as the goto ’boutique’ wine producer of the Chalonnaise. They seem very happy to experiment on certain cuvées – almost as much as Maupertuis in Chablis. If their wines appear on a wine list, I rarely pass them by!
It’s a big range in Fontaines these days, so we concentrated on the newer white cuvées and then the reds:
‘The whites are now all DIAM, I’m not quite ready to do the same with the reds, but the corks – wine side – have a polyethylene coating. It’s about timing with richer whites everybody loves them when more than 5 years old, less so young – with DIAM I’m happy to wait.‘
2018 Bourgogne Aligoté
From Bissey, sandy granitic soil, made in tank.
Growing, golden, still citrus width – an inviting nose. Hmm, mineral, vibrant finishing, long – super aligoté, no question.
2018 Givry Blanc Champ Poreux
More width and vibrancy – and depth too – of aroma, perhaps a touch of oak in this. A direct, nicely mineral, beautiful width of flavour, plenty of oak in this, so wait, but here is fine shape, freshness and deliciously long flavour.
2018 Montagny Le Mey
Very small slope towards the south, next to the school of Montagny.
A nicely vibrant nose again, this time almost no oak visible. Wide, more concentrated, muscled, mineral, slight flesh, a lovely, concentrated finish. Long. Maybe a little extra vivacity would make this top-level – it’s anyway excellent.
2018 Mercurey Blanc 1er Champ Martin
2% muscaté, 10 pinot blanc!
More colour here. More direct, a mineral nose, super line. Supple, depth of texture but no fat, layered, complex, a weight of finishing flavour that resembles a grand Côte de Beaune, again I’d like a touch more acid-energy, there is already mineral-energy, but this is fascinating excellent wine.
All carbonic maceration – like a Beaujolais nouveau, finished in barrels.
Deep, round, cushioned, ripe citrus, some oak. Ooh, large, round, very nice texture – the second-best aligoté tased this week – a little too much barrel today. Wide, mouth-watering, super finishing – bravo – but wait for the oak!
Made in Doreau Cognac barrels, but after they have been used for Cognac – not rinsed.
Modest colour. Ooh – fresh, mineral, almost a reductive depth – the cognac aroma was strong when I tasted from barrel previously, here not, you wouldn’t ‘find’ it if you didn’t know. Tender, round, lovely shape, melting, a touch of sucrosity, wide, vibrating with energy. Harmony, delicious, great Aligoté. So fine, so different the grapes for both these wines are same parcel, harvested the same morning.
Reds were only racked once, and had almost no turbidity so weren’t filtered. All were bottled in the last 10 days…
Plenty of wc used here.
Vibrant, wc spice in the mix. Silky, concentrated, layered, great fruit, fine energy – very sweet but delicious. A wine of impressive concentration for the label. Great villages Rully so long as it’s not too sweet for you.
South-facing red soil almost a plateau.
Deep colour again. Ooh, that’s a super nose – dark fruited, wc spiced – maybe I never smelled a more inviting Givry! Volume, freshness, a certain minerality – sleek, no fat, intense mouth-watering flavour. Simply a beauty – bravo! This could be the best villages Givry I ever tasted!
‘We normally use the climat name but this is a purchase and the seller didn’t want us to use the name of the climat – but we could use in 2018! It’s Les Lurets on the plateau next to the 1er cru below. Harvested end as flowers almost a week later.’
Fine colour. Ooh – that’s directly a fine dark berry nose – very attractive. Fresh, energy, depth of concentration, drive and complexity. Bravo – mouth-watering great villages Givry – indeed finer than most 1ers!
2018 Mercurey Rouge Les Murgers
Not the deepest colour, but a deep nose – almost suggesting a little reduction – a minerality I think but perhaps less clarity than the last wines. Mouth-filling – so much wine here. Massive, dark-fruited, sweet almost liqueur, long, could this be syrah? I like it, it’s a wine for the ages, but I’d never guess Mercurey… Wait 10 years to drink this one 😉
2018 Mercurey Clos de la Charmée
Direction of Fontaines next to the 1er Clos Marcilly. A red soil like the Givry, lots of small grapes.
A wider nose adding a little higher tones. Nice drive, narrower but with direction, I like the aromatic impression of this wine, in the mouth too.
2018 Rully 1er Champ Claude
A very white soil, 70% wc, 50% new oak.
Wider, redder fruit, faintly spiced with whole clusters. Driving, lovely line again – a wine whose flavour melts from the core – lovely mouth-watering flavour. A little astringent in the middle but then lovely, lovely finishing flavour, almost mineral. Excellent!
Medium-plus colour. A more zen-like nose – wide, silkier, higher tones over the ripe fruit. A beautiful line, silky before the tannin grows a little but a wine of sleek lines, whose flavour grows in the middle, that offers complexity, contemplative complexity but is still mouth-watering. Excellent again – maybe more! Bravo!