Tasted in Volnay with Thomas Bouley, 13 November 2019.
Domaine Jean-Marc et Thomas Bouley
10 Chemin de la Cave
Tel: +33 3 80 21 62 33
Thomas on 2018:
“The cellar was 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 summer. 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. On the 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 we were allowed that year.
“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. These 2018s were up and down all the way through elevage, sometimes heavy and lacking energy, next time full of energy, it’s anyway a richer vintage than 2019 but the longer elevage will be key.”
Whilst these are certainly impressive wines, in 2018 I don’t quite see the same elan as Thomas usually delivers and which his 2017s certainly have – that said, he still has some great wines for the vintage though!
2018 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
From Les Lamboits, 0.75 ha, towards Meursault below the route nationale, very draining soil, light soil…
Good weight, purity of dark fruit. Freshness, salinity, long. Excellent!
2018 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. This in barrel, the last in tank.
Faintly reductive, deep fruited. Layered, good energy, bright, intense, dark fruit – ooh this is tasting good. Long.
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. This the biggest cuvée of assembly.
Lovely shape in the mouth. There’s depth of fruit and freshness too, with more and more tension. Yum!
Directly behind the house, steep but also on a deep soil, after 3 metres it’s white marl.
Ooh that’s good! A little wc aroma with some depth. Wide, depth of flavour, finer texture – such a beautiful wine. Long too. Great villages wine.
2018 Volnay Vieilles-Vignes
Red ground, very little soil though, near the rock, 100% destemmed. Always very small grapes from the old vines here.
Good weight here but it’s a much more compact nose. A completely different flavour profile, deep, creamy, with a touch more finishing tannin. Lovely…
From Vaumuriens, high on the hill, there’s a cool breeze here and white soil – the opposite conditions of the Volnay VV.’Naturally austere but open from the terre blanche’
Hmm, floral freshness – really inviting. Direct, fresh, melting with fine tension over the palate. Beautiful Pommard!
2018 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.
Ooh, a great, wild and complex nose of wc goodness. Good roundness in the mouth, layered, the flavour’s very good but it’s not as great in the mouth today as it is on the nose! Much potential all the same.
2018 Volnay 1er Caillerets
‘The Amoureuses of Volnay.’ Young vines, just 15 years old. High up near Champans, fragmented rock, not much soil. All destemmed.
This nose needs a little working of the glass to improve expression – here all destemmed. Bubbling with complexity, a little drag from the texture, no grain. Long, more saline here. Good wine.
2018 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.
Deeper nose, less width – ‘it’s the clay’ – a floral slowly rising. Wide, depth to the tannic texture. Ooh thats a super finish, so long…
2018 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
Deep, great fruit aroma, a little tight but ‘giving’. Lovely. Mouth-filling, faintly tannic, long, super finishing taste, a diminuendo but a long one.
Smallest degree in the cellar along with the hautes cotes – 13.6°!
A great wc nose again, almost a suggestion of smoke in the perfume. Hmm, this has a beautiful structure, layered, super, mouth-watering. Gorgeous finishing. Surely excellent, probably even better.
2018 Pommard 1er Rugiens
All on the higher part close to the rock, but none of the red soil of bas… ‘No iron, no clay, practically no soil!’
A deeper wc nose, yet more compact too. Open, fine width and fresh complexity – another wine with super structure/shape. More wc flavour in the finish. And what a great finish, slightly saline, more mineral but still with a sweetness.
Some 2017s bottled at the end of April:
2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
Ooh, this nose is tight, but the palate has both drive and freshness, it’s also faintly tannic. This is open, young and fine!
Also a tightish nose. Wide, electric on the palate, I love the energy here. Long, vibrant. Ooh-so classy!
2017 Volnay Vieilles-Vignes
A little more width of aroma here. Bright more forward, layered but tasty – a little tannic bitters, but with a super burst of finishing flavour. And so long…
A similar width of aroma but tighter both above and below – a horizontal nose! Fuller, more mouth-filling, lovely finishing complexity. Bravo!
A little more density an width of aroma, more aromatic. Bigger, moth-filling wine but of freshness, long, faintly almond. Great finish… bravo.
2017 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
Hmm, this is just so wide, floral and fresh for my expectation of a Chênes – super! Big in the mouth, very fine tannin. Vibrant, slightly saline finishing – when it finishes… Excellent!
“It’s the finest vintage I ever made,” says Thomas. “The vintage is a mini 2015, we even started harvesting the same day.”
2017 Pommard 1er Fremiets
Ooh – wide, rose perfume. Big, structural, growing in concentration, complex, and simply excellent again!