Tasted in Premeaux-Prissey with Maxime (& Patrice) Rion, 28 November, 2019.
Domaine Michèle et Patrice Rion
1 Rue Maladière
Tel: +33 3 80 62 32 63
Maxime on 2019:
I think we can be happy; evidently it was dry and hot but we had a lovely harvest, even if the quantity was down due to the heat – about 25% down due to the small berries. It was really hard to choose a harvest date as the maturity really accelerated in the last days – we anticipated as best as possible, at one stage we thought we had a couple of weeks to wait – 5 days later they were practically ready!
Maxime on 2018:
“I see the profile of a vintage like 2019 but with a better reserve of water in the soil – I think the vines suffered less and the maturity was really complete. It was a vintage with a very good flowering. In July we had a big storm with lots of water though unfortunately some hailstones came – twice – 3rd and 15th July. The weather that followed – dry and windy – meant the affected grapes dried and dropped with no rot – we easily lost more than 25% in Premeaux – the Terres Blanches had not too much but the rest of Premeaux was more. All fermentations ran well, most without sulfur – we’ve done that for 4 or 5 years now – of-course aided by clean grapes. The pressure, I suppose, was to pick at the right time to have the best balance but I think we did okay – we haven’t been too impacted by the sun. Only the Chambolle-Charmes had some whole clusters this year, the wines of Premeaux having a little marking from the hail on the stems. We had a new vertical press in 2018 – delicate, soft pressing – we were very happy with that.”
A very good result here for the vintage; wines of freshness, indeed sometimes slightly backward, structural wines – that’s no bad thing I think!
The first 4 wines and the Terres Blanches will probably be bottled in December – the rest will stay in barrel for now and will be bottled in the Springtime.
2017 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Maybe take the Côte d’Or label in the future. Bottled 1st week of September.
Plenty of colour. That’s a nicely fresh nose – bright red fruit, certainly with some ripeness behind. Hmm – that’s good – melting depth of flavour – an open, slightly structural shape – a wine still to wait for. Intense, perhaps a bit of finishing extraction – more structural than flavour – but very long.
From above Nuits.
A little more precision and finer fruit versus the Bourgogne. Wide, fine, depth of fresh flavour, concentrated and balanced, again with super length – more class than the Bourgogne today – bravo.
2018 Bourgogne Les Bons Batons
The well-known vines from the commune of Chambolle.
More colour. A bigger nose, the fruit a little more forced, but around are some encouraging higher tones – getting better and better with aeration. Structural, complex, energetic wine. The texture is pretty good and the finish delicious – a melding of structure and lovely Chambolle-style fruit. Long, excellent!
2018 Côte de Nuits Villages
Old vines, mid-slope in Comblanchien – Les Belle Vues – quite close to the Clos de la Marechale – sandy soil with plenty of limestone. Bottling next week.
Fewer high tones, more depth to the fruit though. More spiced attack, a little more acidity, more tannin too. Large waves of finishing flavour – saline and structured. Big wine that needs to work on its elegance – there’s no need to work on its fresh concentration though!
2018 Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles-Vignes
A blend of parcels.
A vibrant, higher-toned nose, though it needs to work on its elegance. Fine, direct and fresh in the mouth – ooh, that’s a super, driving delivery of flavour – the merest suggestion of tannin, then a very fine finish – this is the most delicious yet here – a wine that needs a bit more elevage/patience but already shows delicious facets – should be excellent.
The vines near Bonnes-Mares with Fuées above – 40 year-old vines.
A vibrant nose – high toned, suggesting alcohol. Ooh, that’s classy, clean, gorgeously silky and direct. Slowly widening, melting with fine flavour – a treat – I often love this wine, and even in 2018 it has something extra – bravo!
2018 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
“It’s just the road that separates this Charmes from Amoureuses” – an old vine.
Here’s a much more compact nose – faintly spiced, perhaps a touch of mint-leaf but it’s guarding its fruit. Larger in scale, more structural, mored herbed but also far more complex – not yet in a great way, I’d certainly take the Cras in preference today – but 5-10 years down the line I think the pendulum will be swinging towards this and away from the austerity that’s visible today.
2018 Nuits St.Georges Vieilles-Vignes
A ‘plateau dominated’ blend mainly from vines at the base of the hillside.
Hmm, there’s a nice, slightly saline, slightly herbed complexity to this nose – more inviting after the Charmes. Mouth-filling, a little nutty depth to the flavour, very fine, velvet, tannin. Structure to wait for, again a little finishing herb, but this is more approachable than the Charmes today. Yum!
2018 Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos des Argillières
Replanted a portion of the nearly 70-year-old vines this year with domaine’s massale selection.
Not a big nose, but also not tight – it has a nice clarity and openness – mineral style with faint berries. Certainly more structural and open – the velvet tannin of the last, slightly more accentuated. A fine, fading finishing line of flavour – very elegant flavour to finish, framed with a modest accent of dryness. Will be super – wait 5+ years.
Some fresh width, an energy to this darker-red fruit. Fuller, more weight yet it’s a wine of transparency. There’s more impact and still a certain dryness – but the fresh, fine-textured line of flavour is great – a flavour of clarity – potentially a great wine here.
Et le Blanc…
2018 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Terres Blanches
The harvest date has been the most important factor in the last vintages – less oak too – no more than 10% new and predominantly in 350 litre barrels for elevage. As always about 10% pinot blanc in the plantation – the rest all chardonnay.
A big nose, a full nose but with a certain freshness to match the slightly exotic fruit. In the mouth, there is mouth-filling shape but also an airy, open, almost elegant style, a little touch of finishing tannin too – that’s nice. This is a faintly spiced style of fruit and much less ‘exotic’ in the mouth than the first aromas. Too easy to appreciate – very tasty wine!