Tasted twice in Beaune with Frédéric Weber, 11 December 2020.
Frédéric on 2019:
“We are very happy – it’s a super vintage. Of course, there are complications; the very wet start to the year then the very dry middle of the year – quite hot in March but then a big worry about frost – there was a little damage but we were saved by the dryness at that stage. Then it was wet again during flowering – that together with the marginal frost exacerbated lower yields in the chardonnay – lots of millerandes in both colours. The heatwaves of extreme heat, you could see the effects in the forests – there were dead trees. In the end, the vines resisted rather well and the cleanliness, the lack of maladies, was super. There was some wind and heat that started to dry the drapes – 20-35 hl/ha for whites we had better flowering here, still millerandes. We thought we had a good harvest but it was another with only modest juice or pulp as the skins were rather thick – so the average was 29 hl/ha for the domaine. It’s given us the chance to make good wine. We are fully organic in over 50 hectares now – for the heat we raised the training of the vines a little and didn’t de-leaf to protect the grapes from the sun a little. We harvested the two colours practically parallel. I consider it the best blend of 2017 and 2015 and from the aromas 1949!
“Practically no triage and we used a little more whole-clusters to aid the freshness and balance the higher maturities – 30% whole-clusters in the Côte de Beaunes and more like 50% for the Côte de Nuits wines – always searching for elegance despite 13.5-14° of alcohol.”
If you don’t think you’re a fan of whole-cluster effects, then maybe Bouchard is not for you in 2019 as the aromas and flavours are so obvious at this stage – but they will become even more seamless with time – they are anyway so elegantly and deftly done that you might be persuaded to change your mind! A great set of whites too – as I have become accustomed to!
One or two have been racked, the rest are still in barrel:
That’s a slightly perfumed darker fruit – nice. Supple a few mm of cushioning, very nicely velvet-textured. Wide and quite an impressive depth of finishing flavour – a great start.
1.8 ha – on the slope. Hard soil to work. 1-2% of different grapes too – gris and blanc which used to removed but now are kept.
Extra-open, lots of freshness, really attractively perfumed – yes! More zip, a little less cushion and a more direct shape to the wine. Silky and very tasty. Vibrant finishing – top Monthelie!
2019 Monthelie 1er Champs Fulliots
Meagre soils, more limestone here. Next to Volnay Clos des Chênes
A deeper fruit nose. Good zip again, this time with more density of flavour – like a clos des chenes – a very attractive combination of depth and mouth-watering flavour. That’s really excellent – and so long…
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Lavières
Practically 4 ha, south-facing harvested a bit earlier than usual in 2019.
A Mmore directly floral nose, very faintly with a rose wc perfume. Driving flavour – lots of width – an undertow of micro-grained tannin. Wide, modestly mineral finishing. Very tasty once more – like all these, a modicum of patience will be rewarded.
Now all assembled – this the definitive cuvée
Extra height on these aromas, red-fruited at the core. Mouth-filling, the texture more sensual. Fully mouth-watering with layers of relaxed and very attractive fruit flavour. Long finishing – a great cuvée this year!
2019 Beaune 1er Teurons
2.4 ha on the hillside – usually the first harvested in Beaune.
That’s a very pretty nose – of width and elegantly floral perfume. A little extra inner density but open and airy. Definitely a finesse, an elegance to this wine – particularly attractive, excellent wine. Super long, only here some wc notes…
This is a 3.36 hectare monopole next to Les Avaux. Before hitting the mother-rock there’s a deep and dense clay soil that’s rich in lime so needs 5 or 6 days more time to mature compared to Grèves – but it never suffers from drought as there are some springs.
A more compact nose – still with freshness and a little extra darkness of fruit. Supple, more depth of texture – the flavour all-encompassing. Larger-scaled in the delicious finish. Bravo.
Four different plots, vinified separately, with different vine ages – 45 and 65 years old at the bottom and 25 plus 35 years old at the top – that’s one day difference in terms of ripeness – 0.5 ha recently replanted. 3.91 ha. Another earlier harvest here.
Depth and freshness – very elegantly perfumed and floral. More middle density but still with an overall airy and almost elegant style despite obvious depth of flavour. Perfectly poised wine of undeniable length. Bravo.
2019 Volnay 1er Taillepieds
Plenty of colour here. A large-scaled nose of spice and tons of interest, faintly floral too – a great nose. Mouth-filling, complex – here’s a great balanced wine, faintly grained, a wine for keeping. Radiating with waves of finishing flavour. That’s super.
2019 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
Same altitude as the Taillepieds and harvested at the same time.
A direct extra floral aroma here. Silkier, rounder – certainly plenty of concentration. Chênes can be a rather ripe wine but here they’ve found a super balance between ripeness and obvious concentration – that’s a really super Chênes.
Domaine – declassified into the domaine 1er cru for many years – now it has its own label.
Beautiful perfume – that’s a very lovely nose – beautiful. Round, textured, almost velvet style. Layers of flavour here – a wine that gives you a long, big, hug. Bravo character.
2019 Volnay 1er Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot
A 3.75 hectares, again in 4 plots. A sunny place so maturity comes very quickly here, so together with Enfant Jesus (Grèves) usually the first to be harvested – just 50 cm of soil before the limestone.
A finer, more airy nose – also very beautiful just more timid. More structural wine – lots of depth to the flavour, less cushion vs the Chevret. Long and satisfying, excellent wine.
Chanlins and Combes
That’s a forward, fruity, almost bubble-gum and floral nose – but much finer than I made that sound! Wide, saline, complex again. Super depth of flavour whilst I don’t like the semi-anonymous label – this is a great bottle, finishing fresh, clean and lip-smacking!
Half a hectare. Always late harvesting here. Caillerets, Taillepieds and this were all bought at the same time – way back when…
A vibrant and fresh nose with plenty of wc energy, slowly becoming a little more classy with air. A beautiful combination of flavour depth and texture – that’s very sophisticated, the finish resembling the nose a little at the start. A wine that needs a bit more elevage but I think could be great too!
Not so wide but here’s a nose of very impressive depth – slowly a wc perfume lifts from the glass to pad out any of the deficiencies – rather a complete nose. Supple, generous, wc-inflected flavour. So wide in the finish. Here’s a Corton to have a little patience with but potentially another great one… Yes, I think it’s the best one I’ve made says Fred!
2019 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Porrets St.Georges
Starting a little replanting but the old vine is co-planted with a little pinot gris and pinot blanc.
A broad and forward nose – freshness but also some power. A little more compact after the Corton, but here’s a wine that slowly opens and widens from a core of flavour. Modestly tannic framed, layered in the finish with flashes of freshness and an occasional mocha impression. Super.
2019 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Cailles
1 ha here
A deeper, darker nose – lots of complexity and a slowly growing floral too – that’s lovely. Classy texture, depth of fresher fruit, lots of complexity. That’s a truly excellent Nuits! Involving in the finish.
0.25 ha on a good slope, east-facing, just under the trees
A fresh and silky nose – floral at the end, below is a tighter depth of dark fruit. Wider more energy and breadth of flavour. I love the extra depth to this flavour – there’s a certain considered style to this wine, it’s not overly energetic – but it’s a wine that’s worthy of contemplation. Bravo!
2019 Clos de Vougeot
Half a hectare is owned in 2 equal size parcels; one next to Grands-Echézeaux and a lower parcel – this lower parcel has been replanted, but there’s no harvest for now. This the second vintage ‘alone.’ ‘This higher part has much more elegance than the bottom part used to show.’
A punch of fresh and floral aroma. More openly structured wine – proper CV-style, slowly melting flavour over the palate – like many the wc is quite visible today but always perfumed rather than excessive. Long and rather silky despite the ultra-fine tannin – still faintly dry finishing. Super CV!
Domaine from the Combe d’Orveaux. White, south-facing soil, cool in the nights here but still the most precocious parcel of the domaine in the CdN.
Wow perfume – not the biggest punch of aroma but seriously great. Open-flavoured, beautifully playful, cool fruit, understated but very fine energy. A wine that doesn’t need to shout – great Echézeaux!
From the Chambolle side. Also have one third on white soil but that’s been recently replanted, so this only from the red soil.
Fine freshness and perfume – a very elegantly beautiful nose. In the mouth, sophisticated texture, width of flavour and tons of perfume from the whole clusters. Very, very long. Top wine.
Last harvested vines.
A big and vibrant nose here – lots of freshness – it needs to calm a bit in the last part of elevage. Gorgeous in the mouth though; a freshness and coolness of fruit that melts over the palate. The nose needs to sort itself out then this will be great wine.
A little less colour but harvested a day after the Chapelle – almost 1 ha under the wood – so higher vines.
This has a much more in-place and attractive nose – just a little timid. Round, mouth-filling flavour. Ultra-fine grain of tannin. Special length. I slightly prefer the experience of the Chapelle in the mouth, but I’m splitting hairs!!
The last domaine parcel harvested
That’s a fine nose, deep, perfumed, the first with a bit of creamy barrel. More mouth-filling, more overt everything vs the Bèze. A subtle floral note is the lingering memory from this wine, encrusted with a modest grain of tannin. A wine that still needs to build the volume of finish but clearly not the length. Bravo!
Fred explains – “We have high maturity but still with plenty of freshness/acidity from the millerandes. Freshness approaching what we had in 2017 but with a charm more like 2015. I liked to keep plenty of lees in this vintage but with no battonage and no rolling of barrels. The style was like 2015 up to the summer then the later part of elevage they found more freshness and precision:”
2019 Bourgogne Chardonnay Reserve
2 ha of domaine wines and then purchases, mainly but not entirely Côte d’Or – elevage in stainless-steel with lees, a little oak too but only for 6-7 months. Starting to bottle this one – this a sample pre-bottling.
A large nose, forward, underpinned in a mineral style. Round, well-fruited, easy to appreciate, Layered in the finish. But not fat. A good Bourgogne and almost a Meursault accent to the finishing flavour.
2019 Beaune 1er du Château
10 ha from 5 1ers – each with separate elevage – assembled now – could be bottled before the end of the year, or maybe early in January. About 15% wood, mainly 1-2 years old.
More vibrancy and purity of aroma – nice. There’s energy and a melting flavour of fruit wrapped in a mix of smoky oak and tannin – this is far from ready – indeed almost a touch of finishing reduction. Lots to find; it needs to find a bit of composure but it’s delicious!
2019 Beaune Clos St.Landry
‘A 2 hectare Clos – yellow marne here, practically the only place in Beaune. Even in the 13th century, it is written that here in Beaune was planted chardonnay – it has always been planted to white as far as anyone knows.’ A very early harvest – done at the same time as Meursault Genevrières.
A nose of much more width and subtle Meursault-style spice. This is nicely composed in the mouth, a faint coconut/noisette accent, pretty middle and finishing flavour – again with a little frame of tannin. That’s a lovely wine.
Multiple parcels from 4 main areas, currently racked into tank.
A nice nose – one that grows in volume. Some gas, plenty of mouth-watering freshness here. Long finishing. Just a suggestion of barrel but this is a very satisfying and well-balanced glass of Meursault.
2019 Meursault Les Cloux
8.6 ha, white, stony soil on the hill, later harvesting which obviously is interesting in warmer years.
More perfumed freshness to this nose. Larger scale, more overtly Meursault in style. Here there’s depth to very good flavour with a saline finishing accent. Longer finishing. Super.
2019 Meursault 1er Bouchères
Instantly more purity and perfume – lovely. Mineral, wide, almost a little serious, long-flowing flavour. Excellent vibration and energy to the finishing flavour. Super wine.
2019 Meursault 1er Poruzots
More tension and directness to this nose. Direct in the flavour too – cool fruit, melting with mouth-watering flavour, sparkling with finishing energy – that’s a really excellent Poruzots!
2019 Meursault 1er Goutte d’Or
Some of the directness of the last wine, translated into more width of aroma. Wide on the palate too, more mineral, more precision of citrus fruits, growing more intense and impressive. Next level wine – have a little patience!
The latest parcel harvested in Meursault – done at the same time as Bâtard
A more compact nose but show glimpses of impressive depth. A little gas, but really this is a wine that melts all over the palate, staining it with flavour – never a density or overt concentration – but hyper-impressive in form. It still needs time but this could be a great Charmes – still much subtlety about this wine. I’m sure it will be great
2019 Meursault 1er Genevrières
2.65 hectares from two plots; one from above the road to Chassagne which is a steep slope of old vines. The second, a more stony plot that brings freshness and minerality. They are separately vinified, before eventual blending.
A fuller nose but of interest and impressive complexity. Super texture from the tannin – like a red wine there’s no grain but clearly some textural effect. A finish that broadens and broadens – that’s so good here. Already excellent wine with the potential for more advancement!
From 3 different plots totalling 1.2 hectares. Again with separate elevage but blended together at the end.
The most extravagantly open nose of these – energy and impressive complexity. More composed in the mouth, more direct too – but there’s a growing depth of flavour energy and also flavour complexity. The best finish of these – wide, a little chalky a fainter tannin to start but it mounts and what a great feeling! That’s going to be great.
300m height, 3.85 hectares at the top of the hill, just above their Les Corton, east oriented with rows planted north-south, the intention being to preserve freshness. ‘It’s important to wait for the maturity here.’
Pure, white flowers – not a nose of attack – a nose of welcoming. Mouth-filling, a wine of scale, of mineral structure and then a slowly growing and mouth-watering mounting of flavour – micro-grained finishing tannin too. Serious yet accessible – completely a baby – you should wait but this is quite special.
Assembly of the 4 terraces.
More vibrant depth of aroma – mineral, maybe a suggestion of reduction too. Mouth-filling, a wine of scale and a lovely blend of energy and complexity. Directly more attractive than the Charlemagne today and showing more dimension of flavour – but not necessarily in the future as that wine develops…
0.89ha bought in 1838, with only 4 (known) owners in centuries. This still in barrel.
That’s a super depth of aroma – it resembles the Chevalier but with an extra depth and a more overt acacia flower note. Fuller, rounder in the mouth. Tannic at the base, gorgeously textured, ample, generous but not the faintest suggestion of fat. Followed by long slow ripples of finishing flavour that head slowly to the horizon. Contemplative but great wine – a couple of minutes later I can still taste it…