Albert Bichot – 2014

Update 10.1.2016(9.1.2016)billn

DSC08822Tasted in Beaune with Christophe Chauvel, 19 November, 2015.

Albert Bichot
6 Boulevard Jacques Copeau
21200 Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 24 37 37

Christophe on 2015:
“2015 – We have the perception of good quality, though the volume was less appreciated. Whilst there was no hail there was still a marked impact from this in 2015. Low volumes were not so much a problem of flowering, rather a lack of flowers in the Côte de Beaune. The Côte de Nuits was certainly dry, and so harder for the young vines, but it seems that there was less suffering than in 2003.

There is some similarity to 1976 for the whites, the reds currently seem balanced and complex.

Christophe on 2014:
“2013 was harder in the vines than 2014, yet 2014 was both capricious and chaotic.”

The wines…

Well for start in 2014, there was a new domaine from Moulin-à-Vent with a little less than 3.5 hectares. ‘Traditional’ Côte d’Or type fermentation – i.e. destemming – so not being a fan of carbonic maceration smells, that was right up my street:

2014 Moulin-à-Vent, Domaine de Rochegres
Wide and fresh a rather composed nose, perhaps with a hint of pepper too. Big and sweet in the mouth with a discreet reduction. Intense but joyful mid-palate flavour that slowly fades in the finish. Fun but actually with a serious length…

2014 Moulin-à-Vent Rochgres, Domaine de Rochegres
Ferments and all dome in moulin a vent.
Deeper colour. A prettier more Côte d’Or nose of deep fruit with floral top notes. Faintly gassy, a hint of raspberry and a very fine width of flavour. Here is a certain elegance but also a width of intense flavour that’s a little padded and a lot complex. This is super – and that’s coming from somebody who doesn’t drink much BJ.

All the following are not yet bottled. Some are already assembled, others in barrel. The whites are probably for bottling in February or later, the reds one or two months later. Just a very fine set of wines. Note, that I often find an element more of oaky vanilla in the young bottled wines, versus pre-bottling samples – it hangs around for 1-3 years and is then gone…

2014 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Secret de Famille
Good colour. High tones of ripe fruit with a mineral impression below. Round in the mouth, well textured, with a very good weight of flavour for the label. A good kick of finishing flavour here – indeed and excellent finish

2014 Mercurey 1er Champs Martin, Domaine Adelie
A tighter nose; higher tones escape the glass, indeed floral notes. Here is a more direct and structural wine after the bourgogne. More obvious, slightly jarring tannin. But there is also a width of fresh and engaging fruit flavour, it lasts positively in the finish too. Seemingly less ripe, more structured but maybe less down the route of elevage too…

2014 Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Picotins
Purchased grapes.
Again, a lot of colour in the glass. A very pretty and precise high-toned nose – lovely… Round, well textured, discreet reduction, a growing tannin too but here is also a little joy and excitement. Bright, fresh and interesting finishing. A very lovely wine… some finesse here too.

2014 Domaine du Pavillon, Volnay 1er Santenots
Enveloping nose of beautiful deep red fruit with a swirl of barrel cream – very engaging, indeed inviting too. You start narrow but very quickly this fills the mouth, an undertow of fine tannin in a supporting role but here is a large scaled, deeply fruited wine but not simple as you will see as it melts in the finish. Still plenty of oak references today, but a beauty.

2014 Domaine du Pavillon, Pommard Clos des Ursulines
A cooler, darker and wider fruit that’s lifted with some floral notes. Mouth-filling, a little more structure to the fore than the Santenots, but the darkly flavoured, half-fruit half-mineral wine has lots of energy. One to wait for a couple of years (or more) the finest action today is the lovely finishing flavour…

2014 Domaine du Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
A beautiful blend of flowers and fruit – super. A little extra sweetness but also salt from this minerally complex wine. Plenty of tannin of-course but also another dimension of fresher fruit in the mid-palate. Gorgeously complex wine. Difficult today but this structure will melt away. Bravo!

2014 Domaine du Pavillon, Aloxe 1er clos des Marechaudes
A fine and direct fruit nose, medium red-fruited. Round, lithe, flows very well over the palate. The tannin grows a little but is quite finely grained and edged with a little salinity. A wide, slowly mouth-watering finish. Very good and very tasty.

2014 Domaine du Pavillon, Corton Clos des Marechaudes
Almost a similar nose but wider and darker red shaded. Bigger, more mouth filling wine with more intensity of flavour and certainly a lot more bitter-inflected tannin at the base. Big and impressive, but for the more patient!

A Côte de Nuits Selection:

2014 Domaine du Clos Frantin, Vosne-Romanée
From Damaudes and Maizières.
Deep and darkly spiced. A nice shape and feel in the mouth. There’s a little tannin to integrate, but it will. Coffee and spice in the mid-palate and then a lovely intensity of finishing flavour. Very good – even for Vosne!

2014 Morey St.Denis 1er Les Sorbets
A subtle reduction but an impressive depth too. Bright, energetic, clean focused but also complex. This is an impressive wine. It just needs to shed some of that reductiveness of elevage. A super wine waiting for you (me!)
2014 Nuits St.Georges 1er Chaines–Carteaux
From the Premeaux side…
A pretty red fruit nose, soft, faintly floral very much inviting. In the mouth too this bubbles with interest and quite good complexity too. A wine with lots to say, and it says it very well. Bravo!

2014 Nuits St.Georges 1er Château Gris
Now worked by horse.
A fresh nose of discreet high tones and a darker deep fruit. Wide and impressive. Here is weight and a very good delivery of lots of flavour. Just a little saline minerality before the flavour squeezes through the gaps of the structure. Very tasty and very appealing in this vintage.

2014 Chambolle-Musigny 1er les Chabiots
Bought grapes from above Les Amoureuses
A fresh and floral nose less deep than some but still lovely. Extra sweetness, very good intensity too. This is a more direct delivery of flavour with an interesting freshness yet still sweetness of fruit. Very engaging wine, also with a mineral complexity at the end. I’m almost surprised to be left with just a little tannic texture on my tongue at the end of the good finish. Super!

2014 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Amoureuses
A little tightness and a little reduction – a few floral anecdotes still manage to escape from the glass. Large, mouth-filling form, brightness of flavour, sweetly accented a large and wide finishing flavour. Larger rather than complex today, yet everything is in place I feel. This should become very fine… After a couple of minutes the nose opens a little more – beautifully floral…

2014 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Malconsorts
1.75 ha from 6 sandier parts and lower down heavier soil – there can be 3 days difference in maturity – ‘clearly different wines too, the lower part more massive less complex.’
Deep faintly spiced, less faintly reduced. Here are waves and waves of flavour, some with a little reduction, some with a little salty tannin, some with fruit, some with spice. – a really good Vosne 1er and with a lovely burst of finishing flavour…
2014 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Lavaux St.Jacques
Beautifully perfumed nose, exquisitely perfumed over deeper fruit. Large-scaled, faintly saline, a little tannin at the base but also supple, energetic and engagingly complex. What a lovely wine… Mouth watering, almost mouth staining flavour. A bigger, slightly broader wine than the Vosne, and today, maybe better!

2014 Clos de la Roche
Bought as grapes.
A wide and very engaging nose of modest flowers and fine complex notes. Fuller, sweeter, more dense though a discreet reduction too. A large-scaled wine, one that will stain your palate with flavour, very good flavour, of distinction. A rounder rather than direct and mineral Clos de la Roche, but super gourmand and relatively rich.

2014 Charmes-Chambertin
Bought as grapes.
Here is a nose, a beautiful nose – very wide, complex red fruits, maybe with a twist of cream – subtle but really engaging. Really big, intense, mouth-filling wine with lots of minerality and a faintly saline leading edge. I’m amazed this is Charme, though the mid-palate is certainly charming in its enveloping texture… A super wine.
2014 Clos Frantin, Chambertain
Deep colour. A rather discreet nose today, clean direct fruit notes, subtly floral but essentially tight. Not as instantly mouth-filling as the Charmes, but in a couple of seconds it gets there, but here with a more obviously opulent texture and clarity of fruit flavour. Really outstanding clarity in the finishing flavours. Wow! I’m sure this is still hiding a lot of its potential, but a potentially great wine!
2014 Clos Frantin, Clos de Vougeot
Not so wide a nose but there’s depth, and a Vosne-style spice for the top notes. Almost Vosne style in the mouth too – spicy, faintly salty and mineral, fruit – waves and waves of impressive flavour here. Bravo!! top wine…
2014 Clos Frantin, Echézeaux
From Champs-Traversins
A deeper, more considered nose. Intense and with explosive width. Here is really rampant complexity. Why would you show Echézeaux after Clos de Vougeot and Chambertin? – well, here is the answer. I think the mid-palate and finish may be a little behind the other wines in terms of width, if not ultimate length, but this just explodes on the tongue from the first instant. – whew!

2014 Clos Frantin, Grands-Echézeaux
A modest floral covering for tighter, darker fruit notes below. Not the instant attack of the Echézeaux, but clearly more intensity of flavour. Little pin-pricks of complexity in the mid-palate and a relatively more subtle finish. Its long but with modest flavour and energy. A super wine no doubt at all, but the palate-melting intensity aside, I’ve a preference for previous wine.

Les blancs
The first three already in bottle…

2014 Bourgogne Secret de Famille
100% Côte d’Or and the same for the barrel elevage
Pretty high tones, citrus-led aromas. This is lovely – wide, complex, mouth-watering, just suggesting minerality, a tart au citron meringue in the finish. Excellent.

2014 Macon Lugny Les Charmes
Bought in must.
A deep, salted nose. Wide complex, layered, mineral but plush palate of fine balance. This will be joyous drinking next summer…

2014 Domaine Adelie, Mercurey les Champs Michaux
Also a pretty citrus nose. Fuller, deeper register of flavour. Finely balanced and with an impression of minerality too. Lots of mouth-watering, slightly sweet finishing flavour – a little citrus skin here. Very good.

2014 Nuits St.Georges Les Terrasses de Château Gris
A faintly spice macerating sweet yellow citrus impression. This is actually very, very good. A layered delivery of interesting, balanced, nuanced, and just slightly padded flavour. Bravo!

2014 Beaune 1er Clos des Mouches
About 30% yield versus a normal year, but better than 2013 where there was no harvest… From the top of the vineyard across from Montrevenots
Bright and fresh top notes over a tighter but clearly riper core of yellow fruit. Big, energetic yet also complex wine. There’s some comfort to the texture, but the finish is a beautiful. Mouth-watering line of pretty flavour. Yum!

2014 Domaine du Pavillon, Meursault
5 different parcels, none from the hillside
A lovely nose. Fresh, subtle, wide, faintly sweet, lemon and ginger. In the mouth this is deeper than the nose suggests, there is weight of flavour, admittedly with a note of reduction, a comforting texture and a little mineral note. The finish is rather mineral, yet sweetened. A wine that needs a hint more elevage I think, but has many attractive parts – particularly the nose…

2014 Domaine du Pavillon, Meursault 1er Charmes
Wide, a little silky, not so deep but lovely all the same. Large-scaled, but with lithe, supple flavour, no fat, lovely intense citrus mid-palate flavour that slowly fades in the finish. There’s a warmth to the fruit style but a lovely line of fresh flavour. – Yum.

2014 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Vide Bourse
A nice lemon yellow depth. Quite large, lots of supple flavour that rolls over the palate, a mix of herb and citrus in the finish. Long. Not the most energetic wine but here is a sustained interesting and very balanced delivery of flavour. It’s also delicious…

2014 Domaine du Pavillon, Corton-Charlemagne
Languettes, no Pernand, Aloxe
Vibrant, deep and fresh, a sweetened lemon note in the middle. Big. Really moth filling, but no fat here, supple, lively flavour with a leading edge of salinity, perfect lemon cake in the finish. Tannin in the finish. Really lovely but hold it for as long as you can keep your hands off it…
2014 Criots Bâtared-Montrachet
Bought in must.
A certain vibrancy here, like the Charlemagne, but here the view is panoramic rather than deep, with notes of barrel but discretely so. Really a wonderful vibrant energy here. A not so much that you don’t know what to do with it once it’s in your mouth, but really with constantly updating complexity, width, faintly saline edged loveliness. What a great year for whites!

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