Alex Gambal – 2015

Update 19.12.2016(17.12.2016)billn

Tasted with Alexandre Brault in Beaune, 30 November 2015.

Maison Alex Gambal
14 Boulevard Jules Ferry
21200 Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 22 75 81

Alexandre on 2016:
In 2016 we were not very lucky, though of-course some people were even less lucky. We were hit in Chorey, Savigny, Volnay and Pommard where we are quite low on the hill – for example, we made just one barrel from half a hectare in Chorey. Our Bâtard and Enseignières was also badly placed for the frost, and not just that, our vines on the hill of Auxey to St.Romain was also really hit, likewise our Bourgogne in Premeaux – it’s a long list that probably delivered less than half a harvest. Luckily, our St.Aubin contracts came in very well this year and fortunately we had some nice Morgon grapes too, where we started our harvest on the 21st September, and then the 22 in the Côte d’Or.

Alex on 2015:
In 2015, a lot of vegetal material wasn’t in great shape because of previous hails et-cetera, so we pruned short to increase vigour for 2016! We are pretty excited though; we harvested most of the white grapes first, acidity was starting to drop so we started on 29 August. All but one of the purchases, a Gevrey, were in before the big rains.

The wines…

The first rackings of the reds would follow, the week after I tasted. Overall the reds are super, but a little behind some cellars in terms of elevage. The whites are a great result for the vintage!

2015 Côte de Brouilly
Still in barrel. From lieu-dit La Côte
Deep colour. A tight-ish nose but with some elegance. Wide and fresh, a little spicy, long and mouth-watering. Really a beautiful finish!

2015 Domaine Bourgogne Pinot Noir – Les Deux Papis
A mix of Premeaux and Volnay commune grapes.
A more open and perfumed nose. Bigger volume in the mouth – the last was more direct in shape. A faint reduction but lovely waves of dark-fruited flavour. Yum! A great finish too…

2015 Domaine Saint Romain
A little paler. Some reduction. Brighter and fresher, some faint reduction in the flavours too. A bright burst of dark-red flavour this is fresher but very lovely in the mid-palate into the finish – yum!

2015 Domaine Auxey-Duresses
Very old vines, small bunches – ‘it doesn’t give you a lot…’
A modest intensity but supple red-fruited nose – nice. More weight, more depth, more layers of flavour. This is lovely wine, indeed a really fine wine! Bravo!

2015 Domaine Chorey-lès-Beaune
Cultivated ‘Bio’ from Pietants.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Deep aroma from a faint reduction. Bright, wide, fresh red fruit – attractive fruit. A hint of tannin and a fine point of intensity, faintly floral in the long finish. Excellent!

2015 Domaine Savigny-lès-Beaune
Blend of two domaine parcels.
A little less reduction here, pretty red fruit. A little more structure and some reductive impression in the background. Nice finishing. Really a great finishing flavour. Great distinction here.

2015 Domaine Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Grands Picotins
Close to the Chorey border, domaine vines. Longer cuvaison and 50% new oak – 2 barrels.
Faint spice but still a little reduction too. Behind there is a beautiful and finely focused red fruit. Fresh but with a little power and weight too. A long fading finish. Yum!

2015 Volnay
Domaine and négoce with some Petits Gamets and Robardelle.
Great colour. Faint and very attractively perfumed nose. There is plenty of structure here, though the tannin remains modest and the flavour is wide and very attractive. Very yum! A great finish too!

2015 Vosne-Romanée
Deep and attractive, very faintly spiced nose. This sits beautifully in the mouth, it’s fresh and has lots of dimensions of flavour. Really a very fine Vosne – super yum and super long!

2015 Chambolle-Musigny
An exchange of grapes for Puligny – both bio. ‘This always needs the second winter to lose the reduction, we’ve learned to rack it after the grand crus.’
Also very deeply coloured wine. A little too reduced. Also in the flavours. There’s a little tannin and lovely mouth-feel. Long finishing with a little tannin adhering to the palate.

2015 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
Bigger and really a silky nose. Gorgeous in the mouth, melting flavour, some nice structure to hang the flavour on too. Just a super wine this!
2015 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Aux Echanges
The last had 40% whole-clusters, this 30%
Deep and faintly reduced. This is lovely in the mouth, more melting on the palate. Good structure, a little more complex. Simply a beautiful wine and even better than the Charmes!

2015 Domaine Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos des Argillières
A new domaine wine. Lots of millerandes and plenty of missing vines that they are just starting to replace. Also 40% whole-cluster.
Not reduced, a little tight above, deep below – a very interesting nose. Nice shape and volume in the mouth, growing, mouth-watering flavour, not an obvious Nuits structure. Melting flavour. Simply a great first vintage!

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin
Some La Justice and Les Corvées
A good medium-plus colour. A very faint firework reduction. This is wide and nice over the palate – there’s still a hint of reduction, but the flavour leaches from the gums very nicely over the palate – excellent! Almost a texture of modest tannin in the finish.

2014 Charmes-Chambertin
Ab grapes (agriculture biologique). Actually from Mazoyères, the same source for 5 years – one of th earliest organic domaines in Gevrey – here with ‘a good’ 50% whole clusters.
Not the biggest nose but a very attractive one! Bigger in the mouth of-course, lots of growing tannin and mid-palate intensity. Really a Charmes of power. Very tasty wine though.

2015 Clos de Vougeot
Closer to 40% whole-clusters.
Lots of depth. A very modest suggestion of flowers as top notes. Big wine, concentrated, indeed rather massive – this will need plenty of time to extend its limbs and open out. But tons of material here…

Note that there is no Chambolle here in 2016 due to the frost.

The whites:

2015 Domaine Bourgogne Aligoté
A wide and fresh nose with a suggestion of sulfur. Some gas, but this flavour, rather like for many of the reds, seems to melt over the palate – and it’s fresh and attractive flavour too – yum!

2015 Domaine Bourgogne Chardonnay
Includes half a hectare of Hautes Côtes near St.Romain
Also wide, faintly greener citrus. Actually I have a little preference for the aligoté. But this is fine, fresh and enjoyable – nicely lingering in the finish too.

2015 Fixin (Blanc)
A deep nose, vibrant, faintly reduced. Large in the mouth, round, some, sweetness of ripe fruit and really long finishing. A little tannin to finish too.

2015 Domaine Saint Romain
All domaine.
Bright, wide fresh agrumes – yes! A little gas. Lithe and mobile over the palate – a reductive style and very, very tasty, again with melting flavour. Bravo!

2015 Domaine Beaune Montagne St.Desirée
Finally getting toward end of alcoholic fermentation, still a little malo to go!
Deep, and a little spritzy today. Some gas, richness of flavour but very well-balanced – for further judging, to wait for…

2015 Meursault
Part domaine. Clos du Cromin and (2/3) Narvaux
The classic nose of spiced bread and decent freshness. Some gas, but also a nice freshness to the mouth-watering flavour. This will be very good. Yum!

2015 St.Aubin
New wine.
Bright, a nice agrume nose. Lovely freshness, wide over the plate with good fresh complexity – this is excellent villages.

2015 St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
Also fresh, also agrume, just a twist more intensity and some grapefruit focus. In the mouth lots of complexity, agrume fruit and like the nose more grapefruit than mandarin. This should be really a super wine!

2015 St.Aubin 1er Murgers des Dents du Chien
Wide and fresh, a more yellow citrus nose. A big, great, round shape, that’s complex and more intense – this is just a super wine. Bravo!
2015 Domaine Puligny-Montrachet
Les Grandes Champs plus some Rue du Vache – old vines.
A deep and punchy nose – rather good! Big, fresh and exciting with lovely energy. This is really excellent again – bravo! Great length too.
2015 Domaine Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères
Bright fresh and nicely complex top notes, tighter below. Gas, but intensity, mouth-watering, here slightly richer flavours, but fine energy and freshness. Simply a beautiful wine. Bravo again!

2015 Chassagne-Montrachet
A mix of domaine parcels and purchases, as the domaine parcels are quite small.
Fresh, faint agrumes and flowers – not an obviously Chassagne nose. Big, bold, fresh, slightly austere after the last wine, but concentrated and with a really super finishing intensity – for a villages, this is excellent!

2015 Domaine Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Maltroie
A big nose, much more classic Chassagne. Big and bold, fresh and concentrated this is also a super wine with lots of body, but with the balance not to offend. Super again!

2015 Domaine Bâtard-Montrachet
The first vintage was 2011.
Tight top notes, deeper below. Big in the bass, mineral, very interesting, not the power and energy of the last few wines – but certainly more contemplative…

2015 Corton-Charlemagne
Modest width, but a fine freshness and complexity of aroma – a slightly agrume impression below. Big wine, some richness – ooh massive wine! Less overtly fresh as the pre-Bâtard wines, but wow! This is balanced and really a mid-to-long-term prospect. Super!

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