Tasted in Beaune with Dimitri Bazas, 01 December 2016.
3 Rue du Grenier À Sel
Tel: +33 3 80 25 09 99
Of-course the big news in the last months was the acquisition of Maison Champy by the AdVini group (press release, left) and only a few weeks after AdVini had also acquired the controlling stake in Ken Forrester and Bonheur Wine Estate (both South Africa). AdVini now own more than 2,000 hectares of vineyards across France, including Antoine Moueix, Laroche and Ogier, plus Viña Casablanca in Chile.
In 2015, in volume, a little more than 30% of Champy’s production is from domaine vines, Domaine Laleure-Piot is, for example, 14 hectares. The other 70%, the Champy grape contracts, “are mainly ‘organic viticulture’ purchases,” says Dimitri
Dimitri on 2016:
“2016? No comment. Complicated, painful. Luckily we’d done all the work in the vines by the time of the frost, but we have vines in Savigny and Chorey, plus Pommard and Beaune at the bottom of the slopes. We harvested only 5-10 hl/ha in those areas. ”
Dimitri on 2015:
“2015 is a great vintage. The whites are inferior to 2014 but have a very commercial style. The reds, though, are exceptional, and I find the Côte de Beaune is superior – and that’s rare. We produced about 20-25% less, but despite high degrees, we had all the acidity. A vintage that unites all the positives – freshness, and tasty fruit like 2002, concentration like 2003 and power like 2005 – plus raw-material cleanliness like 09…”
I think that Dimitri is a fan!
The wines here really improved with a) the move to bio and b) the reduction in oak used. For the future, I’m sure that the Laroche Chablis team will bring even more focus to the anyway pretty good whites.
2015 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Signature
Racked and waiting for bottling maybe just before or just after Christmas. From the bottom of Volnay and bottom of Ladoix with a little new oak, after the racking only in old oak.
Super colour. Deep dark fruit, slightly tight. Big, fresh, lots of power, big bright and fresh flavours with a little oak and tannin below – this will need time but there’s great material and super length. Super Bourgogne.
2015 Chorey-lès-Beaune Champs Long (Laleure-Piot)
Bottled September before the harvest.
A deep and wide nose, silky fresh, yet also a little tight. Also a little dark oak highlight, but with a textured depth. Of deep and concentrated fruit flavour with a little saline accent. This is really a big Chorey but very accommodating – tasty wine indeed.
2015 Pernand-Vergelesses Clos de Bully (Laleure-Piot)
Cistercians started in the 12th Century with these vines. Almost one hectare, usually late harvested and here with 30% whole-cluster. Bottled September.
A dark nose of good depth and freshness. A little suggestion of dark oak, more lithe and a little more energy, good texture and a fine melting flavour over the palate. Lovely tasty length – very yum!
2015 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Les Vergelesses (Laleure-Piot)
1.07 ha and lots of old vines.
Deeper colour. Fresher nose, faint and interestingly complex. Big and fresh – lots of scale here, tannin below but it’s all well-managed. A more floral mid-palate flavour and here with more dryness of tannin – but that will soon fade. Really the nicest flavour so far…
2015 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Ile des Vergelesses (Laleure-Piot)
The nose has a little more density though it’s a little tight. Fresher again, lithe and it works its way over the palate with energy. Again plenty of tannin but a simply super mouth-watering flavour here – really tasty. So far these are really wines to show a little patience and respect to…
Now Maison Champy wines, some racked, some not…
Bio – From Balliards, vin biologique, bottling before the end of the year.
Just a faint reduction. Wide, a little softer but fine energy and scale and small point of salinity. After the mid-palate structure the finishing flavours are very nice indeed. This will be yum!
Bio – Les Cras, Les Vignots, still in barrel.
Deep colour. Ooh, this is deep and more open, floral and quite exciting. Plenty of gas, tannin too but more of a textural drag than grain. There’s oak in here too, but this is a powerful and nicely complex wine. Great quality. Fresh fruit and flowers in the finish
Domaine, agriculture bio, from Famines and Sur Roche. Long elevage, bottling maybe in March
Deep almost saturated colour. Unyielding nose. Fresher more alive than the Pommard, still a lot of structure. But the fruit is delicious and mouth-watering. Yum!
Still in barrel, will rack next week for bottling around Christmas.
A tiny amount lighter in colour. Fresh and floral with a base of power. Silky, layered and ooh so tasty. Beautiful wine – bravo – really a resounding finish too!
Bas Maizières, barrels not yet racked.
High toned, a little oak. Relatively tight after the Chambolle. Fresh, bright, great flavour, complexity and sweetness of fruit. More obviously textured from the tannin than the last but really great flavour! Also super finishing!
2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Vielles-Vignes
Planted end of 50s. Bought grapes from En Champs. A late malo finish here. Not racked, planning bottling in March.
Fresh and deep. A little gas. Wide and fresh, a little herby and with plenty of tannin. Oof tannin… but the finishing, mouth-watering flavour is very lovely. Patience!
2015 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Vergelesses
Certified agriculture bio, 50% wc. Still in barrel.
Another nose of depth yet a certain tightness (the tasting glasses are not too small!) and a faint whiff of oak. Gas. Layers of engaging flavour – I love this vineyard – really engaging and wrapping the palate. The tannin is not too dry. Really tasty! Yum!
Certified bio, still in barrel, not racked – will wait for the start of next year. 0.42 ha should be 9 barrels, but in 2015 4…
Deep and concentrated nose, some silk here. Super texture, slowly some dry tannin but super concentration on display. Concentrated layers of flavour that need time to unfurl. This will be super!
4 barrels with 1 of Champonnets, 1 of Craipillots, 2 of Combe de Lavaux
Ooh – here is a more open and approachable nose – complex, layered and very inviting, with a fine florality. In the mouth too this is lithe, well textured and with another level of open complexity. Very, very tasty wine. I shouldn’t, but I’d drink this today!
Was racked at the beginning of this week – no wc, 50% new oak (2 barrels in total)
Fresh and inviting, really a lovely nose – instantly yum! Super texture, cool fruit but a growing wave of complexity here. Hmm really an excellent wine. More sophisticated than the last but qualitatively the fruit complexity is not better.
2015 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
Also 2 barrels, one new – same as last wine.
Deep, here a faint oak. More obvious weight, decently textured, the complexity asserting itself only as you approach the mid-palate, more of a deep, coffee-style flavour, but really nice and complex – super wine, but I’d take the Beaumonts today…
Also 2 barrels and one new. Not racked yet, from ‘du dessous’
An open fresh and bright nose – a mineral complexity below. Fresh, lithe muscle. Ooh this has power but without brute force. Slowly growing mid-palate flavour that reminds me a little of a Bèze style delivery. This will be excellent! Beautifully floral in the finish too.
2015 Clos de Vougeot
In front of the Château, two barrels with 50% oak and wc – not racked yet.
Deep, deep colour. Spicy dark fruit. Intense, fresh, and very well textured – super power here yet retaining a cool personality. All the complexity is in the finish here. Probably a wine to wait 20 years for – great material!
From Mazis-Bas. 2 barrels again and once more 50% new oak.
A deep nose but with bright and interesting top notes too – faint floral augmentation. Mouth-filling, layered and not too energetic rather slowly giving ever-more flavour. Always a great cuvée chez Champy and here is clearly no exception – bravo! Just a beautiful finishing flavour!
All their whites are now in bottle…
2015 Bourgogne Chardonnay
2 thirds from around Rully the rest from the bottom of Puligny and Meursault. 2/3 (mainly) old barrel elevage the rest in tank.
Very attractive and bright fruit. Fresh, open and engaging – some mid-palate salinity, but a fresh and very tasty bottle!
Bought as must, full malo, all in tank.
Fresh, and darkly mineral nose. Supple, silky wine. Some power here, and plenty of mouth-watering flavour. Austere is too big a word, but this is wine of a certain stance. Tasty but not fully gorgeous. Long, almost a little fine mandarin fruit in the finish.
A little warmer climat. 50% tank and barrel elevage.
The nose seems fresh and with some weight but is a little tight. Cool fruit, direct and mouth-watering. Not super energetic but silky ‘together’ wine – I like this very much, despite a slightly contemplative style. Very long!
Some from Les Chaumes but various parcels bought in must. All elevage in barrel, 20-25% new.
Bright fresh and citrussed. Cool, fresh and silky – plenty of energy and a faint salinity – some oak aspects in the mid-palate. But essentially a very tasty wine. Long finishing too…
Parcels near Enseignières, close to the village.
Fresh nose, plenty of power and some herb. Fine fresh palate, some herb again but lots of mouth-watering flavour. Really a very fine balance. More mineral than delicious today. But really it’s tasty enough, and no complaints about the finish!
Hmm, quite a classic Chassgne nose, fresh and accented with a suggestion of oak. Fresh, mineral, cool fruit. Layered and really a very tasty wine. This is simply excellent – still a hint of oak but its fading quickly I suspect…
2015 St.Aubin 1er Murgers des Dents du Chien
Bottled end of October.
A fine nose, miner, fresh and accented with citrus – it’s very inviting. Fresh but with width and a growing weight of citrus complexity. Not the most concentrated ddc or the most focused – but boy is this very, very tasty wine. Really excellent!
Bottled in November.
A floral nose and almost no herb its a beauty. In the mouth, it’s sumptuous but fresh and engaging. This is picture perfect Chassagne, not the ultra precision of Caillerets, it’s a broader brush-stoke but simply gorgeous. Bravo!
2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er les Folatières
A tighter nose, and quite mineral for this cru. Also in the mouth, silky minerality with a growing mouth-watering flavour that is really excellent. All the power, flavour and balance that you could ever wish for. Excellent.
Classic faintly spiced nose of great Meursault. Fresh, cool fruit, silky palate really a muscle below the surface here. Growing flavour complexity. Some contemplation here, but really a wine of layers and simply enjoyment. Really excellent! The finish is wonderful it persuades me to give the buy recommendation!
‘Our flagship the biggest cuvée 15,000 bottles. From Combottes.
A subtle but deep nose with a faint spice. Fine, fresh and powerful – clean cool fruit. For the level this is simply excellent – there’s muscle and intensity here. Really delicious.
2015 Pernand-Vergelesses En Caradeux (Laleure-Piot)
Ooh – fresh ripe citrus notes – yum! Less directly powerful, more of a swirl of spiced complexity below, growing and engaging. Lovely stuff. A more subtle wine and certainly complex. Very tasty stuff.
From the high part of En Charlemagne for two of the three parcels, the last also En Charlemagne but lower on the hill. This in bottle a few weeks.
Excellent, bright, focused nose – complex clarity – top! Fresh, fine, super mouth-watering complexity. Really a gorgeous and completely delicious wine. Long too. Great wine, no question – super length…