Albert Bichot – 2016


Tasted in Beaune with Christophe Chauvel, pictured with Albéric Bichot, 11 December, 2016.

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

Christophe on 2017:
2017 – psychologically we haven’t seen a vintage so generous for a while, maybe because of that we think of the wines as essentially simple, the acidity some was burnt off by the heat. Fermentations were fast that with an early harvest means the cellars were not yet cold so the malos were quickly starting.

Christophe on 2016:
The big difference between frosted and hailed is that the hail traumatized the wines much less than the frost. I’d say we’ve about 40% les volume overall. We were lucky that we had some new small tanks which worked wonders in Pommard where otherwise there wasn’t enough grapes to make a proper fermentation in the old tanks.

“The big lesson I think was at the end of May, beginning of June, was that we were thinking we might have to do two harvests but of course the vines with hardly any grapes matured much faster than the others, so it we could actually have harvested some frosted vines before those not frosted!

The wines…

Only the Beaujolais are bottled so far.

Like so many addresses in 2016 a greater range of wines. Whilst this is more a red producer than white, proportionally I find that they did even better in whites this vintage. Much to love here.

2016 Moulin-à-Vent, Domaine de Rochegres
Hmm, a faint saline spice with a tighter depth of fruit. Quite mineral, good energy and lots of flavour complexity – less initially generous that the 2015 but it will be better with time, but I really like the mineral base here.

2016 Moulin-à-Vent Rochgres, Domaine de Rochegres
Narrower and deeper nose – 350 litre barrels used here, virtually none in the last – some sucrosity comes from here – quite tight though plenty of freshness. More depth of flavour, more depth of texture, layers of nice flavour here. This is excellent and already approachable when compared to the last.

2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Secret de Famille
Mainly from CdN
Plenty of depth to the colour. Deep, complex – some energy and powdery but dark fruit. Ooh, supple fresh and with lots of fresh complexity – I was unsure about the nose, but on the palate this has energy and depth of complex flavour – for the label this is excellent.

2016 Mercurey 1er Champs Martin, Domaine Adelie
No frost here. Vinified in Pommard.
Freshness of herb-spiced fruit and a little perfume. More direct than the Bourgogne but equally fresh. There’s a more overt base of tannin here – hardly any grain but a little astringence. The same herby complexity in the finishing flavours as on the nose.

2016 Domaine du Pavillon, Volnay 1er Santenots
Lost at least 40% to the frost.
Like the Bourgogne some powdery fruit here, but in this case much more red-fruited. More intense, equally direct but cooler, silkier with really a growing mid-palate intensity – this is super! Substance, long, mouth-watering. This is excellent!

2016 Domaine du Pavillon, Pommard Clos des Ursulines
Less 40% again.
Deep colour. Ooh, depth but a saline top note too. Supple plenty of structure but with no hard edges in sight – this is particularly juicy wine – darker fruited than the Santenots and delicious!
2016 Domaine du Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
A nose that welcomes you with open arms – the depth accentuated by a slight reduction, but freshness and invitation awaits here. This is the classier brother of the Ursulines, the cloth of the suit is more expensive, the shirt has no creases. This has a bubblingly long and delicious complexity – bravo again.

2016 Domaine du Pavillon, Aloxe 1er clos des Marechaudes
No problem with the frost here.
A red-fruited depth of aroma. A hint of sweetness and some spice above but sweet rather than herby spice. Supple, a super balance of concentration and energy – a little mineral accent, but essentially a wine of mouth-watering complexity – very tasty complexity indeed – and with a sneaky and impressive extra dimension of finishing flavour!

2016 Domaine du Pavillon, Corton Clos des Marechaudes
Harvested the same day as the last wine.
Extra depth of colour. Modest top notes but really an impressive width of bass notes. Extra sweetness, a suggestion of gas, really fresh but with half an ounce of cushioning – no tannic grain to speak of but a hint of astringence. This is incredibly concentrated yet so fresh and fast on its feet. Wow wine!

A Côte de Nuits Selection:

2016 Fixin 1er Clos de la Perrière
The domaine does the work, the team here keep watch but are very happy with the place and the work but still offer a little consulting. Roughly 3k bottles
A broad nose of fresh complexity – this is very attractive – quite Nuits with some darker fruit. Supple, deep – a hint of reduction in the flavours if not the nose – a modest fine tannin but energy and delicious flavours, just a hint of the melting flavours style of 2016. This is simply excellent.

2015 Domaine du Clos Frantin, Vosne-Romanée
From Damaudes and Bas Maizières, the latter with just a small touch from the frost.
Deep, faintly spiced – not so wide but rather Vosne! Rather an elegant wine of volume and nice complexity – really some intensity but an easy introduction. Very, very tasty and open for business!

2016 Morey St.Denis 1er Les Sorbets
Wide and freshly open, not a jarring note in sight – relatively easy but a nose with such open arms. Hmm, really good volume of flavour, depth of changing flavour too – always a cru that brings relatively easy flavours – but here with delicious panache and quite a decent concentration too!
2016 Nuits St.Georges 1er Chaines–Carteaux
From the Premeaux side…
A nose with some similarity to the MSD, but with a cooler fruit. Supple, depth of flavour, a subtle and actually delicious twist of oak – there is not overt Nuits structure, just a complex and delicious, juicy well-structured Côte de Nuits!

2016 Nuits St.Georges 1er Château Gris
Worked by horse. This year the terraces were harvested over 6 days.
A nice width of aroma but quite tight both above and below. Lots of volume in the depth of faintly reduced flavour – structurally this is more Nuits, but with mouth-watering very tasty flavours. Long with a faint touch of tannin. Very lovely wine and to wait longer for than the Chaines-Carteaux!

2016 Chambolle-Musigny 1er les Chabiots
Continuity of Musigny above Amoureuses.
A relatively tight nose in the context of the others here – but open and with no herbal or sharp edges. Nice volume in the mouth – every space is filled yet this is a wine more of transparency than density – but there is still fine concentration and a fine complexity in the mid and finishing flavours. A structured but delicious Chambolle.

2016 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Amoureuses
Ooh – I’m disappointed – this nose is relatively tight – just faint notes of salinity over open red-fruited notes. But wait – what’s that – pretty flowers, even some sweet gooseberry compote! Even with a big glass (new Zaltos here) this demands some aeration time. The ‘force of femininity!’ Plenty of volume and certainly concentration here – framed with freshness and a bubbly, mouth-watering ever-changing complexity. I’m pretty sure that this will only get better and better. Great finish too!

2016 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 between these two sectors – ‘clearly different wines too, the lower part more massive less complex.’ The only area in 2017 where they did a green harvest.
Much more open nose, complex, Vosne-spice, and a deep almost firework type of note. Yes some reduction in the depth of the flavours too – but great complexity, and good balance of energy and flavour. There are fresher wines here but this remains on a fine level. Really lovely and complex finishing, but a longer-term cellar prospect versus the Amoureuses…

2016 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Lavaux St.Jacques
Deep with a width of fresh top notes – interesting but far from the most attractive here. But in the mouth! Here is extra concentration but also with extra energy – oof we are approaching grand cru here – more so than the Malconsorts – I’m remembering the Corton at this stage. Really great – if the nose opens up with more interest, this will be great wine, sorry, greater wine!
2016 Clos de la Roche
Oh – not the biggest nose, but there’s a sweet complexity here that has a special vibrancy. Good volume, another lovely wine of fabulously fresh flavour and textural interest. Great wine, wow wine. I’ve loved this wine in previous years too – but here the oak is practically invisible – well done!

2016 Charmes-Chambertin
A little more roundness and depth of aroma – perhaps more alcoholic but still rather good! Lots of volume, lots of complexity, really an energy that is all over the place and I prefer the drive and line of the CdlR – but this is big, complex and tasty wine, grand cru wine, of length.

2016 Clos Frantin, Clos de Vougeot
A very different nose, not so wide, but with a beautiful clarity of almost silky red fruit with an added depth of oak – such is the clarity! Quite large in the mouth, there is volume, freshness and structure, there is also clarity, complexity and energy – this is a really great Clos de Vougeot – and very little that could be described as austere. Like the CdlR here is a freshness and, essentially, drive – something that I find so much more appealing than the wall of sound that was the Charmes!

2016 Clos Frantin, Echézeaux
Champs Traversins – the bottom was frosted but as you went higher in the rows, they were fine.
A modest volume of aroma, but a rather silky red fruit that reminds more of Chambolle than Vosne. Much bigger and more energetic in the mouth than you expect from the nose – really complex, a little salinity in there too – fine finishing layers of fresh spice and really tasty last notes. Excellent!

2016 Clos Frantin, Grands-Echézeaux
About half the normal volume.
The nose, is a fabulous mix of fresh fruits, berry fruits, sweet gooseberries too – simply the best today. Supple, a more considered concentration than the Echézeaux but still with an effervescent energy. A little depth of texture, and melting layers of flavour. Simply great wine – I swallowed! And there’s a very long-lasting flavour with the first suggestion of some dryness on the gums…

Les blancs

2016 Macon Lugny Les Charmes
Already bottled
Here’s a nicely open almost golden, fresh nose. Ooh – fresh, good volume, some sweetness and a little touch of salinity too. Bravo – delicious, pure, mouth-watering wine.

2016 Bourgogne Secret de Famille
Mainly from the direction of St.Aubin, St.Romain and Meursault for the fruit.
Open, a quite nice freshness and touch of salinity – like the red this lacks just a touch of attractiveness. But also like the red, in the mouth this is excellent with really so much happening, cool, mouth-watering yet at the same time energy and sucrosity. This is really a super wine and long too…

2016 Domaine Adelie, Mercurey les Champs Michaux
This is the last wine already bottled, the rest are all tank or barrel samples. ‘There’s a lot of clay here, but somehow it keeps a greater freshness.’
Depth a little tightness, a considered but clean and approachable nose. Oh, this is big and fresh and really with a big wave of tasty flavour – a wine that surprises me versus the nose. Big tasty wine and long, mouth-watering finishing too.

2016 Nuits St.Georges Les Terrasses de Château Gris
Close to the transition with Hautes Côtes here. The Lupé-Cholet label is gone, no-longer since 2010 so this is Albert Bichot.
A good freshness with both sweetness and salinity – below is tight but implied depth. Ooh, big, lots of mouth-watering volume, this is really surprising me by how tasty the combination of tastiness an mouth-watering modestly mineral flavours. Simply excellent!
2016 Beaune 1er Clos des Mouches
A big nose, with lots of fresh complexity – maybe a reductive suggestion too. Supple, layered, almost damn perfect – such a fabulous blend of texture and delicious flavours. 2016 in a glass – bravo!

2016 Domaine du Pavillon, Meursault
5 parcels some quite touched by the frost.
A much tighter nose than the Clos des Mouches – but still a fine width of aroma. Supple, growing in intensity, sweet delicious flavour. Long and tasty – simply a wine that’s very hard to resist!

2016 Domaine du Pavillon, Meursault 1er Charmes
Not the biggest nose but of volume and absolutely inviting Meursault complexity. Large-scaled but fresh, meltingly fresh, growing in intensity – layers of flavour, and such great flavour too. Easily a bravo wine…
2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot
Towards Santenay here, there’s usually some Vides Bourse in this but not in 2016 as all was lost.
A different style of freshness to this nose – deep, vibrant, almost a vivid ripe pear in this. Big, mouth-filling, absolutely full, complex, mouth-watering wine – it’s hard (today) to think of eating anything with this wine as there is so much action here – I would want a large glass and a comfy chair with this – and not many distractions!
2016 Domaine du Pavillon, Corton-Charlemagne
Not the most forceful nose, but a nose of delicious and inviting complexity. Big, layered, faintly reductive, massive but pure and super delineated. There is fat here but no lack of balancing freshness, – great!

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