Alex Gambal – 2016


Tasted with Alexandre Brault in Beaune, 15 December 2017.

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

Alexandre on 2017:
2017 was cool – we love 17! It was challenging as the Spring was so early and the season soon starts running away from you. We harvested for one day in August, then the rain came on the Friday so stopped. We waited and then attacked again – so the harvest took us about 16 days – so quite long. We thought that we had no frost damage but in the bottom of Meursault and Chassagne we had still lost some yield. Overall, good yields for reds and between good and less than average in the whites – St.Romain for instance also had some frost. Altogether a good year, no issues with vinifications – the grapes needed a few more punchdowns than in 15/16 but the structure came out well.

Alexandre on 2016:
In 2016 we needed to make some wine, so we went south and bought some gamay! We already had a good experience with Côte de Brouilly in 2015. It was a bit of an adventure, we rented a big refrigerated truck and it worked well. This trip was really needed as we still have only 40% of a normal harvest volume!

The wines…

Beaujolais aside (mainly) there is a long elevage here today and many of these wines were showing only part of what they will achieve, but there are some very good things to find. I’m a big fan of the whites here in 2016!

2016 Morgon Les Charmes – Nature!
Bottled – the only one bottled.
A little volatile. In the mouth too, but waves of delicious flavour behind. Sweetly attractive in the finish – I’d say that it needs to finish elevage so it’s a shame it’s already bottled – definitely not my style of wine.

2016 Morgon Les Charmes
Carbonic maceration like the last but with elevage in barrels. Racked two weeks earlier
A much finer, more composed nose with good freshness and nice fruit. Lots of energy, concentration and really delicious flavours. Excellent – that’s more like it!

2016 Morgon Côte du Py
Fresher, deeper – a more transparent nose – though less aromatic width. A hint of gas, but lots of energy and a little more intensity too. Direct – super wine – excellent again!

2016 Côte de Brouilly
Only finished its malo last week.
Really a confiture nose – but pure and fresh at the same time. A little less sweetness after the last and showing less than the nose promises, but it’s wide and really melting with beautiful fresh flavour. Yum!

2016 Domaine Bourgogne Pinot Noir – Les Deux Papis
Very rare – 6hl/ha – 1,500 bottles and a few magnums, just racked into tank
A more modest nose after the BJs but with a pretty depth of red fruit. Good volume, a depth of flavour and a little very fine-grained tannin. Great balance and a quite lovely blend of concentration and sweet freshness. Lovely wine, indeed great for the label!

2016 Domaine Saint Romain
Still in barrel
A little more open nose – red fruited and a little more higher toned. A little more incisive today than the Bourgogne, but not really a big gap – that’s how good the Bourgogne is today…! Only the finish here is more distinguished.

2016 Chassagne-Montrachet
Recently racked
Deep, faintly herby nose. In the mouth more volume and a little more weight of flavour, but growing weight. This tastes great, lovely layers of mid and finishing flavour. Very yum!

2016 Domaine Auxey-Duresses
Very old vines, small bunches – ‘it doesn’t give you a lot…’ From barrel
The prettiest nose yet – it’s complex a little floral though has a hint of reduction too. Wide, bubbling with energy, a little more evident structure but with a fine width of open flavour – delicious flavour. Perhaps this needs to calm a little but it’s very lovely already!

2016 Domaine Savigny-lès-Beaune
Three parcels put together here.
A modest nose but with width, faint herby notes. Direct a little saline and fresh but with lovely texture and a growing more welcoming fruit. Really quite intense in the finish. A lovely finishing burst of flavour…

2016 Volnay
Domaine and négoce with some Petits Gamets and Robardelle.
Cliché pretty fruits with some flowers – it’s a very attractive nose! Round, quite a mineral side to this wide with a good mouth-filling character. A little oak in the complexity but this is a lovely wine…

2016 Vosne-Romanée
Here the nose has a hint of volatility, but opens nicely. This is really fine in the mouth, an extra comfort to the structure, an extra depth of flavour – super enjoyable flavour. Fine.

2016 Domaine Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos des Argillières
Also a little high-toned and narrow. Some reductive notes in the mouth but also a growing and impressive complexity and width of flavour – here it’s really delicious. More elevage needed but the prospect is excellent.

2016 Gevrey-Chambertin
Some La Justice and Les Corvées
Only just finished malo – and from the nose it might still be unfinished – we will have to wait for that! In the mouth this lovely though – smooth, silky, deliciously complex – it’s really a lovely thing. This should be excellent.

2016 Charmes-Chambertin
Ab grapes (agriculture biologique). Actually from Mazoyères, the same source for 5 years – one of the earliest organic domaines in Gevrey.
This, however, seems very ready – deep, inviting aromas. Lots of volume in the mouth, some structure too of-course but relatively modest – really a very fine flavour and concentration of that flavour. A great finish – far and away the best showing of any wine here – super stuff!

2016 Clos de Vougeot
Hmm, there’s less width here, but this wine still has quite a striking nose, at the base a suggestion of reduction. Quite some sweetness but lots of volume, good structure, though always a little reductive undertow to the flavour. But really a great finish. This may end up as excellent as the Charmes in time…

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

The whites:

2016 Domaine Bourgogne Aligoté
Large barrel elevage, racked in September
A lovely open nose, bright and inviting – fine purity and freshness. Lovely mouth-watering wine – really quite some freshness here – more apero style but never too much and the last flavours are super. Yum!

2016 Domaine Bourgogne Chardonnay
The nose is more composed, but very classy and inviting. Plenty of gas, but there is volume, freshness and a pure style that is delicious. Super, and a surprising length of fine flavour – really splendid here.

2016 Fixin (Blanc)
Even more composed, a richer and deeper aromatic, fewer high tones. Quite mineral good weight of flavour. Also with a sneaky though much more modest finishing flavour.

2016 Domaine Beaune Montagne St.Désiré
Hmm, this is a nicely attractive nose of good freshness, implying some gas but lets see. Yes, but wait for the gas to fade and you have richer, more citrus-infused flavour more than enough freshness and simply an über-delicious wine – bravo!

2016 Domaine Saint Romain
A fresh, slightly more herbal nose. Gas. Nicely open, slowly melting citrus flavour, an accent of reduction. Good depth, actually more composed, less overt energy vs the Beaune. Nice but today it struggled to follow the last wine. Tastiest in the finish – the best part!

2016 Meursault Clos du Cromin
Very nice – a width of fine aroma. Actually quite mineral, some oak in the background, long flavour of good intensity. I’d certainly be waiting for the oak to fade. Long, the transparency is super but it’s accentuating the oak, today at least.

2016 Meursault Narvaux
Hmm – this also has a lovely width of fine aroma. Really more mineral, great purity again, this is about the wine not the barrel – melting very fine flavour. This is simply excellent, and it has a great finish too!

2016 St.Aubin
Hmm, that’s a lovely nose, faintly spiced, fresh and deep, a little sherbet – lovely. Hmm, let a little gas fade and here is a ball of deliciously fresh energy – pure, complex and rewarding. Super wine!

2016 St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
A deeper nose, more concentration. More composure – less overt energy – but this is a wine that keeps growing in the mouth – the volume, concentration and the energy too. This is very nice indeed. But I think will get even better with more elevage – the last is ready, this needs more time – but there is also much more here! A super finish of ripe citrus!

2016 St.Aubin 1er Murgers des Dents du Chien
More aromatic volume and more freshness of aroma. More open more width and a finer fruit for sure. All is in place here for a really super wine. Great finish – really super. Love this wine.

2016 Domaine Puligny-Montrachet
Les Grandes Champs plus some Rue du Vache – old vines.
A nice width and depth of aroma. A little more volume and direct intensity, melting flavour, quite some salinity with this wine. This really very tasty and while dense and less open, I think almost as good as the Dents du Chien this year.

2016 Domaine Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères
Very similar in shape to the villages Puligny but with a little extra fineness. Less density but more drive and energy – really more class. Super wine.

2016 Chassagne-Montrachet
A mix of domaine parcels and purchases, as the domaine parcels are quite small.
A nice depth of concentrated yet fresh fruited aroma. Good volume. Lots of tasty freshness, it really can’t follow the last Puligny, but it’s a very good wine and is particularly tasty in the mid to finish. Really good here.

2016 Domaine Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Maltroie
Really quite a modest nose, but of classy citrus depth and interest, practically floral. Fresh, very agrume style – starting intense and slowly melting over the palate. Really becoming quite a wine in a fresh and very wide style. I think this will be excellent.

2016 Domaine Bâtard-Montrachet
The first vintage was 2011.
Hmm, not the widest nose but there is a depth of beautiful clarity here – very fine! Volume, good freshness and an ingraining quality to the complex flavour – this is really on another level, and so long too. A great wine and I think that this is the best they have made from this vineyard.
2016 Corton-Charlemagne
A big nose, it packs a punch of minerals, faintly accented with citrus. Concentrated more richness of flavour but so fresh, intense and energetic – great wine – easy! Bravo!

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