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Champy – 2016

Tasted in Beaune with Dimitri Bazas, 06 December 2017.

Maison Champy
3 Rue du Grenier À Sel
21200 Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 25 09 99
www.champy.com

Dimitri on 2017:
2017 makes me happy – why? Because since 2009 it’s the first vintage that gave a full harvest – for the last 5 years we have lost the equivalent of 2 vintages. Of course agriculture is like that but things still have to be paid for – for instance in 2016 we made between 20-25% of a normal vintage. We have a good acidity as we didn’t wait too long, the whites are very good but the reds look like they will be good fruity wines that will be easy to appreciate, but not for keeping a long time, maybe 2007/2011 in style. I still dream that the contract prices will come down because that’s the best possible signal to the market that we are serious about staying with our customers. I think there is no way out of this yet for the grand crus, the famous wines, but for the middle ground they have to come down.

Dimitri on 2016:
Unfortunately the frost which came quite late in the cycle of growth, fortunately the vines responded quite well afterwards. Then there was mildew. July onwards we had no other penalties from the weather. We started 21-22 September so it was quite a late harvest in the end. I made quite a number of fermentations with extra whole clusters as I needed the extra volume in the tanks – 50-70%.

It seems on the cards that the name Laleure-Piot might disappear here, in order to provide a more coherent product-line, keeping just the Champy name – let’s if or how long this takes…

The wines…

The reds – about 1/3rd are bottled so far. A number of the wines not bottled are because the malos were only finished in the late summer.

There was a telling passing remark from Dimitri, “Bio is great for whites, bringing a little more acidity, with reds it’s not always positive as you can imagine with a strong tannin the extra acidity can be less than easy.” And this year you can see how difficult a number of the entry wines here were – yet higher up there are still some great reds. Proportionally the whites are greater here in 2016.

2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Signature
From the plain of Volnay and Ladoix-Serrigny. 12 barrels – normally there are 60! 2 new barrels – all barrel elevage for this cuvée.
A round nose of powdery red fruit – a little modest. Bursts in to life in the mouth with overt energy and fruit – really rather ebullient and with a lovely intensity to the finishing flavours. If the nose improves this is an easy recommendation!

2016 Savigny-lès-Beaune
Au Fourches and Balliards – AB certified. Bottled before the harvest.
A narrow but deep red nose. Supple, round – lots of volume. The flavour really coming to the fore from the mid-palate onwards. A wide and fresh, faintly tannic finish. A wine that’s a little hard to appreciate today – be patient.

2016 Pernand-Vergelesses Clos de Bully (Laleure-Piot)
Cistercians started in the 12th Century with these vines. Almost one hectare, high up on the limits of the Hautes Côtes a small amphitheatre
A more open, pretty and precise red-fruited nose with faint whole-cluster notes. Forward, plenty of acidity but also some roundness to palate – an acidulated an attractive red fruit that’s nicely textured, accented with whole-cluster flavours too. Lovely but not if you don’t like acidity.

2015 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Les Vergelesses (Laleure-Piot)
1.07 ha and lots of old vines – a large part over 60 years-old. Bottled in September. About 30% of a normal yield
A bright and open nose of darker pure fruit, some added herby complexity. Really a freshness again, a little easier than the last wine – more depth of flavour but also more über-finely garined tannin. A fresh wine and a wine for keeping, there is concentration yet still fine acidity here. Long finishing.

2016 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Ile des Vergelesses (Laleure-Piot)
A normal yield here – still in barrel, unracked.
Ooh – a deep, encompassing nose – the depth accentuated by some modest reduction but this is the first wine where I think ‘yes!’ In the mouth too, this fills every space, depth of flavour some very fine-grained tannin, a very modest oak and lots and lots of complexity. Concentrated but with energy and tons of complexity. This will be super – but still not an early drinker! Well-done!

Now Maison Champy wines, some racked, some not…

2016 Aloxe-Corton
Bio. Should be 6 barrels, there are 2 – 16 hl/ha. 50% new oak and 50% whole cluster. Les Combes and Boutières
A mid-red fruit and super depth – reduction here. Fine volume in the mouth, smoother texture – still some tannin but less overt – a more floral complexion to the flavours. This is very fine, very tasty wine! I love the finishing complexity. Long, powerful but floral and balanced. Lovely.

2016 Pommard
Also certified Bio. Les Cras. Could make 6-7 barrels – there are 2.
Really a deep colour – the nose likewise – but that’s because of some reduction. Nice shape in the mouth, the texture has depth and the fine grain is hardly astringent. The fruit flavour is complex and attractive but the reduction makes it hard to say more – but this suggests a very high-class villages is waiting for you.

2016 Volnay
Domaine – another certified Bio. Famines 2/3 and the rest Sur Roche next to Clos des Ducs – 22 hl/ha – still in barrel not racked.
Ooh there is the merest accent of reduction here, but there is a dark-red fruit of transparent purity too! Depth, less overt texture but still plenty of wine – more open, more melting flavour over the palate – there is reduction, but I cannot see how this can be anything other than great villages wine – bravo. But like the majority of wines here – not for early drinking!

2016 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Vergelesses
Certified agriculture bio.
A nice depth of aroma here, complex and serious – but serious in a good way. Supple, super structure, more accented tannin, very fine – some barrel notes, but depth of fine flavour. Approachable a little earlier than many but I would still wait to let the oak fade. Super wine!

2015 Beaune 1er Aux Cras
Certified bio, 0.42 ha should be 9 barrels. Very happy to have achieved 30 hl/ha. 2 new barrels from 6.
A little reduction here but open and fresh with pure dark fruit. Lots of mouth-filling action, beautiful texture a growing but very, very fine tannin. Great wine, despite some reduction. Watch out for this one!

2016 Corton-Rognets
Bottled two weeks, earlier because the malo was done early. No frost, a good yield of 38 hl/ha, one-third new oak.
A little tightness of aroma, but some freshness and gloss here. Volume, an extra concentration, some tannin of course but there are no hard edges here, just a pure wine that will get better and better as long as you want to keep it – I won’t outrun it. Excellent!

The next four to be bottled next week:

2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Beaumonts
Good – not too much colour. Ooh – lovely classic, open, spiced and attractive nose. Supple but a wine of volume and flavour dimension. Delicious, complex, wide and long. Just a top wine. Great stuff!

2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
A deeper nose, a little fumé but with a similar background of open spice. A little extra sweetness, more melting style of flavour. Delicious and long. Not especially better, just different but certainly as good. Great stuff again!

2016 Echézeaux de Dessus
The nose is just a little tighter – a nice width of fresher notes above, but really some depth. Bigger in the mouth, more sophisticated, some sucrosity and a wild, delicious complexity of florals and fruit – a simply great finish. Simply bravo – great wine!

2016 Mazis-Chambertin
Deep colour. More animale and very inviting aromas. Concentrated but mobile, depth and melting flavour. A little coffee style of flavour. Really complex, a different complexity to the last. Long super wine, but I love the last a little more.

Les blancs…
All their whites are now in bottle…

2016 Bourgogne Chardonnay
All barrel elevage 80% from the Côte Chalonnaise.
Open and fresh with modest points of fresh complexity. Wide, a little depth of texture. Sweetness combined with freshness – a nice refresher even after a Mazis! Lovely.

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé
A little warmer climat. All barrel with some batonnage direction Fuissé
A prettier but tighter nose. Nice volume and an open freshness – this is actually delicious, complex, fresh and just a wine I could take multiple refills. Excellent.

2016 Rully
Some from Les Chaumes but various parcels bought in must. Also all barrel elevage.
A little more aromatic volume, some modest spice notes too. Supple, wide, tasty wine, more density of flavour a lovely wine, but my preference would still run to the Pouilly – except, perhaps, for the finish…

2016 Laleure-Pillot, Pernand-Vergelesses
Less than 1/3rd of a normal harvest, about 20% new oak, bottled in October.
A nice biscuity freshness, more limited below. Direct, fresh, the reductive Pernand style. Tasty wine and getting tastier. Lovely…

2016 Laleure-Pillot, Pernand-Vergelesses En Caradeux
From 1 hectare only a 350 litre barrel… ‘Everything was black after the frost, we really thought we might have to replant!’
A lovely volume, complexity and freshness here. Supple, fresh, complex this is really a complete wine – delicious and long. Great wine
2016 Puligny-Montrachet
Parcels near Enseignières, close to the village. Bought in must.
Fresh, pretty an accent of sucrosity in the freshness. Open and delicious. Simply a wine of delicious complexity – open armed easy gorgeous wine. Slow waves of finishing flavour. Top villages!

2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Chenevottes
Bottled, like the last, in November.
A wide and fresh nose, modest in intensity. A more mineral wine of depth, of depth and complexity, really a wine that gets better and better the longer that you stay with it. Lovely wine…

2016 Meursault 1er Genevrières
Wide, complex, spiced – lovely. Also in the mouth, this cuddles up to you, it melts over the palate. It’s simply a beautiful wine – lovely!

2016 Corton-Charlemagne (Laleure-Piot)
From the high part of En Charlemagne for two of the three parcels, the last also En Charlemagne but lower on the hill.
A nice fresh salinity to the top notes. A slowly opening depth of aroma. Fresh but deep, this is really a wine of complex and tasty completeness. Delicious, rather than grandiose, yet it has everything. A beautiful top wine from a beautiful vintage. Bravo! More modest waves of finishing flavour but with such persistence.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?