Champy – 2017

Update 3.1.2019(2.1.2019)billn

Tasted in Beaune with Dimitri Bazas, 30 November 2018.

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

Dimitri on 2018:
2018 – extraordinary. No climatic accidents. Some worry of mildew but luckily in organic. A comfortable vintage in terms of volume, less than in 2017 – there’s a concentration, lots of sugar – the sun burnt off the acidity to an extent. The compromise, the choice, when you have 14° natural and a base of modest acidity, but not quite a phenolic maturity, what do you do? But fortunately – certainly in Pernand – we have quite late ripening parcels – we harvested 04-17 Sept – I managed to keep good maturity and phenolic maturity too. Apart from leaves, really the triage was superfluous.

“It’s an important vintage – as much from the perspective of easing the volume constraints and frustrations as from any notional expectation of the quality. It’s also frustrating for vignerons that have something great and the négoce will only pay lees – same in 05 vs 04!

Dimitri on 2017:
2017 makes me happy – why? Because since 2009 it’s the first vintage that gave a full harvest – for the previous 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. The wines have arrived – already to drink – I won’t substitute nature – if nature brings a lighter style I will show that, I won’t ‘tannin-ise’ it – if it’s light and pure, I hope that I’ll capture that. The wines will be complete pleasure in the restaurants – they should keep their 15s and 16s in reserve for 3 or more years and drink these…

The cuverie is still being updated – but the end of the work is in sight. “We’ve move from the 18th century to the 21st – it’s not industrial, but so much more rigour can be achieved,” says Dimitri…

The wines…

A really good set of wines but despite a few ‘cracking’ reds, for me it’s the whites that are the cream in this vintage – two excellent Pernands I ordered.

2017 Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Cuvée Edme
Volnay and Ladoix fruit, all done by hand, all vinified by the team with elevage in barrel – 15% new – would be interested in Cote d’Or label, but then there would be questions about the Bourgogne Chardonnay, even though a part is from great plots in the Chalonnaise…
Perfumed pinot fruit with a good depth. Round, supple, well-constructed, mouth-watering – easy, but à-point pinot noir. All in place, particularly in a good, slightly earthy, long finish.

2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune
Au Fourches and Balliards – AB certified. A relatively early bottling to keep/accentuate the fruit.
Red fruit, very modest herb. Hmm, a step up in class from the Bourgogne but also a hint of herby flavour and structure that says wait 6-12 months – but this is open, classy wine – love the purity. Obviously Savigny – but class! Excellent.

2017 Chorey-lès-Beaune
Beaumonts and Saucilles, also certified AB
A little less width but more depth of aroma. A little touch of reduction rounder, just a little more concentrated, not the herby of Savigny, this is an easier wine. But I prefer the class of the Savigny. Round, tasty wine.

2017 Beaune Vieilles-Vignes
Over 70 yo vines, three different parcels. AB again
The most attractive nose so far – open, red, slightly crunchy fruit. Fresh, silken, open – great shape, growing depth of flavour – wait 6-12 months but this is a similar style to the Savigny but with the herb of that wine. Lovely finishing energy…

2017 Pernand-Vergelesses Clos de Bully
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 deep nose, vibrant, some reduction? Let’s see. Wide, fresh, but still with a depth of fruit flavour, nicely textured. Very lovely red fruit expanding into the finish. Pure and tasty wine.

2017 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru
Creux de la Nett plus a little Fichots – 50% whole cluster, 20% new oak – already bottled in July. AB
Ooh – this smells good! Clearly a little whole cluster on the nose and dark fruit too – super inviting. Open, complex, fresh, changing – delicious wine – simply excellent!

2017 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Les Vergelesses
1.07 ha and lots of old vines – a large part over 60 years-old. To be bottled before Christmas. No whole clusters used here.
Open, darker fruited but the aromas are a little tight today. Good volume in the mouth, a little more density – a wine that creeps up on you – not as demonstrative as the last but with and extra depth of fine mid-palate fruit. There is a certain class here, but a wine that’s coy today.

2017 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Ile des Vergelesses (Laleure-Piot)
Racked after malo then into older barrels, probably not for bottling before March.
Oof – that’s deep, complex, a little herby – impressive though not fully inviting yet. Depth, classy texture, a great structure here, plenty of impossibly fine-grained tannin, the sort of wine that you could never describe as light. Big, complex and eventually excellent wine.

2017 Volnay
AB again, bottom of Famines and Sur Roche above – for bottling in March.
A little herb but a big nose with floral aspects too. Open, earthy herb, good depth of flavour, nicely concentrated in the middle – actually the mid-palate flavours have great and engaging complexity. This impresses me a lot…

2017 Pommard
From Les Cras AB certified. Like the Volnay still in barrel for March bottling.
Lots of colour here. Big at the base but slowly releasing floral notes too – ooh – this is great. Mouth-filling, great texture – plenty of grainless but slightly astringent tannin. Great flavour – Bravo villages!

Now some négoce wines:

2017 Gevery-Chambertin
From Champs, next to En Champs, almost half a hectare, harvested by own team the fruit of 60 yo vines.
Ooh – not that’s a great nose – there’s volume, a subtle barrel sweetness, attractive fruit and even a little floral aspect – yes – I want this in my mouth! Full, good energy, really lots of wine here – a little more brutish than the nose – but full and deliciously flavoured. Great fun – almost excellent!

2017 Beaune 1er Aux Cras
Certified bio, 0.42 ha
Ooh another big aromatic wine here, some herb but what a complexity. Slightly reduced, but full, complex, ever-changing – this will great, there’s some oak in the finish that needs to fade, but this will be really great!
2017 Corton Rognets
Another wine where they expect to bottle in March.
Some perfume of roses here – yes there is whole cluster. Big, lots of concentration, tannin with an almost perceptible grain, but ripe – multi-dimensional flavour. Simply excellent Corton – great in the finish – really great!

Les blancs…
Whites all natural cork – a short capsule – vintage showing on the bottom part of the cork remaining visible below the capsule.

2017 Pernand-Vergelesses
2.5 Ha represented here – 4 different climats, but two are ‘relative anecdotes.’
Hmm, this has a nice line of aroma, a nice vibration of aroma – this is very inviting. Bright, direct, fresh and pure-flavoured. This is simply perfect and delicious, almost a touch of finishing tannin. Bravo! 3 magnums ordered!

2017 Meursault
Bought in must from a single climat.
Fresh but more ripe almost exotic fruit. Open, quite some scale to this wine, fresh and mouth-watering – quite complex too – but lacks the drive that I find so good in the last! Delicious all the same!

2017 Puligny-Montrachet
Also purchased in must from a single climat.
A classier fruit – fresh lots of purity. Good volume in the mouth again, a little more insistence, drive, to the flavour – open, pure and delicious. Really a very nice wine with a great finish.

2017 Chassagne-Montrachet
Bought in must a single climat like the rest.
Seems a deeper yellow colour. The best nose of these – it’s deep, but pure and fresh, suggesting a little pineapple. Open, melting over the palate – less directly structured but great flavour over the palate. After a few seconds I forget that rigour and concentrate on the excellent flavour. Maybe the best of this last trio of purchases – but I kind of like the rigour of the Puligny more.

2017 Pernand-Vergelesses En Caradeux
1 ha – an important vine for the domaine about a third new oak, batonnage once per week until the malo completed.
Hmm, a nice and open freshness of aroma – very attractive. Supple, concentrated, layered but fresh too – wow – another great Pernand! I think I need to buy this too – another 3 magnums makes sense!

2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Folatières
Bought in must.
A deep nose, ripe fruit, and fresh too – but where’s the invitation to drink? Like the nose there is depth and weight to the fruit, some complexity too – nicely textured wine. But it lacks the excitement and ‘structure’ of either Pernand here.

2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Chenevottes
Fresh, quite yellow. Hmm, this is wide, fresh, slightly oaked but more overt class than any of the other purchases. Mineral, direct, layered, complex – this is excellent wine. It’s touched by the barrels today, but this is excellent – wait 18-24 months – such a lovely wine.

2017 Corton-Charlemagne
From ‘three ‘cold parcels’ in Pernand. The high part of En Charlemagne for two of the three parcels, the last also En Charlemagne but lower on the hill.
A tighter nose – but pure and fresh at the same time. Open, quite architecturally open – beautifully textured. Flavour that begrudgingly presents itself as the wine melts over the palate – mineral for sure, clean, attractive – a little tight for sure – but classic, beautiful Corton-Charlemagne – excellent wine.

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