Louis Max – 2017


Tasted in Nuits St.Georges with Joelle Charrondiere and Jean François Joliette, 05 December 2018.

Maison Louis Max
6 Rue de Chaux
21700 Nuits-Saint-Georges
Tel: +33 3 80 62 43 01

Jean François on 2018:
2018 we worked well and we are very happy – the domaine is organic and we avoided the mildew. A good vintage in both quality and quantity, approaching 2015 maybe more on the fruit side, the weather was good so we had the luxury to wait for the best maturity. David Duband remains the technical director and the style of the domaine remains with equal parts of whole clusters but digestible reds and mineral whites.

Jean François on 2017:
2017 also a super vintage, wines that will very quickly be bringing pleasurable drinking. For us, we really have good luck to have two fine vintages for volume and quality in succession. I think the 2017s will be easy to sell as they taste so good. Some are already bottled, others are in tank or remain in barrel. Classically the bottling would be at Christmas time.

The wines…

This producer has absolutely killed the lower tier of bottles – Bourgognes and villages – including Mercurey – here are simply first class wines of great character!

Some are already bottled, others in tank or barrel. Classically the bottling would be at Christmas time:

2017 Bourgogne Rouge
Half from Mercurey and some bought grapes – much of the elevage in barrel, the rest in tank
Deep colour. Hmm a lovely nose – sweet, attractive, inviting fruit. Ooh, line, silk, energy but concentration too – a touch metallic to the flavour. But this is really excellent.

2017 Hautes Côtes de Beaune
No barrels here.
Fresher, higher-toned fruit and a little floral. More direct a little muscular, a suggestion of reduction. Deeper mid-palate fruit. A little touch of tannin before a floral finish – Very different, but also excellent!

Next three domaine wines have been racked over a month and are now in tank:

2017 Mercurey
All barrel elevage, a shade over 20% new
Lots of colour. Ooh – a great nose, vibrant, floral. Hmm – so good – volume, floral, a little tannin but virtually no grain – a touch more serious depth in the middle, and very persistent. For its price – great wine!
2017 Mercurey Clos de la Marche (monopole)
More airy fine and silken though cut from the same cloth as the previous wine. A little more mouth-filling, more fresh – a hint more fresh, just a little more complex – Bravo! For the second vintage in a row, a great wine for the label.

2017 Mercurey 1er Les Vazées
From 3.5 hectares of domaine vines. Will bottle in about three weeks.
This nose starts a little lactic but swirling liberates the fresher, finer and more floral elements – fine. Ooh more concentrated, more drive more silk – ooh – this is another really excellent thing – the first two are easier today – you should wait some time for this – a couple of years perhaps – but the shape, concentration and drive – not to mention great flavour suggest excellence.

2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune
Near the villages portion of Les Guettes
More clarity of fruit here – less floral – pure. More clean, pure – I love the clarity – no Savigny herb – this is pure, fresh and ripe. Bravo Savigny!

2017 Volnay
From the bottom of Volnay, direction Meursault. Still in barrel.
Some swirling needed to release the fine aroma – it starts tighter. Open, pure like the Savigny, but more depth to the flavour, lovely energy, and long. Ooh that’s really good!

2017 Pommard
Two areas – near Chateau Pommard and Petits Noizons
A big nose, more reductive. Volume, fresh concentration a touch of tannin, still a bit of reduction but smoky from the barrel too – non-standard but delicious!

2017 Côte de Nuits Villages
A totally different nose – pure, high-toned fruit. Nice volume, touched by a little gas. Beautiful red fruits – strawberry style. What a delicious wine!

​2017 Gevrey-Chambertin
A mix of vine locations
Good colour, but actually less than the Mercureys… Fresh floral – hyper-attractive nose. Lots of volume in the mouth – full of energy too – less direct impact or concentration but such a super and delicious fresh mouthful of flavour. Super – nicely textured too.

2017 Nuits St.Georges
Bought grapes, all vinified here.
Another very different nose, floral but also deeper, almost a soil at the base. Good volume again, more muscular, more structural but also with a depth of beautiful, melting flavour. Ooh these wines are just so good today…

Les blancs…
The produce here is usually about 30% white, mainly with elevage in 350 litre barrels:

2017 Bourgogne Blanc
Part barrel and part tank elevage.
Big, bright, vibrant, a little pineapple. Good volume, good energy and a fine and open clarity of flavour. Good stuff.

2017 Mâcon-Milly Lamartine
All barrel elevage. A long-term contract here from Clos du Four
More width and more fresh intensity of aroma – this is more inviting. Ooh – very mineral – mouth-filling but with sucrosity. Melting, mouth-watering flavour – great!

2017 St.Romain
More direct, pure and mineral aromatics. Nice volume. Silken, melting, a touch of structure. A touch of reduction in the depth too. Mineral but with sweetness. Very good.

2017 Rully les Planteneys Blanc
From organic vines.
Round, sweet, touched with some oak spice – the latter is attractive, but not what I’m looking for. Fuller, silky, melting, a touch saline. Richer. Long. Lots of wine here with great balance, but less my style. Really a very good finish though with plenty of barrel references.

2017 Mercurey les Caudroyes Blanc
No oak
Plenty of volume, a suggestion of richness of flavour. Supple, pure, growing in width, a touch of structure but not too much – mineral, mouth-filling. Holding strong in the finish. A baby, but it will be fine.

2017 Mercurey Les Rochelles Blanc
All barrel elevage, bottled in September.
A wider nose, fine, very finely complex. Fuller, plenty of weight and richness. Lots of interesting depth of flavour as you head into the finish. Lots of wine, as it opens it will be ever more interesting and perfumed finishing.

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