Seguin-Manuel – 2017


Tasted in Beaune with Thibaut Marion, 28 November, 2018.

Maison Seguin Manuel
2 Rue Arquebuse
21200 Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 21 50 42

Thibaut on 2018:
2018 nobody would have expected to have such balanced grapes after the growing season, but we didn’t have hot nights despite the daytime temperatures – for that reason we can’t really compare 2018 with 2003. The definition (at least) in Burgundy for a canicule is three consecutive nights over 20°C, and by the local definition (it varies in regional France) 2018 wasn’t a canicule vintage like 2003…

Thibaut on 2017:
2017 is the kind of vintage after a flow of 5 difficult ones, that was really so easy in comparison – quantities and quality. We started harvesting at the start of September with lovely quality of fruit. We had some worry of frost earlier in the year, indeed were frosted in a couple of places, but it was minor. I had hardly any crop in Savigny in 2016, and there was some compensation from the vines in that village.

“I do think that it was important not to pick too late in 2017.

The wines…

Almost all of the wines here, today, have an in-progress aspect to the aromatics – though lots of swirling releases some of their future potential. Other wines have some reductive elements – great for elevage, but less helpful in tasting. The shapes, concentrations and textures are very good, however, it is only a question of the wines’ places in their elevage – which is clearly later than at many domaines in 2017, but you won’t get your hands on the bottles for at least a year – maybe 18 months. It was just a small selection of Thibaut’s whites – but they were some of the best I’ve ever tasted at this producer.

All the domaine wines are certified organic – ‘AB‘ – and all the whites are sealed with cork.

2017 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Mainly Côte de Beaune with a little Hautes Côtes
A little herb on the nose, red fruited. Nicely mouth-filling, some herb in the flavour. Good structure and a modest but present, fine-grained tannin. Modest in the context of 2017.

2017 Bourgogne Côte d’Or
A single vineyard in the commune of Volnay.
A cleaner, purer nose – very attractive. Ooh, line, clean fruit, a touch of reduction but an alround fine wine. Very good indeed.

2017 Givry 1er Crémillons
Lots of colour. A little herb but more density of aroma too. Extra energy and concentration – depth of flavour – this is very good indeed. The nose is not in the same class as the previous wine but the depth and concentration is very good. A lingering texture of tannin in the finish. This is a very good Givry.

2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune Vieilles-Vignes
From the foothills of Savigny – much in Picotins – gravels and good drainage, about 70 year-old vines.
A good freshness, but the fruit is a little tight – not herby though. Bright, energetic, open, this has a fine mid and finishing flavour. Finishes very well – a very above-average SLB!

2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Lavières
A little over 15% new barrels on this and 15% for the old vines
A big, bright and fresh, nose, some spice. Round – a good combination of volume and freshness – a reductive character is clouding the flavour though. Like all so far, a lovely finish…

2017 Volnay Vieilles-Vignes
A single vineyard, low down – 40 years-old. ‘Very frustrating, because I haven’t produced this for the last 3 years.’
Hmm – a vibrant, deep and attractive nose. Wide, silky, cool fruit, plenty of extraction here – wait for this to relax a little the finish has a faint astringence. A couple of years patience will be to your advantage.

2017 Beaune 1er Champimonts
A little herby reduction. Good volume and a reductive flavour profile – but this is open and clean, feels great in the mouth with layers of finishing flavour touched modestly by the oak. A dense but (slowly) meltingly complex finish. This will be lovely.

2017 Vosne-Romanée Au Communes
A 1.8 hectare plot – since 2013. ‘A wine I keep longer for elevage, this and Echézeaux certainly won’t be bottled this year – the Echézeaux is the only wine still in barrel.’
A fresher floral nose, some welcome spice of-course, and becoming quite perfumed. Lots of gas, a little reduction – not really the time to taste. But the intensity and shape are very fine with just a lick or two of finishing tannin.

2017 Echézeaux
From En Orveaux
Hmm – not the biggest nose, but the mix of oak and spice is very attractive. Big in the mouth, structured, textured from the tannin, open interesting, very persistent.

Natural Wines?
Thibaut tells me: “I tried so many bad natural wines that I thought it would be a challenge to try to make a good one. In 2016 there was almost no Savigny in Godeaux – just 3 barrels – so I thought that it was my chance to give it a try – I liked it so I made it again in 2017 but a little more. The market for this wine, currently, is all over but probably the US is the main market but it goes well in Japan and Northern Europe too.

2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune Godeaux ‘Classic’
‘Godeaux usually needs two or three years because of it’s minerality, perhaps less in 2017.’
A spritzy nose – plenty of gas – not yet ready for bottling. Nice freshness – excellent and open volume – a ripple of tannin and then a melting line of good, red, fresh-fruited flavour.

2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune Godeaux (‘Nature’ on the back label)
‘Constant testing for bret and volatile and oxidation. More elevage in stainless steel but also some barrel – it’s easier in tank! This bottled in September. There was just a little sulfur at bottling – there are no strict rules – below 50mg/l can be considered as natural – vs my normal 70-80 mg/l – these are 20-30 and it says so on the back label – also these are really organic vineyards so there is no 2 faces. Its like the same music played on two instruments the wines are totally different – how do you compare a violin and piano, but the tune is the same…’
Deeper colour. A nose that is fresh, open, not apparently, directly fruity – rather a tightness of red fruit below. Fuller, rounder, less astringent, more fruit. It’s big but never too much in the mouth. Long, a touch of salinity. Easy and delicious drinking. I took the opened bottle with me, and didn’t return to it for 4 days (it was kept below 10°C) – the wine was more open and was perfectly stable – so Bravo – very tasty wine!

After these bottles/samples, we took a short trip to the cold barrel cellar to sample:

2017 Corton Rognets
First vintage was in 2016
Hmm – another nose that blossoms as you swirl, there’s an impression of gas in the lovely red fruit. Depth, concentration, great dimensions of flavour, some minerality. Lovely

2017 Clos de Vougeot
Ooh that’s a great nose, deep textured but fresh. Attack, direct, structured a hint of the austere but also so much complexity with faint reduction. To wait for…!

2017 Charmes-Chambertin
A similar nose. A big attack of salinity and complexity, round – ooh that’s simply excellent for Charmes-Chambertin!

2017 Chambertin Clos de Bèze
A finer nose, more airy, hints of flowers too. Bigger, more intense, less overt concentration. Really great complexity and some tannin in the finish – easily my favourite of these 4!

Les Blancs…

2017 Bourgogne Chardonnay
A mix of Meursault and Monthelie commune fruit
Ooh – and what a nose! Sleek, saline, concentrated, good depth of flavour, though the flavour is just a little tight – but very fine finishing.

2017 Bourgogne Chardonnay Côte d’Or
From the commune of Puligny – this not yet bottled.
A tight, unfinished nose, but swirling liberates some fine and pure citrus notes. Wide, complex, good energy, this is excellent in the mouth – another great Bourgogne Côte d’Or.
2017 Puligny-Montrachet En Reuchaux
Only 0.2 ha.
A quick swirl and a fine and penetrating agrume is released. Bigger, impressive volume, great energy, a little mineral and a lot of delicious wine. Bravo. Simply lovely and long finishing.

2017 Beaune 1er Clos des Mouches Blanc
Will be increasing the production in the future – in two months have own vines too.
Like the previous wines, a little work swirling brings very attractive and clean notes to the fore – there is much to happily wait for here. Supple, a certain extra richness, complexity, depth of flavour – all that you could wish for, really – except readiness – wait three years.

2017 Montagny 1er Vigne du Soleil
First vintage was in 2016, driven by the frost elsewhere, and made exactly like Thibault would make an important Meursault – he was so happy decided to stay with these vines for another year.
A typically sherbet nose for a Montagny. Supple, round, ooh this is good – already showing rather well, with bubbling complexity and broad but fresh flavours. Delicious.

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