Tasted in Nuits St.Georges with Joelle Charrondiere and Jean François Joliette, 04 December 2019.
Maison Louis Max
6 Rue de Chaux
Tel: +33 3 80 62 43 01
Joelle on 2018:
“It was the end of August started the harvest. The fermentations in some places were difficult for reds but we did okay. I’d love vintages like this every year – quality and quantity, for us the whites are gourmand, not flabby also not an extreme texture but the structure makes for a great support and I like the balance. Wines that are mch easier to approach than the 2016s which are just tension and concentration, still. The reds are similar, a good concentration despite the volume of that the vintage brought. I find the wines have a certain joy! The hardest part of 2018 was tracking down all the barrels that were needed, of-course, it was the reverse in 2019 – what do we do with all these barrels!?”
Jean François makes a comment that encapsulates very well the market today : “Grand crus are at the limit of our service today, we want to make great wines that are affordable, and grand crus today are not a significant part of that service for obvious reasons.”
A great set of reds that reflect their place in elevage – ie not quite bottled. This Maison hasn’t shied away from extraction and there is some tannin here, but managed very well. Most will benefit from waiting a year or two. Whites are delicious and confirm yet again what a good vintage it is in the Chalonnaise. I’m very happy with this range of fresh and characterful wines!
None of these reds are bottled yet.
2018 Bourgogne Beau Charme
No wood for this wine
Plenty of colour. Some concentration of pinot pulp at the core of this aroma. Mouth-filling, freshness, lots of energy actually, some herb/metallic impression in the middle, but the finish is excellent.
About 30% whole cluster, barrel elevage. Grapes from the CHalonnaise
Plenty of colour again. A larger nose, some wc spiced elements, quite attractive. More silk, more depth of flavour, really super, mouth-watering flavour in the middle – ooh that’s excellent, perhaps more. Great Bourgogne!
2017 Hautes Côtes de Nuits
A little extra higher-toned here – lovely. More drive, super freshness. There’s a little herb in the complexity – a wine that’s alive with a waterfall of middle flavours that slowly fade in the finish. More classic than most in the vintage. Yum!
A little more than half whole-clusters kept in this.
Nicely vibrant and complex – this is a very inviting nose. Fresh attack, a wine of width and intensity, just a touch of reduction – but wide, and seriously good for the label. Serious also in terms of the structure – all is covered, but a little patience is recommended. Excellent villages Mercurey!
2018 Mercurey Clos de la Marche (monopole)
A nose that recalls the last wine but with a little more volume and freshness. More structural – but in a good way. Ooh, the middle and finishing flavours have a different level here – persistent and long – ooh super! Also be patient but super wine…
From 3.5 hectares of domaine vines. Will bottle in about three weeks.
The nose changes – more depth also more higher tones – a floral/herb hybrid. Big, fresh, open, cool-fruited – lots of structure in the middle also a modest astringency but the texture is super, as is the growth of the perfumed fruit in the middle. Wait 2 years and be rewarded. Bravo!
Near the villages portion of Les Guettes
A little whole cluster spice, also a little very modest herb – a nice complexity. Fine texture, open and mouth-filling – ooh and a great finish here – pure, none of the Savigny herb in the flavour. Long and satisfying – not as good as some of the Mercureys, but people want Côte d’Or – no?
From the bottom of Volnay, direction Meursault. Still in barrel.
This is a deep nose, some herb but with a finer top-line of aroma – it’s very inviting. Structural, fresh, faintly reductive. A wine to have a little patience with but the finish is wide, complex and proper Volnay – it’s really super here.
Rounder, darker fruited, needs a little more aeration – swirling brings more delicacy and a floral perfume. Open, classy, mouth-filling flavour that is delivered in successive waves as you head towards the finish. A super finish – great ‘villages’
A wider nose, the first marked by its oak – creamy in style. Hmm, nice in the mouth, a certain sweetness, lots of oak still – wait 2-3 years if you want to avoid that, but it’s very tasty in that style – the base wine is also excellent though.
2018 Nuits St.Georges
This still in barrel – the rest are all in tank now.
A blend of wc perfume and some barrel reduction – as many have here. A little more tannin and dryness from that tannin, but there’s no grain to see. Super finishing intensity and an impressive persistence of tasty flavour. I like this very much.
The produce here is usually about 30% white, mainly with elevage in 350 litre barrels:
2018 Bourgogne Beaucharme
Like its equivalent in red, this saw no wood during elevage.
A big and punchy nose – ripe and slightly saline. Actually this sits well in the mouth – there’s both volume and structure – the fruit is ripe but not heavy – saline, almost Mâconnais in style but without the ‘ample’ nature found in many of those wines. Good!
2018 Bourgogne Chardonnay
This vinified and elevaged in barrel.
A little more toast-style to the aroma – more freshness too it seems. Nice drive, plenty of complexity – also quite open in style – the oak is apparent but more as an accent. Fres but also a little moreish with a lovely finishing line of flavour that makes you salivate. That’s super!
2017 Mâcon-Milly Lamartine Clos du Four
Vinified and elevaged like the last.
A more compact yet airy nose. Vibrant, a little mineral, long – I like the shape of this wine – wiry, not in your face acidity but a nice balance and a subtly energy and mouth-watering finale. Super but I still prefer the Bourgogne.
A tighter nose again, a little mineral, slowly adding florals. Hmm, now that has a lovely shape and clarity on the palate, very fine texture too. Long and delicious. Bravo!
2017 Mercurey les Caudroyes Blanc
A little fuller, some modest lemon citrus, needs a little more air. A good shape in the mouth, melting citrus flavour over the palate, and then a great finish – it’s only the finish that I prefer over the Rully today. Long though…
All barrel elevage, bottled in September.
A vertical nose – of height and depth, quite mineral in the depth. Ooh – incisive, mineral growing in complexity. This is young wine, you should have a little patience, but there’s a great blend of complexity and fine, open, structure. Great! But today drink the Rully while you are waiting!