Ambroise – 2019


François Ambroise 2020Tasted in Premeaux with François Ambroise, 20 November 2020.

Maison Ambroise
8, rue de l’Eglise
21700 Premeaux Prissey
Tel: +33 3 80 62 30 19
More reports for Domaine Ambroise

François on 2020:
Extraordinary – it’s really a grand vintage. Of course, it’s a bit too early to be definitive and the volumes are a bit low, but it started well and we avoided the frost in April – we had 0° and maybe the cycle was a little affected. It’s a vintage where we worked harder for a shorter period but fewer treatments were needed – more for oïdium – even the pinot that is normally not affected, some sectors showed a little – we had to pay attention. Cool at night, warm in the day – it’s the current climate – we needed the cool and it showed because the acidity was very good. Plenty of wind in this vintage too. I started harvesting 17 August for cremant – 2 days – then we restarted 25 August in the Côte de Beaune and stopped again until 31 in August. This was the most complicated factor of the year – the maturities were quite different. It was actually quite a long vintage for us in terms of time – 3 weeks. We knew we had great starting materials but you really needed the capacity to cool the grapes. In volume terms we are 40% down in red, more like minus 10% in the whites – it was the flowering that was largely to blame but the dryness also took its toll – chardonnay and Hautes Côtes flowered in better conditions so had better yields.

François on 2019:
Another hot one! A small harvest – minus 50% in whites but correct in reds – again the weather was less helpful at flowering – this time for the whites. We started about 16 September in the Côte de Beaune, in Beaune and Ladoix, and there was less rain in this sector than Nuits, one week later we were harvesting in the Côte de Nuits. Vosne and Chambolle seemed to have the best of the weather. We treated a little more in 2019 than in 2020 as the spring was colder. Didn’t have ‘American’ degrees in 2018 but yes in 2019 but with better acidity – I really like the balance of the wines in this vintage. Vendange a la carte in the last vintages – is more the approach than a global harvest.

The wines…

The oak was showing a little on this day, but the reds remained very impressive – many excellent wines, som touching on great!

Only the first red is in bottle – the bottling of the rest will start in one more week:

2019 Côteaux Bourguignone Lettre d’Eloïse
Bottled a couple of weeks – it’s the only wine that’s been bottled. 100% pinot from the sector of Premeaux – foudre elevage.
A deep nose, a little smoky. Mouth-filling a little depth and richness. Layered flavour – delicious pure pinot flavour. Bravo Côteaux!

2019 Bourgogne Côte d’Or
They own almost 7 hectares of Bourgogne – all grapes from the Premeaux sector – Les Chaillots, Les Grands Chaillots. This filtered last week and waiting in tank. 30% foudre, 10% new in 400l large-format barrels.
Starts with some spicy oak before the red fruit comes more to the fore. Wider, more tension, more mouth-watering. I’d actually take this in preference to the Côteaux but give it a little waiting time for the oak to fade. Excellent.

2019 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits
From Villars La Faye, similar oak treatment to the previous. Was in the Bourgogne before but now at 15 years old…
A little deeper colour. Fainter oak this time but still present and still spicy. Larger scale in the mouth – very fine tannin, and even a little floral and smoky in the finish. Excellent again.

2019 Cote de Nuits Villages
From 3 sectors near the Clos de Marechale and Clos de l’Arlot.
Less oak showing in this one – despite 30% used here – some attractive higher aromatic tones present. More intensity, really mouth-filling. A dark, graphite, minerality in the finish. Super.

2019 Bourgogne Côte d’Or Vieilles-Vignes
30% wc 50% new oak – only 22 hl/ha in this vintage.
Deeply aromatic, oak and wc spice. Very, very wide, some intensity of flavour here. More fragrant finishing – particularly lovely here. Give this time but it’s very attractive.

2019 Nuits St.Georges
Three parcels but all the same sector between Nuits and Premeaux – 50% new oak a mix of normal and larger barrels.
The spicy oak is present but has a good intensity of fruit supporting it. Wide like the VV but here there’s a touch more cushioning to this intensity. That feels and tastes delicious over the palate. Really wide and impressively finishing. My new favourite – it’s excellent.

2019 Vosne-Romanée aux Damaudes
Deeply coloured. Spiced oak, probably spiced Vosne too! Hmm, here there’s a much more floral, a violet, component – that’s lovely. Wide and delicious finishing. The previous wine is more sensuous, this a little more delicious – the quality is the same.

2019 Beaune 1er Tuvillains
Made this wine with the same contract for 16 years, but not owned vines. Half new wood.
Less overt oak spice and a width of attractive higher tones – that’s a nice nose. Wide, super texture, this is another excellent wine – very consistent high quality this year.

2019 Nuits St.Georges Vieilles-Vignes
70% new oak, two parcels Les Poisets and Les Longecourts
Vibrant, deep, a little reductive style to the oak here. Super texture again, a small few mm of richness to the velvet texture. Deep, concentrated, slowly mouth-watering. Calm, contemplative. Long

2019 Nuits St.Georges 1er Rue de Chaux
There’s not much soil here and what there is, is hard!
Less overt oak, silky, dark-fruited – a fine invitation. Open, fresh, energetic – I love the shape and style here – that’s really super. Lots of finishing sweetness but bravo – top!
2019 Nuits St.Georges 1er Vaucrains
Next to the Les St.Georges of Thibaut Liger-Belair. Also all new barrels, mainly large format. Like last 70% new oak.
Just a little less colour than the rue de chaux. A smaller nose, hints of flowers, a modest barrel spice – one might even say elegant despite this being Vaucrains. Very wide, a great punchy first impression – texture almost as good as the last and less overtly sweet finishing. A super finishing flavour – it really expands here. Bravo – I’d take the last wine in preference today – but tomorrow…(?)

2019 Clos de Vougeot
A fermage contract. All new oak, vines in Grand Maupertuis.
More colour than Vaucrains. Wide and fresh and spicy oaked, swirling brings a more floral component. Mouth-filling depth of fine texture, slightly velvet from the suggestion of tannic grain. Slowly finishing with a mouth-watering element that seeps from the tannic texture. Easy to assimilate today but clearly such a baby – not an architecturally formed CV, more Vosne (grand cru) in style. Delicious.

2019 Corton Le Rognets
Domaine, a 0.66 hectare parcel. 100% new oak.
Very dark colour. Deep and dark nose, some nuts, a little extra maturity here. Ultra-silky. A nice bubbling, mouth-watering line of flavour here. Really a beautiful finish – not ‘hard-Corton’ rather a fine elegance. Only the nose needs to improve here, the rest is really very super and harmonious.

Les blancs…
All DIAM – the white production is about 1/3 of the domain.

2019 Bourgogne Aligoté
All foudre elevage – 10 months – bottled in August. 75-year-old average vine age planted by grand-father – not much more than 35 hl/ha.
A weight and even a richness of aroma here – golden aligoté fruit. A drag to the texture from tannin, wide, golden-fruited style, almost exotic, almost quince – generous but very very tasty.

2019 Côteaux Bourguignone Cuvée Lettre Eloïse
No new oak but some larger format barrels. Also 10 months of elevage.
Super freshness – direct and interesting. Extra freshness versus the Aigoté. Structural and tasty – something to grasp in the finish. Excellent, tasty wine.

2019 Bourgogne Chardonnay
Domaine vines in Premeaux, just 0.21 hectares of chardonnay near the Côteaux Bourguignon, also some declassified Hautes Côtes in here so no Côte d’Or label which will come in 2020. Larger barrels.
A deep, ripe, vibrant nose, a faint oak spice too (20% new). Less overt energy than the last but more depth of flavour – more energy than the aligoté. Broad finishing some oak in here – spiced, smoky style not vanilla or cream…

2019 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc
Premeaux from a little behind the Clos de Marechale – there’s 10% pinot gris in this. Plus vines in Villars le Faix and large format barrels. This the last of the bottled wines.
More clarity of fresh aroma here – super depth to the ripe fruit too. Wide, bubbling with energy, mouth-watering, almost juicy. The oak is still present in the finish but less-so than the previous wines. My favourite so far…

Not yet bottled:

2019 Côte de Nuits Villages Blanc
Lieu dit Les Vaucrains a small cuvée, 50% new oak.
A broad, fresh and ripely fruited nose – you won’t note the oak in the aroma here. Extra intensity, a faintly tannic texture. Long and delicious finishing but with some oak accompaniment here.

2019 Saint Romain
A single parcel. 30% new oak in 300-litre barrels – ‘I think they work well for the whites.’
Lots of colour like all these wines. A depth of ripe fruit but still with good freshness. Mouth-filling, only slowly growing in intensity the energy is okay but not overt. It wouldn’t be rich in a Meursault context but yes in a St.Romain context. Very tasty though the oak in this sample remains very obvious in the finish.

2019 Nuits St.Georges 1er Terres Blanches
All chardonnay, next to Patrice Rion above Perdrix. Larger format barrels.
That has a nice width and freshness of aroma despite 100% new oak. Extra volume, extra intensity, fine texture – ooh that’s really super wine. Punchy, tasty, the barrel only notable in the finish. That will be excellent, possibly great Nuits Blanc!

2019 Ladoix 1er Les Grechons
A warmer, deeper but still fresh nose. Fuller, more density of flavour a very different style of fruit too. Love the finish – and it’s so long too – practically no visible oak in this one but excellent as this is, the Nuits takes the trophy here.

And to finish:

Older colour. Deep, leafy, plenty of maturity. Fresh attack, broad flavoured, still something of a baby from a structural perspective, slightly floral finishing. I’d guess Nuits, maybe the VV, but it is revealed before I guess vintage – just as well! This is actually Vosne-Romanée 2009 – such super freshness and not with the sweetness of 2009 – very impressive.

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

Burgundy Report

Translate »

You are using an outdated browser. Please update your browser to view this website correctly:;