Tasted in Nuits St.Georges with Jean Lupatelli, 07 December 2020.
Domaine Decelle & Fils
3 Rue des Seuillets
21700 Nuits St.Georges
Tel: +33 3 80 53 74 35
If you think the name of this domaine has a familiar ring to it, let me just say Villa…
Founded in 2008 by Olivier Decelle and Pierre-Jean Villa – vignerons from the Rhône – Domaine Decelle-Villa has been managed in Nuits by Jean Lupatelli since 2010. Pierre-Jean Villa has recently stepped back from the partnership to concentrate on the Rhone with his children. So whilst the name of the domaine may have changed to Decelle et Fils, the team here haven’t changed at all.
The operation started without vines or tractors and had to hire a place near Beaune to store their tractors and agricultural materials. Initially, they chose to make wines with bought-in grapes and starting principally in the area of Beaune, Chorey and Savigny. Today they are making the equivalent of 8 hectares worth of, organic certified, wine for the domaine, and 85% of all the wine produced today is organic. The domaine is currently housed in Nuits St.Georges though all but one parcel – a Côte de Nuits Villages – lies to the south of the domaine.
Decelle are housed in the old Domaine Missery cuverie in Nuits St.Georges, built at the end of the 19th century – built when here was still mainly countryside – but it was also near the train station. The building belongs to Gregoire Bichot but this impressive structure is far too big for his 4 ha hectares of vines – so the fledging domaine of Decelle-Villa rented space here.
“It needed some updating,” says Jean, “But its a great place, despite being rented. We always wanted our own space so have a new place coming, part of the old Rocamat stone-works buildings in Corgoloin – coming soon! But we will still be sad leave here – the cellars are deep and impressive.”
Jean on 2019:
“It’s a very small vintage in terms of volume – about 20 hl/ha everywhere – roughly half a harvest. It was a succession of small things to blame that added up to a substantial deficit; frost, not great flowering temperatures with rain, a little hail and of course it was very warm. There was no single catastrophe! Fortunately, we have wines with good balance and, as I’ve a horror of over-mature wines, the date of harvest was my primary concern!”
I’ve not tasted any the wines from here since a few 2012s. The 2019s I tasted here were stylish and characterful – a cellar of more than competent wines that will repay your patience with them. Worth a visit for you, and a return for me!
13 of the 17 cuvées here are ‘domaine’ so for my first visit, we concentrated on those. All are bottled, some as late as last week:
2019 Bourgogne Les Boyards
AB (Agriculture Biologique – Organic). Deep, clay soil in the commune of Chorey. A little whole cluster used in this vintage – it depends on the year the relative amount.
That’s a wide and very red-fruited wine – rather ample in form. Lovely in the mouth – mouth-filling, finely textured – quite open – the acidity slowly coming to the fore, modest finishing bitters from the oak, but quite long. Give it a year before attacking.
2019 Hautes Côtes de Beaune Les Champlains
High above Savigny. Started with a parcel of white in this area and then the opportunity came for a nice parcel of old vines – this the 3rd vintage – the only problem is the competition for the fruit with the deer. Later ripening area. Elevage in 500 l barrels
Wide, a red-fruited nose – a little herb and whole cluster aroma too. The wc is more overt on the palate but balanced with sweetness and a really excellent texture, again with the finishing bitters like in the Bourgogne. Persistent – wait 2 years!
Jean has slowly reduced the number of pigeages that he does over the years:
2019 Chorey-lès-Beaune Les Poiriers
That’s a deep nose, nicely vibrant, red-fruited – a great start. A touch more tannin but only the smallest of grain. Mouthfilling, quite supple texture. A nice finishing salinity too. This is really excellent Chorey.
2019 Chorey-lès-Beaune Les Beaumonts
The only climat of Chorey on the other side of the route national – better draining and more complex soils here – 90 year old vines but are going to replace a part due to the lower volumes.
A width of freshness and a silky impression to this faintly herbed nose. Nice presence in the mouth – mouth-filling but with cool fruit and a perfumed style and openness to the flavour. Much more sophisticated wine here.
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Pimontiers
A more overt and heavier floral perfume – some of the weight perhaps coming from a little oak accent. Big, fresh, a fine mouthful of energetic, slightly wc-inflected flavour. That’s a fine wine and one with a certain joy to it! Nicely mouth-watering in the finish and again with a little accent of salinity…
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Gollardes
Late harvesting despite south-facing due to a current of air here. Old vines, lots of murgers here. The first vines bought for the domaine – ‘a treasure trove of old genetic material.’
A smaller nose but one of attractive purity – faintly smoky, spiced complexity, eventually, with more aeration, floral. Sits beautifully in the mouth – open, silky, a few mm of richness to the texture – but super balance. A calm style to this very complete Savigny!
2019 Beaune 1er Clos du Roi
Most producers did no more than 15 hl/ha here in 2020 – most closer to 10! There’s simply a lack of reserve for the water in hot dry years.
Plenty of colour. A larger-scaled nose, wc spice and a depth of darker fruit. A little bead of CO2 here to start. Mouth-filling, quite overtly wc in style but not too gothic. The texture a velvet due to the tannin, but no real dryness. A medium-term wine – give this at least 3 years and preferably 5 or more – but the finish is impressively powerful.
2019 Beaune 1er Teurons
North of Teurons next to Grèves – an old quarry so on the mother rock.
Not as deep a colour as the Clos du Roi. Deeply aromatic, but aromas of technique – wc and oak today – the fruit is somewhat behind those. Good scale and freshness in the mouth. Saline (it must partly be the oak) and nicely mouth-watering. A certain richness but no fat to these flavours. I like the finish – something to get my teeth into and very long too. Another wine that will benefit from your patience, but I think it will be worth your time.
2019 Côte de Nuits Villages La Berchère
Below the large building with Fevre painted on the side.
A more airy nose – a faintly sweet oak influence, but only an accent. A more structural wine and one with a little more overt energy. The texture is fine – like all the wines here. Direct to start but finishing as a width of flavour. A wine that will grow and grow in tandem with your patience…
There are these two and a recently planted area in the clay of Chorey whose first harvest was in 2020. 500-litre barrels and Stockinger foudre for elevage:
2019 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Les Champlains
A large, punchy nose of freshness and citrus fruit. Ample, round, but with good energy and deliciously mouth-watering flavour to balance the citrus richness. That’s not a very long wine, but it’s definitely a very tasty wine – an accent of oak influence here is also noted.
‘A curiosity here – bought in 2015 and I only noted before the first harvest that it was practically half pinot gris but randomly in the parcel – so done in two harvests so the fermentations start separately.’
A deeper, larger, nose. That’s rather nice in the mouth – wide, mouth-watering – almost juicy but not wearingly energetic. Like drinking a juice. I want to take another sip of this and it’s much, much, longer finishing than the Bourgogne and it’s delicious too!