Ambroise – 2020


François Ambroise 2020Tasted in Premeaux with François Ambroise, 17 December 2021.

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

François on 2020:
Harvesting was in stages – 17 August for 2 days for crémant, 25 August for Côte de Beaune (We had water here but not in Beaune there was plenty of difference from the climate so the Beaunes were ready first) and the Côte de Nuits from 1st September – so three mini-harvests. Extraordinary – it’s really a grand vintage. We avoided the frost in April – we had 0° and maybe the cycle was a little affected – though clearly not for long! 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. The was the most complicated factor of the year – the maturities – they were all quite different. 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. I’m happy to be doing some longer elevage as the wines can take it in 2020 no problem. 13.7° to 14.5° – the wines are similar to 2019 but with much more tension. The average for the reds was about 32 hl/ha so marginally more than was produced in 2019.

The wines…

I enjoyed the 2019s much more last year than the 2020s at the same stage. These wines are dark and spicily-oaked – it is the style of the domaine’s reds this year but these 2020s will eat that oak without problem. So, the oak is strong in all these wines but it will become much less overt within 2-3 years – which is the minimum that I would wait for all of these…

2020 Bourgogne Côte d’Or
They own almost 7 hectares of Bourgogne – all grapes from the Premeaux sector – Les Chaillots, Les Grands Chaillots. Bottled before harvest – currently one of only two reds that have been bottled.
A big nose, forward, powerful but with a growing floral edge to the oak-spice. Full, dark fruit, sweet, spiced wine – the wines here usually calm after a couple of years so I would wait for that but there’s great material here.

2020 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits
From Villars La Faye, similar oak treatment to the previous. Was in the Bourgogne before but now at 16 years old… In elevage
A more airy and, today, attractive. Mouth-filling, energetic and practically juicy – wide, fine texture. That’s a beauty.

2020 Cote de Nuits Villages
From 3 sectors near the Clos de Marechale and Clos de l’Arlot. The other red that has been bottled
Full, deep, layered nose. Round but mouth-filling, really a fresh and structured complexity here. The flavours far more attractive than the nose today. The finish is intense, slightly spiced and impressive.

2020 Bourgogne Côte d’Or Vieilles-Vignes
Airy and wide, faintly spiced dark fruit. Super in the mouth – direct, fresh, a wine with tension that is quite vibrant finishing. The fruit still with the dark, spicy, style of the domaine this year but this is a super wine and very moreish.

2020 Nuits St.Georges
Like many of these, a January bottling is planned. From 4 sectors all close to the domaine in the south
Wide and intense – more spice here – some wc spice too. Bright, great attack, a faint frame of tannin but virtually with no grain. So fresh and juicy but with lots of intensity too. This will be a super wine.

2020 Beaune 1er Tuvillains
Made this wine with the same contract for 16 years, but not owned vines. The first vines harvested.
The oak spice is the dominant note today. Lovely, incisive starting – a wave of fresh and joyous flavour. Juicy and spiced finishing. This could be excellent but with its own style…

2020 Vosne-Romanée aux Damaudes
Not to be bottled before March
Black wine. Here there is extra freshness but also more oak spice. Super shape in the mouth – direct and fresh – again a wine that’s so juicy – a certain presence here but it’s still got plenty of elevage to finish to become the finished article.

2020 Nuits St.Georges Vieilles-Vignes
Two parcels Les Poisets and Les Longecourts.
Also spiced but here is another dimension of airy fruit and flowers too. Mouthfilling – a rounder presence. Mouth-watering. Melting fruit. That’s a great finish!

2020 Nuits St.Georges 1er Rue de Chaux
There’s not much soil here and what there is, is hard! All new oak
Deep and oak spiced – almost smoky. Sweeping flavour, tension, driving – that’s such an impressive shape. Juicily finish with lovely and pure dark fruits, even a little floral accent. Very good!

2020 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.
The oak-spice is more modest here. And there’s lots of airy, sleek, complexity. Fuller – more presence – a faint reduction in the middle – but here is super texture and fine mouth-watering flavour. Clearly a step-up from the Rue de Chaux – excellent wine.

2020 Corton Le Rognets
Domaine, a 0.66 hectare parcel. 100% new oak.
Tons of aromatic concentration – but with freshness. Wide, supple, growing intensity, yet, here is a wine that has a lot of elegance, slowly fading in the finish. Fine wine…

2020 Clos de Vougeot
A fermage contract. All new oak, vines in Grand Maupertuis – 0.17 ha.
A forward and fresh nose, today showcasing the oak spice but with some dark-fruited intent too. That’s got a very classy structure – no grain, no dryness but the tannin brings a small drag to the silky texture. I love the shape of this – not yet the flavour – but it’s just so juicily impressive. This could be an excellent Clos de Vougeot – but for waiting.

Les blancs…
All DIAM – the white production is about 1/3 of the domaine. Half of the whites are bottled:

2020 Bourgogne Aligoté
75-year-old average vine age planted by grand-father.
Here’s a nose with plenty of steely reduction. Supple, wide – really mouth-filling. This needs air but the rigour of the start soon gives way to a very tasty flavour – particularly in the finish.

2020 Côteaux Bourguignone Cuvée Lettre Eloïse
A mix of 400-litre barrels and foudres – no new wood.
More width of aroma and whilst also with a steely character, much less than the last. Supple, concentrated but always with mouth-watering freshness. Wide and satisfying in the finish. Lovely and with some zesty finishing bitters too.

2020 Bourgogne Côte d’Or 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. About 10% new oak used in the elevage here.
Yes – fine, a citrusy nose, partly lime – very attractive. Lovely in the mouth – concentrated but with fine mouth-watering energy. A certain richness but also very tasty wine – particularly in the finish. Very good!

2020 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…

2020 Saint Romain
A single parcel. 30% new oak in 300-litre barrels – ‘I think they work well for the whites.’ To be bottled next week.
Rounder the depth accented with creamy oak. Really mouth-filling and juicily energetic. Some fine lime fruit style here finishing with a phenolic texture and a zesty impression. The oak already largely gone in the flavours.

2020 Ladoix 1er Les Grechons
The last vintage for this wine
A punchy nose, faintly with pyrazine. Bright, extra complex and with lovely pure intensity – love the middle and finishing intensity here that’s really excellent wine!

2020 Meursault 1er Poruzots
A contract…
A full and impressive nose – fresh and becoming more floral. Ooh – that’s really lovely wine; complex, mobile, absolutely delicious – some modest creamy oak but not much. That’s simply an excellent, sinuous, delicious wine.

2020 Nuits St.Georges 1er Terres Blanches
All chardonnay, next to Patrice Rion above Perdrix. Larger format barrels.
A vibrant, mineral, reductive width of aroma. Mouth-filling, complex but for me, today, you have to wait for the finish to find the delicious complexity. More time for sure required in elevage for this wine but the finish already is super.

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