Jean Fournier – 2020


Laurent Fournier 2021Tasted in Marsannay-la-Côte with Laurent Fournier, 18 November, 2021.

Domaine Jean Fournier
29, rue du Château
21160 Marsannay-la-Côte
Tel: +33 3 80 52 24 38
More reports with Domaine Jean Fournier

Laurent on 2020:
There’s nothing in bottle just now. The 2020 whites had a good volume and that’s 20% of my production. The reds had fine quality and quantity in the younger vines but the older vines really didn’t produce a lot in this vintage. It was an easy vintage to work though, maybe the early rain in the year helped the vines later in the year as I didn’t see much stress.

We discussed a little the longevity of the recent vintages: “Yes, it’s interesting, if I open the bottles to taste for 1,2,3 days then 2019 goes down but 2018 goes up – what does that say for longevity? We shall have to see but I’d much rather drink the 19s today!

The wines…

Yes indeed, a little early in the elevage but, already, there is a lot to like in Laurent’s range. Often the usual suspects!

Laurent warns, “It’s still very early in the elevage here, mainly they have been racked but not 100%. I’m planning to bottle April–May but I’ve also a few tests underway for 20-22 months of elevage. I can see the appeal of this in warmer years it will be interesting to see what it brings in cooler ones too!!

2020 Bourgogne Côte d’Or
‘Mainly vines in the Marsannay rosé area – it’s hard to sell rosé – there’s the bling-bling market and the terroir market, but it’s increasingly difficult to sell a rosé of with identity. We have 3 hectares here, so I make more Bourgogne plus I declassify some young vine Marsannay and some organic grapes from Premeaux. In fact, everything is organic. Right now the bulk market is on fire “It’s 8 euros just for the juice with no work, but for professionals, it’s usually sold for under €10 – so what can they do? Many have stopped buying.”
Silky, deep, almost textured. Quite round, there’s density here but with energy to balance. But slowly opening in the finish – really a young wine but with plenty of material – that’s a fine finish which bodes well…

2020 Marsannay St.Urban
The name St.Urban refers to the small tower behind the domaine – the monastery was burned down by the Swiss soldiers. This the assembly of all vines that are not in the 1er cru ‘project’ plus younger vines – ie under 30 – from those crus.
A more airy start, but with concentration here again. More supple, easier to understand, the flavour still concentrated but melting over the palate. Holding a stronger finish.

There were some wc in the previous wines but those that follow are all about 50% and all in the bottom of the tank rather than layering:

2020 Fixin Les Petits Crais
I try to extract a bit more maturity here as the marne soils need more time for that maturity, that or more water in the soils – I think this makes for less rusticity in the structure.
A silkier nose with some higher perfume. Hmm – now this has a lovely line, mouth-waterig from the spine of acidity but the fruit is particularly attractive here. Modestly tannic but with no visible grain and hardly any dryness until the very end of the finish. That’s an excellent Fixin…

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin
2 parcels – Clos Prieur and Clos Bruillard – always low yielding both younger vines – but two different maturities so cant vinify together.
A super nose of fresh, perfumed width – yes! Gorgeous in the mouth, so mobile and mouth-watering, perfumed with fruit. This the most delicious and most ‘ready’ so far it has the potential for a great villages…

2020 Aloxe-Corton
2017 was the first domaine vintage. ‘Three parcels, one not great placed, one not bad the other a great place in Les Combes.’ This the 4th vintage with the conversion from the previous conventional approach
More middle density to this nose but at the edges this is inviting. Perfumed flavour – some of the stems are evident but not strong. The middle is open and mobile – it’s lovely here. An extra richness but not missing any clarity. Excellent Aloxe!

‘I like to be able to see then not see the whole-clusters – on the razor’s edge – sure, not sure…’ 4 Marsannays:

2020 Marsannay Le Chapitre
The oldest vines in this plot date from 1947 and 1948. This is one of the earliest-ripening plots of the domaine – it flowers here 1 week before Gevrey. Each year, a fair proportion of the grapes are lost to wild boar because there is no hunting allowed here. The 2nd vintage with young and old vines assembled.
Higher tones of florals and faint pyrazines. A density but still quite mobile flavour – the florals and subtle pyrazines are notable also in the flavours but I really like the open, mobile style of this wine, despite its obvious concentration. Chalky finishing…

2020 Marsannay Clos du Roy
Fine, higher-toned nose – floral but no pyrazine here. Sleek, direct, a wine with mouth-watering energy. There’s tannin but oh-so fine and hardly any dryness – a touch of wc within the flavour components. That’s a very classy Marsannay – simply excellent!

2020 Marsannay Longeroies
4.9 ha in Longeroies, keeping the best 3 hectares for this wine. Will wait a little longer before bottling this wine – ‘I like to finish in May before it gets too warm.’ More iron and silica in the soil – despite more south-facing it’s later maturing because of the wind that comes down the combes…
Less impact, more airy aromas – but very attractive. Good shape – a little fuller but still mobile and fluid in the flavours. The tannin showing a bit more than the last but again without grain. A finer width of finishing flavour today – that’s super!

2020 Marsannay Es Chezots
A cool plot, always later to harvest – ‘but always good grapes.’
Darker fruit and higher florals which again suggest a little pyrazine. Super mouth-filling presence here – with fresh energy. That’s very, very good and finishing with a super mouth-watering character – almost juicy.

Now three of vine cuvées – all worked by horse, all the additional work by hand. “There’s more whole cluster for these but I don’t go past 2/3rds as it can change the fermentations” – only demi-muids for elevage work – but in 2020 not quite 20 hl/ha for these:

2020 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Les Vergelesses
1 hectare of vines: ‘It’s my weekend work here – so I don’t see so many of the other producers! The first time I ploughed here I thought I don’t remember the grass like this – Ouch it wasn’t my row of vines! For me a perfect example of pinot with super vines and beautiful small clusters – lots of redness in the soil. I’ll be making a massale selection from here’
So deeply coloured. Depth and complexity here – accented with freshness so not heavy. Gorgeous texture, direct in style, wide and mouthwatering. That’s going to another in the great series of Pernands from Laurent – bravo!
2020 Côte de Nuits Villages, Croix Violette
The vines here in Brochon were planted between 1936 and 1939 – they always deliver millerande bunches – ‘It’s a different style of grape – Magnien-style’ – stays Laurent.
Here the nose starts a little less giving, more compact. But air allows a little wc perfume to lift from the glass. Also a super shape in the mouth – cool fruit, melting over the palate – that’s a gorgeous width of flavour and texture – bravo – great CdNV!
2020 Marsannay Trois Terres
A new blend since 2016 – Three parcels of old vines, some planted by grandfather of Laurent. Racked only yesterday
The nose is airy and open but a little hard today – probably the racking. Mouth-filling, cool fruit again – here with an extra richness of both flavour and depth to the structure. Finishing wide with a suggestion of pyrazine-style floral. Not showing its best for sure but I find the shape and fluidity of this to be on a great level.

Three négoce cuvées and not yet racked:

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Champeaux
Here the nose is a little sullen today. The shape in the mouth, the style, is super here though, Mobile again nicely fluid- That will come around very well – so good in the mouth!

2020 Corton-Rognets
Here are old vines surrounded by prestigious (Vosne) neighbours.
A deep and impressive nose – some oak below. That’s a super-fine palate, quite direct and gorgeously textured. Impressively extra flavour in the finish too. That will become a great wine – bravo!

2020 Clos de Vougeot
From Grands Maupertuis
Here there’s a reductive character which is the main note. The shape and the structure are impressive and correct but after the Corton this is not in the same tasting shape today.

2020 Marsannay Petits Grumottes
Millerandé grapes only 2-3 barrels per year.
Deep and slightly reductive – but here is concentration. Impressive – wide, melting with flavour – super texture, fine and elegantly finishing with a modest mouth-watering style. Class!

2020 Marsannay Le Pau
Known locally, orally, as this but not on any map – 1945 vines planted in the limestone area of Clos du Roy
Very pure, modestly wide. Fuller – more mouth-filling. The tannin more visible than the last but different – still no grain but a chalky impression to them. The wc showing a little more today. But that’s a fine and impressive finish

Les Blancs
Also nothing in bottle – will start in January – ‘assuming the bottles and corks have arrived!’

2020 Bourgogne Aligoté En Auvonne VV
From Couchey, old vines.
Some density below but a note of freshness above to round this nose out. Bright, fresh, a little gas. That’s a super wine with direction and citrus energy. Delicious!

2020 Bourgogne Aligoté Champ Forey Vieilles-Vignes
Vinified without sulfur, not crushed – fermentation in barrel but with temperature control.
A vibration of wider and riper fruit. More direct, still riper but a wine with a little extra minerality too. Finishing with extra complexity and a little salinity.

2020 Bourgogne Aligoté Aux Boutières VV
In Savigny, old vines but can only estimate a planting-date of around 1920 as there is no paper-trail for these.
Ooh – that’s a fine width of crystalline aroma! Some gas. Mouth-filing but open and almost juicy in style, very slowly fading. Three very different styles – all top-level aligoté

2020 Bourgogne Origines Cuvée Speciale
No chardonnay – a blend of pinot blanc (officially one-third) and pinot gris.
A depth of more pungent aroma – impressive. A bit of gas here – but mineral and wide in the flavour – citrus acidity and mouth-watering in style but still a counterpoint of richness in the width of finishing flavour that’s modestly accented with tannin.

2020 Marsannay St.Urban Blanc
80:20 Chardonnay:Pinot blanc. A little young vine Longeroies and Clos du Roy too. Bottled last week.
A more open freshness of aroma. More direct, a steely minerality – plenty of depth to this flavour but the freshness and acidity are very appealing. Delicious!

Following not bottled but were racked 3 weeks ago:

2020 Marsannay Clos du Roy Blanc
All chardonnay from 20-40-year-old vines. The youngest vines planted ‘HD’ at 20k per hectare
A creamy accent from the barrel to this one – riper yellow citrus fruit too. Direct, impressive depth to this fresh flavour – some richness but beautifully cut by the acid structure. Ripe finishing and completely delicious again – more material for sure in this wine – the barrel only seen right at the end of the finish today.

2020 Marsannay Longeroies Blanc
Also all chardonnay, planted at a density of 13,000 vines per hectare.
A totally different, more golden-style fruit almost a little creamy. Ripe but fresh, concentrated too – a completely different style to this wine, a little richer and riper finishing. The finest, most direct of these aromas. Plenty of gas. Ooh – a mouth-watering intensity here, I’m salivation with this juicy wine. Wide and pure and super moreish in the finish. That’s a super wine.

2020 Marsannay Rosé
Planned for bottling in January.
Here the nose is not yet in place. Certainly a red glacé-cherry accent to this fruit, slowly mouth-watering. Quite long finishing – much more in place in the flavours. More elevage needed but this is super!

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