Here’s a compendium of wines, mainly 2011s and virtually all from bottle, mainly tasted with producers. I would have tasted many, many more in March/April but (sadly) had to cancel my visits. You will also see more and more 2012s as we move through into July-November.
I’m afraid I still have to sit on the fence re pyrazines – at least in terms of how widespread they may be found. Clearly there are many wines with this character out there, but some days everything seems tainted to me, and other days it is rarer. I do note that I seem to be more sensitive in the late afternoon / early evening! Versus the 2004 vintage we are too early to be seeing mass manifestations – if 2011 follows the same flight-path – but there are already many, many bottles with ‘something extra…‘ and it is still early days…
Domaine Marquis d’Angerville (Volnay)
Tasted June 2013. At this stage of their development, these are very good wines indeed for 2011s, yet it is hard to see the value…
High tones that are both delicate and subtle. Plenty of sweetness and a slowly building concentration of flavour. Nicely growing intensity of flavour. Lovely red-shaded fruit – a very pretty wine…
Again high tones but this time they backed by a deeper red fruit. delicate and precise – just beautiful fruit with a perfect acid balance. I love this wine – just super.
The aromas are wider, but less precise than the Fremiet. Gorgeous in the mouth; like the Fremiet but with another level of dimension. Then there’s another little burst of flavour in the mid-palate before you swallow. Simply excellent, even if I prefer the perfume of the Fremiet!
Denis Bachelet (Gevrey)
All tasted 9th November 2013.
Here the colour is a little purple. Big P. Nice balance in the mouth, with good intensity and decent length – but the flavour of pyrazine too – 91pts from Burghound apparently!
Big P again – bleh! Plenty of sweet fruit but far too much P flavour for this taster…
Big P! – it’s not nice. Round and sweet in the mouth, but the flavour is here too, even vying for supremacy with the fruit! – No!
Domaine Roger Belland (Santenay)
Tasted 7th June 2013. Maybe extracted a little too much in 2011 – there are plenty of bitter tannin elements, though with time, these always lessen.
The nose is high-toned, and rather nice. Like the nose, there are some herby elements in the flavour – certainly not the ripeness of some years – maybe not the best of wines, but the sweet finish is a good one, and comes close to rescuing things. Not amazing, but at least with character.
The aromas are deeper and redder than those of the Charmes – red fruited. There is more excitement here, even though the flavour is still not super-ripe. But I have to say that the flavour is one to savour…
Here the nose has plenty of depth, a hint of musk too – it’s clean and quite pretty. The flavours offer quite some bitter-chocolate impression and a very nice line of long, fruit flavour. I have the impression (at least today) that this is rather heavily (hopefully?) extracted, but the last drops in the glass offer a very pretty aroma indeed.
The nose is wide and fine though with limited depth. Full, with plenty of flavour and acidity – a long rambunctious style. Lots of fun!
Domaine de Bellene (Beaune)
Nicolas Potel was in Dijon and might or might not have been back in time to say ‘hi’ before I finished the tasting; tastings are always long affairs here, even when done at speed – there are just so many labels – 22 domaine wines and 75 ‘maison’ wines in 2011. As it turned out Nicky didn’t manage the whole trip before I left for my next appointment, but Nicky’s co-worker, Canadian Matt Chittick, managed everything with aplomb! The white wines had been bottled in January, and the reds in February.
Nicolas is gradually increasing his use of DIAM closures; mainly for wines below 1er Cru level, but a few 1ers too for the 2011s. All the Gevrey 1ers received 100% new oak, indeed, many of the wines on this showing, retain a little oak aroma, but they are babies and it’s not distracting.
Almost all of the village whites were fermented in demi-muids, and there was no lees stirring.
Les Blancs – first the domaine wines…
Round, very inviting fruit. Very sweet, understated acidity – though, on reflection, probably just enough. Very impressive length of flavour.
The aromas are finer and more focused, a little higher-toned too. ‘Just right’ balance though good ripeness for Saint Romain. Very tasty.
Wide, less obviously ripe fruit aroma, less depth too yet more interesting. Nice, perhaps a little fuzzy but then comes a lovely acid-led flavour from the mid-palate. Very good.
Very good, high-toned aromas. There’s a little CO2, but this remains a fine, forward and very well proportioned wine. Very good!
Deeper aromatic – a very faint reduction is probably to blame for this. Beautifully balanced wine, no heaviness – just super-fine. Excellent.
No Maconnais, up to 10% Chalonnais
High-toned, clean and with some density too – nice overall stance. Not too ripe and with good flavour – this is on the (almost) lean side of excellent.
Riper nose. Rounder yet fully balanced. This is a bigger wine and with excellent mid-palate concentration – I have a slight preference for the Bourgogne Blanc though.
Here is a higher-toned, perhaps finer nose. Less focused palate, maybe, but a more transparent and very well balanced wine – which, by the way, is delicious! Great finish.
A suggestion of brioche, finely supported by the fruit. This is excellent – lithe, transparent and with a stony balance and growing intensity. Excellent – and a great finish too!
A fine and classic spicy gingerbread nose. Less sweet, wider and with more insinuating fruit. There’s a bigger growth of flavour in the mid-palate which lasts into the finish. There is maybe less definition, but this is very long ‘for what it is…’
A blend of two 1er crus – declassified.
There is warm, inviting ripe fruit. More energy in the mouth than the palate suggests, despite real concentration. Very impressive for the label – very…
A lithe, energetic nose – very nice. More mineral, more clarity. Super length – super wine!
Faintly vanilla accented aromas of ripe but (still) fresh fruit. A very good, mineral wine that shows a really excellent growth of fresh flavour in the mid-palate – yes!
A ripe but very focused core of fruit that grows in complexity. Just an ever-growing intensity of fine flavour. Finely balanced, beautifully flavoured…
Les Rouges, first the domaine wines:
Medium colour. The nose has faintly-spiced red fruit. Full in the mouth and seems nicely rounded. Energy, acidity and super flavour – a great package and a great first wine.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Here is a deeper aromatic with a perfumed, floral note above. More intensity, less sweetness, but with fine balance in the mid-palate. A good wine, but for all its extra intensity I would still buy/drink the Côte de Nuits Villages in preference today.
Medium, medium-plus colour. This is a more structured and more complex version of the villages wine, and it is all about the mid-palate and finish today, in fact it’s really mineral in the finish – quite impressive.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Precise berries and florals on the nose. Rounder and a little more generous after the Savignys. There’s a good expansion of flavour in the mid-palate and a nice insinuating finish. I’m usually a bit sniffy about wines from this vineyard, but this is a lovely, friendly package that’s far from ‘simple’.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Deeper, darker fruit that has something like an undertow of oatmeal! Here is more muscle and a much more ‘direct’ wine that thrusts a spike of mid-palate flavour into your tongue. The last impression is of slow flavour decay, leaving a little tannic texture on your tongue – compelling!
Again, medium, medium-plus colour. Here the fruit aroma is wide and elegant and quickly develops a floral note too. Very fine texture – lovely mouth-feel. Overall, concentrated, showing fine acidity and is absolutely delicious!
Fabulous aroma of top-to-bottom high-to-low-toned red fruits. The personality of the wine is more direct that the Pertuisots, but supported with very fine grained, understated tannin. This is excellent, and shows a fine finishing flavour of bright fruit. Simply top-notch villages NSG, as usual!
This is the biggest cuvee with 46,000 liters in 2011.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Deep and very focused cherry aroma. Good sweetness and lovely fruit – ooh, I’d drink this straight away! Despite a little more obvious tannin than the previous wines, this is glorious Bourgogne Rouge!
Medium, medium-plus colour. Again we have aromas that include a nice floral element, there is just a suggestion of P here – the first wine to show this. In the mouth this is nicely round despite some structure and with a nice elegant fruit profile – a transparent wine with a lovely finish.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose seems a bit bulkier and less-well crafted than most that have gone before – fortunately in the mouth this has a similar elegant, translucent tasty mid-palate fruit to the previous Santenay. Another pretty wine.
From declassified 1er crus including Brouillards and Les Angles.
Medium-plus colour. The nose offers flowers, bright red fruit, and dare I say bubblegum…(!) Fine width on the palate, then there’s plenty of tannin before the excellent mid-palate fruit washes over your tongue – really of 1er Cru quality – chapeau!
Medium-plus colour. Deep and concentrated dark-red fruit with a very faint spice – just lovely! Juicy red fruit with a concentration that grows in the mid-palate, seeming to sustain that growth right into the finish. The tannin still needs a little time to settle, though it’s anyway fine enough.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Here is a much more floral-led aromatic, and it’s very pretty. Clarity and transparency of fine fruit – the structure shouldn’t be underestimated, but you will certainly have to search it out! Very, very good wine.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Darker red and black fruit – an absolutely compelling nose. Concentrated but with very good texture – even more flavour in the mid-palate – this seems a luxurious but finely balanced wine. Yum! Faintly lingering – more yum!
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose has higher tones with good depth too – today it’s not completely together though. The palate, however, is very-much together; beautifully, elegantly presented fruit supported by fine tannin.
Medium colour. Here the nose is (the first!) a little tight – just an understated, faint fruit. For all that, it’s excellent in the mouth, having both energy and fine fruit – good personality. Very nice wine indeed.
Hmm, a second wine with a little P, but it’s just an anecdote, floating above dark-red, almost black, exciting fruit that really pulls you in – lovely. Despite the sweetness of fruit, I find a suggestion of P flavour too. There’s a less fine structure than the domaine wine, but this is still rather exciting today…
Medium-plus colour. A classically spiced-up version of the Nuits nose – sans P – with higher tones in the mix too. Wide, transparent fruit, whose insinuating flavours are supported by good structure. There’s super mid-palate energy here – it’s hard to ask for more…
Medium, medium-plus colour. A panoramic, very, very interesting nose – GC standard, and I very like! There is more structure here, but very good fruit too, whose flavour leeches over your tongue – classic, but perfectly packaged Nuits with a fine finishing energy.
Medium-plus colour. Both density and depth of aroma though the width starts tighter, padding-out with a little time in the glass. Sweet, ripe fruit with a little tannic grain as support. Fine acidity and a lovely fresh fruit that ascends from the structure below. Understated but very fine wine.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Good, high-toned aroma, perhaps supported by minerals as well as the ripe fruit. Good density here – I love the gradual growth of fruit flavour as it slowly, but surely exerts authority over the structure – impressive!
Medium – plus colour. Deep, cushioned, inviting, slightly spicy nose that soon evolves a violet flower dimension. Sweet and ripe (as is usual for Champeaux), wide and inviting – the dark fruit has sparkly highlights!
Ripe, spicy fruit – quite focused. In the mouth this is also ripe and wide – less sumptuous than the Champeaux but more mineral. Just a super mid-palate and finish here.
The aromas start more spicy but there is clarity and depth, more limited width, but then a fabulous floral dimension – just so yum! Lithe, muscular, transparent – beautiful flavour, really beautiful…
Medium, medium-plus colour. Very pretty, slowly evolving aromas with a frame of coffee. Transparent but with an innate mid-palate density. Not a hint of hard or demanding – mineral and lovely. It’s really no shame to drink this right away!
Medium-plus colour. Ebullient, concentrated, impressive aromatics. Full, insinuating, textured and balanced, with a growing intensity. This seems to be a wine with everything – such a precocious package!
The aromatics are much more considered after the Clos de Vougeot – very deep, but less wide – finely detailed, however! In the mouth you are assailed by everything – there’s even a hint of saltiness in the finish. And what a finish – the first ‘peacock’s tale’ of this selection. A wine that still needs a little time to compose itself and gain more focus, but the wait will surely be worth it.
Medium-plus colour. The nose is more understated than the Echézeaux, yet also seems more concentrated – perhaps with an undertow of spiced oak. Gorgeous fruit flavour – just impeccable – forget the structure and shape, just drink, yum, yum, yum…
Medium-plus colour. The aromas are more transparent and focused after the Clos St.Denis and their concentration seems to grow and grow in the glass. Sweet and wide – everything you need is here – with a finely wrought mineral finish and faintly drying tannin. Very, very good length – super wine.
Medium-plus colour. Oak spice and fruit that slowly unfurls from a tight core, eventually displaying a fine width. I sometimes complain that Bonnes-Mares can be too brutal, and there is clearly ‘more’ here, but this ‘more’ is delivered with such authority that I really have no room to complain. Super balance, allied to concentration – what more can you want?
Medium-plus colour. Quite friendly, not that wide but with a perfect, perfect core of fruit. Round, very, very friendly, fine tannin. This is clearly less exciting than many here – until the mid-palate when there is a reprise of that perfect fruit from the nose, leaving the impression of a beautiful, if understated wine.
Bottled only the day before!
Medium, medium-plus colour. This is a higher-toned, fruit/floral hybrid – very elegant indeed, and subtly deep too. Wide and concentrated, yet transparent too. Perhaps a hint of coconut oak, but this is beautifully boned and complex – gorgeous wine!
Also in bottle for just one day.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Super-elegant nose – not super-full or super-deep – but still super! Clarity and just gorgeous fruit with an insinuating concentration. Clearly the best length of any wine so far – the texture is not particularly luxurious, but this wine remains just so covetable – indeed ‘pluckable’!
Medium-plus colour. The nose has much of the Bèze about it though perhaps a little more ‘loose’, despite its captivating core of fruit. Just a little more structure here – the fruit needs a couple of second to catch-up and finally assert itself. More mineral flavoured than the Bèze. You really can’t go wrong…
Henri Boillot (Volnay)
Tasted 31st october 2013.
Unlike many other 2011s, this is rather deeply coloured and hinting at purple. This nose has depth and width, it seems rather muscular – there is perfume, but it’s quite heavy, in the manner of an old school-mistress! In the mouth this is just a bag of energy – something of a joy – mouth-filling, intense with an acidity that slowly begins to exert itself. I love the line of flavour in the finish. The nose and colour hint at a heavy extractive hand, but the palate is just super!
A similar depth of colour to the 2011 wine, but some age is showing – definitely no purple! The aromas are deeply toned but with higher-toned interest too, and hint of the (becoming) classic 2008 herbs. The acidity is penetrating, but there’s no lack of balance, and there is real intensity on offer – this bursts with mouth-watering flavour. Very nice!
From fruit sourced around Puligny and Meursault.
Compared to the Bourgogne from Leflaive, the aromas are heavier and riper. Fortunately in the mouth this isn’t just full and round, it’s also rather mineral with an intensity in the mid-palate that belies the label. Now if I could have this palate and the nose of the Leflaive… 😉 Very good Bourgogne.
Wide and concentrated aromas that just about avoid the ‘heavy’ descriptor – ripe, modestly oaked fruit. Here there is just brilliantly growing intensity of flavour – bravo! I’m a little distracted by a prickle of CO2 on the tip of my tongue, but this is very, very good – lots of extract here.
Domaine Lucien Boillot (Gevrey)
Tasted 22nd May, 2013. This domaine is based in Gevrey-Chambertin, and it seems a domaine worth getting to know – the 11s all show a little pyrazine, but there is real class here – I wonder if they have any 10s or 1s2 left…(?)
From two polar-opposite parcels – one near Fixin, and the other near the 1ers and GCs to the south.
P. There is a good sweetness to the fruit, depth and concentration too. Relatively fine tannin and an insinuating flavour.
The nose is deep and certainly sweeter than the Gevrey – just a faint accent of P. Here there is finer tannin and a more floral dimension to add to the fruit. This is a very pretty wine indeed – I like – lovely depth of flavour…
P with floral references too. Very good (fine) tannin and a clear extra minerality after the Volnay. This wine is more understated but has a really wonderful length – I simply love the finish here – this is very classy for 2011!
Bonneau du Martray (Pernand)
Jean-Charles was in good form here – tasted 7th June 2013.
High tones of herbs mixed with a very pretty red-fruit note. Crunchy red fruits in the mouth that grow in intensity before following a long diminuendo, and supported by fine-grained, faintly dry tannin. This is a very, very pretty wine.
The aromas here are just a little tight, yet there’s a hint of aniseed in there. In the mouth it begins modestly narrow, but builds and builds. There’s plenty of energy and flavour-dimension here, though without quite the ‘cut’ of the 2010 version it still remains very more-ish. The last drops in the glass are starting to smell lovely by now…
Domaine Alain Burguet (Gevrey)
Tasted 9th November 2013.
The nose is herbal, but with a slowly growing floral component. There’s something a little herbal on the palate too, but there’s also good intensity and length – a good wine I think.
Plenty of herbs, but I waited and waited, and the there was no P. Gras and a little salty tang. There’s good concentration and a growing intensity – this is nice wine, and as successful a version of this cuvee as I’ve ever seen – a lovely burst of finishing flavour too!
Maison Camille-Giroud (Beaune)
Tasted on 7th October 2013, with David Croix. I briefly discussed prices, etcetera, with David; they went with a 7-10% price increase for their 11s. David described 2011 as the first vintage since 2009 where the volume of supply was reasonable; plenty of white was made and the amount of reds seemed ‘correct’, though that probably reflects more his (major) role as a buyer of grapes than a producer of grapes. But put simply, many domains need less staff right now as there is no wine to sell, no promotional trips to plan etcetera. So-far, they have no idea what to do with pricing for 12s as they have much reduced inventory for that vintage, and 2013 looks worse from a volume standpoint.
Medium colour. The nose is quite round with a nice floral backing. In the mouth I find good intensity which steps-up in the mid-palate though the acidity is starting to suggest over-brightness, that-said, this finishes long and warm with a stony element. Good in parts right now.
High-toned and intense red fruit nose. Wow, in the mouth this is really intense, with a salty tang and impressive power. This wine will leave you punch-drunk – wow! I hope that I have some in the cellar, because this is excellent, indeed, for the vintage it is brilliant!
Good fruit on the nose, though still betraying a hint of malo – this was the latest cuvee to finish. In the mouth there’s a compelling tart cherry-fruit that has good intensity. Mouth-watering but not too bright – croquant today.
This will include a part of Santenay La Comme. David notes that this wine is particularly good in years like 09 and 12 where they easily achieve ripeness – it can be much more difficult in other years.
Another wine with some malo notes today, but darker fruit than the Bourgogne. There’s a lovely mouth ‘fragrance’ – I’d say this was very fine fruit for a villages label. Lovely.
Lovely high-tones, spoint slightly today by hint of bubble-gum aroma – but for all that, very pretty. There is more apparent structure than the Santenay villages, but very pretty, mouth-watering fruit dominates the line from the mid-palate into the finish .
A mix of fruit from Lurets and Grand Champs.
Here is a very pretty aromatic of fruit and flowers. Good structure yet the tannin is rather soft. Just a little minerality in the finish to top things off – compact but pretty.
The aromas are deep, with cherry and bramble. Super depth here, round, concentrated and with a lovely finish – just very, very good!
Again we have a very pretty, almost clichéd Volnay aromatic – yum! There is an extra depth to the texture and more concentration too. Today this is beautiful, but direct and primary too.
David notes ‘I’m very happy with the 3 Volnays that we have, as they were almost destroyed by the hail…
The nose is round and pungent. Likewise in the mouth you have been prepared for the full, round but slightly floral character. There is more tannin here (as usual), but this is a wine that retains a level of sophistication.
The nose is more sauvage after the Santenots, with a hint of spice too, supporting an ever-evolving high-toned fruit note. Hmm, a little too much CO2 to meaningfully comment on the palate, but flavours seem lovely.
Soft and a hint fruity (no whole clusters this vintage). Concentrated and direct in the mouth, and with a slowly growing intensity. I think this will be excellent with its long and linear muscle. A wine worth waiting for.
The nose is wide and shows a hint of spice. A little too much CO2 but the palate seems to convince of its mouthfilling concentration. There is some love here…
The nose is rather wide, but there’s no heaviness. Open and just a hint spicy. The palate has a concentration that creeps up on you. Open-knit and very long. The various parts are excellent, yet the wine as a whole is not completely together today – but given the consistent level of this cuvee in previous vintages, this should still be exceptional, even for Chambertin!
The nose offers a lovely, honeyed, gingerbread note. Insinuating flavour and an elegantly long shape that leaves a subtly mouth-watering finish. Not so subtly yum though!
This shows a very elegant nose for a Chassagne, dovetailing a hint of citrus with a little brioche – lovely. Silky, with beautiful acidity and fine length – just alround excellent.
There’s a little more Chassagne herb aromatic. Brighter in the mouth with plenty of intensity. This wine bursts further forward in the mid-palate, delivering another level of minerality after the ‘Vergers’.
Domaine Laurent Cognard
Tasted with Laurent, 22nd May 2013
Dark coloured which reflects in the deep aromatic notes which are also a hint gamey – yet attractively so. There is a velvet-grained tannin here, again showing a dark personality – quite penetrating and interesting.
Here there is a completely different personality with high-toned, pretty red fruits on the nose with good depth too. The palate is sweeter and more sumptuous than the nose suggests. Nice enough.
Again, high-toned but with the benefit of a clearer focus. Wide, intense and with ripe fruit and gorgeous mouth-watering flavours. For all that, it is a little ‘acid-lite’, but it is just too tasty today to even consider complaining!
Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey (Chassagne)
Tasted with Pierre-Yves November 2013.
Fresh and high-toned with a little oak. Also a hint of oak flavour. Lovely balance – I like this very much.
Wow – so much more width and energy after the St.Aubin. Just super-youm – it has such great dimension. Wow!
high tones and a little oak – faint savoury notes too. More depth and concentration – a little plusher too – whilst there’s more depth and concentration, there is less energy too. The Narvaux was just too good for this to follow – but it will be fine enough in isolation.
Domaine Cornu Magn-lès-Villers
Tatse November 9th 2013
The colour is clearly older than the 11s so-far. The nose is nicely perfumed. Sweet with plenty of acidity and a slowly growing intensity – if anything, the acidity is a little sharp – but this is very likeable wine…
P is rather subtle here – it grows from basically nothing, but never showing more than an additional note of complexity – aromatically this is very pretty. Sweet and concentrated – yet again with a slightly salty tang – lots of intensity and a hint of sweet coffee in the mid-palate. This is very tasty wine – particularly so for young Corton!
More herbal and less obviously ripe than the 2011 – actually it seems corked!
Bottle 2: Starts a little reduced. Slowly, slowly it develops a really pretty personality of fruit and flowers. Wide, full and sweet in the mouth. Impressive wine again – yum!
Domaine des Croix (Beaune)
Tasted on 17th October 2013, with David Croix. Another cellar that underlines the quality of 2012s – also in the Côte de Beaune. I have made some purchases.
Malo was finished here in February; this wine only sulphured once, before the 2013 harvest. As usual a wine who’s quality extend way beyond the basic labelling – helped by its mix of Beaune and Savigny fruit.
The nose has very bright fruit, unexpected depth too. In the mouth I like width and love the texture, despite a prickle of CO2. Tip-top BR – really!
From three northern side of Beaune plots, (Blanchfleurs, Teurons and Blanchiserie) all fermented together, to be blended with another assembly from two other later-ripening plots in Pointes and Tuvilains where the soil is deeper with more clay and Fe2O3. Tasted separately the two components:
1. Here the nose has less impact but offers very pretty and precise fruit notes. Less wide than the Bourgogne but with more depth – unexpectedly long too – Very, very good.
2. This nose has deeper, darker fruit, the palate more width and more tannin too, if less direction and length – the blend reads like it should be a good one!
Lovely floral aromatic here. The palate has width, fine acidity and energy – lots – this is an electric little wine today. There’s still some oak texture in the finish but that will have faded before you open a bottle…
Again I tasted two blending components; the first from the bottom part of the vineyard where the soil is similar to Blanchefleurs or Savigny Peuillets, the second from the northern side of the vineyard where about 10% stems had been retain to ‘give a kick of freshness’.
1. A little reduction accentuates dark red fruit nose and a lovely mouth perfume – an elegant and fine wine.
2. The second has less reduction and shows a fresher red fruit that seems glossy and of good depth in the mouth. This part is darker and with more minerality.
Deep, round red cherries on the nose – compelling stuff – it begs you to take a sip! Insinuating, mineral but with a little fat to the texture. Good mineral length too. Yum!
The nose (like virtually all here) shows great width, with an impression of very clean, tiny berries – myrtilles! In the mouth this is intense, dark and perhaps a little sweeter, then the structure slowly rises from the depths just to show that it can – ‘a beast of a wine says Mr Croix’ – Beauty and the Beast I’d say…
The malo was quite earlier here, thus, so was the sulphuring – gives much more the impression of a finished wine than the others in the cellar.
The nose delivers gorgeous, detailed small red fruits. Very silky texture – this is very, very compelling wine today!
From 55 year-old vines.
The nose has deeper, earthier and more profound fruit after the Beaune. Another wine with a prickle of CO2 but the mid-palate has some solidity to it, but extra mid-palate dimension too. Archetypical powerful Aloxe-Corton!
20% whole clusters were used here.
Real fruit depth, good width and just a spicy accent. The texture is silky with a faintly salty tang to the flavour. Concentrated yet there’s still an extra burst of flavour in the mid-palate. A somehow elegant version of Corton, yet still with a reserve of power.
Pierre Damoy (Gevrey)
Tasted 9th of November, and what a great small set of wines. Damoy, despite their whole clusters, (so-far) seem to be free of issues.
Deeper colour than most. I can’t find any P today, just a deep and brooding nose is on display. Round, with sweet fruit and very good underlying structure – I like! Here’s an 11 to buy, at least based on today’s performance…
Deep, crystalline dark fruit and a faint ring of floral stems. Salty, round, concentrated and nicely textured – everything that I want – excellent.
The nose is full, intense and a little monolithic to start – yet, there seems a fine clarity too – interesting, edged with the stems. Lovely, lithe intensity and minerality, and detail, and, and… Excellent+!
Tasted 7th June 2013. Quite a find these wines – this operation is a mix of domaine and négoce, but for the latter, only grapes are purchased.
The nose has high tones, meaty notes and dark herbs – compelling. Lots of sweet fruit and intensity in the mouth with really good extension into the mid-palate and finish. This is excellent Savigny villages.
The nose is deep and dark, yet remains understated, perhaps a little reserved. Here is a very nice personality; concentrated yet without obvious tannic extraction. This is excellent Pommard.
The nose is dark, with hints of reduction – slowly becoming smoother and more interesting in the glass. There’s a little reduction in the flavours too, but this is obviously concentrated and intense stuff. Very well balanced with mouth-watering flavour too. This really needs decanting, but I think it excellent – the last drops in the glass have cleaned-up by now and the aroma is lovely!
Fresh, with just a hint of SO2 on the nose. Really ebullient in the mouth – lovely acidity and fine energy dovetail with great flavour. There really is lots and lots to love here, and it’s quite stony in the finish too – bravo!
The nose is wide bt with a real concentration of fruit at its core. Nice precision here, though the wine is perhaps a little too cold. Fabulous leaching of flavour from your gums and teach – I’m beside myself just how tasty this is – Brilliant!
Tasted 7th June 2013 – and what a brilliant set of wines!
The nose is full and round – a little textured too – with faint herbs. Full, concentrated – wow – this packs a super punch, supported by fine acidity.
Here the nose is finer but there’s less impact – it’s more considered. The palate is certainly more mineral but there’s that same wonderful acidity bubbling below everything – very yum!
High-toned, pretty and precise, a lovely blend of fruit and herbs. Vibrant acidity (again), ripe fruit too. There’s only one thing I can say against this wine – it’s almost too intense – swall or spit but don’t hang around – wow! Just another super wine from this domaine in 2011.
Domaine David Duband (Chévannes)
Tasted with David Duband, November 2013.
40% whole clusters augment lovely aromas here. There’s a hint of astringency, but fine energy and a lovely width. I like this flavour, and there’s very good length too.
A little deeper colour though the nose is giving little away. Very slowly a spicy red fruit begins to develop – faint P too.
A pretty, high-tone, perfumed nose. Plenty of tannic grain here – almost but not quite astrigent (due to the quantity probably!) There’s a salin dimension to the flavours and a quite lovely width of flavour. This isn’t super-long, but it is a tasty wine.
Tasted 7th June 2013. Since 2010, all these wines have been bottled with DIAM closures.
Warm aromas that hint at a little wood too. Luckily, it’s much more mineral and direct than the nose suggests. This tastes very well today!
Here the aromas are wider and fresher – yet still something that reminds me of barrels. Again the palate is leaner and finer than the nose, with a beautiful acid-led intensity. Fine flavour too – I like.
Fine is slightly subdued nose. Clarity, minerality and intensity – super – and quite a step-up from the preier cru. I love the mid-palate power that’s on display.
The nose, a bit like the Bougros is wide though rather understated – with just a faint undertow of ripe fruit. This fills the mouth just a little more than the Bougros does, denser but still with very fine acidity. Super-mineral with a sweet acidity impression in the finish – hard not to love this one!
Domaine Jean-Nöel Gagnard (Chassagne)
Visited on 12th July 2013, tasting with Caroline l’Estimé. These 2011 wines had all been bottled between January and March 2013, Caroline noted that the wines were quite ‘croquant’ after bottling, but since, seem to be gaining in richness.
The nose gives a rich and smooth-textured impression, eventually with faint green herbs. In the mouth this is silky, wide and enveloping. The intensity slowly grows before leaving you with a stony impression in the finish. This is a lovely wine of understatement, yet also of concentration.
Pretty nose, yet with some density. Wide, mouth-watering, supple – a very tasty wine.
The nose is higher-toned than the Chaumes, with less width but a super depth of aroma. Here is a much more mineral wine, with a really excellent growth of flavour in the mid-palate. Stony finishing – lovely – I like this a lot.
A classic, herby, Chassagne nose. The flavours are wide and quite mineral, growing in intensity – this is a wine of energy – a stony finish, rather stony – very, very good.
The aromas are wide but very different versus the last wines; fllowers and citrus-fruit skins. There is a plushness to the texture, perhaps needs a little more mid-palate definition today, but what an impressive length of finish!
The nose has great width and interest, and though it starts a little softer, it grows in intensity, really changing in the glass. Very silky and very mineral. An impressive finish that is accented with a little cream.
The nose has impact yet still grows as it warms in the glass. Beautiful width, supporting acidity, length and intensity. What a package – I love!
This nose hasn’t the width of the Caillerets, but there is a fine depth – very interesting – it grows as it warms in the glass. Super-silky and mouth-coating, eventually mineral with a hint of salt. There is a really impressive width to the finishing flavour. Really super.
P, but with a gorgeous nose. Very nice balance with clean fruit in the mid-palate. There’s a mineral accent to the finish. This is always an ‘under the radar’ wine from this domaine, but as always it is lovely.
P, high-toned with pretty dark-red fruits. Plenty of intensity and concentration, the mildest of astringency and good flavour. Probably a lighter style of 1er cru CM red, but good wine.
There’s a little fruit conserve on the nose. In the mouth I find more minerality, and more interest in the lithe, lovely, growing fruit flavours. A wine that belies the high contribution of young vines – yum!
Alex was on good form when I visited 29th May 2013 – one of my usual purchases, the Bourgogne Chardonnay was already sold-out, before I got there – I think I’m partly to blame! Anyway, Alex is now sellingmore and more wine in France – he’s up to 30% now, so he’s practically a Frenchman now!
Bottled at the end of March.
The nose is very pretty indeed, hints of oak round it out, but they are only accents. The entry seems a little flat but then the acidity well-up from the core of the wine to deliver plenty of intensity. The finish hangs on very well – just a little minerality in the tail too!
A classic Meursault nose awaits, with plenty of freshness behind the ginger-cake. There is both fat and silk here with a decently growing mid-palate intensity. The acidity is rather understated, but there is enough for balance. I find this very nice.
Here are the herbals of Chassagne-Montrachet, but they are not overpowering. After the Meursault we have less fat and a more mineral aspect that’s coupled to a very nice acid-led intensity – this is simply delicious!
Here are fresh and flighty aromatics – plenty of character. There’s an extra sucrosité to add to acidity that’s similarly alive to that of the Chassagne. A nice slug of lingering flavour too – simply yum!
The nose is high-toned and fresh – very nice indeed, if not particularly distinctive. The drive and intensity here, does have a bit more muscularity – and that’s even more obvious in a finish that’s distinguished with a hint more sweetness. Worthy of the label.
Aromatically P with a lovely sweet raspberry note. In the mouth there’s a pleasing expression of delicately flavoured fruit. This is a pretty wine which I’d wait about 6 months before starting to harvest in order to chamfer the tannins a little.
Here is a high-toned blend of dark cherry mingling with herbs. There is extra sweetness and intensity after the Bourgogne, and like that wine I’d also wait another 6 month – though it is already quite delicious!
From a plot sitting just above Bouchard’s Enfant Jesus vines.
P that’s also reflected in the flavour. The acidity seems a little forward after the last wines, though the fruit flavour behind it is very nice. A hard wine to judge today.
There’s a hint of P, but this still smells beautifully of soft red fruits. Supple and complex this is, incisive it is not, but it is very, very pretty, and that’s usually enough for Chambolle!
There is a little P here too, but this is tighter and more brooding than the Chambolle – slowly, slowly, a beautiful red fruit aroma begins to develop – this is now quite lovely. In the mouth this is a concentrated wine of sinew and muscle – the flavour only expanding late in the mid-palate. Not quite ‘austere Clos Vougeot’ though it looks askance at the taster – very long finishing. Real potential here…
Here the nose shows a hint of musk. In the mouth this manages to be both friendly but authoritative – lovely mouth-coating fruit, but with noble elegance (it seems!) before finishing with a mineral slant. Very fine indeed!
Tasted with Jean-Pierre Guyon 7th June 2013. There is plenty of oak here but it will fade and what’s below seems really good!
Deep and dark aromas that include plenty of oak – that said, it still seems to have plenty of appeal. Flavour-packed and balanced with a slight floral lift to the fruit – Bravo!
The nose is wide and very interesting – some oak, some herbs – but what a blend! Here on the palate there’s also plenty of oak but I also find a lovely line of energy through the wine – yum!
Here there’s quite a pretty and warm lift of aroma from the glass, but really it’s rather tight. Here the flavours seem to be more about wine and less about oak (versus the other Guyons) – it’s just very tasty – it’s darkly-fruited, balanced and long, with just a hint of salt on your tongue.
100% whole clusters.
Floral and with super depth, the aromas are really lovely – eventually with hints of smoke and roses augmenting the very, very pretty fruit. Fresh with a hint of minerality, yet the stems seem to confer a little soft-focus. Lovely and long though!
Domaine Jayer-Gilles (Magny-lès-Villers)
Tasted 9th November 2013.
Brighter red fruit on the nose (after the Lejeune 2012 Bourgogne) but almost approaching volatile in its intensity, probably egged-on by the oaky base. It’s a narrow entry, but there’s lots of energy and fruit intensity here. Nice wine.
High tones. Sweet impression with lovely balancing acidity. This is very pretty in a sweet/sour peachy sort of way…
Lamblin et Fils (chablis)
Now into their twelfth generation as a domaine. All the wines are made in stainless-steel, with the exception of the grand crus. Tasted, 22nd May 2013.
Aromatically high-toned. Discrete in the mouth, but then there’s a pretty burst of fresh flavour – tasty wine.
More interesting and complex nose. In the mouth there is an obvious higher level of concentration and intensity. This finishes beautifully, which is just as well as the mid-palate is rather understated. A nice wine.
Made in 2-3 year-old barrels.
Hmm, quite mineral – definitely seems like a GC nose! Understated entry, but the flavour grows and grows in intensity – it is long finishing too. Really a decent Le Clos…
Domaine Clos des Lambrays (Morey)
Tasted 7th June 2013. Thierry Brouhin notes that in the last 3 years, the domaine has lost the equivalent yield of a whole vintage.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Some stem references and certainly some rose perfume – it is quite an intense aromatic package – a super wine to sniff and sniff. In the mouth the flavours offer width and something a little plush to the texture. The acidity brings a little brightness and energy to the mid-palate. Very much a contemplative wine. Lovely.
2011 Clos des Lambrays
Medium colour. P. There’s a little pyrazine flavour too, but the red fruit below grows and grows – it also has a lovely acidity and decent material extract in the finish. Otherwise, this is a good wine.
Medium red colour. Here are pretty red fruits, and despite a little confiture aspect, there’s good, fresh attack here. Lovely intensity – really! – and a fresh flavour that grows in intensity, finishing with cherry-stones. This is very tasty indeed.
Olivier Lamy (St.Aubin)
Tasted, 22nd May 2013.
The nose is rather tight. On the palate, fortunately, this is bright and fresh, and for the label shows a formidable intensity. Simply tip-top Bourgogne.
Here the nose is significantly more demonstrative, intense even, with a few herbal top-notes. Exquisitely intense in a pleasure/pain sort of way, that’s really a pleasure. Just fabulous wine, you hardly need bother with the label.
Domaine Leflaive (Puligny)
Tasted 7th June 2013. And well-done Leflaive in 2011 – I’ve been very critical of a few vintages since and including 2006, but these are really great. 2011 was the earliest harvest at the domaine – 20-31st August – yet the acidities were still a little below average. You would be forgiven for not spotting this as the wines showed very well indeed – though value remains an open question. All had been bottled in March/April.
Deep and quite pretty aromas. There are some oak notes in the mouth but there’s also very nice acidity. Long finishing. This tastes really, really good.
The nose has plenty of high-tones, and is very engaging. Wide and mineral in the mouth with a rally nice burst of flavour and acidity in the mid-palate. Not much padding here, rather a direct and detailed wine – lovely!
Here the nose offers more fruit references and their skins too – sweet lemon. Hmm – intense – leaching flavours with plenty of minerality. Just lovely, lovely, lovely – very yum indeed!
The nose reminds me of the Pucelles yet with more concentration and sadly for the next few minutes a little SO2, too. Gorgeous citrusy acidity and really impressive intensity – just a wow wine, a tour de force. Really, really on form this wine in 2011.
Then tasted 31st October 2013:
An impressively intense nose with citrus skins – mainly lime. The entry seems a little anonymous despite the roundness of the mouthfeel. Saving the wine is the growing, mouth-watering acidity in the back of the palate. I like it, but it doesn’t seem as brilliant as usual.
This has a modest but classic Meursault nose of ginger-cake. Here is a beautiful line of acid-led flavour which goes long, long, long! This is showing beautifully today – there’s a fresh sucrosité that reminds me of 2010 reds. Lovely!
The aromas are deeper and stonier tan the Meursault and show a little musk. In the mouth this is narrower, stricter even – at first – but it is also more mineral and involving in the mid-palate with an agrume flavour. Today the Meursault is more fun, but this has a brooding intensity.
Domaine Comte Liger-Belair (Gevrey)
Visited on 11th July 2013. This was the first showing of Louis-Michel’s 2012s, and perhaps we were still a little early as some were far too gassy to say anything meaningful, others not sufficiently formed – yet some were already lovely!
Of-course Louis-Michel had bought a large new vineyard in 2012, the Nuits St.Georges premier cru Clos des Grand Vignes in Premeaux, so I asked how he was planning to deal with his little plot of chardonnay, “well” said Louis-Michel “of-course I don’t know how to make white wine” he says with a smile “but we have 0.3 hectares in the Clos des Grandes Vignes, and I chose to treat it as oxidatively as I could, but surprisingly it still doesn’t taste oxidised! I plan to keep it in barrel for a second winter, and then decide whether I’ve something to commercialise or not.”
A tour through selected barrels – i.e. the ones which Louis-Michel thought worth tasting – interestingly, Louis-Michel noted that all the wines from clay soils had finished their malolactic fermentations ages ago, but the other only just. He also notes that malos are usually quite early in his cellar, as the house is directly above.
There’s just one demi-muid of this wine, and the nose says more about reduction and CO2 than Nuits, but in the mouth this has beautiful acidity and line.
Again reduction and CO2, but here we can see that the wine is fuller and rounder, more concentrated and plump.
This is much wider, aromatically, with a lactic/creamy dimension. In the mouth this is really super-silky, Louis-Michel notes that this is still to be racked.
some whole clusters have been used in this vintage..
The nose is a little tight, but with fine definition and delineation. Beautiful elegance here!
Tight aromas. Bright, some CO2, plenty of dimension and complexity. After the Chaumes there seems more dry extract in the finish.
Whilst the aromatics are shy, in the mouth this is just wonderfully complex and energetic.
Unfortunately this wine has far too much CO2 to say anything meaningful.
Here is less gas. A wine with beautiful shape and power – athleticism – makes me think of a pole-vaulter’s physique.
A tight nose. Some gas, yet seems very silky to start with – lovely texture – then comes a hint of astringency – but this seems a complete wine: understated but profound with a long bass note in the finish.
Normally this wine amazes me, but today it just seems very, very good – probably a little early to appraise: The nose is round and intense, and one of the few showing real depth today. A little salty tang to the flavour and a super-fine velvet texture. The length is very understated, but it’s still a hell of a length!
A couple of young Beaujolais, otherwise only older wines from the Côte d’Or for Thibault today – I have to say though, that these wines had me questioning my prejudices: Young TLB wines always have me moaning about the toasty oak component ‘spoiling’ my enjoyment – similar to Pousse d’Or – yet here the oak has mellowed and I cannot complain one bit. Maybe I should finally find time to pay a visit(!)
Ooh – impressive aromatic depth here and a hint of spice too. Plenty of concentration, a good core of ripe fruit and a joyous energy. Bravo!
The nose is rather deep – a little reduction to blame for that – but there’s excuisite dark red fruit too. Here there is more muscle but less fat after the ‘Roche’. This is mineral and intense, demanding more of your attention than the last wine. A hit of saline in the finish too.
From close to Vosne-Romanée. This is way paler than the two Beaujolais – 30% stems probably have something to do with it, but hardly medium colour.
There is a relatively faint reference to the stems, with a faint undertow of reduction augmented by higher-toned red cherry notes. Much fresher in the mouth than the nose might have you believe – nice extension of flavour and good authority in the finish in a slightly herby style. Very nice wine.
Medium colour, but very pretty fruit on the nose (no whole clusters this year) though overall, rather understated. The wine is really back-end-loaded; the modest entry just grows and grows and grows in flavour – from almost nothing! Lithe, fresh and very pretty wine – fine finishing too. I highly doubt you would guess NSG if you tasted blind.
Medium colour. The aromas are very pretty, but like the LSG, relatively modest. Fresh and wide in the mouth, with understated tannin, this grows in intensity, aided by a perfect acidity. I find this very pretty indeed – not a typical descriptor for CV, but there you go…
Marchard de Gramont
Tasted 22nd May 2013.
Essence of sugared fruits here – aromatically super. Wide in the mouth, with a little structure too, and lovely insinuating fruit flavours. Very super Bourgogne!
Much deeper colour. Darker, more reticent, almost tight aromas – at-least after the Bourgogne! There is a little NSG structure but the beautifully sweet fruit shines through. Not as excellent, in its own context, as the Bourgogne today, but very, very fine, none-the-less!
Thierry & Pascale Matrot
Tasted with Adèle Matrot, 22nd May 2013.
A blend of parcels from around the village.
Ripe tones and high tones. Relatively fine textured (after the Beaujolais & Mercureys). Nice enough wine and good value.
From three separate parcels.
Pretty, high-toned aromas. There’s a hint of salt, interest too – it’s tasty despite no real focus. Just a pretty wine – but good value wine.
Classic nose with a hint of sweet ginger and a few nice florals too. Very well presented concentration and an intensity of fine flavour. Simply excellent villages Meursault.
A hint of toast at the start soon dominates centre-stage. There’s some oak flavour too, but it simply can’t hide the growth of wine flavour – this finishes in a rather mineral vein too. Today I’d rather drink the Meursault villages, but I’m sure there’s lots for promise here.
A blend of two vineyards.
This has a very lovely high-toned nose – lovely indeed! Intense and beautifully fresh – I find this a very attractive wine. Just so yummy…
Domaine Méo-Camuzet (Vosne)
When I visited towards the end of January 2013 , Jean-Nicolas was just starting to bottle his 2011s – Clos St.Philibert, Marsannay, Fixin and Bourgogne. We started with a few of the négoce wines before (mainly) moving onto those of the domaine.
Jean-Nicolas notes that ”2011 losses were mainly due to sorting rot. I’ve the impression that we have more rot now than we had in the 1990s. I’m not sure it’s particularly because we have more rain, but it seems that the winters are shorter so from that perspective we have a higher average temperature through the year. This had something of a correcting factor in 2007 and 2011 (bad weather!) but not, for instance, in 2003.
“I think the 2011s are tender in general, though after racking they have a reasonably high level of sulfur because of their low acidity. So you might find them a little inconsistent.”
I personally found this an excellent set of 2011s, and one of the rare domaines in this vintage that was able to extract and present some minerality in their wines. In their smart suits from François Frères there wasn’t the slightest hint of pyrazine – hopefully they remain so once the oak fades.
A blend made up of two parcels.
Nicely cushioned aromas with very lovely red fruits. This is direct and mineral, intense too – there’s no fat or puffery. Maybe a hint of licorice in the long finish. Very impressive 1st wine – it’s so hard to find minerality in 2011!
The nose is high-toned – it’s really quite pretty. Again a wine that is very direct in style – beautifully balanced though and again without recourse to any cushioning. Good burst of mid-palate flavour.
A négoce wine, but self-picked. This contains about 20% younger vines, but the remainder are old and low yielding
There is more depth and concentration of aroma. More texture, some cushioning and a little savoury aspect to the flavour. Delicacy in the finish. Nice.
75% from the lieu-dit of Barreaux, 25% ‘Commune’. Jean-Nicolas notes that “This is a terroir that needs to be mastered; the soil here is really grand or premier cru, rather than villages, but, the climate is harder so needs much more time to ripen. ”
A very, very pretty floral aromatic. If the nose hints at sweetness, the palate is very mineral and beautifully balanced.
The nose is more powerful than the Vosne, but without that wine’s florals – indeed it seems more Vosne than the Vosne! In the mouth this has more sweetness, it’s plusher and shows lovely dimension. The tannin is more forward (not much soil apparently). A generous nose and a tender taste. JN notes rather nicely ‘like the vintage, it remains rather modest.’
A négoce wine in name only – Méo’s team do all the vineyard work here.
After the Nuits, here is a tighter core of aroma, but it is rather pretty. Delicate, moreishly pretty flavours and quite some minerality too in the growing flavours of the mid-palate. Understated but very good.
Forward, concentrated fruit on the nose – the hallmark of most Chaumes I think – settling into a very pretty and complex presentation. There’s a hint of cushioning and the flavour goes rather long. Fine acid and rather mineral too. This is a very convincing Chaumes.
One of the first wines to be harvested every year, Jean-Nicolas thinks that this warm spot always gives a little more generosity to the wine.
There seems to be a depth of both texture and interest on the nose. Rounder than the Vosne, still with some minerality – I think you would (I would) guess Vosne. Less direct and forthright than many others.
The aromas are deeper-still, also with a little more focus – I think it’s fair to say ‘profound’. Understated sucrosité with an insinuating intensity – a wine that really demands that you swallow or spit – just don’t linger. The last breath of this wine hints at a little barrel coconut.
JN notes: ”I describe this as mineral from time to time, because there is very little soil – maybe 80cm before the mother-rock. On the other hand, it is in a very early ripening position, so is usually harvested in the first 1 or 2 days of the vendanges.”
There’s a little oak on the nose which quickly lifts, though the wine retains a spicy element – below that spice is an impression dark but still fresh fruit. Only the very last impression brings a little tannic texture, before that it is very smooth indeed. It is also very well proportioned.
”Some of the plants here make quite big berries – so we have to keep that in check. Minerality and freshness are ‘given’ here – what we have to work on is the generosity.”
Fresh and wide with some high tones – though not as wide as the Clos de Vougeot. The tannin seems very late arriving. Versus the Clos de Vougeot this is clearly more direct in style, but it manages to retain fine detail – Very nice.
Wider and perhaps deeper aromas, yet also a little less finely focused. What the nose doesn’t really promise, the palate still manages to deliver: focused detail and concentration. Just lovely!
”Just 3 barrels. It needs to be harvested quite late as it’s in a cool place.”
The nose is floral and complex with real focus – I’m impressed. Lovely, lovely complexity, mineral aspects though not to pronounced. The most mid-palate dimension of any wine yet tasted – very dynamic. Memorable stuff!
The aromas start full/large, but initially don’t enjoy the definition of the ‘Cros’ – slowly things come into focus in the glass. I’m very impressed again, this is far from ‘massive’ yet there is so much to find. A much more contemplative wine than the ‘Cros’ but today, clearly, less flamboyant.
Tasted 7th June 2013.
The nose is full and a little musky – not something of elegance. Seems rather mineral in the mouth and there’s also a lovely growing intensity and finish. Despite not being a fan of the nose, I find this very tasty indeed.
The aromas are high-toned and seem to have a little padding – quite nice. Good concentration and fine intensity. It’s not the most stylish wine, but it is full and flavourful.
A nose of peaches and cream – really! Intense, with sweet fruit in the mouth. The flavours just grow and grow, holding well into the finish. Nice as these flavours are, like the nose, they remind me of canned fruit! But like I say, tasty for all that…
Tasted 7th June 2013.
High-toned floral aromas offer a pretty introduction to this wine. In the mouth it’s round with sweet fruit and for the label, a very good mid-palate concentration. Nice personality.
Here the nose is also high-toned and pretty but this time bouyed by a core of more roasted red fruit. Bright enough acidity here that leads into a friendly and quite pretty finish.
A nose of peaches and cream – really! Intense, with sweet fruit in the mouth. The flavours just grow and grow, holding well into the finish. Nice as these flavours are, like the nose, they remind me of canned fruit! But like I say, tasty for all that…
Quite a herbal, not particularly attractive nose. Fortunately, in the mouth this is rather mineral with a good line of acidity – not anything like as lean as the nose suggested. I’m quite impressed!
There’s more texture to the nose and a hint of cream too. Lean in a good way, lithe and with good acidity. Despite the nose, this cuts a rather steely, tight but fine line…
An understated but rather pretty gingerbread nose, that’s also nicely fresh. Mineral and direct with no padding. Fine intensity, lovely wine!
Thierry Mortet (Gevrey)
Tasted 7th June 2013.
High-tones and some P. The entry is soft but there’s plenty of flavour dimension for the label – good freshness without any unripeness to the acid-bite. I really like the flavours here.
The aromas offer higher tones that follow a nice line into the depths. In the mouth this is quite structured, but there’s enough fruit flavour to take the lead, following a fine line of acidity through a little furry tannin that’s more of an anecdote in the end. Good villages!
After the ‘straight’ Gevrey villages, this is aromatically darker and softer – silkier too – this is very pretty. Lots of flavour here to match the higher level of structure. Very, very good villages.
The nose has dark fruit and quite a lot of P – shame. Also too much P flavour for this taster, but good weight and balance.
Tasted 7th June 2013 – as expected, a great range!
The nose is wild mix of strawberry jam and rose-petal references from the stems. This is quite full-flavoured, filling every nook and cranny of my mouth – there’s super length too. Just very, very lovely wine.
Her we have subtler, softer version of Sylvain’s ‘La Montagne’. In the mouth it’s more sleek, but with more tannin too. Finer and more intense, it is a totally different character. Dark and complex finishing. Lovely!
SO2 on the nose. This tastes really excellent, with lovely acidity and a flavour that leaches from my gums and teath. A Marsannay Blanc that I love! (Très rare!)
Domaine Pousse d’Or (Volnay)
Tasted 9th November 2013. Pousse d’Or, maybe not surprisingly with their Vistalys sorting machine, so-far at least, seem to have avoided any trace of the bugs and perhaps more importantly (hosannah!) they seem to be reducing the amount of smelly new oak they use in elevage – for the 1er crus at least, the villages are as marked as ever. Hopefully it wasn’t just a reduction for 2011…
The nose is sweetly oaky but rather understated. If the nose is borderline, then the palate clearly has too much oak flavour – for me. Good balance, and faintly drying tannin as you head into the finish – lots of intensity too, unfortunately not much Chambolle on display though – just maybe a hint after you swallow – but I want more.
No P, just dark aromas of a little oak and occasional hints of pretty fruit. Sweet entry and a little salty impression too. There’s good expansion of acid-borne flavour though the finish is still a little oaky – let’s see in 3-4 years…
Deep aromas slowly give way first, to a clear and clean violet note and eventually beautiful pretty fruits – quite the best nose of the whole tasting! Sweet and intense with a little lick of tannin too. There’s great fruit here, which can also be seen in the finish – at last! A Pousse d’Or that I like!!!
Smells of high-toned pretty fruit – hmm – seems like Volnay! Bright and energetic with a growing intensity – very good wine here!
Deeper, darker fruit aromas with a fainter overlay of brighter top-notes. Instantly sweet in the mouth, with both breadth and depth – plenty of action here. The flavours are much more impressive today than the nose!
The nose has dominant oak – still! In the mouthe the flavours are wide and interesting with a hint of salt too. A well-made, but essentially terroir-agnostic wine – so a waste of money…
High-toned aromas here – augmented with perfect flowers – nice. Full and sweet with plenty of detailed fresh fruit. This is very good.
Domaine Ramonet (Chassagne)
Tasted with Jean-Claude Ramonet in November 2013 – a lovely set of wines – the reds are quite light but the whites are just fine.
Lots of perfume, faint wood, very pretty indeed. Round, with lovely acidity – super-refreshing, but with density. Really yum!
More mineral and precise but less aromatic. Also mineral flavoured – beautiful acidity and gras for a villages…
A little toasted bread, minerals and faint high tones. More silk, more intensity, more understated acidity, though plenty. Just a little savoury accent in the finish.
A fuller and slightly sweeter nose. Silky, penetrating and with growing intensity – here is a beautiful acid base – yum!
The nose is perfumed, padded with oak but lots of complexit – lovely. Very mineral, with underlying muscle and growing intensity. Wow – a lovely vintage chez Ramonet.
Lots of bright, fresh cherries. Plenty od sweetness, plenty of acidity too. This tastes very fine today – I’d say harvest it right away as it’s so lovely.
High-toned, pretty red fruit that’s more complex than the Bourgogne. Also more complexity in the mouth, fresh and intense – yum! It’s not super-ripe, but it’s sweet enough and it’s fun too – also very yum!
high-toned and interesting but not as pretty as the villages. Much fuller and more intense in the mouth. Also there’s good concentration and complexity – yet the villages has more energy. Today I’d drink the villages.
Tasted with Claudie Jobard in January 2013. Many of the 2011s had been racked for bottling, so this was more a selection of whites that would themselves probably be bottled towards the end of January.
The aromas are wide but just a little indistinct. In the mouth this is sweet, round and very tasty – nice. There’s an extra dimension of fruit in the mid-palate too. A pretty wine.
The aromas here are higher-toned, more intense and more focused – showing some green-skinned fruit. Fuller, fairly sweet, and with a lovely concentration. Good finish too.
From a single 300 litre barrel.
Very lovely aromas that still contain a hint of that new barrel. The palate is much more mineral and direct than the nose suggests. Very sneaky length to – yum!
Here the nose has a more classic ginger-cake, mixed with higher tones. The flavours offer aa lovely mineral but spicy personality. There’s a fine extra dimension of flavour on swallowing – and it’s long too – super!
Higher-toned, pretty, inviting aromas. The texture offers a little plushness. There’s plenty of power here, slowly unfurling to show itself. Understated acidity, yet a lovely finish. Definitely a wine to curl up with…
The aromatics have some power and a little green herb too. Ripe fruit and an ever-growing intensity – phew – a wine of muscle here!
There is more aromatic intensity after the Corton-Charlemagne, but a little less width – perhaps this is a little tight. The flavour profile starts with real width, then it narrows into the mid-palate before suddenly widening again. This flavour really clings to your teeth and gums. Very, very impressive!
The aromas are very focused and pretty – less ‘loud’ versus the Chevalier. The flavour grows and grows – fine expansion here – and becomes ever-more mineral in the mid-palate and the finish. Oof!
A really fine nose of flowers and minerals. Wide and mineral in the mouth with finely grained texture. The concentration and my interest grow with every second in the mouth. And don’t you just love it when the last drops in your glass have such a beautiful aroma?
The nose is much deeper than that of the Cazetiers, seemingly textured with beautifully defined fruit. Ripe, with a hint of oak tannin still showing, it has all the necessary concentration – interesting wine – it will surely be very good.
The aromas are brighter, despite a deep-red fruit profile. Another wine with a little cushioning to its texture. Here is a brilliant balance of salty sweetness – a more mineral Charmes than the average – yet with all the beautiful elegance that you should expect.
Hmm, interesting; there is clearly more aromatic depth, yet clearly less fruit too! Beautifully focused cherry fruit in the mouth though. The structure is still visible and the wine is not showing much breadth, but it is super-long and super contemplative…
The aromas start rather tight on the glass, yet they are still detailed – slowly the notes get deeper and deeper and a violet top-note also comes into focus. Another slightly salty, mineral wine – wiry and narrow to start with – finding the required extra dimension in the mid-palate before clamping down again in a narrow but focused finish. Much character here!
Tasted 7th June 2013. All the wines presented were good ones – currently they all show varying degrees of wood-support, but it is very well managed and I expect relatively transient.
Here is a lovely depth of aroma for a Bourgogne. Soft and silky in the mouth with just a little tannic drag on the texture. Just a fabulous Bourgogne – as usual!
The aromas are high-tones over dark fruit, slowly augmented by floral references too. Concentrated, with plenty of structure but the tannin is soft. Very impressive villages – lovely!
A villages wine.
Like the last wine, this starts with high-tones over dark fruit – slowly a very pretty floral note builds and builds – it’s a strong perfume, more than violets. Round, with good concentration and a lovely extra dimension of flavour in the mid-palate. Excellent, and yum!
Medium-plus colour. Dark aromas of fruit and some sweet oak too. There’s plenty of structure here and still a little texture from oak-tannin is showing. Long, dark-fruit flavours that have nice precision about them. This will be very good.
Domaine Rois Mages
Tasted 22nd May with Anne-Sophie Debavelaere who make makes wine from her base in Rully, from about 11 hectares of vines.
Subtle red fruits on the nose. Nice and fresh, pretty, indeed lovely – delicate and detailed in the mid-palate – a very fine rather than powerful wine.
Here the aromas have more depth and a more obvious ripeness about them. In the mouth this is fuller and with more impact, retaining freshness and vivacity. There’s a little more tannin and good length.
Here is plenty of pretty ripe fruit – apricots too perhaps. There is plenty of fat but I like the sweet/sour fruit/acid balance – actually this is superb right now: don’t wait, don’t hesitate – surely it can’t last this good – can it?
Domaine Roty (Gevrey)
Tasted 22nd May 2013.
Aromatically quite lovely with fine high tones. Just a little salty flavour and very good intensity. Lovely fruit. For the label, this is brilliant – without sight of the label, it’s still gorgeous!
Aromatically tighter, yet obviously a little riper. After the BGO this fuller, easier and with darker, riper fruit. This is very good, but a super-competent wine, rather than a ‘wow’ wine.
Deep, sweetly dark, slightly unfocused fruit on the nose. A hint of saltiness and plenty of acidity in the mouth. This really impresses though stylistically ‘very Roty’ with its sweet, dark oak accents.
Deep, dark, oak-inflected aromas – still. The flavours are just as deep, dark and oak inflected as the two years younger Marsannay. It is a high-class wine in the context of 2007, but is currently not to my taste because of the oak.
Domaine Etienne Sauzet (Puligny)
Tasted with Benoit Riffault in November 2013.
Bread-crackers and a hint of oaky reduction. Quite a bit of oak flavour but also nice width and intensity – both the balance and shape seem good. I’m surprised how tasty I find this given the amount of oak!
The nose gose both deep and high – quite pretty and with no obvious oak. Lovely extra dimensions of flavour and good intensity. Fine acidity too – I am enjoying this very much. There’s almost a nougat flavour in the finish.
Higher tones and some oak notes too. More mineral. Lovely growing intensity. This wine is further distinguished by its finish – lovely!
High-toned – pretty aromas. Fuller and very silky. Lovely dimension and mid-palate concentration. There’s a little patisserie in the finish too .Very tasty.
Tasted with Thibaut Marion, 22nd May 2013, who noted that his 11s had mainly been bottled between February and March.
There is an accent of P to the deep aromas. Supple in the mouth with a little tannic grain. The fruit peaks out from the structure – but is a balanced structure which will surely, eventually yield – this will be pretty, but wait at least a year for real enjoyment.
Also dark aromas, but the accent here is more like chocolate. Rounder in the mouth, with very pretty fruit, fruit that is battling less with the structure than in the case of the 2011. The nose is slowly becoming perfumed too – a really super Savigny villages – yum!
Here a fresh and pretty nose. The palate has a saline hint with very nice acidity – really not an obvious Macon wine – very good.
Just a hint of sulphur. Full and impressive in the mouth – concentrated with agrowing iintensity – actually, really excellent intensity. I find this a really exciting wine; one that might accidentally cause you to focus less on your guests and more on your glass!
Domaine Jean Tardy (Vosne)
Tasted 9th November 2013.
There’s almost a hint of mint to interplay with the P. Sweet and silky-soft, there’s nice balance but with a little pyrazine flavour too. Despite that there’s good underlying depth of flavour.
There’s really only a suggestion of P here – at first – eventually it strats to overwhelm – this is a Tim Atkin 93pt wine apparently. In the mouth this is wide, with lithe, understated muscle and plenty of complexity – there’s a good finish too.
A P dominated nose (Tim Atkin 94!). In the mouth this has nice sweet fruit with only the faintest hint of P, the acidity bringing a nice sour counterpoint and there’s a little extra plushness to the texture too. Eventually the nice, faintly conserve fruit has a smoky/tobacco anecdote. Very good except the P…
Domaine Baron Thénard (Givry)
It is a couple of years since I last arranged a visa to travel far enough south to visit JBBM in Givry, but as usual, the effort was worth it. This domaine continues to forge more sales for themselves, rather than through partner négoce firms, though their large production of Montrachet is still offset with sales to Jadot and Sauzet.
The cellar contained a mix of 2012s and 2011s, the latter to be bottled in the Autumn – many of the 12s, whilst interesting and of good quality, still showed either gas, or we sampled separately the different types / ages of wood – so there are few notes than cuvees.
Tasted with Jean-Baptise Bordeaux-Montrieux in July 2013.
Blanc accounts for two of Thénard’s 18 hectares of Givry.
Good concentration, and this is really flavour-packed. The shape seems a little square, but this is really very good when you consider the price.
There is a little malo aroma on the nose. In the mouth this is lithe and much more impressive in shape and line versus the ‘straight’ Givry. This will be very nice.
A little bit of wood on the nose, but the aromas are wide and balanced. In the mmouth this is concentrated with a slowly growing intensity of flavour in the finish. Good.
The malo was not long finished here.
The nose has impact and concentration. From a modest entry, there is an amazing growth of flavour that builds its crescendo even after you have swallowed. This left one of the most lasting impressions of any wine I tasted in the summer.
As mentioned, the 2011 Givrys were to be bottled in the Autumn, and were a mix of old barrels, foudres and stainless-steel.
Lovely red fruit nose – reflected also in the flavour. This wine has modest intensity but a particularly fine balance with perfectly polished edges. Super quality for the price.
Here the nose is less formed, but the palate has more intensity and impact – I think that this has great potential. We compared the same two wines from 2012 and had the same result, more concentration and more impact for the ‘Bois’. We than tasted the 2012 Givry Clos St.Pierre; here was more tannin and minerality – really yum! To finish with the reds we sampled the Ile des Vergelesses, Corton Clos du Roi and Grands-Echézeaux 2012s – excellent wines, but too many combinations of barrels to write meaningful notes.
Domaine Tollot-Beaut (Chorey)
Tasted 7th June 2013. Shame about one wine showing some P here, but this is a really fine group that are more concentrated and muscular than those of many other domaines in 2011, yet without obvious extractive artifice.
The aromatics here are deeper and darker than anything that’s gone before it, yet the remain pretty rather than brusque. Fine acidity and clean red fruits – lovely concentration here. Always a lovely wine!
Again the aromatics go deep, this time with the impression of a cushioned texture. Muscular though with no fat, just precise red fruits. Lovely – this is very impressive wine!
The nose is high-toned, with pretty dark-red fruits and eventually some P. Concentrated and with very good acidity and a fine follow-through of the flavours into the finish, but I’m getting some P flavours here too. Shame.
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé (Chambolle)
Tasted 7th June 2013. The construction work at the domaine is completed since last I was there; their wine library of older vintages is now held at home in one place, as opposed to spread across various cellars. Jean-Luc Pepin’s verdict on his 2011s: “They are terroir-driven, just like in 2010, though not with the minerality and tension of that vintage. Yet they are polite and serene – none were chaptalised.”
The domaine didn’t show their Musigny Vieilles-Vignes as it was not yet recovered from the bottling.
There’s a depth of dark red fruits that are augmented by flashes of higher-tones – eventually some pretty, sweet fruit notes pad out the aromatics. Seems delicate, yet there is both drive and concentration – lovely, long, dark-fruited flavour. Very, very nice!
The aromas clearly have more depth – more interest too. In the mouth there is so much more width and dimension than in the villages wine – fine mid-palate complexity. The finish is a long, long, diminuendo… Excellent.
The nose is high-toned, with pretty dark-red fruits and eventually some P. ConcentratedWhat a wide palette of aromas – so complex, mineral and showing almost crystalline dark fruit! This wine fills your mouth yet there is no shouting, no ‘look at me’, yet it is so complex and achingly long. The energy here reminds me very much of the 2005 – though the concentration is clearly not on such a level. Just a fabulously compelling wine.