Tasted in Beaune 28th July 2010. The bourgognes were already bottled, and for those in wood, representative samples reflecting the oak regimes were offered in bottles for the tasting which was conducted by Albéric Bichot. The team here, as always, remain very self critical, but I find this lack of complacency always to be reflected in the wines – and they are excellent wines at all levels.
Made for the first time in 2007, not made in 2008. Nine hectares this year, producing about 40 thousand bottles. It’s a premium bourgogne, selected from the Gevrey, Chambolle, Beaune and Pommard areas picked at 39-44 hl/ha, but in this case the premium is less than 2 euros. Bright, medium-plus purple colour. Punchy fruit that’s slightly Beaujolais-esque – though there’s no carbonic maceration, eventually a little pepper too. Lots of intensity, this is very well balanced and the fruit provides plenty of sweetness. Very impressive – 09 could really be another bumper year for buying bourgognes….
From a plot at about 360 metres altitude, above Clos des Mouches in Beaune villages Desirée. Medium-plus colour. It’s quite a forward and mineral nose with accents of oak. Fatter and very, very smooth after the Bourgogne – fuller and richer. This is a real mouthful, but it’s very well balanced, with a long and mineral finish. Excellent (I must check the price, it’s probably much cheaper than most ’boutique Bourgognes’.
Earth mixes with faint reduction on the nose. This is more linear, and just slightly fresher. A wide and mineral finish as the fruit fades. Very good.
There’s a dense core of sweet fruit on the nose. Very fine, velvet tannin is understudy to perfectly balanced fruit and acidity. It’s a mineral finish. I often find this wine better than an average premier cru – this vintage is just the same. Very good.
Medium-plus colour. More impact on the nose, a wall of (not too) sweet fruit. In the mouth it is sweeter; there’s a little more of everything, except (perhaps) elegance! There’s a little more grain to the tannin. This is a big and meaty Aloxe.
The fresh aromatics are much tighter than the Aloxe. More structure here than the Ursulines, the flavours are mineral dominated, the pretty fruit is subservient to the structure today, but follows all the way into a nice finish.
Fresh, lots of aromatic impact, tending to the floral. A hint of petillance makes the flavour a little diffuse but the finish is excellent.
After the Aloxe this is a fine and rather understated nose, fresh too. Again petillant so all I will say is that the fruit flavour lasts very well in the finish – and the acid balance is fine.
Fresh, a hint reduced. Very wide on the palate, it seems not so precise but it’s very complex and tasty – just faintly astringent heading into the finish. This is very good.
It’s a deeper, iron-infused note. Rounder, perhaps less sweet, fine textured. There is a reprise of flavour in the finish. I find this excellent.
The aromas are a little too reduced for comfort. Wide and sweet; it’s a little simple on entry becoming more interesting in the finish. There is quite some potential here, but today I’d take the Morey.
The aromas are unyielding – nothing to report. Very soft and alluring though a hint of petillance spoils a decent appraisal.
Very deep colour. The aromas are dense without becoming overwhelming, hints of ginger too. Very fine grain tannin and there is a dark depth to the sweet fruit – but no reduction. Long into the finish. This will be excellent.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Hints of reduction. Wide, very good complexity. As usual this is a good wine, but surrounded by great wines, I always find this the ‘poor cousin’.
Same grower as the Latricières, but much deeper colour. More all-round impact, just a trace of reduction but it’s fine. Round, decently velvet tannin though the fruit is clearly in the ascendant – a very complex mid-palate and long. This is very good wine, there may be some more concentrated wines around but this is a very fine Charmes.
Shows and a hint of reduction, plenty of depth though. Not as flashy as the Charmes but there is super texture and an insinuating, mineral-backed flavour that clings and clings – a beauty.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Understated but fine aromas that today major on cassis. Super texture, wide and mineral. Despite no lack of concentration I’d call this a wine of finesse – it’s very detailed. A very good Echézeaux.
Deep, but reduced aromas. Less ‘super-smooth’ than the Echézeaux, but wider and more complex – a super wine.
Deep fruit – there is so much depth and slightly earthy dimension too. Full, absolutely mouth-filling. There’s plenty of well-covered structure – plenty of lingering flavour too. The initially huge nose is becoming finer and more complex – excellent.
It starts aromatically quite understated. It’s hard to get across how smooth yet highly structured a wine can have – such super texture and coupled with fine flavour too. It’s a tightly wrapped flavour but it holds on doggedly in the finish. The nose very slowly opens in scale, depth and width – not too much impact – it remains quite reserved though the last drops show lots of tiny berries. Will be superb.
Alberic was unhappy with how this bottle showed versus what he knows, but I can anly comment on what’s in front of me. Medium-pale yellow. Depth, an interesting and good concentration of flavour too. This could perhaps benefit from a hint more acidity or a couple of degrees cooler temperature.
This is the first vintage. Contains a little Hautes Côtes de Nuits ‘for the nervosité’. Brighter, more precise high-toned aromas. Rounder with more flavour and precision. This is very good for the appellation and shows a nice finale too.
High-toned, wide and fresh. There is very good flavour here – it’s precise, not heavy and lingers quite well. This is good Beaune blanc.
A fine if understated nose – quite pretty. More intense, grows in the mid-palate with real authority. This is very good indeed.
Actually from Charmes du Dessus. Denser aromas, certainly more impact, likewise with the flavour. Very good Charmes, but as is often the case from this vineyard I’d like a little more ‘lift’.
Faint oak and sulfur on the fine and fresh nose. Width and complexity and very nice flavours. This is a very pretty Puligny.
The nose seems stonier and more interesting. There is much more energy here, and mid-palate complexity too. This follows very well into the finish.
From a parcel in Les Languettes. High toned aromas with some background herbs. A really mineral concentration here that narrows into a long, long finish – this is a (fast) racehorse.
Wider, plusher, faint hints of oak. Not a ‘tight’ wine, rather sweeter, wider and showing a much more obvious width and complexity in the mid-palate and finish.