And for those of you with an interest, for the third year in a row, the tasting panels of the Tastevinage have chosen their ‘majors’ for the year – their best wines tasted. Like last year they have stuck with the reduced number of 12 wines to showcase. You can see them in the image below – courtesy the Tastevinage organisation. There are a couple of names that I don’t know and others that you will have seen showcased here in Burgundy Report.
After returning from France, the weather was lovely on Friday & Saturday, so after multiple chores on Friday, we chose a walk for Saturday in the beautiful Emmental – which is on our doorstep. All thoughts of confinement were bannished here in the Swiss countryside!
The trees and houses, set on top of hills, are like a slightly more rustic Tuscany – but with better mountains for a backdrop 🙂 We chose a 10.5 km route of Landiswil – Aspiegg – Löchlibad – Tanne – back to Landiswil – it could have 9.5 km if we’d done it properly!
Returning to home, there was wine – hooray! There was also a wholely unnecessary amount of mess and work to extract a broken cork, but at least once we got at the wine, the effort was to be rewarded!
Way back when, I opined in these pages that if 2005 had been only an average vintage, then 2006 might have some chance to compete with 2002 for the best vintage of the decade. I also thought some 2006s to be the equal of their counterparts from 2005 – and here, in action, was a great example of that:
As for the new week before us, I’m asking myself if all is really lost in terms of domaine visits in November – we shall see…
2016 Moreau-Naudin, Chablis 1er Montmains
I love the wines from this producer but I really wasn’t sure what to make of this wine. Of-course, I expected concentration given the amount of frost suffered in this vintage, but I didn’t really expect such ripeness too. Fine acidity, but hard to find the minerality. Excellently tasty wine but you might have been hard-pressed to guess that it came from Chablis – and Montmains is such a cool (temperature!) terroir too.
Rebuy – Maybe
2006 Camille Giroud, Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs
Singing on all levels – bar one – that damn cork!
Now that’s a great nose of clarity, depth and width – slightly cushioned and a great invitation. In the mouth too, here is a simply delicious wine of very good concentration, red-cherry fruit and just enough freshness that the wine gives you no reason to think about ‘balance.’ Layered finishing whilst always showing good energy. With a little help, I had to drink nearly all of it on the first day. A glass remained for day two when it showed no additional development – good or bad – only a suggestion of barrel that I didn’t see on day one. That’s a great villages wine and a textbook example of a great 2006.
A memento of some lovely visits and wines, pre-lockdown. My thanks for all the patience of these producers…
(Report coming soon)
Alphabetically (not pictorially):
My many thanks for the vigneron(ne)s that put up with my questions this week – once-more, many covetable wines for sure, you’ll have to subscribe to hear about the bad ones 😉
Purely alphabetically, domaines:
My weekenders came from north of Beaune – but not so far north!
2017 Françoise André, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Sous Frétile
A recent 2016 of this was outstanding – this needs more time…
A big, punchy nose of ripe pineapple and a sweet creaminess of oak. That more than adequately describes the palate too. A crowd-pleaser but not a me-pleaser as I find the oaky sweetness leaves something to be desired. The oak is the style of this domaine’s whites and, happily, it fades – but not yet for this wine. I’d wait a couple more years before returning – and drink the 2016 if you can find it – there wasn’t much due to the frost…
Rebuy – Maybe
2011 Camille Giroud, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Peuillets
A fine cork.
The nose is a bit one-dimensional but it’s a nice dimension of red-fruited purity. In the mouth we definitely move to the next level, with a flavour that entertains from the start but grows and widens over the palate – really nice balance and flavour complexity here – still young in many respects but rather fine and balanced all the same. Red fruit, ripe but not a bit of the extra-ripeness that we have ‘enjoyed’ over recent vintages. Probably starting to peak in another 4 or 5 years but anyway delicious today…
Rebuy – Yes
Life’s not just about grand bottles – it’s about different corners of a region, different grapes – and of course, different vintages:
2015 Châtaignier Durand, Juliénas
There’s deep colour here – as in most places in 2015. The nose has plenty of freshness, indeed a crunchiness to the fruit that’s not overtly 2015 – but then much of Juliénas is planted at quite a high altitude – so perhaps here is the reason for that. Anyway, the nose is a fine invitation to drink. In mouth, this wine has a much riper style compared to the aromas. All the same, there’s good acidity, but a wine that from a flavour-perspective is quite true to the vintage. Delicious in this riper style, it drinks quite well given the stated 14% alcohol… I have to say, yum!
Rebuy – Maybe
The first few vintages of this label were put on general release with the domaine’s other wines. Latterly the cuvée was reserved only for clients in the restaurant trade, though any number of those would later appear in auctions. I was lucky enough to secure bottles of the 1999 and 2002 when released by the UK importer at what, today, seems a ridiculously low price – I wish I still had those catalogues!
I’ve never quite understood the current market pricing of this 2002 wine versus that of the 1999. That’s because I’ve never found the 1999 as complete an experience as that delivered by this 2002 – the acidity of the older wine has always been a little insistent, practically pointy – consistently so. The 1999 was the first of these modern-day Duvault-Blochets and perhaps therein lies the answer to its even more ridiculous price – or perhaps it’s scarcity – but hey, it’s what’s in the bottle that counts, or…(?)
2002 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Vosne-Romanée 1er Duvault-Blochet
It’s a fine, long cork, but it slips out of the bottle worryingly easily – the wine, however, is clearly unperturbed!
Medium, medium-plus colour – quite unlike the brutishly deep colour of the most recent vintages. Now that’s a nose! Faintly spiced, perfumed from the stems, just a little plummy and with the right amount of leafy forest floor – yep, you got me! Here lies the perfect balance and clarity that embodies, indeed emphasises, how good 2002 can be. Never a big or powerful wine, but with such an elegance over the palate, perfectly mouth-watering acidity and lingering flavour. I scold myself for opening it before it is 20 years old but how could this wine ever be better than today? Chastised but happy 🙂 A thimble-full remains for day 2 and the wine seems relatively stable – just a little more ‘pinched’ aromatically.
Rebuy – Clearly if you’ve no other use for the cash!
But we weren’t finished, though I wasn’t sure whether this should be served before or after the last wine, it worked well though:
2001 Frederic Esmonin, Chambertin
‘Only’ 49mm but it’s a nicely sealed and robust cork.
The nose starts open and directly complex – some old oak and florals in the depth but the flowers are on an upwards trajectory. The palate starts almost watery but grows and grows in dimension – it’s also super-silky. This is a wine that never stays in one place, the nose heading more in the direction of leather and beef but the florals growing and balancing. This wine seems so much bigger with air – filling your mouth, slowly adding a little granular tannin. It’s a long way in style from the almost ethereal quality of the DRC – that wine is a more complete experience – but this is a wine that has more impact and more complexity. More is not always better, but this is a super wine, one that has grown from its more meagre youth when Esmonin’s Bèze was clearly better than this – but that’s what I expect from Chambertin – a good one, anyway. A treat – in fact tonight, a double treat! Day two – and let’s be honest, there wasn’t much left over – the leather aroma is fainter but happily there’s no development of brett – the palate remains delicious.
Rebuy – Yes – I seem to remember less than or around £40, way back when…
For a reason that will soon become obvious, I have some less value-oriented notes coming, but these wines showed a very friendly side for not too much outlay…
2018 Thevenot-le-Brun, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits ‘Clos du Vignon’
Open and sweet aromas – there’s citrus too – a good invitation to drink. Starting with a good blend of volume and concentration, here is a wine with a growing intensity of the same sweetly citrus notes from the nose, wrapped in a lovely texture. Like most 2018s with a fine finish too. Far from a ‘simple’ Bourgogne, certainly a very tasty one!
Rebuy – Yes
2018 Le Grappin, Fleurie Poncié
This from high on the hill in Hautes-Poncié – here the view is down to Moulin à Vent – indeed the neighbouring vines are AOC MaV. DIAM-sealed
Lots of colour – well, it’s a 2018! Here is a forward nose of graphite minerality and dark-fruited freshness – A modest accent of pyrazine perfume blends with the graphite. Mouth-filling, fresh and tasty. Ooh – there’s great finish here. That’s soooo drinkable!
Rebuy – Yes
2018 Château de Chatelard, Fleurie Les Vieux Granits
Aromatically this is fresh and very inviting – almost a crunchy aspect to this dark fruit. Wide on the palate with good freshness – more fruit, less mineral vs the Grappin but with fine, indeed delicious clarity. But finish it on day 1 – the second day, the aromas were clearly a step down.
Rebuy – Yes
2017 Schalentier, Riesling Trocken (Mosel)
Sent by a friend who actually made the wine – a small cuvée and there’s some skin-contact here.
Plenty of colour. I simply love the aroma of riesling, particularly with a little age – this isn’t old, but the skin-contact seems to have endowed it with some of that aromatic extra. In the mouth – yes, trocken – more or less-so is the impression depending on what you eat with it. I found it delicious – I don’t know the pricing, but I liked it very much…