Degustation

weekend stuff – week 8 (already!) 2022

By billn on March 01, 2022 #degustation

A north and south Burgundy hommage this weekend.

2019 Gautheron, Chablis Emeraude
The house wine of 2021 – and this might actually be the last of these 2 six-packs. Delicious wine as for many other tasting notes.
Rebuy – Yes

2018 Alain Geoffroy, Chablis 1er Beauroy
Directly this is a wine that’s showing its silky minerality more in both the aromas and flavours. A little less energy and certainly not the ‘fleshiness’ of the last wine – but more taut and classic. Delicious and always a bargain!
Rebuy – Yes

2021 M&C Lapierre, Le Beaujolais
I obviously had a sub-optimal tasting day when at the domaine a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to buy a 6-pack of this. Today, despite great texture and delicious fruit, there’s a pyrazine note that pervades much. I can still drink it – and even enjoyed that last glasses on days 2 and 3 – but I wouldn’t normally buy with this herbacity.
Rebuy – No

2019 Château Bellevue, Morgon Côte du Py
A little tighter and less effervescent than last year, but what a great wine still! A certain direct style – structural but not hard – as any great Morgon. A great wine for the price
Rebuy – Yes

Olivier Lamy – Derrière Chez Edouard – both versions!

By billn on February 23, 2022 #degustation

Monday saw me cancelling (re-arranging!) a couple of afternoon visits in Beaujolais and the reason? – Olivier Lamy made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse:

“Bill, In Burgundy, according to writings from the Middle Ages until the appearance of phylloxera (19th century), vines were cultivated at high density, i.e. around 20,000 to 30,000 vines per hectare. This high density was the fruit of the observations and experiences of our ancestors who had noticed a beneficial competition for the root system, the quality of the grapes and the wine.

In 2001, we planted a few rows of vines with higher planting density.

This cuvée comes from a small vineyard planted at high density in the Derrière Chez Edouard climate in Saint Aubin.

On Monday, February 21 at 2:30 p.m., I invite you to taste 13 vintages of Saint Aubin 1er Cru Derrière Chez Edouard (2006 to 2018) by comparing classic cuvées with high density.

Please confirm your attendance.”

So I did. And, of-course, Olivier tends to over-deliver – so he included the 2019 vintage wines too!

My next report (February’s) will be more than 70 domaines’ Beaujolais 2020s. So rather than include this tasting as an afterthought/addendum, I thought I’d include it for everyone here.

Hubert Olivier Lamy Derrière Chez Edouard in Saint Aubin

My observations…

There’s a Derrière Chez Edouard-ness to the wines, regardless of the vintage or particular cuvée – but more obviously from the flavour and structure perspective. As you can see from my notes – the HD has (almost) universally a more airy and open aromatic character – except in the more recent vintages where the gap between the cuvées has narrowed as the classic cuvée takes on more of the aromatic character of the HD. This is, of course, complicated by the first vintages of the HD being relatively young vines – and likewise the more recent vintages of the classic cuvée containing the young-vine produce of the more recent HD plantings – and let’s not forget, the classic cuvée is made from roughly double the yields of the HD cuvée.

Based on the vine ages it’s no surprise that to start with, the HD cuvée needed a bit of vintage help to produce something of roughly grand cru standard. As the vines began to mature a grand cru style slowly became the norm as less help from the vintage was required. Clearly, the HD takes on some age-related development at a slower rate than the classic cuvée – like any good grand cru!

Impressive, more by the work of Olivier than planting densities, is the consistency of the wines we tasted – not just great 2007s and 2010s – but great 2009s, 2013s and 2015s too – pick any vintage and you will be rewarded. A testament not just to Olivier but the quality of his vines/vineyard (too) is that his slowly changing winemaking approaches – barrels, barrel-sizes, approaches to sulfur use, moving to DIAM seals – amongst many other details, has not changed the essential Derrière Chez Edouard-ness of his wines – merely refined their clarity.

The HD cuvée is now clearly and consistently a wine of grand-cru quality that loses its early youthful fruit after about 3 years. The recent vintages of the classic cuvée are now easily as good as the early vintages of the HD and that’s despite the higher rendement used to make them – and they are still a relative bargain if you can’t quite source, or justify the cost of, the HD cuvée.

Thank you Olivier for this great and instructive tasting!

The Wines…

Just my short-form notes follow – I think my observations – above – more interesting than my, sometimes, repetitive notes. For info, Olivier ran 3 tastings – morning, afternoon and closer to 6pm for a bunch of winemaking friends – I managed to get the dispensation for the last tasting as I was supposed to be in Beaujolais for the whole week.

The bottles had been opened for the morning tasting and were still, nearly, half-full when I started tasting about 17h30. You can say that they had been reasonably oxygenated – all that I tasted were in very good shape – though one replacement bottle was extra-taut. I didn’t stay to eat as I’d already started drinking rather than spitting – so it would have been far too dangerous to drive back to Beaune afterwards – certainly with the other winemakers present!

Naturally, my big thanks to Olivier for the invitation. Clearly, the full name of each cuvée is St.Aubin 1er Cru Derrière Chez Edouard and in each vintage, I compared/contrasted the standard cuvée with the HD (high density planted) cuvée:

Infos:

  • Derrière Chez Edouard ‘Classic’ Cuvée: 1.70 hectares, planting density 13,000 plants per hectare
    Planting dates of 1985, 1995 and 2001 and an average production of 900 cases
  • Derrière Chez Edouard ‘HD’ Cuvée: 0.68 hectares, planting density 20-30,000 plants per hectare depending on the particular vine-age
    Planting dates of 2001, 2010 and 2015 and an average production of 125 cases

2006 Derrière Chez Edouard
Faintly evolved but quite youthful aromas. Bright, direct, growing in width. Both long and broad finishing – a super start!
2006 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
A fresher, younger nose – silkier textured wine too. Perhaps a little less vibrant, but not by much.

2007 Derrière Chez Edouard
Even fresher and more direct – thats already an impressive introduction. Again a very silky wine, intense, some minerality here too
2007 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
More airy – the best nose so far for delicacy and elegance. Wide, intense almost seamless wine and grand cru finishing class! Did I ever mention how great a vintage I thought 2007 was – such a shame that so many wines from multiple producers were lost to oxidation…

2008 Derrière Chez Edouard
A little more depth and again some faint aromatic development. Wide, lovely intensity again, not as fine structure as the last but vibrant in the finish.
2008 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
Airy style again, less developed. A little more herbed but extra incisive and complex, here with wide waves of finishing flavour.

2009 Derrière Chez Edouard
A deep nose with a little development again. Lime-rind bitters in the aromas here – also in the mouth! Round but intense – super balance for the warm vintage.
2009 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
Again an airy nose with a little more depth here. More mineral and vibrant again with a super finishing intensity.

2010 Derrière Chez Edouard
Hmm, thats a nice nose! It melts in the width – extra inviting, more agrume. That‘s great over the palate too – so expressive a great wine.
2010 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
A small noble reduction – aromatically very diffrent but absolutely great again. Hmm, melting over the palate. Great grand cru finishing again!

2011 Derrière Chez Edouard
A smaller nose but nicely direct. In the mouth also direct but more power. A slightly reductive but delicious thing…
2011 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
Again a beautifully airy style to the nose that is so inviting. Broad, large-scaled this time its not just the finish that has the extra dimension.

2012 Derrière Chez Edouard
Narrower, yet somehow more open, though less defined than the 2011. Supple, concentrated more louche. Growing in width and intensity – simply less tensile.
2012 Derrière Chez Edouard
Always – so far – more airy and elegant – this one’s not lacking any precision. Also in the mouth – extra tension and more chiselled.

2013 Derrière Chez Edouard
Vibrant but here’s a bit more development than the previous few vintages. Gorgeous clarity and fluidity. Vibrant and minerally pure. Like most 2013s – showing brilliantly well right now!
2013 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
Also airy but with lots of vibration and less development. Ouch! That’s so good, so direct so mouth-watering. Great texture. Great, great 2013!

2014 Derrière Chez Edouard
The most airy of these classic cuvées so far, a little unexpected ripeness showing here too. The second bottle not! Slowly floral. Great shape in the mouth – mineral, growing more intense and juicy. Great wine (bottle 2)
2014 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
Broader, also a little rounder like the classic. Cleaner, more chiselled in the mouth. Massive depth to this middle and finishing flavour – wow!

2015 Derrière Chez Edouard
Airy – two in a row – almost shy though adding some florals. Super direct again. This is now as good as the first vintages of the HD!
2015 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
Also a smaller nose, shy yet airy with a fine core of fruit that wasn’t visible on the classic. Fuller, more juicy, great texture insinuating finishing flavour.

2016 Derrière Chez Edouard
Also a fine and airy nose – very attractive. A faint reduction but here’s such a vibrant and delicious flavour.
2016 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
Back to the airy, beautiful elegance of the HD. Extra clarity and cool flavour vs the standard wine – the greatest wine so far of all!

2017 Derrière Chez Edouard
Airy again, but such purity of citrus amères. Really wide, fine and pure, vibrant in the finish.
2017 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
Beautiful airy elegance again – it’s like with this wine the vintage is minimised. Larger scale, dynamic, mineral, super acidity. Broad and very long – another grand cru performance.

2018 Derrière Chez Edouard
The first of the classic wines where I see more florals. Really wide, also with some depth to this fresh concentration – a fleshy fruit for the first time but still with that precision…
2018 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
Airy, also some overt fruit for the first time – these are the babies now. Extra depth, cool fruit complexity. Vibrantly multidimensional and juicy.

2019 Derrière Chez Edouard
Ooh, extra fruit again – but airy and complex – here the youth is showing again. Wide, super mouth-watering but with a little extra fat – only a little. Super, super, finishing.
2019 Derrière Chez Edouard HD
The first time I find the HD a little aromatically softer than the classic – still airy with a little white flower complexity. Density of flavour yet melting over the palate. Really an intensity to finish great again.

a few missing bottles from the last days…

By billn on February 14, 2022 #degustation

First a triple Chablis whammy – three wines that have been staples in the last 12 months:

2020 Jacques Picq & Family, Chablis
New chez nous. Classic 2020 Chablis with a little fleshy ripe citrus fruit but plenty of structural aspects with citrus bitters. Yum.
2019 Gautheron, Chablis Cuvée Emeraude
I really like the way that this has tightened-up nicely – I loved it before bottling but it seemed a bit loose-knit afterwards. Now I see much of the wine that admired before bottling. Lovely.
2018 Julien Brocard, Chablis Boissonneuse
Rather like the Gautheron, this was not exactly fat but certainly a little loose-knit vs the focus of the Picq. It has also come into much better focus – my real favourite was the 2017 of this – I still have a little 2017 from here but I think it’s only Preuses – poor me 🙂
I would happily rebuy all of these!
2019 Richard Rottiers, Moulin à Vent Les Thorins
What a wine – not the ultimate in weight and concentration but when it’s as pure, beautiful and drop-dead-gorgeous as this one I couldn’t care less. Beautiful clarity – love! Bravo…
Rebuy – Yes
2010 Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Ruchottes
Lots of colour – but hooray – this smells beautiful – ripe, rich, waxy but with a nice energy. In the mouth also a little fleshy but very, very classy and the last notes – the finish – starting to show a lovely extra, age-related, creaminess. Bravo! And not oxidise like most of my 2009s…
Rebuy – Yes
2019 Chateau Thivin, Côte de Brouilly Les Sept Vignes
I won’t bore you with anozher note – only one more of these remains in the cellar – but what a successful house wine for the last 11-12 months.
Rebuy – Yes
2020 Domaine Marrans, Fleurie Noir de Blanc
The name is a replacement for the lieu-dit of ‘Champagne’ which a certain region has not allowed the Beaujolais producers to use. Note also the small bubbles on the label – a nice middle-finger don’t you think(?)
Dark fruit of clarity – slightly metallic today. Lovely texture, with a mobile, cool-fruited, style. Simply delicious.
Rebuy – Yes

some missing wines

By billn on February 01, 2022 #degustation

Well, there have been a few that I haven’t mentioned.

Starting with a cha-cha-cha phase that was followed with a bit more Cha! Chambollow, Chiroubles, Chenas and then more from Chambolle:

First up was Pauline Passot’s 2019 Chiroubles Claudius
Lighter colour than I remember – a bit of surprise. Still absolutely delicious but like the colour this flavour profile is showing some extra maturity – a surprise for such a youngster – so it’s a wine to monitor – but life will not be hard if I have to drink the remaining bottles! Rebuy – Maybe (for now)
2017 Chambolle-Musigny Les Nazoires from the Boursot brothers
A wine that is completely delicious and finely textured – no need to wait, no need to rush – it’s just drinking beautifully and will hold for at least another 10 years if you wish. Rebuy -Yes!
2018 Céline et Nicolas Hirsch, Chénas Les Brureaux
This has deep colour and lots of dark but exciting fruit. This is generous and mouth-filling wine – never ponderous, indeed a wine that is far too easy to drink right now. Easy to recommend. Rebuy – Yes
2005 Antonin Guyon, Chambolle Clos du Village
This wine is still deeply coloured – and what a nose! Basso-profundo, with much volume and an almost textured cushion. Great wine today and in a perfect place for drinking. Like the Gambal Charmes from a couple of weeks back, 2005 Chambolles continue to demonstrate why I consider this the epicentre of greatness in the 2005 vintage. Generous, gorgeous, flattering, delicious wine – Bravo! Rebuy – Like a shot I’ve rarely bought cases of 12 but this was one I chose directly after tasting – I had to wait for it to be bottled – though I felt it to be quite expensive at the time, ~€24 per bottle!
2017 Château Bonnet‘s Moulin à Vent Chien de Garde
Seemingly another winner. Full, well-textured the aromas and flavours also generous but delivered with fine energy. No shrinking violet, this one, but a very moreish wine. A winner! Rebuy – Yes
2019 La Croix Montjoie, Vézelay ‘l’Elégante’
The last of this little tour. Some extra colour and aromas that show more maturity than in the first 18 months I’ve been drinking it. But still showing energy and a nicely vibrant line of tasty flavour. I did prefer this wine when (even) younger (like the first wine from Passot) but it remains fresh and satisfying, tasty wine. Rebuy – Maybe

2000 Burgundy – en primeur tasting

By billn on January 21, 2022 #degustation#the market

Yes, you read that right – 2000 – only my second diary ‘post’ on this website – 20 years ago today (near-enough) with cameos from Jancis and Joanna Simon.

I was happy with the wines that I decided to buy that year – if only three from this address and at this stage. I remember being able to buy all that I wanted in both 1999, and in 2000 too. Come to think about it, the first time where I got ‘blocked’ – despite having bought the same wines since 1999 – was the 2005 vintage. I cancelled the remainder of my order in a fit of pique!

lambraysIf I search hard, maybe a lone bottle of the 2000 Engel remains – but none of the Clavelier or the Lambrays – the Lambrays was disappointing when delivered as it was far oakier than the en-primeur sample. It was fine after 7-8 years though.

But what about those prices – eh? The Engel was the same price as I paid for my 1999s. The Clos de Tart was already quite expensive and starting something of an upward surge – £52 in 2000 but already £71 in the 2001 vintage where I (still) bought a measly 3! And 2000 Rousseau Bèze for £60 anybody? With 20:20 hindsight I’d be able to replace my Aston-Martin every couple of years by selling 3 or 4 cases. Oh, sorry. I meant my Subaru – though it has just completed its 500,000-kilometre service!

There was wine over the weekend!

By billn on January 18, 2022 #degustation

Gambal 2005 Chambolle 1er Charmes & Gautheron 2019 Chablis Emeraude

But only a modest couple of bottles!

2019 Gautheron, Chablis Emeraude
A house wine since last April that has slowly taken on more precision – I like it much more now than 6 months ago – it’s all that I could wish for – except that most of the bottles have been drunk. I suppose I’d best replenish with some 2020s before they are all sold out – many in Chablis already are – even the ones not yet bottled!!!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
This cork was robust but soaked/stained red – almost the full length to the capsule – it looks like my timing was right for this one – not that anything was amiss with the contents!
Hmm – now that’s a nose! Not yet a fully mature nose of sous bois – but more than hinting at it – with round, generous and still deeply fruited aromas – it was a great invitation. The palate doubled-down on the nose; rich, sensuous, layered and completely delicious. What a wine! I guess I’m getting closer to the time to open the first of his 05 Amoureuses! Chambolle was the very epicentre of greatness in 2005!
Rebuy – Yes

a few festive wines – so far…

By billn on December 29, 2021 #degustation

Beaune 14 December 2021

Just from memory:
2019 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett
The name longer than the note! Low alcohol, sweet but so moreish – delicious wine…
2018 Laurent Martray, Brouilly Corentin
This is why I love this producer – so involving, beautiful fruit and suddenly the bottle is empty!
2010 JC Boisset, Aloxe-Corton 1er Les Valozières
Ooh – aromas and flavours almost so great – there’s just something in the background – brett? I think not as the wine gets better and better over three days and brett usually gets worse. Strange but still 90% of a great wine.
2019 Stéphanie Colinot, Irancy Les Cailles
Deeply coloured. What a nose of cassis! The palate powerful, concentrated – a fraternal friend of the Laurent Martray. A great, great Irancy!
1993 François Jobard, Meursault 1er Poruzots
Wow! A zing, a line of intensity – mineral and acid. More than a certain austerity! This wine needed air – 6 hours later it’s another wine – broad, concentrated yellow citrus and it’s a beauty – certainly stricter than the 93 Meursault-Charmes of a couple of years ago but a great wine!
1993 Ponsot, Griotte-Chambertin
Direct, very earthy, Vibrant energy – and acidity. Completely stable in this style. Honestly, considering the trilogy of place, maker and vintage a bit of a disappointment.
Thillardon, Pet Nat
Almost pink. Lightly petillant. Hmm, I like – it’s not sweet, like many a pet-nat, and leaves me with the impression of a cider. I found it very tasty – a winner!
1999 Vincent Girardin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
I bought 2 bottles a long time ago – the first was far too oaky – not my thing. Here we are 20 years later. Actually, there’s still quite a bit of coconut oak – in fact generally too much for me – but here is a wine of proper grand cru depth, energy and flavour complexity. They spoiled it to an extent but it was still good enough that every drop was drunk!

Of course, we are not yet done – enjoy your bottles too!

a midweek two from ‘the north’

By billn on December 15, 2021 #degustation

two from the north!

2020 Samuel Billaud, Chablis Vaudésir
An early idea of what to expect in January when I visit Chablis…
That’s a crystalline yet deep nose – a great start. Fine shape in the mouth – the texture is lovely. An almost unctuous depth of slightly exotic fruit but this is completely moreish wine and beautifully poised. There’s ‘tension.’ Really super!
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Les Pinots Blacks, Irancy Vallée de Coigny
This starts a little cold and tight but as the wine warms in the glass, the perfumed aromas of whole clusters and flowers start to broaden. Beautifully perfumed flavours too – just a small, inconsequential rumble of tannin – an anecdote – but here is the classiest Irancy you can think of drinking. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

Friday night’s wine…

By billn on December 11, 2021 #degustation

Parigot - Chassagne Clos Saint Jean

2010 Parigot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos St.Jean (Blanc)
Hmm – nice. This has a silky, waxy, lemon nose that’s ripe and faintly spiced. An initial softness but then it’s much more incisive, wide and mineral. A suggestion of caramel in these flavours but the shape and energy are more to the mineral side. A wine that’s very easy drink, despite obvious concentration. In great shape too, considering the cork seal…
Rebuy – Yes

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