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               Why Big Red Diary?

Round-up of wines tasted ‘en-place’

150 wines for you.

d’Ardhuy (Corgoloin) Albert Bichot (Beaune) JC Boisset (Nuits) Simon Bize (Savigny)
Camille-Giroud (Beaune) Champy (Beaune) Louis Chenu (Savigny) Dublère (Savigny)
Rebourgeon-Mure (Pom.) Seguin-Manuel (Beaune)    

The format of the majority of 2011 notes that follow, reflect what I feel about any potential for ‘tainting’ by our pretty ‘friends’ the coccinelle: i.e. that the whites are affected to a significantly lower degree than reds, so will generally get a full tasting note. The reds will not fully show whether they are ‘clean’ (to my level of sensitivity) until about 6 months after they are bottled (if they develop as those 2004s did); as such I won’t be giving full notes on 2011 reds for some time to come – for those looking for an indication, I have just four starkly pyrazine ‘tainted’ wines tasted over the summer – but I suppose that I ‘know’ what I’m looking for now versus this stage in the elevage of the 2004s…

Domaine d’Ardhuy


Ardhuy’s new cuverie.

A couple of wines tasted 7th September 2012 with carel Voorhuis – in bottle for only about 10 days.

Much work has been going on behind the scenes at Ardhuy. Already biodynamic for some time (no mean feat for such a large domaine), the team have invested over the last couple of vintages in a new cuverie on the other side of the D974, 2 minutes by car from the domaine. Here, in a perfectly regimented range of stainless-steel fermentation tanks, they will receive the grapes for the 2012 vintage – unfortunately for the domaine, the tanks will only be half utilised as they are expecting only ~50% of the normal yield this year.

The tanks are all thermo-regulated (up or down) and configured so that the grapes are handled only by gravity, rather than pumping. Wines that, will be aged in oak will still find their way to the cellars of the old domaine for their elevage.

2011 Ardhuy, Ladoix (Blanc)
The nose is round, and with a hint of cream to accent the ripe fruit. The same impression in the mouth – good depth of flavour here, perhaps even a hint of tannin. Good wine.

2011 Ardhuy, Ladoix 1er Les Rognets (Blanc)
The aromas are redolent of the villages, but more direct. Round, rather concentrated, the acidity slowly grows in tandem with the mid-palate flavours – good stuff! – There’s even a mineral, salty tang to the flavours. Very good!

Maison Albert Bichot (Beaune)


Visited 10th May. The bottles were all wearing their subtly re-worked labels that provide a slight extra emphasis to the individual domaines. Philippe de Marcilly notes:

  • It was difficult to choose the harvest date in Chablis – like the Côte de Beaune – but I find more consistency in Chablis.
  • From the 2010 vintage we have now moved to using DIAM 10s for our villages and premier cru wines.
  • All whites were bottled by March 2010.
  • For the reds, there are now some inclusions of whole clusters in the fermentations – there can be nothing, or there can be a lot!
2010 Long-Depaquit, Chablis 1er Vaillons
The nose offers a rush of aroma then seems to close. Rather silky, not obviously acidic but then comes a lovely growth of mouth-watering flavour – so enough acidity. A very nice start!

2010 Long-Depaquit, Chablis 1er Beugnons
From the middle of the Vaillons valley this wine can (and usually does at most producers) take the Vaillons label. L-D are the largest producer, though I’m not sure if they always make a separate cuvée like this.
The nose is wider and a little more saline and mineral than the Vaillons. In the mouth it seems more lithe, the acidity is more ‘visible’ and the intensity is clearer – very nice density in the mid-palate. I like the finish very much – super!

2010 Long-Depaquit, Chablis 1er Vaucopins
A little green-skinned fruit on the nose. Good acidity that seems to stand slightly apart from the density and flavour of the wine(?) Lovely and fresh, however, with a beautiful, slow diminuendo of flavour.

2010 Long-Depaquit, Chablis Blanchots
Shy aromatics, maybe faint wood and salt. Lovely mineral flavour, lithe and textured. There’s a long line of mineral flavour into the finish that carries a hint of savoury. Yum!

2010 Long-Depaquit, Chablis Le Clos
The nose shows a little lemon fruit. Again mineral, but with more mouth-watering intensity this time. Really impressive this!

2010 Long-Depaquit, Chablis Vaudesirs
The nose has more in common with the Blanchots than the Le Clos. The flavours are again intense, but have less width though perhaps more definition. I see a more ripe fruit, but it’s mainly obscured by its mineral cloak. A long, mineral-laden finish – lovely!

2010 Long-Depaquit, Chablis Moutonne
A very fine floral addition to otherwise understated fruit aromas. The textural impression is of more fullness with the acidity and density of flavour seeming to grow and grow in your mouth. Just a tang of salt in the finish – lovely stuff!

2010 Albert Bichot, Bourgogne Chardonnay Secret de Famille
20k bottles, whose fruit was 100% sourced in the Côte d’Or.
Wide, relatively pretty aromas (after Moutonne!). This has a roundness in the mouth but with density and balancing acidity too – good mid-palate flavour expansion. Certainly will give many villages wines a run for their money!

2010 Albert Bichot, Chassagne-Montrachet
Despite my last sentence, of-course, we have an extra aromatic depth and dimension after the Bourgogne – there’s just a little barrel showing too. Silky and wide with lovely balance – this is excellent. Then there’s a peak of flavour before it decays into the finish. Lovely stuff – I could drink this every day!

2010 Albert Bichot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot
The nose is quite wide, and offers up some classic Chassagne herbs – it seems to hint at power whilst showing a measure of restraint. In the mouth there’s a good base of minerality followed by a punch of flavour that peaks in the mid-palate – but there’s no fat here – just well-defined muscle. Yum!

2010 Albert Bichot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Vide Bourse
The nose is full and round with a warm hint of patisserie. In the mouth this is full and roundly proportioned – it’s very, very intense and flavourful too. Long, long flavours that excellently walk a line between minerality and fruit. Simply gorgeous!

2010 Albert Bichot, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Perrières
Here the nose has width and whilst not being particularly deep it remains involving and v.v. interesting – sniff, sniff, sniff. This is ‘stricter’ than the Vide Bourse with flavours that grow in intensity as the volume of mouth-watering acidity seems to increase. A mineral length to finish a super wine.

2010 Albert Bichot, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Garennes
Again the nose is wide, and rather complex but not particularly deep. Mineral and precise with seemingly more intensity than the Puligny Perrières – a rapier-like wine. This year, this wine is a faster race-horse than that Perrières!

A pair of whites from the Lupé-Cholet label of Bichot, coming from nearly 0.5 hectares of vines planted (1993) to chardonnay in the terraces of Nuits near the Château Gris. A blend of south-facing vines ‘for richness’ and north-facing vines ‘for freshness’. In the last years Bichot have rebuilt the supporting walls and even planted acacia at the top of the hill.
2010 Lupé-Cholet, Nuits St.Georges Les Terraces du Château
Good freshness on the nose. This has plenty of density, but without being too full. Good freshness on the palate too.

2009 Lupé-Cholet, Nuits St.Georges Les Terraces du Château
Here the nose is more opulent. Fuller in the mouth versus the 2010 too. That said, there is good intensity and quite a long finish – I like!

2010 Pavillon, Meursault
A fresh, clean nose. In the mouth this could only be Meursault, but there is also a mineral edge to it. Frankly lovely intensity though the length tails off faster than some – but, this is a very fine villages.

2010 Pavillon, Meursault 1er Les Charmes
Depth and character to the nose – with a little gingerbread therein. Silky and certainly fatter than the villages but this still falls short of ‘opulence’. Super-classy wine – a Charmes with energy yet still a wine to reflect over. Lovely stuff – really lovely…

2010 Pavillon, Beaune 1er Clos des Mouches
A nose that showcases width and ripe fruit. Whilst there is a certain richness to the palate, there is also balance and good intensity too. There’s almost a dry-extract character in the mid-palate and finishing flavours – long flavours!

2010 Pavillon, Corton-Charlemagne
The nose is more opulent still, padded with creamy oak. The palate, however, is mineral and very intense – just a suggestion of floral flavour too. A very impressive finish. Super stuff!

2010 Lupé-Cholet, Bourgogne Clos Lupé
Here is a lovely pinot-fruit aroma. Versus many bourgognes there is an extra density of flavour here. There is some tannin it it stays respectfully in the background. I like this very much for what it is.

2010 Albert Bichot, Bourgogne Secret de Famille
A blend of fruit from village areas that include Chambolle, Nuits, Marsannay and Pommard.
There’s a hint of reduction on the nose. Just a little more sweetness than the Clos Lupé and eventually there arrives a slowly growing undercurrent of fruit flavour. This is quite serious and worth waiting a little while for – today I’d drink the Clos Lupé.

2010 Albert Bichot, Beaune Clos de l’Ermitage
The nose is a little tight. Mouth-filling, with a fine acidity. Nice mid-palate flavours – this is a ‘tidy’ wine!

2010 Adélie, Mercurey 1er Les Champs Martin
Domaine Adélie is Bichot’s excursion into the Côte Chalonnaise; a 4.5 hectare domaine purchased in 2007 and subsequently named after Alberic Bichot’s daughter.
The nose is round, showcasing high-tones and warm red fruit that is accented with pepper. Round in the mouth too with good sweet fruit that is very ‘pinot’, and there’s not too much tannin either – it only shows itself a little in the finish – very nice wine.

2010 Albert Bichot, Savigny-lès Beaune 1er Les Peuillets
The nose is rather tight – perhaps a little soil, certainly little else. Yet in the mouth there is width, depth and intensity – no padding – this is very nice indeed.

2010 Pavillon, Pommard Clos des Ursulines
Here is a much deeper colour. Impressive depth of aroma from dark fruit. Mouth-filling flavour – yes there is tannin too but it’s beautifully balanced. – fabulous stuff.

2010 Pavillon, Volnay 1er Les Santenots
Here the nose seems even deeper and darker than the ‘Ursulines’ – yet no obvious reduction. Fuller in the mouth too, yet with no padding – the flavour overwhelms the structure – yet lovely balance.

2010 Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
The nose is much less expressive than many – a subtle floral element and perhaps some stem elements too. Beautifully round in the mouth with a wonderful complexity. Really super stuff!

2010 Pavillon, Aloxe-Corton
Relatively young vines, but with a low yield in 2010.
Aromatically this is rather understated – quite fine with slowly evolving higher-tones. Very silky to start, becoming more velvety as the tannin shows itself – super high-toned fruit. Here is density without too much of a punch – highly recommended.

2010 Pavillon, Aloxe-Corton 1er Clos des Maréchaudes
Much deeper aromas (not hard!) also with hints of licorice. In the mouth this is rather supple and whilst concentrated, the extra premier cru dimension is most obvious in the mid-palate. Long finishing with a linear, faintly licorice note.

2010 Pavillon, Corton Clos des Maréchaudes
Philippe notes that ‘there was not such a big difference between the Aloxe and the Corton in 2009, but there is a big difference in 2010!.
Rather tight aromas yet obviously of crystal clear, crystallised dark fruit. Silky, wide and then extra-wide in the mid-palate. Very, very impressive.

2010 Lupé-Cholet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Château Gris
There’s a hint of game on the panoramic nose. Quite soft structure gives way to a beautiful, high-toned mid-palate fruit. Understated in the finish, this is a very nice wine.

2009 Lupé-Cholet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Château Gris
The nose shows reductive notes and whilst there is a similar width to the 2010, and pretty fruit too, there is not the same focus. Full, easy, pretty and tasty too. There’s lots of interest here, it’s a good wine, but today I’ve a preference for the ‘stricter’ 2010.

2010 Albert Bichot, Morey St.Denis 1er Les Sorbets
Situated just over the road, below the Clos des Lambrays.
There’s a hint of Morey herb, but the aromas concentrate on dark red fruit. Good structure and fruit, with an extra dimension of flavour in the mid-palate – though today that ‘extra’ seems to come mainly from the barrels. Tasty wine.

2010 Albert Bichot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Lavaux St.Jacques
Here the nose offers up lots of high-toned interest. This is mouth-filling and shows some beautiful fruit, though it’s just tinged with a hint of reduction. I love the finish and the intensity with which the fruit is delivered. Very fine!

2010 Albert Bichot, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Amoureuses
The aromas have plenty of density – a musky depth too. At first this seems very friendly – almost ‘simple’ – until you hit the mid-palate, suddenly you are assaulted by complexity – bravo! A wine that just needs to work on its first impression!

2010 Clos-Frantin, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Malconsorts
The nose offers a narrower ‘view’ after the Amoureuses. Here is a real mouthful of wine – and then it grows even more! You will have to swallow – this is a wine of concentration and balance but with a brilliant mid-palate.

2010 Albert Bichot, Clos de la Roche
A hint of reduction mars the nose. In the mouth I first note the structure, yet my next thoughts are of finesse. Very long flavours that today have just a little too much barrel-vanilla. But actually, I find this rather lovely.

2010 Albert Bichot, Bonnes-Mares
After the Clos de la Roche, the aromas are wider and fresher. On the palate there is an impressive balancing-act between intense, but not too demonstrative fresh fruit, and the structure. Only very slowly does the tannin start to stick to your gums.

2010 Clos-Frantin, Chambertin
The nose is quite tight. In the mouth, texture is not really a consideration here, as there is not an ounce of fat – but the complexity is incredibly impressive. Hard to choose between the Bonnes-Mares and the Chambertin at this age…

2010 Clos-Frantin, Echézeaux
Lovely aromas – high tones, flowers – very pretty. The flavours are long indeed, but the perspective is narrower than the last wines. But there’s no getting away from it, this is very tasty wine…!

2010 Clos-Frantin, Grands-Echézeaux
It has been a characteristic of so many GEs in 2010, and here it is again – a little almond on the nose. More structure than the Echézeaux, but a very impressive dimension of fruit is quite up to the task of achieving balance. This is very, very long – similar to the Echézeaux quite linear and narrow length. Lovely stuff…

2010 Clos-Frantin, Clos de Vougeot
A more open nose, accented with dark fruit. There is plenty of structure here, the excellent fruit only slowly leaches through the gaps in your teeth. A rather classic CV…

Maison Jean-Claude Boisset (Nuits)

Tasted in Nuits on 12th January. Gregory Patriat, as usual, was on great form – as were his wines.

I took the chance to ask Greg how the positioning of screw-capped wines (Burgundy in-particular of-course!) was proceeding. He noted that such closures seemed to be accepted, indeed sell well, at the entry level – so Regional and perhaps Villages wines – but that it still needs (too much) explanation for Premier or Grand Cru bottles. That said, JCB recently released a 2007 Puligny-Montrachet 1er La Garenne in screwcap – and scored a gold medal at the 2012 International Wine Challenge.

Returning to the wines in the cellar:

…the 2011s haven’t yet finished their malolactic fermentations but I’m quite happy with this as I think early malos can be a ‘disaster’. We don’t have any short-cuts in vinification, even Villages whites get a full 15-18 months elevage – and the more 450 litre barrels I use, the more I think that this is the way forward – you will also remember that since 2007, none of our whites have seen batonnage.

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Bourgogne Chardonnay Les Ursulines
Always contains a little declassified villages wine, and this year 95% of the elevage done in 450 litre barrels. Screw-capped.
Some minerality on the nose. Round and a little fat in the mouth, the acidity slowly welling to support ripe fruit. Showing very well!

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Marsannay Blanc
A hint of bread, and lovely pure pear. There’s a little petillance (bottled with 900mg CO2) but it cannot hide the narrow but lovely and expressive flavours – super.

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Auxey-Duresses Les Crais
Wide, very welcoming aromas – a hint of ginger – gorgeous. Narrow, but super-intense – wow! – Premier cru level here!

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Santenay 1er Beaurepaire Blanc
From vines planted at the top of the Beaurepaire slope.
High-toned notes. More mineral than the Auxey with crisp acidity. Despite the minerality it seems less intense than the Auxey – but very nice indeed.

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Meursault Les Limozin
Classic Meursault nose of high tones and gingerbread. Gorgeous acidity and a long line of intense flavour. Lovely!

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Puligny-Montrachet Le Tresin
The nose is less intense than that of the Meursault yet remains interesting with a complex mix of high-toned notes. Narrow entry to the palate. Very interesting flavours leach from your gums. Beautifully transparent wine.

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Meursault 1er Les Charmes
A wide, concentrated nose. Plenty of freshness on the palate, nice energy and very intense before delivering a little sherbet in the finish. And a long finish – bravo!

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Meursault 1er Les Charmes
Compared to the 2010, this is a little fuller but still retains an admirable line of acidity – yum!

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Meursault 1er Les Charmes
A wide, concentrated nose. Plenty of freshness on the palate, nice energy and very intense before delivering a little sherbet in the finish. And a long finish – bravo!

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Chorey-Lès-Beaune Les Beaumonts
These 75 year-old vines deliver mineral notes edged with dark fruit that slowly takes on a purer red colour. Structured, fine textured but ‘present’ tannin. Lovely mid-palate flavour. No chance to guess the appellation blind – this is as complete a Chorey as I ever tasted!

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Aloxe-Corton 1er Les Valozières
Touching on Prieur’s Clos du Roi, there’s clearly some breed here – graphite and red fruit on the nose. Tons of flavour, a lithe impression, and tannin structure that largely appears as you near the finish. I bought some!

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Ladoix 1er Hautes Murottes
High-toned aromas paint a wide canvas. Silky and a little fat to the texture. Fine concentration and intensity. There seems a hint of salt as you move into the mineral finish. Very elegant for where it is, and certainly a winner.

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Nuits St.Georges Les Charbonnières
Charnonnières is just below the Les Corvées – but on the wrong side of the D974. The 2009 was made with fifty percent whole clusters, this year Greg tried to go one better: 100% whole clusters with the individual grapes cut from their stems with scissors – just like Leroy – 100% new oak too.
Rose petals on the nose – it’s a heavy, heady scent but I can’t spot the new barrel (Greg: “I’ve never used as much new oak before, but the reds seem less oaky than ever…”). The palate is round with a slightly plush padding. Plenty of balanced tannin and acidity. This is wonderful stuff if you like your whole clusters. The finish seems textured. Special in its vernacular, but I couldn’t find any to buy..!

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Chambolle-Musigny
A full, round and very, very pretty nose. Lithe and slightly mineral personality that is both fresh and very tasty. High-toned wine that definitely flutters an eyelash or two!

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
The nose is floral but not obviously reflecting the 50% whole clusters used in the fermentation – not to start with anyway, but slowly the aromas begin to reflect the starting materials. Mineral, very good concentration. Lingering, lingering flavours with a hint of the 50% new oak to be found – but it’s deiscrete – lovely stuff.

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Clos de la Roche
Despite bordering Clos St.Denis, here are the classic mineral aromas of Clos de la Roche, intertwining with dark fruit. Lovely concentration. Full yet balanced – there is an impression of ‘thickness’ to the wine (density not dumbness!) Brilliant Clos de la Roche and easily the best I have tasted chez JCB. Chapeau!

2002 Jean-Claude Boisset, Pommard 1er Clos de Vergy
As has become a tradition – finishing with a wine from Greg’s first vintage here. A fine note of dried leaves on the nose – yet scrupulously clean. In the mouth this is much younger than the aromas hint. Plenty of tannin still, but the acidity carries it well. Open today, but you should still wait – I would anyway!

Domaine Simon Bize

A small selection of wines tasted with Patrick Bize, 7th September 2012; reds from bottle and 2011 whites from tank/barrel.

2010 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Bourgeots
Foull and round aromas – the palate likewise-so, delivering plenty of rainy tannins. Rather ebullient this – fun, rather than sharp-suited – indeed, lots of fun.

2008 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Bourgeots
Here, there is more tannin than the 2010, but it’s a sharper-dresser. Today I have a slight preference for the elgance of this 2008 over the previous wine – tomorrow I might make a different choice!

2004 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Fourneaux
The nose seems a little reduced – there’s something not showing well, but I get no hints of pyrazine. The palate is generous and round, slowly growing in stature and showcasing a very nice fruit that gets a little creamy as you approach the finish. I’d buy this! Nice wine.

2003 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Serpentières
The nose is deep and a little leafy – some hint of maturity then? For an 03 the aromas are recognisably Burgundian. The concentrated, ripely fruited palte is less recognisably Burgundian, but this sweet nectar is très gourmande.

All from tank except the Corton-Charlemagne from barrel: 2011 Bourgogne Les (Blanc) This was big, round and flavourful. The supporting acidity is good – a concentrated, yet balanced Bourgogne. The 2011 Bourgogne La Perrière (Blanc) Is less round, rather it follows a ling line of flavour, with no loss of intensity – mineral, if you like! The 2011 Savigny-lès-Beaune (Blanc) seems like a conbination of the last two – but with an extra burst of flavour in the mid-palate. The 2011 Pernand-Vergelesses (Blanc) is round and quite silky – nicely long too, but at cellar temperature it seems like a lift of acidity might be beneficial – that or reducing to 12°C! Lastly, the domaine’s 2011 Corton-Charlemagne is the only white sampled from barrel, and it seems quite special: Very good in all dimensions – except one, the finish – where it excells. Here is a wonderful complexity. This is definitely one to watch.

Maison Camille-Giroud (Beaune)

Tasted with Chief Sales Officer Laure Rochon, 13th July 2012.

I’m sure you know my connection to this domaine is not just the great people, but also me working the harvest for them every year since 2004. So if you are worried about lack of impartiality please move on. NB: If the wines are no good they will anyway blame my triage!

Starting (South to North) with 2011 Ladoix Les Challots, Laure notes that 4-5 years ago most people hadn’t heard of Ladoix so it was mainly labeled as Côte de Beaune Villages, but today more and more people are asking, so… This one is round with lovely mid-palates, tasty wine. 2011 Santenay, despite the villages label, usually contains about one-third of the 1er Cru Comme too. This is faintly reductive but seems mineral too. Lovely energy and fine fruit in the mid-palate. The 2011 Santenay Clos Rousseau is much more special though – high-toned with good fruit flavour that suddenly turns profound and then even ‘wow’ as a late arriving creamy note augments the finish. If you can’t find any of this, it’s because I bought it all! Next, the 2011 Maranges 1er Croix aux Moines is probably the best terroir in Maranges so this is fuller than the Clos Rousseau, nicely round and supple – perhaps finer than the previous wine but less impressive today. 2011 Beaune 1er Les Avaux comes next and it is quite nice, even with a decent structure I would say, but it is always in the shadow of the 2011 Beaune 1er Cras – both of these are ‘domaine’ wines, but the Cras by dint of terroir and a better vine selection is glossy, mineral and frankly superb. If it had the finish of the Clos Rousseau today, I wouldn’t hesitate to guess ‘grand cru’! 2011 Volnay 1er Les Lurets, has pretty aromatics, serious structure and fabulous fruit. The 2011 Volnay 1er Caillerets needs few words – über-mineral, nice texture. Finishing the Côte de Beaune 1er crus we have 2011 Pommard 1er Clos des Vergers which is silky, fatter and very elegant indeed – for Pommard! 2011 Corton-Rognets is a big, round, juicy wine with an old-vine style density (and interest!) in the finish. Bravo!
2011 Gevrey-Chambertin is juicy and sweet – it stand up well to Corton! The 2011 Vosne-Romanée shows lots of structure, but there’s depth too – it will be fine. 2011 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Lavaux St.Jacquesshows too much gas, there’s a nice juicy-fruit finish though.
You don’t have to question my neutrality though – if you haven’t already ordered, I think you are too late. Fortunately, I think I was just in time… 😉

Maison Champy (Beaune)

Tasted with winemaker Dimitri Bazas, 13th July 2012.

Since I last visited, Champy have been digesting the acquisition of the Lalure-Pilot vines – mainly red and white Pernand-Vergelesses – which are now undergoing conversion to biodynamic management. In addition, the wines of the small 1.25ha Domaine du Clos du Chapelle (owned by a retired doctor) are now being made at Champy.
Dimitri described the 2011 vintage as:

”Good but not outstanding. We only needed 9 sprayings over the course of the year, but maturity seemed ‘blocked’ for a while at 10-11°, fortunately it came through eventually. We decided the wines would best be made with a gentle extraction. The malos were relatively late in this cellar, but with one exception (a Volnay) they are now all done.

As for 2012 (at that time) Dimitri noted that they would normally plough at this time, but were choosing not to, for fear of releasing even more humidity from the soil. They were going to keep themselves busy with a little leaf-plucking instead!
The 2010s were being bottled (which was keeping Dimiti busy) so we took a quick tour through a selection of 2011 barrels.

The 2011 Vosne-Romanée showed considerably more aromatic depth whilst being rounder and brighter, fuller and longer than the Bourgogne that preceded it (no note on that as it wasn’t clear which cuvée the barrel would go into). Next was the 2011 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, which, despite a little reduction, delivered some pretty floral high-tones and showed a linear, muscular and reasonably structured personality. The last drops from the glass were beautifully pure smelling – lovely! Next, a brace of 1er crus before the ‘grands’. The 2011 Vosne-Romanée 1er Suchots seemed just a little diffuse and shy on the nose, but the palate was anything-but, very, very long too. The 2011 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Cazetiers showed more focus on the nose, higher toned. Lithe, muscular and intense…
2011 Corton-Perrières (purchased grapes) showed a little reduction and a sweet but far from facile flavour – a lovely long line of acidity here – yum! 2011 Corton-Rognets (50% whole clusters) had even more reduction, despite that there was a lovely floral backing to the nose and even the flavour. 2011 Corton-Bressandes simply had too much CO2. 2011 Echézeaux was wide, rounder and sweeter than the Bressandes. Super mouth-watering flavour. 2011 Mazy-Chambertin another with too much gas, but the finishing flavours are gorgeous! 2011 Charmes-Chambertin (organic, purchased fruit, 50% whole clusters) shows softer sweet aromas after the Mazy but a decent amount of minerality too. Finishing the GCs with 2011 Bonnes-Mares who showed full, round aromas. Lots of structure but with plenty of concentration to balance it.
Finishing with a quick look at the whites: 2011 Beaune 1er Reversées seemed a little flat, despite very pretty fruit. 2011 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Creux de la Net had more freshness, 2011 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Sous Frétile had more density but this barrel was a little estery, whereas the 2011 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Gains seemed very promising stuff. 2011 Meursault 1er Charmes (Desous) actually showed very good energy, and 2011 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Chenevottes was just super-flavourful – really good. We finished with two blending components for their Corton-Charlemagne…

Domaine Louis Chenu et Filles (Savigny)

Tasted with Juliette Chenu Bruot, 13th July 2012 – and Juliette said she needed a man!
Their father (Louis) is still doing some work despite being retired for a while now, but it’s not getting easier for him – particularly as the daughters ignore his suggestions on what to spray – the domaine is now officially organic (it’s their 4th year). I suggested to Juliette that perhaps a woman could also be a good choice – she thought about this for ages, possible three seconds before smiling and saying ‘no, a man, a young man we can train!’
Returning to wines, Juliette mentions that they are committed to working in an organic way, but not ‘crazily-so’. She notes that (she thinks) they are slowly achieving their aim of bringing more precision to their wines.

2011 Louis Chenu et Filles, Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc
The 2010 was already sold out, so this was bottled slightly early to fill the demand. Bottled 3 weeks earlier – the only wine in bottle.
The aromas are quite pretty and round – the fruit is very nice but Juliette notes ‘less energy than 2010’. The mid-palate density is very nice and flavour is particularly lovely. A very tasty and certainly fresh enough wine – yum.

The 2011 Savigny-lès-Beaune Vieilles Vignes is farmed organically in the area of Les Gollardes, and delivers balance, with a fine inner density. Great finish. A good version for the label. 2011 Savigny-lès-Beaune Aux Clous makes an interesting comparison is possible, because only half the vineyard was converted to ‘organic’, Juliette noting that given the large size of the vineyard (2ha) it would have been a very big decision to do all at the start. It does, however, allow us to compare the organic and ‘conventional’ farmed versions. Organic: The nose isn’t particularly wide but there is fine depth. The texture has a little silk about it and a depth that delivers some chewy extract and long, soil-inflected finishing flavours. Super. Conventional: Despite having more old vines in this parcel the overall wine seems to offer less depth and density – interesting! 2011 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Aux Jarrons delivers a wide and impressive nose. There’s a hint more tannin than shown by the Aux Clous, a fine depth too. Another lovely wine. As for the 2011 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Lavières I’m convincing myself that I might guess this as a Lavières from the smell alone (deluded for sure!). There’s more structure than shown by the last wines – but there’s actually more of everything. Very nice!

2010 Louis Chenu et Filles, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Talmettes
The nose has a depth of crunchy dark-red shaded fruit. Round in the mouth and growing in intensity, the flavours widening in tandem. There is a little more structure than displayed by the 2011s (right now). Lovely stuff!

2010 Louis Chenu et Filles, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Lavières
The nose is softer and sweeter. Full and flavourful. The flavour impresses by growing even more in the mid-palate – lovely – I like!

2010 Louis Chenu et Filles, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Aux Clous
Conventional: Pretty red, soft fruit nose. There’s a nice width and sweetness of fruit – almost a hint of floral to the flavours too. Very pretty wine.
Organic: The nose offers more depth and precision, though maybe shows less width. Silky, a hint more mineral and there’s a lovely length too. The density is similar for both wines whereas the organic had a bigger edge in 2011. That said, the wines have not been open long…

Domaine Dublère

A tour of the cellar in July 2012. The wines we tasted were all 2011s from barrel. Blair will not think of bottling for at least 6 months (time of tasting) so it would be harsh to offer any great criticism, yet my impression is that his reds become just a little more austere each year – though there’s plenty of time for them to put on more weight yet – his whites too, but that’s really to their benefit. More and more, Blair is becoming a ‘goto’ domaine for his whites – on this day, independent of vintage, they seemed superb.

2011 Dublère, Bourgogne Les Millerandes (Blanc)
Nice high-toned aromas. The palate shows some energy, yet this is a relatively subtle wine for a bourgogne. The last drops from the glass smell gorgeous.

2011 Dublère, Meursault Les Crotots
Good, intense aromas. There’s a hint of CO2 but the texture is still fine. Here is a lovely line of mouth-watering flavour. Super!

2011 Dublère, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Vergelesses (Blanc)
High toned aromas of some density. Lovely, intense, sherbety flavours. Long, with a super ‘drive’. Very yum!

2011 Dublère, Meursault 1er Les Charmes
The nose has an intense core of fruit. After the nose you are surprised how soft is the enty onto the palate, but the line quickly tightens – very fine acidity for a Charmes. Just super!

2011 Dublère, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Chenevottes
The nose is dense and concentrated – yet not cumbersome. The palate seems much more mineral and fine after the Charmes – just super acidity and energy in the mid-palate – a super wine.

2011 Dublère, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Chaumées
Here, the nose is both subtle and complex. In the mouth the impression is wide and silky, supported with perfect acidity. There’s a long line of mineral flavour. Despite a little less fireworks in the mid-palate (vs. the Chenevottes) this is a gorgeous wine.

2011 Dublère, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Terres Blanches (Blanc)
The vines are chardonnay, but with about 15% pinot blanc in the mix – all the grapes are pressed together. Here the aroma has more density. In the mouth there’s an extra depth and sweetness, yet (again) supported by lovely acidity – though perhaps not yet fully integrated into the ‘whole’. I expect this will be super.

2011 Dublère, Corton-Charlemagne
We actually tasted wines from two areas which will be blended; the first had both depth and a mineral interest without great concentration, the second was more pungent, rounder and showed more muscle. We’ll have to wait for the blend, but the parts seem complimentary…

2011 Dublère, Savigny-lès-Beaune Actuall from ‘Planchots du Nord!’ The nose is subtle and pretty, augmented with a faint vanilla. Pale in colour but generous in flavour. The 2011 Savigny 1er Les Talmettes is rather transparent with a faint tannin and fine minerality. A long-time favourite of mine, this wine, the 2011 Beaune 1er Les Blanchefleurs displays a super-fruited nose though in contrast the palate is more serious and mineral. Next, the 2011 Volnay 1er Les Pitures shows a dense core of fruit on the nose. After the Beaune there is more concentration, though again the flavours are mostly mineral in aspect. Another Volnay, this time the 2011 Volnay 1er Les Taillepieds which shows deeper, rounder, fruit aromas. There’s a little too much CO2 to say more, except I had the impression there could have been an occasional suggestion of pyrazine(?) From ‘could’ to ‘did’, the following wine elicited quite some conversation; for the 2011 Morey St.Denis 1er Les Blanchards Blair came right out with it ‘I think there’s a bit of a GMT about this wine’. At my first sniff, I though yes, perhaps something a little earthy and dirty, but that note was transient – for my nose, what remained was a clear pyrazine note. Blair, however, maintains that this wine has showed like this in other vintages, and by replacing the lees it disappears – judgement, indeed, worthwhile comment, deferred! The last red wine of our tour was the 2011 Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Bouselots which showed deep aromas with just a suggestion of chocolate. This was round and sweet with an extra depth of flavour after the Morey – nothing hard and ‘Nuits’ here – just a very accomplished wine.

Domaine Rebourgeon-Mure

A tour of the cellar 13th July 2012. Starting with David, then substituting him with father, Daniel – depending on who was on the phone 😉

2010 Rebourgeon-Mure, Bourgogne Chardonnay
From vines located in the plain of Pommard. The nose is forward and round. A good burst of flavour in the mouth that’s underpinned with well-judged acidity that brings a nice energy to the mid-palate.

2009 Rebourgeon-Mure, Beaune 1er Vignes Franches
What a fabulous nose – just really beautiful, pure, red fruit notes. In the mouth it’s a round, mouth-filling impression with plenty of tannin – far from an ‘easy 09’. Super potential.

2009 Rebourgeon-Mure, Volnay 1er Les Mitans
After the Vignes-Franches this nose is darker and denser – there’s an interest that keeps pulling your nose into the glass. Fresh fruit with lots of structure to support it. Mouth-watering, complex and with a slightly mineral finish – super. A little aerating and the nose is developing a lighter tough – even better!

2009 Rebourgeon-Mure, Pommard 1er Clos des Charmots
From a real, walled enclosure in Charmots where the vines include a good selection of old (1905) vines.
Clean red fruit on the nose. The flavour is fuller and gives the impression of being rounder in shape versus the Mitans.

2009 Rebourgeon-Mure, Pommard Clos Micot
The nose offers-up fine, precise dark red fruit notes. Very fine-grained tannin buffers a lovely depth of fruit, whose aspect widens across the palate before falling into the mouth-watering finish. Again, super!

2010 Rebourgeon-Mure, Volnay 1er Les Mitans
The nose offers a lovely finesse of fine berries. Linear, but with a fantastic growth of interest – I just love the energy here. A very long line of flavour into the finish. Just super.

2008 Rebourgeon-Mure, Beuane 1er Vignes-Franches
The 1929 vines typically bring a little spicyness says Daniel. The nose is more direct than the gorgeous softness of the 09 version. There’s a little fat to texture which helps hide the acidity – yet the finish is marvellously mouth-watering – yet, as good as it is, it’s the least good wine so far. More time in the glass and the nose is becoming more and more reminiscent of the 09…

2008 Rebourgeon-Mure, Pommard 1er Clos des Charmots
The nose seems cushioned, offering a floral aspect. Fills the mouth with super intensity and plenty of dimension, yet the tannin is standing slightly apart on this evidence. I expect they will come together!

1976 Rebourgeon-Mure, Beuane 1er Vignes-Franches
A treat – a wine from Daniel’s first vintage!
Here the nose really is warm and a little spicy. Full in the mouth and despite the vintage, with fine acidity. There are dark, warm flavours in the mid-palate and finish. Lovely, lovely, lovely…

Maison Seguin-Manuel (Beaune)

Visited 10th May, tasting with Thibaut Marion. Since I last visited in 2008 (the 2006s), the management of S-M’s ‘owned’ vineyards moved in 2009 from ‘traditional’ to ‘organic’ – planning for organic certification – of-course, that would also include the vintages that follow too! S-M also earlier this year boosted their presence in Pommard with the acquisition of vines from Domaine Jean Michelot. Although Thibault mentions that reds will be his main focus in the coming years, there is a little Meursault Clous too – all-in-all, the operation now runs to about twenty cuvées, a dozen of which classed as ‘domaine’.

Since 2008, Thibaut is using the same amount of barrels but just a little less new oak, preferring more one and two year-old barrels. He’s also using a few more whole clusters.

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Working with three growers in Volnay, Pommard and Chorey. It was bottled in September
High tones, floral. In the mouth, round with lovely acidity. Sweet, ripe fruit. Very pretty.

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
Similarly high toned. Round, supple and sweet., yet very different to the ‘pinot’ in that it is more precise but less generous – very lovely stuff!

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Godeaux
These vines sit just above Les Lavières.
Deep aromas overlaid with redcurrants and raspberry. There’s a lovely acid ‘twist’ to the dark red fruits of the palate, good structure too. A nice impression here.

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Savigny-lès-Beaune Vieilles Vignes
Darker and deeper aromas match the darker colour. Here there is an extra concentration to the flavours and the tannin is to a higher level. Super balance to this wine.

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Lavières
Higher tones great the nose – nice flowers – apparently there were some whole clusters used here (about 25% since 2009). Round, quite mouth-filling and tons of complexity too. Fine acidity, this is very fine Savigny – lovely.

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Beaune 1er Cents Vignes
Again, high-toned and floral, this time with some pretty red-blue fruits. There’s more depth to the fruit flavour, balanced with well-judged acidity. I like…

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Gevrey-Chambertin
A new contract for S-M, from a single plot in Brochon.
Darker colour. Wide aromatics with some slightly powdery fruit. The most structure so far, but it is coupled to a concentrated raspberry fruit. Lovely.

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Pommard Vieilles Vignes
Here are some very pretty floral aromas. The palate is padded out with decently fine tannin plus mouth-watering fruit. This is not particularly long, but it is particularly tasty!

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Pommard 1er Clos Blanc
Very pretty aromas, perhaps even with a hint of mint. There is clearly more flavour dimension here; wide with plenty of tannin too, but it’s supple and ripe – very tasty.

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Bourgogne Chardonnay
From a single plot near Meursault.
Rather a nice aromas – perhaps you can smell the proximity to Meursault! Ripe, with lots of flavour and depth too. I’d say ‘just about’ balanced, personally I’d like a hint more acidity.

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Viré-Clessé
Very high toned with some green leaves. This has a nice acid-balance than the Bourgogne – actually this is very nice stuff, and not obviously from Maçon!

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Savigny-Lès-Beaune Les Goudelettes
The aromas are not really deep, but they have a nice width, accented with a little spearmint and a little reduction. Wide, very, very comforting. There’s plenty of acidity to counter the warmth of the fruit – even some minerality. Nice!

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Meursault Vieilles Vignes
From the Clos du Cromin, and always the first vines to be harvested.
The nose has width and depth, plus that typical 2010 ‘clean’ (soap-powder!) note. Balanced, and showing lots of Meursault flavour without too much ‘oomph’ – drinks beautifully!

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes
Wide and ‘2010-clean’ aromas. Concentrated with a good, lithe balance. Impressive intensity and long too – what’s not to like?

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Puligny-Montrachet 1er La Garenne
The nose has depth a few herbs and a some faint savoury notes. This has even more intensity than the Chassagne – bubbling, vivacious acidity – long too. Wow!

2010 Seguin-Manuel, Corton-Charlemagne
The starts with herbs and limited depth – it’s a little shy. Wow – gorgeous, flowing acidity – this wine just ‘pops’ with flavour as you swallow. Lomng finishing, there even seems to be some tannin in there – bravo!

One response to “Round-up of wines tasted ‘en-place’”

  1. Ian Fitzsimmons

    Thanks, Bill. Many interesting details, including so many Bichot wines showing well – I’m not used to thinking of them at this level.

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