Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Domaine Jean GRIVOT (Vosne-Romanée) -- 2014 Tasted from Bottle

My evaluation of these and other 2014 Grivot wines tasted from barrel is found here. These wines demonstrate the great quality that can be found in 2014s from top producers. The grands crus, in particular, are showing extremely well — at the top end or even exceeding my appreciation from barrel. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Domaine Jean GRIVOT (Vosne-Romanée) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel

Étienne Grivot said that harvesting began on 10 September and went to about 18 September. He waited to harvest because the grapes up to then had a bitterness in them. 

A normal vintage here is 300 barrels; in 2015 it was 240 barrels (and in 2016, it is but 200 barrels).

Étienne described the vintage as classic/modern. The bunches were entirely destemmed but the berries were kept whole. Malolactic fermentations were very late — among the latest ever that he has experienced, which is saying something given that over the 30 years that I have been visiting this estate, there have been many vintages where I tasted wines where malolactic fermentations still had not finished by October or November.

Grivot is a consistently reliable and outstanding producer, and fans will have nothing but pleasure with these wines. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Domaine Georges MUGNERET-GIBOURG (Vosne-Romanée) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel

This was one of my magical visits tasting 2015s, where wine after wine was beyond expectation. If you are interested in the 2015 vintage I strongly urge you to seek the wines of Mugneret-Gibourg out, whether the Bourgogne or the grands crus, even though they can be difficult to come across.

Following a 2014 vintage that was about normal in quantity, 2015 is down about 20% and 2016 will be down about 40% from normal. Harvesting began on 4 September. As usual, there is no whole cluster used here, although in 2017 there likely will be a separate cuvée of Vosne-Romanée made with whole clusters as an experiment. Malolactic fermentations began over the winter and finished in March 2016, and the wines were then racked in July. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Louis JADOT (Beaune) -- Part IV: 2015 Whites Tasted from Barrel

As it sometimes does, Jadot partially blocked malolactic acidity in its 2015 whites.

With respect to the sucrosity that I note in many of the wines below, it is not like the sucrosity of 2003s where the wines often tasted sweet. Here it is a certain richness of texture, and based on my past experience, it will disappear with aging.

In news, Jadot has bought an estate that includes Meursault Narvaux, Charmes, and Perrières among its holdings.

Overall, the collection is not as outstanding as the 2015 reds, but there is good quality here, more than one originally expected from the 2015 white vintage. As with reds, the best values appear to be in lower appellations and premiers crus. Aging potential appears moderate for the most part. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Louis JADOT (Beaune) -- 2015 Part I: Côte de Beaune Reds Tasted from Barrel

For an operation with as many different wines as Jadot has, the quality is really quite amazing. Harvesting started on 29 August, with the whites, I suppose. There was very little triage required. Alcohols began quickly. Malolactic fermentations mostly finished in spring, some in July.

Very successful wines here that are certainly worthy of your interest. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Domaine Bruno CLAVELIER (Vosne-Romanée): 2015 Tasted from Barrel

Bruno Clavelier said that he harvested between 5 and 12 September, finishing just before the rains came. The challenge of the vintage, he said, was to preserve the balance in the wines. Malolactic fermentations were late, as is typical at this estate. For the village wines, about 20-25% new wood was used, for the premiers crus it was about 30-40%. Clavelier uses a system of layering grapes between stems (he calls it a sandwich system), and it corresponds to about 1/3 whole clusters in this vintage. Alcohols are about 12.5º for the regional wines and up to 13.5º at the most for the others.

Overall, he described the vintage as one of a lot of sun and with finesse to it.

Clavelier has long been organic and biodynamic.

This is an estate of high consistency; my next posting will review many of Clavelier’s 2014s from bottle, and you’ll see high quality throughout there, too.

We start with three village Vosnes that display the diversity of their terroirs. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Domaine DUBLÈRE/Blair PETHEL (Savigny-les-Beaune) Part I -- 2015 Reds Tasted from Barrel

American Blair Pethel is in his second decade of making wines in Burgundy and, as always, they are most worthy of your consideration.

Malolactic fermentations finished in spring and summer. As usual (from 2010 on), no whole clusters were used in these wines. Blair expected to bottle these reds in March 2017. (Continuer reading here.)

Friday, February 3, 2017

Domaine Réyane et Pascal BOULEY (Volnay) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel

Not having the hails that affected quantity in 2012-2013-2014, one would have hoped that 2015 gave more wine here, but that was not the case. The small berries meant that 2015 is only 30% the size of a normal vintage here. There is excellent quality, though, so these are wines to act on, should you come across them.

Harvesting took place between 3 and 8 September. For most of the wines, the malolactic fermentations were rapid, finishing in November and December. The Champans was made with 20% whole clusters, the rest of the wines are entirely from destemmed fruit. There was no acidification. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Domaine Georges NOËLLAT/Maxime CHEURLIN-NOËLLAT (Vosne-Romanée) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel

I’ve been reporting since the renewal of this estate about 5 years ago under Maxime Cheurlin on the wines of note. Starting at a high level (with old vines and great terroirs), they have been improving each year. 

Harvesting here took place between 12 and 14 September. Wines that had whole clusters in them are Vosne-Chaume, Chambolle-Feusselottes, and Échézeaux.

Maxime has added wines as a négociant and in the future will be adding more, both as a négociant and as a proprietor (I believe that the estate started with 5.5 ha when he began and he told me last fall that it was now up to 11 ha, although 4 ha in the Hautes-Côtes would require new planting). Wines below marked with an asterisk (*) are from bought-in grapes will be sold under the name Maxime Cheurlin-Noëllat (Continue reading here.)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Domaine TRAPET Père et Fils (Gevrey-Chambertin): 2015 Tasted from Bottle and Barrel

Jean-Louis Trapet said that harvesting began on 5-6 September and evidently went very rapidly as he also said that he finished just before the rains (which came only a few days later). Most of the malolactic fermentations finished in May, but for one wine, it was still continuing when I visited in early November 2016. Usually he uses about 30-40% whole clusters, but in 2015 he used 70% (and for the the Gevrey-Chambertin “Capita"and Chambertin, 100%).

The estate is organic and biodynamic.

These are astonishing wines, and as in 2005, the Chambertin is a candidate for the greatest wine that I tasted from the vintage. They are worth a special effort to seek out. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Domaine Robert CHEVILLON (Nuits-Saint-Georges) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel and a Couple of 2014s from Bottle

Chevillon provided one of my most memorable visits to taste 2015s. Each wine was a jewel; that, of course, is not totally unexpected, as Chevillon is as consistent a producer as I know in Burgundy. Nevertheless, these wines exceeded my already high expectations.

Harvesting here took place between 3 and 10 September. As always, all grapes were destemmed. The malolactic fermentation for the village wine finished at the beginning of 2016; for the premiers crus, the malolactic fermentations finished in the spring. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Recent Red Jura Wines -- L'Aigle à Deux Têtes/Henri Leroy, Bodines/Porteret, Gahier, Labet, Pêcheur, la Pinte, Saint-Pierre/Dodane

I continue to (largely) be delighted by the wines I come across from this region. They have great originality in their mineral expression and purity. For the moment, prices are mostly very favorable, although production is so small, that could change quite rapidly if increases in demand outstrip expansion of production. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Domaine Hubert LIGNIER (Morey-Saint-Denis) 2015 Part I: Bourgognes and Village Wines Tasted from Bottle and Tank and Cask Samples

Harvesting began on 8 September. Production in 2015 is about 15% less than in 2014. The grapes were picked with excellent ripeness, around 13º natural alcohol (La Riotte was 13.4º). Acidities are quite decent with pHs in the range of 3.40-3.50 after the malolactic fermentations. The estate has been organic for six years and is not certified organic. Laurent Lignier said that he had no real problem with mildew or oïdium in the vintage.

All the village wines are 20% raised in new oak.

As you can see, the quality of the regional and village wines is uniformly excellent in 2015. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Domaine des LAMBRAYS (Morey-Saint-Denis) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel and Bottle

Thierry Brouhin was going to retire until the estate was sold to LVMH a few years ago, and then he was persuaded to stay on for a few more harvests. So far, everything seems to be operating exactly as before and there has been no interference with his control.

Harvesting took place between 3 and 10 September. Malolactic fermentations were quick and the wines were racked around the end of 2015. As you can see below, the year was very successful here. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

MOMMESIN/CLOS DE TART (Morey-Saint-Denis) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel

Technical director Jacques Devauges said that in 2015, yield was 22 hl/ha. The goal is 30 hl/ha, which has been the average for the previous ten years and which is 5 hl/ha below that permitted for grand cru. He said that the low yield was in part due to lots of shot berries and grapes dropping off the bunches in the summer heat due to lack of water. 

Harvesting began on 5 September in order to keep the freshness, picking at 12.8-13.6º natural alcohol. The acidities were good and there was no chaptalization or acidification. Malolactic fermentations were classic, finishing in May and June. Overall, about 50% of the wine was made with whole clusters; however, the wine is fermented parcel-by-parcel with differences for each one and then kept separate until the final blending. 

In 2015, there will be no second wine for Clos de Tart because the quality is so uniformly good. (Continue reading here.)

Recently Tasted Northern Rhônes VII -- Barge, Barou, Beceras/Prieuré d'Arras, Chapoutier, Darnaud, Gonon, Jamet, Lionnet, Monier-Perréol, Nodin, Texier, Verzier/Chante Perdrix

We’ve had a string of very good vintages in the Northern Rhône, but as this selection of wines shows, it’s the producer that counts more than the appellation or the vintage. There are some very good wines here, some that are okay for drinking but not worth going out of the way for, and some that I, at least, find greatly unlikable. 

Earlier reviews of Northern Rhônes are here here,  here hereherehere, and here 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Domaine G. ROUMIER/ Christophe ROUMIER* (Chambolle-Musigny) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel

Christophe Roumier said that overall yield in 2015 was just below average (whereas 2016 is the smallest since 1971). There is “a little” whole cluster fruit in these wines. Malolactic fermentations finished in June and July and the wines were racked in the beginning of September. He likens the vintage to 2005 but with more roundness, and at least for his wines, I agree with the comparison.

Wines marked with an asterisk (*) are sold under Christophe’s name. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Domaine Jean CHAUVENET (Nuits-Saint-Georges) -- Three Wines from 2014 Tasted from Bottle

My reviews to all of Chauvenet’s 2014’s tasted from cask are here. These wines show the potential of the 2014 vintage and indeed are showing better than I perceived them from barrel. (Continue reading here.)

Domaine Jean CHAUVENET (Nuits-Saint-Georges) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel

Jean Chauvenet’s son-in-law, Christophe Drag, has long been in charge and over the years has made significants improvements, eliminating what often was excessive tannin and rusticity in the wines. 

Christophe said that the flowering took place in only three days, but then excessive heat caused quite a bit of millerandage (shot berries). He was afraid of another 2003 or 2009, but in the end wound up with freshness and energy in the fruit. Harvesting began on 12 September — he found that the rain a few days earlier gave new energy to the fruit, as the grapes had begun to dry out before the rain. 

Malolactic fermentations were early — usually the finish in June, on average, but all had finished by May. 

No chaptalization here, and no use of stems. Overall, yields were 35 hl/ha. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Domaine de l'ARLOT (Premeaux-Prissey) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel

Harvesting began on 3 September (with the whites) and finished on 9 September, said technical director Géraldine Godot. There was almost no triage because of the quality of the grapes. Alcohols were about 13º natural and there was only a touch of chaptalization to prolong the fermentations. Some cuvées were acidified, ones that typically come in at low acidity. Malolactic fermentations were rapid, generally finishing in December; for the Clos de l’Arlot blanc, the malo was blocked. 

Currently, the estate is certified organic and is operating "almost" completely biodynamically.

Here we start with the reds:

Friday, January 13, 2017

Domaine de MONTILLE (Meursault) -- 2015 Part I: White Wines

In whites, there’s a little bit of everything here. Brian Sieve, chef de cave, made a comparison to 2012, but with less botrytis. From not bad but not exceptional and perhaps comparable to 2012, there’s the Beaune and the Meursault, then a good Perrières. But rising above 2012 are an extremely good Corton-Charlemagne and a stunning Puligny-Cailleret. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Maison DEux MONTILLE (Meursault) -- 2015 Whites Tasted from Tank Samples

This negociant house of Étienne and Alix de Montille and makes almost exclusively in white wine. The style here is racy and high in acidity, which I like, and I find the wines to be quite good values.

Harvesting in 2015 began on 27 August, and by 2 September all the whites were in except for those from the Côte Chalonnaise. All wines below are whites. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Domaine Jean-Marc et Thomas BOULEY (Volnay) -- 2015 Tasted from Cask and Tank Samples

As I’ve indicated in reviews in the preceding years, Thomas Bouley has taken this estate to the exalted level of thes first division in Volnay, alongside such iconic names as Lafarge and d’Angerville. 

Notable here is a new cuverie complete with a beautiful tasting room above that looks out over the town of Volnay and many of its vineyards below (the cellar is up at the top of Volnay). 

Harvesting began with the Caillerets on 4 September and then moved to the rest of the vineyards. Overall yields were about 20-24 hl/ha, roughly the same as 2014. There was no hydric stress in the vineyards and the naturally low yields gave the great concentration, said Thomas. Malolactic fermentations finished at the beginning of 2016. The wines saw no SO2 until summer because Thomas thinks that SOretards the breathing of the wines. 

The estate follows lutte raisonnée in the vineyards (essentially, organic except where all other solutions don’t work).

We start with the whites: