Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Domaine CAMUS-BRUCHON (Savigny-les-Beaune) -- 2015 Tasted from Tank Sample

Guillaume Camus said that he began harvesting on 2 September and the harvest lasted 6-1/2 days. About 20-30% of the stems were retained. He gave the wines 12 months in cask before moving them to stainless steel tanks in advance of bottling. There was no bâtonnage (stirring of the lies). Malolactic fermentations began in March, which was earlier than usual, and some finished in May, some later. There were also some instances of some malos that began even later and went until August.

Gillaume said that there was so little juice that he had to really work to get it out. Alcohols are about 12.7º for the Bourgogne, 13º for the village and premier cru wines.

The vines here are generally old and extremely old and this is a very good source for wines of quality much better than the prices would suggest. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Domaine Denis MORTET (Gevrey-Chambertin) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrels

Arnaud Mortet said that he began harvesting on 3 September. He was one of the lucky ones, with overall yield of about 40 hl/ha. (2016 will be much lower because Mortet has significant holdings in areas that were hit by the 27 April 2016.) Arnaud said that he had no problem with the drought over the summer, a prime cause of low yields at other estates, because he works the soil very deep, encouraging the wines to go down, and then stopped working the soil early. Maturities were the highest ever for the estate with potential alcohols in the range of 12.5-13.6/7º. He used a fair amount of whole clusters in the vinification. Malolactic fermentations finished between March and June, which is not late for this estate.

The trend here to less use of whole clusters and less new oak continues, adding freshness and elegance to the wines.

Mortet fans will be happy that the number of offerings has increased in significant ways with new premiers and grands crus in recent years, but those mindful of price will still find good village wines at lower prices.

I found these wines less easy to judge than usual, and it is possible that they are underrated here.(Continue reading here.)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Domaine Sylvain CATHIARD (Vosne-Romanée) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel

Sébastien Cathiard said that he began harvest in 2015 on 12 September. Harvest lasted three days, and he said that he experienced no sanitary problems with the grapes. All grapes were destemmed. The wines are 12.5-13.5º alcohol with very little chaptalization.  New oak is 50% for villages wines, 55-67% for premier crus and the grand cru. Sébastien always does a mixture of remontage (pumping over) and pigeage (punching down); in 2015, he did a bit more pigeage than in 2014. Macerations lasted 24-27 days. Malolactic fermentations were late: En Orveaux was the first to finish, in April 2016, and when I visited in November, there were still some barrels of Malconsorts going. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Comte Georges de VOGÜÉ (Chambolle-Musigny) -- 2014 Tasted from Bottle

My review of these wines tasted in autumn 2015 is here. The wines were bottled beginning in January 2016 with the Chambolle-Musigny through March 2016 for the Musigny. 

Technical director François Millet compares 2014 to 2011 and 2007 in the sense that there was a warm spring followed by a less sunny summer. But as good as those two earlier years were here, this group is on a higher level still. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Domaine Comte Georges de VOGÜÉ (Chambolle-Musigny) -- 2015 Tasted from Cask

Technical director François Millet said that yields were low due to the June and July dryness in 2015. In August, there was just enough rain, and harvesting began on 3 September. Malolactic fermentations finished in July. 

Although I don’t taste the white wine when I visit (because the volume is so small), in 2015 it appears that the estate will issue it as Musigny once again (the last 20-odd vintages have been declassified to Bourgogne as a result of replanting in the early 1990s; as there is no white wine permitted for the Chambolle-Musigny appellation, if the wine is not labelled Musigny, it must be declassified to Bourgogne). (Continue reading here.)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Domaine GENOT-BOULANGER (Meursault) -- 2015 Part I: Reds Tasted from Tank and Barrel Samples

This estate was created in the 1970s by a Parisian pharmacist, first in Mercurey, then it moved to Beaune. It is now in Meursault.

Over the years, the domaine expanded greatly (the first purchase of Côte d’Or property was only in 1995), but much of the production was sold to négociants. Today, the estate comprises 22 ha and 30 appellations, fifteen in each color, and with the emphasis on estate bottling. The Côte Chalonnaise holdings, which at one time had been as high as 13 ha, are now 4 ha, with the remainder being in the Côte d’Or.

Aude and Guillaume Lavollée became the third generation to run the estate, beginning in 2008. The immediately began changes in the vineyards, converting the estate to organic viticulture. Beginning with the 2011 vintage, the estate was entirely organic and certification was achieved in 2015. 

There is excellent quality here. Especially for those who are frustrated because the allocations of so many estates of long recognition are full, this is a property to look for.

Harvesting in 2015 began on 2 September with the whites. For the reds, the premiers crus and grands crus from the Côte de Nuits have 20-40% whole cluster, except for the Clos-Vougeot, which has 80% whole clusters. For the reds, malolactic fermentations finished rather early.

The grapes were not cooled in 2015 and remontage (pumping over) was used rather than the more extractive punching down, because the terroirs here naturally give structure, said Guillaume Lavollée. Usually, fermentation goes for 2-3 weeks; in 2015, it was 17-18 days. After that, the wines spend 10-12 months in barrel, then six months in cask. For the reds, 20% new oak except for the Bougogne. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Domaine des Comtes LAFON (Meursault) -- 2015 Part II: Whites

Dominique Lafon began harvesting the whites on 27 August. As you can see below, malolactic fermentations were quite slow for some wines, and some placed in stainless steel to finish their malos before being returned to barrel.

These are some of the best 2015 whites that I have encountered. (Continue reading here.)