Sunday, December 31, 2017

Domaine Comte Georges de VOGÜÉ (Chambolle-Musigny) -- 2016 Tasted from Barrel

As with virtually everywhere in Chambolle-Musigny, the vines suffered greatly from the April 27/28 frost, especially from sunburn as the sun passed through the ice. Overall loss was 70% of a normal crop (that is, production was only 30% of a normal crop). Even that could have been worse, but as with other producers I visited, the second crop manage to catch up to the first crop by harvest, which began on 24 September. 

Other than the Bonnes-Mares, no pigeage (punching down) was used on these wines. Malolactic fermentations finished in June and July, which is normal for de Vogüé.

Technical director François Millet has become known for his poetic descriptions of each vintage. For 2016, he said the message is the month of May: not too hot, not too cold, lots of flowers. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Maison MARCHAND-TAWSE (Nuits-Saint-Georges) -- 2016 Part III: Whites Tasted from Tank

Marchand-Tawse is known best for its red wines, which are produced in much greater number than the whites. But the wines below demonstrate that the whites are also worthy of attention, and the amply demonstrate the favorable aspects of the vintage’s whites. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Domaine Emmanuel ROUGET (Flagey-Echézeaux) -- 2016 Tasted from Barrel

Overall, Emmanuel Rouget said, he only has 20% of a normal crop, although the Cros Parantoux and Beaumonts vineyards did escape the frost.

Harvesting began on 1 October. There was very little triage, and as usual here, all grapes were destemmed. There was no chaptalization and alcohols are almost the same as in 2015.

Malolactic fermentations are a little on the late side — the Bourgogne-Passetoutgrains had not even started when I visited on the last day of October, and the Bourgogne-Hautes Côtes de Nuits was still in full malo. (It’s not unusual for Rouget to still have wines in malo when I visit in October-November.)

Bottling will take place in July, as usual.

As usual, this is an excellent set of wines. Emmanuel says that the acidity of the vintage gives the wines energy and finesse. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

Domaine Georges NOËLLAT/Maison Maxime CHEURLIN-NOËLLAT (Vosne-Romanée) -- 2016 Tasted from Barrel

Maxime Cheurlin said that losses overall were 40% from a full harvest. There was little triage, but many passes in the vineyards that froze were required. 

All grapes were destemmed. Malolactic fermentations were late, and indeed, some still had not finished when I visited on 31 October; I tasted those near the end of their malos, but others I did not. Additionally, four appellations were not made in 2016 because of damage from the frost. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Domaine Henri GOUGES (Nuits-Saint-Georges): 2016 Tasted from Barrel and a 2015 and 2014 Tasted from Bottle

Gregory Gouges reported that production overall in 2016 was 16 hl/ha, roughly half of what the estate aims for each year. The vineyards south of Nuits suffered the most. The two flagship vineyards, Vaucrains and Les Saint-Georges, yielded but 10 and 11 hl/ha, respectively. The wine from two vineyards, Chaignots (50% of a normal crop) and Chênes Carteaux (10% of a normal crop) was declassified into the village Nuits in order to keep the village wine quantity sufficient (it is necessary to insure a sufficient quantity of village wine for commercial reasons, such as supply to restaurants).

There was a little mildew, but the estate continued to work without chemical treatments, and in the end, only about 2-3% was lost to mildew.

Harvest took place between 3 and 7 October, finishing before the rain. There was almost no triage — the harvesters were instructed not to take bunches that were not good, and in the end, only about 2-3% was eliminated. The estate uses chaptalization only in years where there is insufficient maturity or there is some dilution due to large yield, neither of which was the case in 2016. Pigeage and remontage (punching down and pumping over) were like normal, but fermentation temperatures were a little lower than usual because of the lower masses. As usual here, whole clusters were not used.

Malolactic fermentations began in December; the reds finished in June, but the whites were later — finishing just a little before my visit at the end of October.

Bottling will probably begin in early 2018.(Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Domaine TRAPET Père & Fils (Gevrey-Chambertin): 2016 Tasted from Tank and Cask

Jean-Louis Trapet said that the frost affected the wines in Chambertin and Marsannay, but not really the other appellations. With the rain at the beginning of the season, the vineyards had to be worked manually. Additionally, there was mildew that weakened the vines. As a result, the first half of the season was quite difficult. However, with the favorable second half of the year, things went differently, and once again this estate has come up with some of the most brilliant wines in Burgundy.

Harvesting began around 27-28 September, and a significant triage of the grapes was necessary. Fermentations included some whole clusters, and there was very little chaptalization — only enough to prolong fermentations. Malolactic fermentations were late here, as is usually the case. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Domaine ROSSIGNOL-TRAPET (Gevrey-Chambertin) -- A Pair of 2015s Tasted from Bottle

A couple of bottles were already open when I visited to taste the 2016s, and here were my views: (Continue reading here.)

Domaine ROSSIGNOL-TRAPET (Gevrey-Chambertin) -- 2016 Tasted from Barrel

Losses here were heavy in parts of Gevrey-Chambertin, not to mention the Côte de Beaune holdings. Losses were not only due to the frost, but also the following mildew, which seems to have posed a special challenge to many biodynamic estates such as this one in 2016.

At harvest, there was a little triage, but most of the grapes were healthy. There was just a little chaptalization — to extend fermentation time. As in 2015 and 2017, here was no pigeage (punching down). About 25-30% whole clusters were included in the wines. Malolactic fermentations here were very early, finished by Christmas 2016. Overall, the wines seemed lighter in extraction and more elegant than in some other vintages here presumably a result of the lack of pigeage.

The lesser appellations should be bottled around Christmas this year; for the remainder, bottling should take place from February through the end of May 2018. (Continue reading here.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Domaine FAIVELEY/Maison Joseph FAIVELEY -- 2016 Part II: Côte de Nuits Premiers Crus Tasted from Barrel Samples

Erwan Faiveley said that harvesting began in late September, sometime around the 22nd. There is a little bit of whole cluster in the Chaignots, more in all the Chambolles, and none in the Gevreys. Alcohols are all 13.5º or below, and except for two cuvées, there was no chaptalization at the estate.

Malolactic fermentations were considerably later than usual because of the cold cellars, and so bottling will accordingly be retarded. Prices should remain the same as for the 2015s (presumably this is in euros, so they may change as local currencies fluctuate).

All wines below except for the Amoureuses are Domaine Faiveley. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Domaine FAIVELEY -- 2016 Part I: Côte Chalonnaise from Bottle and Cask Sample

Erwan Faiveley said that harvesting on the Côte Chalonnaise began about 22 September. 

The wines provide outstanding potential. The word in the Côte d’Or is that the wines of the Côte Chalonnaise are moving up in quality (ils bougent), and that includes Faiveley, where the quality has always been high. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Domaine Jean CHAUVENET (Nuits-Saint-Georges) -- 2016 Tasted from Barrel

Christophe Drag said that production was down about 35% from a normal vintage. 

Harvesting began on 1 October — late for producers I visited — and finished just before the rains. All grapes were destemmed and no triage was necessary. There was no chaptalization, with the grapes coming in at 13-13.5º natural alcohols. Malolactic fermentations were earlier than usual, finishing by the end of June. Bottling may be as early as February, depending on how the wines continue to develop.  

With the late harvesting, some of these wines may be closer to 2015 in style than most of the other 2016s I tasted.

There is interesting value here, especially for the Bourgogne and village wines. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, December 8, 2017

CLOS DE TART (Morey-Saint-Denis) -- 2016 Tasted from Barrel Samples

I visited on Friday, 27 October, just as all Burgundy was buzzing about the news of an incipient sale of the estate — although the purchaser would not be announced until the following week. 

It turned out that François Pinault, owner of Domaine de l’Eugénie in Vosne-Romanée, was the purchaser. I’ve not heard yet anything about whether Clos de Tart will remain separate or will be folded into Eugénie, where Frédéric Engherer of Pinault’s Château Latour in Bordeaux is in charge.

In any event, Jacques Desvauges, who recently succeeded Sylvain Pitiot at Clos de Tart, has made a 2016 Clos de Tart that is as pure and beautiful an expression of this great terroir as one could want.

As with most of Morey-Saint-Denis, the estate came out with minimal damage from the frost — there was a little bit at the bottom of the Clos. There was, however, lots of mildew as the estate was in the second year of organic practice and the first of biodynamic conversion. Overall, production was 35 hl/ha vs. an average for the previous ten years of 25 hl/ha. — “un miracle” exclaimed Jacques.

Harvesting began on 28 September, the same as in 2010. Jacques described the grapes as “splendid.” The natural ripeness varied from 13.2 to 13.6º, there was good acidity, and lots of aromatics.

Continuing recent trends, the estate is moving to more whole clusters. In 2016, 60% of the wine is made with whole clusters, but none of the second wine had whole clusters. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Domaine de la VOUGERAIE (Prémeaux-Prissey) -- 2016 Part I: Red Regional and Village Wines Tasted from Cask Samples

The harvest here began on 19 September with both reds and whites and on both Côtes, and it finished on 4 October on the Hautes-Côtes. No sorting was necessary. Maceration was a little shorter than usual. Whole clusters were used more than usual and there was a little less pigeage (punching down) and a little more remontage (pumping over) than usual. 

Generally, the wines are raised 1/3 in new oak, 1/3 in one-year barrels, and 1/3 in older barrels, and when the wines are racked, they go into older barrels. (Continue reading here.)