November 8th 2017
Last night we drank a delicious Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Clos de La Marechale by Mugnier 2013 in the Bistro de l’Hotel. It was open and ready to go, and showed beautifully the purity of this underrated vintage. It didn’t last long!
The seventh day of the tasting trip and we are driving south from Beaune town centre to Mercurey where we are tasting at Domaine Charton with Vincent. Vincent’s flight of 1er Crus are always a treat. The warm and generous Chassiere, is a wine built on finesse, while the Nauges, a northerly parcel next to the house, is more powerful, has heady darker fruit and a more structured mouthfeel due to the presence of more clay in the soil. This is the highlight for me, a wonderful cuvée. What I love about these 16s is their fresh Pinot character that demonstrates brilliantly their individual terroirs.
Ok. I am warmed up.
Next on the agenda is Chandon de Briailles in Savigny, a domaine famous for its purity and finesse. These are wines that need time in the cellar to really express themselves. This wonderful domain was hit very hard by the frost this year. Normally they make 250 barrels in total, this year only 40… The 1er Cru Savigny and Pernand Vergelesses vineyards lost 95% of their crop so Claude decided to declassify and make a ‘super’ Bourgogne, a blend of all what she has in one cuvée. 8 barrels of this beauty have been made with the tiniest of yields, 1.5 hl/hectare. The wine is of 1er Cru quality and utterly delicious. As Claude says, she has done the best with what nature has given her.
The Grand Cru Cortons are simply fantastic, and thank goodness for better yields: 28 hl/ha. This is the finest Marechaudes I have tasted En Primeur. The wine has an outstanding nose of rose petals, a florality I have never before experienced in this cuvée. The palate has darker fruits and finishes fresh and uplifting. A brilliant wine. The Bressandes is incredibly refined, even for a Bressandes, yet it retains its naturally powerful core due to the large proportion of clay within this superb terroir. The quality of the tannins is quite superb. Clos du Roi, aha! No more clay as we are at the top of the hill, the limestone soils give an elegance that I adore. The palate is ‘soyeux’ (silky), the texture beautiful.
The finale, with Domaine Jean Marc Boillot in Puligny is always one of the greatest tastings in our visits. The Montagny is, as we all know, one of the best value wines on our list. The 2016 is so delicious. Unfortunately there is no Rully this year due to the frost. An impressive Puligny Village, followed by a Referts that is rich, rounded, voluminous and ends so fresh. Impressive. The Champ Canet has a mineral drive mid-palate that immediately awakens the senses. It is long and very focused. The star of the show is the Combettes. The harmony, balance of elements and precision mid palate is just fantastic. A powerful wine that will be even more lovely in a few years.
2016 is a very very nice white vintage. The wines in general have an attractive floral character, there is good acidity and richness of fruit. I will buy whites this year and am truly excited by it.