Chandon de Briailles 2017 | Burgundy 2017 En Primeur
This beautiful estate in Savigny lès Beaune has chosen to release a small proportion of their 2017s onto the market this summer. The wine has only been offered to 15 of their most important global export customers ahead of the traditional release in January. Goedhuis is delighted to make this pre-release offer at these special prices.
The past few years have been challenging in the Côte de Beaune with yields drastically hampered by hail and frost over consecutive years. 2017, happily, sees a return of good fortune, and Chandon de Briailles has made some fantastic reds, picked at their optimal yields between 30-35 hl/ha. The purchase of two new vertical basket presses has transformed their tannin extraction too, and the wines have an easy, flowing charm. The estate has been certified biodynamic since 2011, and new vineyard practices have driven quality to an even higher level.
Although tasting from barrel in July is early for Burgundy, 2017 is a vintage of open, forward appeal, and is easy to taste in its youth. The wines burst with red fruits and the tannins are fine, sweet, and creamy. The acidity is less marked than in previous years, but there is nothing blowsy or smudged in the wines’ structures, which are poised, fresh, and approachable. They may well drink in advance of the firmer 2016s and the fuller-bodied 2015s. If ever there were a vintage in which to fill your cellar with excellent drinking red Burgundy for the mid-term, 2017 would be it.
This is often the most fleshy and rich of the Chandon de Briailles Cortons. The vineyard has thin, poor topsoil containing lots of gravely stones over limestone. The wine is darker in colour and character than the Maréchaudes and was one of the last in the cellar to finish malolactic fermentation this year. In July, it still seems a little closed, but the wild berry tones and grippy, refined tannins underneath promise a bright future.
One of Chandon de Briailles’ three Cortons, this is the lowest lying site, on iron-rich clay soils with a smattering of small stones, very like the soils found throughout much of the Côte de Nuits. It consistently produces one of the most enjoyable wines in their cellar. Claude de Nicolay describes it like a “basket of cherries”, which is the most perfect description. 80% whole bunch and gentle pressing in the new basket presses have yielded intricately fine, creamy tannins, and the wine is well supported and seasoned by the 20% new oak.
Even more active limestone in its soil and steeper gradient than neighbouring Les Vergelesses mean the soil is very poor here. As the vines struggle for water and nutrition they produce fruit of spicy, muscular intensity. The well-judged use of 40% whole bunch gives the wine lift, making it immediately appealing.
Pernand Vergelesses is slightly cooler than Savigny lès Beaune, and its wines have a spicier, earthier accent. This wine has a core of soft, ripe red fruits, laced with pink peppercorn spice. 40% whole bunch has given the nose an aromatic delicacy, and the tannins achieve a fine balance between graining firmness and fine, elegant structure.
This comes from vines grown on the lower part of the village’s slope, and in 2017 they have yielded a juicy, sweetly perfumed, easy-drinking wine that strikes a perfect note between concentration and fluidity. 100% destemmed fruit has produced smooth red cherry flavours that are supported by a soft, creamy tannin structure. There is the subtlest bite of Côte de Beaune firmness finishing off this well-rounded village wine.
The Fourneaux vineyard is on a steeper gradient then the village parcels, and as the name would suggest, can become quite hot in the summer sun. The Chandon de Briailles vines were planted in 1956 and now produce a wine with concentrated, ripe tannins, and intense wild berry flavours. The ripe weight of fruit gives the wine both body and length, and the fine, fruity character of the vintage ensures this has a delicious red crunch to it.
The limestone soil in this vineyard typically produces wine with a mineral nuance: something smoky and violet-scented in its aroma. Even in a dimly lit cellar, you can see the vibrant cherry colour of the young wine. The domaine’s new basket presses have transformed not only the character of tannin structure achieved, but they have also been excellent for colour and brilliance, owner Claude de Nicolay explains. This wine seems so together already, with a harmonious cohesion between fruit, tannin, acidity, and body.