My November trip to Burgundy has been busy but very succesful … great tastings, meeting a lot of fine and generous vignerons. It’s always a treat to visit Burgundy and I’m very grateful that so many producers have time to spend on journalists like me – I love this golden region.
Regarding the 2015 vintage I will do a full update of the vintage report, but the picture is more or less unchanged. It is a relatively hot vintage – but in many reds one find a quite unique balance between generous rich fruit and a fine and delicate freshness. Not all have this freshness and some wines are beyond 14% alcohol – so a somewhat mixed picture – but in general the quality is very high indeed.
Most wines have a very fine expression of terroir and this combined with the balance between the rich generousity and vibrant freshness makes the vintage unique and in some cases truly great.
The whites are a mixed bunch … will get back to this in the next article …
Domaine Jean-Marc Millot in Nuits-Saint-Georges
My first visit at Domaine Jean-Marc Millot. I was received by Jean-Marc Millot and his daughter Alix Millot who is now working at the family estate. I was very eager to taste the 2015s after tasting the lovely 2014s a month back in Denmark. These wines offer a lovely drinkability and are priced very well in the market considering the quality.
The 2015s is another level up compared to the excellent 2014s, adding weight and depth. The Millot wines are on the lightfooted side – and the concentration in a vintage like 2015 take things up at notch.
The wines are detailed and transparent – and kept on the cool side with a fine freshness and expression of terroir. These wines will provide serious hedonistic bang for the buck over the next two decades … they just drink so well.
It is hard to pick a favorite here, as especially the grand crus have struck a beautiful balance between generousity, freshness and transparency .. the Echezeaux is very refined and so is the Grands Echezeaux …
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé
I tasted the Vogüé wines in June before the malolactic fermentation and they showed outstanding promise indeed. The wines are now through the malolactic fermentation and they are even surpassing my most optimistic expectations … these are mindbendingly great wines – impressive job by winemaker Francois Millet and his team.
It seems like Chambolle Musigny has done very well in this rather hot vintage .. and especially the Musigny side of the village has kept it’s cool. Domaine Vogüé began the harvest on September 3rd and this early start has in my view made a positive difference.
This translates into some of the best young Vogüé wines I have tasted .. perhaps surpassed by the 2010s in my cool book, but these wines deserve a place amongst the top vintages … they are that great. The balance between the generous and expressive fruit and the juicy and vibrant freshness is almost contradictive – offering a magnificent tension in the wines.
Notes will follow!
Bertrand Machard de Gramont
Axelle Machard de Gramont is running a small family estate located in the hills over the Northern part of Nuits-Saint-Georges in the village of Curtil-Vergy.
This is a bio certified estate, and Axelle is working both hard and succesfully based on the biodynamic priciples (chapeau after the terrible 2016 vintage).
The wines are made with a light hand, and the terroirs are perhaps not known by Burgundy collectors … but don’t overlook these wines … they offer plenty of pleasure and terroir. I’m not a big NSG collector .. but the wines made in the limestone soil in the top of the hills in the village terroir Les Vallerots above Vaucrain are very interesting and highly enjoyable. The wines offer a fine balance and freshness in 2015 – so check out this estate.
Expectations are always high when we are talking about Domaine Cathiard .. and since Sebastien Cathiard has taken over this estate has gone from strength to strength.
Sebastien Cathiard did it again .. and maintained a very fine balance in the wines … some extraordinary picks in 2015 … I will reveal these later with the tasting notes .. but all wines are very fine indeed and are showing very fine promise.
Its however no secret that the mighty Romanee Saint-Vivant is one of the top wines of the vintage.
Always a treat to taste these wines in the beautiful cellar at Domaine Cathiard.
Maison Chantereves is one of the most balanced efforts – seen over both reds and whites. Both colors are showing magnificently well … freshness has been maintained perfectly in the whites … and the reds are the best so far from this estate.
The decision to go to whole cluster/bunch in 2014 really pays of in 2015 where the reds really need this kick to ad complexity. The Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes 2015 is a wine to look out for … only two casks … whole cluster … for me the ideal presentation of this terroir in 2015 … get some while you can.
Whe whites offer beautiful balance and are good examples of the best 2015s as they offer a fine freshness and juicyness. Yes it’s a hot vintage .. but these are both fresh and very delisious.
Below you see Tomoko from Chantereves with another very fine producer … more from that visit in the next article with more impressions from my trip. I can reveal that he in my view is one of the finest producers of Meursault these years.
Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair
A great retaste of these wines .. from cask. It’s easy to say that La Romanee and Echezeaux are great .. so lets go after the less obvious choises. For me the positive “surprises” are Vosne-Romanee Les Chaumes, Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots, Vosne-Romanee Aux Brulees and Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de Grandes Vignes.
These are showing tremendous freshness and energy and are highly recommendable. Sadly Aux Brulees is not on the market as production is very small .. but Clos des Grandes Vignes is more “abundant” despite reduced quantities also in 2015… what can I say .. get some.
The largest change since the first taste in June of 2016 is the Clos des Vougeot … a new wine that clearly needs time to settle in cask. The oak has now integrated much better … and I have based on this and other tastings reevaluated Clos de Vougeot as a whole in this vintage – they do seem to have benefited by from the cool wind from the Combe d’Orveau … fine freshness in many Clos de Vougeots in 2015.