On my September trip to Burgundy I had the priviledge to visit Albert Bichot to taste some 2012s from the different domaines and branches of the Bichot house.
The tasting include wines from Albert Bichot, Domaine de Pavillon, Domaine du Clos Frantin and Chateau Gris. The cask samples were collected in the different estates, and the tasting was held at the Bichot headquarter in Beaune.
Impressive quality – from Gevrey to Meursault
Albert Bichot have improved quality tremendously during the last decade – but dispite my high expectations I was pleasently surprised and very impressed by the 2012 wines from Bichot. This is seriously good pinot.
The whites are very crisp and balanced, and the reds – both domaine and the negociant wines – are lovely and very consistent in style and quality. The single vineyard wines easily rivals some of the better producers on these terroirs. All the wines are very true to the terroir … they are precise, focused and first and foremost very enjoyable – without flaws or excessive manipulation in the cellar.
The strategy with producing locally in Cote de Nuits and in Cote de Beaune really seem to benefit quality as the typicity of the different appellations is maintained and not overpowered by imposing a strong monolithic house style. Despite the focus on the individual terroir there is however still a common style among the reds .. especially within the Domaine du Clos Frantin range … but also the negociant wines share some of the characteristics of the Frantin style – impressive work.
Tasting notes for Domaine du Clos Frantin 2012
This article focus on the wines tasted from the Domaine du Clos Frantin range – notes on the wines from Albert Bichot, Domaine de Pavillion and Chateau Gris will follow shortly.
Domaine du Clos Frantin, Gevrey Chambertin Les Murots 2012
The entry level at Domaine du Clos Frantin is the Gevrey Les Murots village – a lovely pure and quite openly knit Gevrey. In the bouquet lovely pure fruit and a nice earthy minerality with the oak slightly forward. On the palate quite rich and dense fruit – quite weighty for this level – with a good long and balanced finish.
Domaine du Clos Frantin, Nuits-Saint-Georges 2012
The Nuits-Saint-Georges is a step up in focus and concentration. The nose is lightly reduced but still displaying a lovely nervy fruit. On the palate very balanced and vibrant offering a interesting tension between crisp fruit and the quite muscular minerality. A quite classic and lovely NSG in the making.
Domaine du Clos Frantin, Vosne Romanee 2012
The 2012 Vosne Romanee from Frantin is a lovely effort – coming from the two terroirs Damaudes and Maizières. In the nose classic Vosne spices, black cherries, red fruit and a touch of oak. On the palate rich and quite intense fruit with a lovely nerve and energy. It’s quite focused for a two terroir wine – a classic and attractive Vosne village.
Domaine du Clos Frantin, Vosne Romanee Malconsort 2012
The Vosne Romanee Malconsort 2012 is a gorgeous wine in the making. The nose is quite reduced but still very expressive and floral (50% whole cluster) with a lovely vibrant red and dark fruit – hints violets and peony rose. On the palate very refined and quite silky cool fruit – long, focused and intense. Love the energy and mineralic tension – and the airy and lightfooted intensity. A very impressive wine – a beautiful expression of Vosne.
Domaine du Clos Frantin, Clos de Vougeot 2012
Th Clos de Vougeot is a step up in weight from the Malconsort – but can in my view not quite match the complexity. In the nose rich and quite dense – red and dark cherries – spiced with a touch of oak and a earthy minerality. On the palate rich and balanced with a lovely quite vibrant fruit. It’s very harmonious and pure but perhaps lacking a bit of nerve and tension compared to the Malonsort and the Echezeaux – but nevertheless a lovely wine.
Domaine du Clos Frantin, Echezeaux 2012
The Echezeaux is from a 0.99 ha plot located in the climate Champs Traversin in the top part of the vineyard. The nose show some reduction but also a beautiful floral and spicy fruit – backed up by a finely grained stony minerality. On the palate quite intense fruit interlinked with a gorgeous minerality – love the energy and mineralic tension. Is lighter than the clos de Vougeot – but also more focused and refined. A beautiful Echezeaux
Domaine du Clos Frantin, Grands Echezeaux 2012
The Grands Echezeaux 2012 is a step up in concentration from the Echezeaux. In the nose layers of deep red and dark fruit, notes of cherries, plum and discrete Vosne spices. On the palate rich, silky and airy fruit – very balanced, pure, very long and intense. In many ways a classic Grands Echezeaux – with the effortless display of refined fruit and terroir. Not as tense and nervy as the Echezeaux – but a gorgeous wine – with both weight and refinement.
Domaine du Clos Frantin, Chambertin 2012
The Chambertin 2012 from Frantin is a very refined and seductive wine. In the nose very elegant and cool offering airy red fruit, wet stones in a otherwise quite earthy minerality. On the palate very airy and intense red and dark fruit – dancing like a ballerina on a intense yet very refined and finely grained minerality. It’s long and very intense but still lightfooted and very filigree – a truly beautiful and refined Chambertin.
Domaine du Clos Frantin, Richebourg 2012
The top of the Frantin line is the Richebourg – from a plot located at the very top of Les Verroilles ou Richebourg. The 2012 edition of this wine offer a classic and refined expression of this fantastic terroir. The bouquet is slightly reduced but offering complex layers of red and dark fruit, asian spices and a intense finely grained stony minerality. On the palate broad, muscular and intense with a with layers of red and dark fruit on the midpalate – the finish is very focused and very long. Really admire the delicate balance between power and refinement in this wine – a great and airy Richebourg in the making.
More notes from Albert Bichot
I had a great tasting at Bichot – thanks to Alberic Bichot for the warm welcome, and to Christian Ciamos, Philippe de Marcilly and last but not least winemaker Cyrille Jacquelin for arranging such a fine tasting at such short notice.
Notes on the wines from Albert Bichot, Domaine de Pavillon and Chateau Gris will follow shortly.