On my June trip to Burgundy I had the pleasure of tasting the 2015s from Domaine du Clos Frantin – a brand/estate within the Maison Albert Bichot group.
Domaine du Clos Frantin is the top brand of Bichot and makes the top reds from Cote de Nuits, the winemaker is the talented Cyrille Jacquelin.
I also tasted other wines from Bichot at this event – and I will get back to these in future article. The other wines came from the brands – Domaine du Pavillion who makes the top Beaune wines, Chateau Gris that makes the Nuits-Saint-Georges wines from Chateau Gris (located just south of the town) and then Maison Bichot wines – from the negociant branch of the Bichot group.
I have been very impressed by the progress made by Domaine du Clos Frantin and Bichot over the last decades – they have like some of the other big houses in Beaune really upped their game – and is now producing wines that rivals a lot of the cuvées made by smaller vignerons.
In other words … there are very good wines to be found on this adress.
The tasting – in Nuits-Saint-Georges
The tasting was held at the winery in Nuits-Saint-Georges where the Domaine du Clos Frantin wines are made. Cyrille had prepared a large selection of samples – and was as always cherfull .. a nice tasting where one word took the other and had a really nice time – very nice to discuss the vintage in depth. I just managed to taste all the wines before I had to leave for a tasting at Nicolas Faure – contrasting worlds one could say (the cellar of Domaine Nicolas Faure is smaller than the tasting room at Domaine du Clos Frantin).
Tasting notes for Domaine du Clos Frantin
On the general level 2015 is a balance between ripeness on one side and freshness and energy on the other.
I think Domaine du Clos Frantin has found a fine balance in the wines – while a few wines are balancing on the edge with high alcohol levels – there is a nice freshness and energy in the wines.
There are however no overripe notes and the wines do “disguice” the alcohol level well with a matching juicy fruit.
It should be noted that high alcohol levels is seen in quite many wines from the 2015 vintage – as in the 2009 vintage. It’s as always a question of balance and in general the 2015s are more balanced when the alcohol levels goes beyond 14%.
To the notes …
Domaine Du Clos Frantin, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Murots 2015
Starting out in Gevrey with the Les Murots village – a vineyard located below the road near the train station. The nose offer fine and fresh energetic red fruit – nice minerality. On the palate juicy and generous fruit – nice focus with a good mineralic backbone. A lovely juicy village – don’t let the location of the vineyard fool you – it’s an interesting terroir with a high percentage of limestone.
Domaine Du Clos Frantin, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles 2015
From bottom to top – from Murots to Evocelles a village terroir located above the village and the vineyard Champeaux – on the border to Brochon. A bigger wine – slight reduction – but the energetic red fruit is still predominant in the nose – the minerality is more earthy/stony. On the palate fine concentration and length with a lovely energetic midpalate fruit. Better than Murots – most likely …
Domaine Du Clos Frantin, Nuits-Saint-Georges 2015
The Nuits-Saint-Georges village is offering nice juicy fruit – a bit darker than the two Gevreys and perhaps lacking a bit of energy compared to the Murots. On the palate fine concentration and the generous fruit of the vintage is a fine match for the slightly sturdy NSG terroir.
Domaine Du Clos Frantin, Vosne-Romanee 2015
The Vosne-Romanee village is a big wine for it’s level .. with the alcohol level notching 14%. The nose offer ripe red and dark fruits brought forward by a nice earthy minerality and a lovely Vosne spicyness. On the palate generous and quite weigthy fruit .. a vinous wine offering plenty of Vosne in the glass.
Domaine Du Clos Frantin, Vosne-Romanee Les Malconsorts 2015
The Malconsort 2015 is also a big vinous wine. The nose offer plenty of ripe fruit – juicy and fresh – supported by a fine floral minerality – 50% whole cluster was used. On the palate intense, vinous and weighty – with a fine energy and balance despite the relatively high level of alcohol. It’s actually a quite elegant wine given it’s vinous character and there are no signs of overripeness. A very fine Malconsort in the making ..
Domaine Du Clos Frantin, Echezeaux 2015
The Echezeaux is a bit more backward offering more dark fruit … The bouquet offer ripe red and dark berry fruit – fine minerality. On the palate intense fruit – balanced, long and ripe with a fine mineralic backbone The fruit is juicy but lacking the nerve and energy of the truly magnificent Grands Echezeaux. Need plenty of time to unfold.
Domaine Du Clos Frantin, Grands Echezeaux 2015
The Grands Echezeaux 2015 is for me wine of the vintage at Domaine du Clos Frantin – the Richebourg and the Chambertin might be bigger and better .. but the level of vibrant energy in this wine is simply outstanding. The nose is a bit closed due to a slight reduction, but underneath a vibrant and very energetic floral red fruit is exploding. On the palate layers of juicy and energetic red fruit – so vibrant – with an almost electric tension. The fruit also have a silky generosity … in that way a classic Grands Echezeaux … what a mignificent wine. This is the top pick of the range at Bichot in 2015 – in my view.
Domaine Du Clos Frantin, Clos de Vougeot 2015
The Clos de Vougeot is also showing fine form – although this is perhaps not the ideal vintage for this slightly dense terroir. The nose offer layers of relatively dark fruit spiced with chocolate and a fine earthy minerality – textbook Clos de Vougeot. On the palate juicy and quite weighty fruit – silky with a quite fine energy and freshness. A very fine Clos de Vougeot in the making … well done.
Domaine Du Clos Frantin, Chambertin 2015
The Chambertin is another step up in intensity – yet it’s a remarkably refined and floral wine. The nose offer juicy red and dark berry fruit brought forward by a very intense minerality .. very floral confirming that Gevrey did very well in this vintage. On the palate intense and concentrated but still lightfooted and refined .. impressive what the best terroirs can offer in terms of backbone and focus. An outstanding Le Chambertin .. bigger and better than the Grands Echezeaux? – yes perhaps .. but prefer the exuberant energy of the GE.
Domaine Du Clos Frantin, Richebourg 2015
The mighty Richebourg is last – but not least. It’s a vinous wine – but yet very refined and delicate. In the nose layers of fresh and juicy fruit – expressive and floral with a considerable intensity. On the palate layers of ripe fruit – excellent concentration and length. A quite “lightfooted” wine – in the best sense of the word – with an effortless and airy presentation of the abundant but energetic fruit … great minerality in the finish – I really enjoyed this wine.