I have followed Domaine Grivot over the last 10 to 15 years and been very impressed by the progress since 2007. The quality has improved significantly every year, and the style has changed to a more refined and terroir driven expression of pinot.
The 2014s were magnificent, and I was therefore delighted when I had the opportunity to taste the 2015s from cask on my June trip to Burgundy.
Photo: Mathilde Grivot – June 2016
I was received by Mathilde Grivot who is now in charge of the wine making, and had the opportunity to taste most the 2015s with her … and let me just say – the 2015s represent another step up in quality.
Impressions but no detailed notes
The malolactic fermentation was not completed in most of the wines … and while the amount of malic acidity is very low in the 2015 vintage I will not make detailed notes and ratings for each wine at this stage.
I know the Grivot wines quite well tasted from bottle .. but this was my first visit and I therefore have no experience of how these wines develop in cask – hence ratings at this stage would premature. I do however have some favorites and some comments to the style and quality on a more general level.
If I’m lucky I will have the opportunity to taste the wines again later this year after the completion of the malolactic fermentation.
The rise in quality since the 2007 vintage
To be honest I was a little bit ambivalent about the Grivot wines before the 2007 vintage – they were very good although some were better than others – and the style was in my view slightly introvert and did not really appeal to me.
With the 2007 and 2008 vintage the wines gained both purity and focus, and the quality thus improved rather dramatically in my view .. and the wines started to rival the top end producers in Vosne. The 2009 wines were also very fine indeed … the Echezeaux is perhaps the wine of the vintage from this terroir, and this was the wines that convinced me that Grivot is now in the top league.
Since 2009 further improvements have been noticeable … first and foremost the impression of oak has been reduced, and the purity of the fruit has increased significantly due to improvements in the vinification. The wines are now more juicy, focused and detailed with more energy in the fruit … and they are now among the top producers in Burgundy …
The ambitions are high and Mathilde seem very dedicated to make further improvements and continue the adjustment of the style towards more transparent and refined wines.
The improvements are not only technical .. the wines are also more engaging or if you like expressive as the energy in the fruit is making the wines more vibrant and enjoyable seen from a purely hedonistic perspective. Perhaps this is just an old mans babblings … but the wines from the recent vintages simply are simply more enjoyable and involving seen from my large Riedels.
The 2015s from Domaine Grivot
The wines were tasted before malo … a few had started the malo – but despite this the wines were amazingly easy to taste – aside from some reduction in a few of the wines.
In general the wines showed very well, and most offered all the best sides of the 2015 vintage – i.e. rich, juicy, fresh and energetic fruit – fine transparency and a beautiful expression of the terroir.
The quality is very very high seen for all the wines, but some wines stood out with an extra level of energy and nerve. All the wines offer lovely juicy – predominantly red fruit – fine energy and balance.
Based on the tasting I can recommend all the wines – from the Bourgogne to Richebourg, as none of the wines seem to exhibit the negative sides of the vintage i.e. over-ripeness and the risk for over extraction.
The Bourgogne Rouge (often overlooked) is very attractive, and offer a lovely transparent fruit … if the red fruit continues to dominate after the malo and bottling .. this is going to provide delightful drinking. The low level wines benefit from the weighty fruit in the vintage – if harvested in time.
Next wine is the generic Vosne village – it offers lovely juciy fruit – fine minerality. The red coulis fruit offer fine energy and a transparent view to the terroir.
The Vosne Bossiéres has a bit more of everything … especially focus .. but is also a slightly more serious wine. The generous fruit of the vintage really suits the wine .. a tremendous village in the making – a fine village.
One of my top favorites were the Vosne-Romanee Les Chaumes – a very generous wine from a plot located just next to the small house owned by Domaine Georges Noëllat. The juicyness and energy of the rich fruit is magnificent – so expressive and offering so much lavish and hedonistic pleasure .. Les Chaumes really offer great wines in this vintage.
The Vosne-Romanee Les Rouges … from a small 1er cru located above Echezeaux Les Rouges du Bas is also a masterpeice .. rich with a lovely energy and minerality. The terroir – Les Rouges du Dessus – is often overlooked and forgotten .. but this wine deserves your attention.
The Vosne Aux Brulees is a more serious wine but still very generous and expressive. The Grivot plot is on the Northern side of the road, and has produced a finely balanced and very rewarding wine – love the depth and minerality – very fine.
One of my favorite cuvées from Grivot is the rare Aux Reignots .. and this is no different in the 2015 vintage. The Reignots 2015 is a very refined effort – so detailed, focused and balanced. The fruit is generous – but it’s the filigree refinement that impresses me the most – such a delicate wine … gorgeous and very fine indeed.
The Clos de Vougeot show very well and fine promise … surprisingly fresh and vibrant for the vintage. The 2015 vintage is quite to very rich, and this is perhaps not the ideal vintage for the slightly dense Clos de Vougeot terroir – but nevertheless Grivot and others has managed to produce lovely and quite energetic wines from Clos de Vougeot. If the freshness is preserved to after the bottling this will be an outstanding Clos de Vougeot.
The Echezeaux is perhaps the star of the show … confirming that truly great wines have been produced from the Les Cruot terroir in 2015. The fruit is abundant, juicy, detailed, energetic and fresh .. offering a perfect view to the vibrant minerality of this – in my view – best terroir of the large Echezeaux vineyard. It’s perfectly balanced and offer almost sinful and decadent hedonistic pleasure … what an absolutely gorgeous wine – outstanding is a modest word here.
Last and absolutely not least the mighty Richebourg – a slightly more understated and serious beauty. This will be a very refined and perhaps even seductive Richebourg … as the rich fruit is the perfect companion for the powerful nature of the mineralic Richebourg terroir. The fruit is delicate, intense and pure offering a transparent view to the intense mineral backbone of this wine. An extraordinary wine that most likely will require quite some years of cellaring to unfold the full beauty …
Looking at the list above I seem to have forgotten the Nuit-Saint-Georges wines – this is not the case. They were however slightly more difficult to taste at this stage – and I can assure you, that they also are beautiful examples of what this lovely vintage can produce.
One can even argue, that the style of the vintage is a perfect match for the slightly more rustic terroirs of Nuits-Saint-Georges – if the red fruit and freshness is still predominant after bottling of the wines … time will show.
Summing up the impressions
Mathilde and the Grivot team have produced some magnificent 2015s .. all offering the generosity of the vintage – and maintaining the freshness in the wines.
If the wines keep the freshness during the ageing in cask and until after bottling this could well be the best vintage Domaine Grivot has produced.
Some of the wines are on par with the very best wines produced on the individual terroirs – thus confirming the Grivot position as a top producer in Vosne-Romanee i.e. also in Burgundy as a whole. Chapeau to Mathilde, Etienne and the rest of the team.