I always enjoy tasting at Domaine Georges Noëllat, where Maxime Cheurlin has for more than a decade now produced some memorable wines.
The scene has changed a bit, however, as Maxime has rented a cellar in Nuits-Saint-Georges (quite near the Winehog’s home), presumably to ease delivery to me and to La Cabotte. Jokes aside, there’s a new cellar, but the same wines.
Delaying malo – a note
As previously reported, Maxime Cheurlin has begun cooling his cellar to delay malolactic fermentation and show the elevage in general. Is that making a difference?
Based on my experience with his wines from 2017-20, my initial opinion is that the wines with later malo are a bit firmer and more precise. This could perhaps translate eventually into more complexity. One could also say that they have a slightly tighter note, promising greater cellaring potential.
Last year I wrote, “The wines have over the years gained focus, and gone is the rather early, forward, blossom and accessibility seen in Cheurlin’s first vintages, replaced by a somewhat tighter, more precise fruit.”
The 2021s however have some of that old-era, forward, sexy style found in Maxime’s earlier vintages like 2012 and 2013. Lighter, yes; but oh so sensual and sexy.
Clearly, 2021 is a lighter year after the plethora of hot vintages we had from 2015 on. Lighter can, however, encourage some familiar notes out of the wines, including an explosion of Vosne spices.
The 2021s from Domaine Georges Noëllat
Based on my tasting, the 2021s from Georges Noëllat follow the tendencies seen at other estates: The wines are lighter and more energetic (at least from good estates). They are also a contrast to the densely coloured and intense 2020s – a marked contrast.
Their vivid acidity really gives the same energy and hedonistic intensity that I tasted recently in a 2013 Vosne-Romanee Petit Monts from Georges Noëllat, a wine which confirmed the glory of lesser years – like 2021.
Notes from the tasting on October 20
The Hautes Cotes de Nuits 2021 is on the cooler and slightly leaner side, and shows the contrast between 2021 and the weighty ’20s. It’s vivid, with quite a bit of energy and good drinkability. Elegant, and produced in large quantity, this vin de soif is actually available.
(Drink from 2023) – Very Good+ (90-91p) –
The Vosne-Romanee 2021 is cooler and more open than the previous vintages. Expressive, with Vosne spices and lovely acidity-driven energy, this is not a wine for 30 years of cellaring, but I am sure it will be absolutely delightful after 8-10 years. Hedonistic, yet not a wine of much terroir expression or precision.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Good+ (90-91p) –
The Beaune Tuvilains 2021 comes from a lovely year for this vineyard. David Croix and Domaine Garcia made both lovely, lively examples. Maxime’s is floral and vivid, with delicate fruit. Not a dense Beaune, but rather on the light-footed side, this is velvety and generous; the 50% new oak is well integrated.
(Drink from 2028) – Fine+ – (92p) –
The Chambolle-Musigny Les Feusselottes 2021 is one of my favourite wines from Georges Noëllat. It’s a negociant bottling, and is lively and vivid – a wine for pure enjoyment. This is not particularly precise, but it’s nonetheless gorgeously hedonistic and open with its mid-palate fruit. Quite light-footed and floral, there are pink roses gracing the bouquet.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Fine+ (93p) –
The Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Boudots 2021 is juicy on the palate, quite delicate, and with lovely salinity. Open and expressive, this shows fine intensity, yet is still light-footed. I’m not normally a big fan of this wine, but its salinity and vivid energy are frankly delightful.
(Drink from 2030) – Very Fine (93p) –
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