Domaine Hubert Lamy is one of the … if not the most prominent estates in Saint-Aubin. I was therefore thrilled when I had the chance to visit Olivier Lamy at the Domaine during this years Grands Jours de Bourgogne.
Olivier Lamy is the dynamic and very energetic head of the family estate … and have been so since 1995. He is deeply rooted in the terroir and the Burgundian history … but also a man of visions and courage – who really try to push the limits to increase quality.
I have travelled many years in Burgundy and I don’t think I have ever met a man with such a revolutionary dedication to quality – whilst many producers move to organic farming to improve quality … Olivier also increase the density of wines in the vineyards to test if this will improve the wines.
He is indeed a man of dedication with a strong foundation in his respect for history and the terroirs.
A bit about the Saint-Aubin appellation
Saint-Aubin is located in a valley above Chassagne-Montrachet and partly also above Puligny-Montrachet. The vineyards of Saint-Aubin starts above Montrachet and continues into the valley.
The best vineyards are most likely En Remilly and Les Murgers des Dents de Chien located in the area above Montrachet and Chevalier-Montrachet, but there are also some very fine 1er crus further up the valley around the village of Saint-Aubin.
Historically Saint-Aubin have been somewhat overlooked – Lavalle barely mention Saint-Aubin in his 1855 book – the vineyards of Saint-Aubin is nevertheless very old – and the vineyards known today can also be found on the cadastre maps from 1839 – see map below of the En Remilly section.
The wines of Saint-Aubin
Saint-Aubin offer some of the most mineral driven white Burgundies … the best are quite powerful in their minerality, focused and without the more dense fruit expression found in wines from the lower parts of Chassagne … they are energetic wines with a gorgeous nerve. The very best of them also offer complexity and refinement that equels some of the best vineyards in Chassagne.
The 2012 whites from Domaine Hubert Lamy
Olivier Lamy have made some gorgeous 2012s … pure, transparant, delicate and energetic wines. Just like in 2010 he decided to save the forest … no new oak is used for his white 2012s.
The result is a rarely seen pure expression of the Chardonney … delicate and vibrant … and focused only by the minerality of the terroir and the fine playful acidity. The 2012s we tasted were all in bottle – and showing very well.
Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin “La Princèe” 2012
The village Saint-Aubin 2012 is forward and expressive with a lovely balance between pure un-manipulated fruit and a crisp minerality. The nose is offering lovely white fruits with some more exotic hints and a citrus infused stony minerality. On the palate lovely balance, good weight and fruit – matched by a crisp acidity and a nice display of terroir.
Domaine Hubert Lamy, Puligny-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes 2012
The Puligny-Montrachet is made on the village terroir “Les Tremblots” from very old vines – planted in 1946 and 1970. The terroir is located below Les Ensignieres on the Chassagne side of Puligny. In the nose pear and acacia blossom .. quite rich, ripe and expressive with a gorgeous display of Puligny terroir. On the palate very fine nerve and weight for a village Puligny … beautifully balanced. Really impressed by this wine … a top end Puligny village in my view.
Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Les Frionnes 2012
The Saint-Aubin Les Frionnes is one of the “lesser” 1er crus but still a both gorgeous and vibrant wine. The nose is slightly restained and more chalky and offer discrete white orchard fruits with more density and minerality than the village. On the palate lovely balance and weight … beautifully balanced and refined. A lovely energetic effort.
Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Derriere Chez Edouard 2012
The Derriere Chez Edouard 2012 is slightly more weighty and forward than Les Frionnes. The nose offering pure fruit .. notes of pear, white flowers and some delicate hints of peach … spiced with some citrus notes and a delicate minerality. On the palate nice weight and midpalate fruit – very delicate and harmonious with a nice focusing minerality and zappy acidity. A delightful wine.
Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Clos de la Chateniere 2012
Saint Aubin Clos de la Chateniere is in my view a step up in quality and mineralic complexity. In the nose delicate and pure fruit .. notes of pear, citrus with hints of exotic orchard fruits and white flowers … and spiced with a powerful yet quite filigree minerality. On the palate intense and powerful with a lovely nerve and mineralic tension. It’s focused with a long mineralic finish. Love the purity, energy and nerve … very impressive.
Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin En Remilly 2012
The En Remilly is another step up in quality with it’s crystaline purity and powerful minerality. The bouquet is bursting with citrus infused minerality and delicate white fruit- notes of pear and hints of some more exotic orchard fruits. On the palate intense fruit delivered by a vibrant acidity and a powerful minerality … pure and crystal clear with great length and almost grand cru like mineralic power. A truly impressive and gorgeous mineral driven wine with a delightful purity. Really like this wine.
High Density vineyards
As mentioned above Olivier Lamy is making some large scale experiments to evaluate the effects of increasing the density of the vines. Normally there are 10.000 – 12.000 vines on one hectare, but Olivier have increased this density significantly in several vineyards.
The idea is not new – as the density in the vineyards in this area were much higher before the phylloxera problems in the late 19th century. But to my knowledge only very few growers is actually producing wines from high density vineyards these days … and while the experiments with high density are very hard work … the initial results are very positive.
The idea behind increasing the density of the wines is to force the vines to grow deeper roots as the competition for water and nourishment is higher in a high density vineyard. Deeper roots gives more minerality and Olivier explains that the wines also produce smaller grapes with higher sugar content and more intense flavors on the high density plots.
Olivier is working with high density sections in several vineyards. In Derriere Chez Edouard the density is increased to 30.000 vines per hectare in one part of the vineyard – and from this section he makes a special cuvee Saint-Aubin Derriere Chez Edouard Haute Densité. The vines were planted in 2000 and 2007.
In Puligny Montrachet Les Tremblots the desity has been increased to 22.000 vines per hectare in one section – from this section he makes Puligny Montrachet Haute Densité.
In addition to the 2012s we tasted a few 2013s from cask most still in the midst of the malo, but it gave us a fine impression of the results of high density vineyards.
We tasted the two cuvees from Derriere Chez Edouard – the “basic” with a density of 14.000 vines per hectare and the “Haute Densité” made from a section with 30.000 vines per hectare.
The difference in intensity and quality is quite amazing … the Haute Densité section produce a wine with more of everything … more weight, more minerality, more fruit and presumably also more acidity. The balance of the wine is however maintained and the quality level is moved at least one step up. The effect is similar to the improvement producers see when they start to use organic principles in the vineyard … but the effect of high density vines seem to been even bigger … at least in the case of Derriere Chez Edouard.
Olivier is also increasing the density in a section of Criots Batard-Montrachet .. this will indeed be very exiting to follow.
The quality of the 2013s from Domaine Hubert Lamy
It’s still too early to evaluate the quality of the 2013 whites (still undergoing the Malolactic fermentation) – but they seem to be a bit more seriously structured and dense than the airy 2012s.
The Saint-Aubin Derriere Chez Edouard Haute Densité 2013 is a big wine .. and the 2013 Criots-Batard Montrachet is a very intense and aromatic wine in the making.
The new Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumees 2013 is also showing a fine potential .. and it will be very interesting to follow the white 2013s as they develop in cask.
A very exiting visit indeed … thanks to Olivier Lamy for a nice tasting and all the info about the wines and the domaine.
Tasting Notes for this producer
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Chez Edouard HD 2011 February 9, 2017
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Chez Edouard HD 2008 May 10, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Chassagne Les Macherelles 2013 April 13, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Chez Edouard HD 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Puligny Les Tremplots HD 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Chassagne Les Chaumees 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Criots Batard-Montrachet 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin En Remilly 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Clos de la Chateniere 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Les Frionnes 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Clos du Meix 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Puligny-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Santenay Clos des Gravieres 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Chassagne Le Concis du Champ 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin “La Princèe” 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Bourgogne Les Chataigniers 2013 April 4, 2015
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin En Remilly 2012 December 31, 2014
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Criots-Batard-Montrachet 1989 October 14, 2014
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Les Frionnes 2012 April 19, 2014
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Puligny-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes 2012 April 17, 2014
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Derriere Chez Edouard 2012 April 15, 2014
- Hubert Lamy, Saint Aubin Clos de la Chateniere 2012 April 10, 2014
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin En Remilly 2012 April 6, 2014
- Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin En Remilly 2008 March 28, 2014