Visiting estates in Burgundy is a world of many different experiences .. some are old estates with several decades of history, some have sales personal and assistants to receive you and to make appointments.
When entering the rather spacious new cellar of Chantereves located beneath a modern house in the outskirts of Savigny-Les-Beaune – Tomoko Kuriyama is operating a forklift lifting casks to transfer wines to tank via gravity.
This is a small estate, and Tomoko and her husband are having jobs at other estates, and is managing Chatereves as a project so to speak in their “spare” time.
They are wines made with a strong passion and dedication … and this translates into wines with a strong character, purity and energy.
Maison Chantereves, Savigny, Rhingau and Japan
A bit of background on Chantereves. It’s a small – what I would like to call a boutique – negociant located in in Savigny-Les-Beaune.
The estate is owned and founded by two talented winemakers … Tomoko Kuriyama and Guillaume Bott, who as wife and husband have joined forces in producing a small selection of wines from grapes bought from different vineyard owners around Burgundy. First vintage was 2010.
Tomoko originates from Japan but has taken her wine education at the famous wine university in Geisenheim Germany. After finishing her education she worked as estate manager at the well known Rheingau estate, Friedrich Altenkirch. Guillame Bott is currently working as winemaker at Domaine Simon Bize also in Savigny-Les-Beaune, and previously he worked at Etienne Sauzet in Puligny-Montrachet.
I have followed the wines since a few years back, and the background of the two owners translate into wines made with a German precision, a Japanese attention to detail and a French knowledge of the terroir, the tradition and the wines of the region.
These are special wines, made from high quality grapes – they offer a purity even in the entry level wines found very few places in Burgundy. So if you value purity .. this is the place to look. If you like rich and opulent wines, plenty of new oak .. look elsewhere.
The Chantereves wines
The 2014 vintage marked an interesting change of vinification of the reds, as 100% whole cluster grapes are used for the reds in this vintage and the level of SO2 has also been reduced significantly.
The result was some beautiful expressive and “organic” wines moving style-wise in the direction of both Frederic Cossard and Pacalet … i.e. the combination of low SO2 and a very high percentage of whole cluster.
The 2015s are also made with 100% whole cluster grapes and with a modest level of SO2. The result is however quite a contrast to the transparent and lightfooted 2014s, as the 2015 vintage has yielded very ripe grapes – that provides more weight and intensity to the wines. The balance, freshness and transparency is however intact … the beauty of 2015 when they are at their best.
This is the beauty of Burgundy .. the vintages can be quite different, and changes the expression of the wines from year to year. While some prefer the delicate and very classic style of the 2014s, others will welcome the extra concentration of the 2015s. I just enjoy the variations and am happy to notice that the basic qualities of the Chantereves wines – purity, focus and detail are intact even in a rich and generous vintage like 2015.
For the whites there is little change vinification wise … the 2015 vintage is rich and more weighty and is style-wise quite different from the delicate 2014s.
The whites from Chantereves are however very good for the vintage, as the estate pure and slightly German style of the whites is a perfect match for the generous character of the vintage.
The 2015s are balanced, very fresh for the vintage, offering a appealing charm and drinkability … said in plain English .. they taste well and drink with pleasure.
Notes from the tasting in Savigny-Les-Beaune
I tasted 9 wines at Chantereves, five whites and four reds … the bigger wines from cask – whereas the generic wines were bottled in. The wines were tasted first time in March, and I have upgraded some of the reds a tad .. they have developed beautifully in cask. This is the first notes for the whites.
Chantereves, Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015
The Bourgogne Blanc 2015 is a delicious wine offering a lovely balance, pure and charming exotic youthful fruit. This is rich but still very balanced with its charming playful fruit … the quality of the grapes here are excellent .. hence the purity even in this ripe and rich year. It is a contrast to the 2014 but a very charming and enjoyable wine offering the needed freshness and balance. In some sense this is more hedonistic than the linear 2014s .. and will perhaps appeal to more consumers with its more generous style. A lovely glass of entry level white Burgundy ..
Chantereves, Saint Romain 2015
The Saint-Romain is quite a step up. This has like many 2015s resolved well during ageing in cask and is now showing more focus, freshness and balance. This is a more defined and bigger wine than the Bourgogne Blanc offering plenty of cool ripe fruit all structured by a crisp and crunchy minerality. Really like the juicy and playful fruit and vibrant minerality. The freshness is very fine and it is a both interesting and balanced wine .. a wine for pleasure and enjoyment.
Chantereves, Auxey-Duresses 2015
The Auxey Duresses Blanc is showing beautifully. The nose offer generous white and yellow fruits backed by a fine minerality. On the palate very fine balance .. lovely energetic and playful fruit. Really like the freshness and the vivid fruit in this wine – its offering a fine drinkability and a nice focus for the vintage.
Chantereves, Marsannay Blanc 2015
Hard to pick a favorite among this and the Saint-Romain and the Auxey Duresses. I have however a soft spot for Marsannay and this offer a fine vinous quality and impressive length. The nose offer rich fruit and fine minerality – fine notes of white peach and other exotic orchard notes. On the palate it’s rich and generous but somehow it has a fine airy balance. It’s long and intense offering a lot of wine for this level .. and it deliver it’s drops with considerable charm and detailed richness. Enjoyable in the best sense of the word.
Chantereves, Chassagne-Montrachet Les Morgeots 2015
The Chassagne-Montrachet Les Morgeots is a big step up in quality from the other whites, and showing very well indeed for the vintage. I do feel that the best 2015 whites have showed fine improvement in cask, and they are much more focused than in the spring of 2016. This is also the case with the 2015 Chantereves Chassagne Les Morgeots .. its now very well balanced offering plenty of hedonistic enjoyment. In the nose intense but airy yellow orchard fruits – quite an exotic note – and brought forward by a finely tuned citrus infused minerality. On the palate rich fruit – airy and with a fine focus – a charming and enjoyable expression of Chassagne and the vintage. The freshness is very fine for the vintage – in total a very balanced effort that will be a fine match for many dishes and palates.
Chantereves, Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015
The Bourgogne Rouge 2015 is a lovely expressive wine build on the best qualities of the rich 2015 vintage. The nose is very outgoing with variations of red fruit, hints of cinnamon and allspice – the 100% whole cluster vinification really suits this vintage. On the palate pure fruit, very fine mid-palate weight for this level … quite a contrast to the delicate and lightfooted 2014. This is a bigger wine than the 2014 .. and will most likely have a broader appeal in the market – I like both vintages .. a lovely Bourgogne rouge. Highly recommended .. it just drink so well.
Chantereves, Pommard 2015
The Pommard 2015 is a rich and lovely wine – the somewhat sturdy minerality of the appellation really suits this rich vintage. In the nose lovely organic and forward red berry fruit – spiced with cinnamon and brought forward by a quite powerful minerality. On the palate – weighty and intense fruit for this level – its focused and refined for the vintage. Really like this wine with it’s openly knit whole cluster style. It’s cool for a 2015 Pommard with a beautiful balance between freshness and generosity.
Chantereves, Volnay 2015
The Volnay is showing a much more open and refined side now – compared to the early tasting in March 2016. This is a beauty in my view .. and while its rich and weighty for this level it has none of the slightly overripe flavors found in some 2015s from Côte de Beaune. The nose is offering fine and delicate notes of red and dark fruits – very fine notes of cherry variations + blueberries – its expressive and spiced with cinnamon and allspice. On the palate quite rich and focused with a lovely intense organic fruit – very refined and delicate fruit. Really like this wine and the change in vinification – low SO2 and 100% whole cluster really pays off in the 2015 vintage. A truly delightful Volnay in the making …
Chantereves, Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes 2015
In 2015 Chantereves has expanded the range of wines with the first Cote de Nuits wine – a Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes – from a plot located quite high on the slope. I’m very exited about this new wine, as I think talents like Tomoko and Guillaume should have some top end terroir to work with. The 100% whole cluster vinifcation is in my view a perfect match for a vineyard like Damodes in 2015 .. so here we go. The nose is offering deep red and dark berry fruit – fresh hints of red currant and pomegranate – organic with a lovely selection of spices – violets, cinnamon – and a quite finely grained somewhat stony minerality. On the palate very fine concentration, beautiful core of juicy midpalate fruit, lovely transparency and expression of terroir. Impressive freshness and balance. It has developed beautifully in cask since I first tasted this in March 2016. A beautiful Les Damodes in the making – and the best red I have tasted from Chantereves so far – highly recommended.