The fragrance of delicacy …. sometimes you never know what a producer visit in Burgundy will bring … and this was the case with Maison Harbour in Savigny-Les-Beaune.
To be honest I always fear these visits – as I hate being put in a situation where I will have to write a negative review of some wines and in many cases also the dream and aspirations of some hard working people.
Let me just say .. I was very happy when I tasted the first sip of wine at Maison Harbour and discovered the effortless and light-footed style of this small estate.
A bit about Maison Harbour
Maison Harbour is a new negociant estate – established by Colleen and Nicholas Harbour – a couple that worked in the finance sector in Luxembourg prior to founding the Harbour estate. Colleen originate from Canada and Nicholas from US and they met in Luxembourg where they lived before moving to Burgundy in 2012.
So why Burgundy … aside from the love to wine and the area – the link to Burgundy and Savigny-Les-Beaune is that Nicholas spend many of his holidays in a family house in … you guessed it – Savigny-Les-Beaune.
So it is more than one summer fling – its a true love to the area and the wines … that brought Coleen and Nicolas to Savigny and to start this en endevour.
I know … you have seen and heard the story before … even tasted some of the wines from similar projects .. and rarely they produced great wines or made a significant impact on the wine culture of Burgundy.
When I entered Domaine Harbour I did however sense something different – a spirit of love for the wines and for the area – and a innocent and a non calculative way of approaching this project – this is certainly no marketing stunt or some smartass making Grand Cru Chambertin.
As ex-finance people I’m sure they know what they are doing – but the passion and affection for their project is unmistakably genuine and slightly hippie-like (in a good – and make no mistake perfectionistic way) ..
And as often said – the personality of the vigneron is often reflected in the wines ..
The wines of Maison Habour – the style
Maison Harbour made eight wines in the 2015 vintage – three whites and five reds .. all made from grapes sourced from vignerons throughout Burgundy.
The style is as I see it – fragrant, delicate and light-footed with crystalline purity and a very airy and effortless presentation of the individual terroirs.
The wines are light in color, they are refined and delicate but still offer a fine length and intensity … despite the light-handed vinification. The purity of the wines is to be honest quite stunning – as the delicate style expose the grape material fully – with a quite extreme transparency.
Not all wines in Burgundy would look this good with the same transparency and display of the inner quality of the grape material.
The wines are not for all (not many bottles are produced either) – they are for the more experienced Burgundy drinker that understand and value the inner detail and refinement of these wines – and most certainly not for those who prefer sturdy and extracted Burgundies.
This is the beauty of the region .. there are wines for all preferences and they come in all styles, shapes and sizes. I love pure and delicate wines … so the wines from Maison Harbour is a treat for my palate …
Maison Harbour – the tasting notes
to the notes. – all the wines were bottled.
Maison Harbour, Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015
First wine in the glass Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015 … a delightfully cool and delicate wine for the vintage – from a vineyard located across the road from Clos de Vougeot in the Gilly area. The bouquet is pure and crisp with a delicate feeling of freshness. On the palate pure and quite crystalline with a lovely balance and freshness .. it’s slightly richly flavoured and true to the vintage, but offering a nice zappy fruit and a lovely drinkability. Good+ (86 – 87p)
Maison Harbour, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘En Remilly’ 2015
The Chassagne En Remilly is a truly delightful wine … crystal clear and crisp with a tremendous purity. It comes from a terroir located above Montrachet on the border to Saint-Aubin En Remilley. The bouquet offer cool white and yellow fruit, white peach, pear and acacia blossom brought forward by a crisp minerality. On the palate very balanced and cool for the vintage offering a lovely mineral drive – effortless and elegant. Fine+ (92 – 93p)
Maison Harbour, Meursault 1er Cru ‘Blagny’ 2015
The Meursault Blagny 1er cru is a mix of Sous le dos d’Ane and La Piéce sous le Bois – in the Blagny part of Meursault. This is a more weighty wine than the Chassagne En Remilly and also slightly more on the ripe side. The bouquet offer rich and crystaline white and yellow fruits supported and focus by a intense citrus infused chalky minerality. On the palate quite weighty and intense with a long and powerful finish – slightly reduced and with notes of lime and chalky minerality in the final. Very Good (90 – 91p)
The whites are very impressive for the vintage – crystal clear offering a beautiful expression of the individual terroirs.
To the reds .. all are destemmed and pure and are probably even more remarkable style wise ..
Maison Harbour, Gevrey-Chambertin ‘La Justice’ 2015
This is from a terroir located below RN974 and the village of Gevrey (on the way to the to the railway station). This is a delicate wine – quite light in color – and the bouquet is filigree with fine fruit aromas – cherries, raspberries – crystalline with a light impression of the earthy minerality. On the palate pure, fruity and light-footed especially considering the vintage – and with a nice intensity despite its light appearance … it has an feel of delicate fragility but in the end it’s intense and well build. Very Good (89 – 91p)
Maison Harbour, Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Pressonnier’ 2015
This is also from below the RN974 … but further south .. this is a more “Gevrey sturdy” with a more pronounced minerality. The bouquet offer delicate red and dark berry fruit – variations of cherries, hints of strawberries and raspberries. On the palate light-footed yet quite intense with a fine length .. more structured than La Justice with a nice grip. Very Good (88 – 91p).
Maison Harbour, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru ‘Combe au Moine’ 2015
The Combe Au Moine 2015 is a beauty … this terroir has produced some stunning wines in the 2015 vintage. The nose is brimming with delicate red and dark berries – pomegranate, forest strawberries and boysenberries. On the palate very juicy and fresh fruit beautiful balance and intensity – love the vibrant pomegranate notes. It’s a very energetic wine .. with a very delicate and pure impression of the 2015 vintage – Very Fine (93 – 94p).
Maison Harbour, Pommard Les Chanlins 2015
The Pommard Les Chanlins comes from a terroir upper southern end of the appellation – just near the border to Volnay. The nose is quite forward and fruity like the other wines – fine variations of cherry notes supported by a nice expression of the terroir. On the palate darker and more serious than the Combe Au Moine – quite intense with fine length and balance. A refined Pommard in the making. Fine (91 – 93p)
Maison Harbour, Corton 2015
Lastly the Corton .. also relatively light and transparent color – nose forward and crystalline with delicate red and dark fruit … notes of boysenberries, dark cherries – airy and with a fine minerality present. On the palate airy and elegant – light bodied and airy for a Corton 2015 – but with a fine intensity and length. A elegant and light-footed Corton … Very Fine (92 – 93p)
The reds are indeed crystal clear and pure like the whites .. they are made with a very light hand and would by some be considered light-footed. Some would want more power and weight – others more concentration and color .. I do however enjoy these wines as they are .. delicate and airy .. would hate to see that change to please another audience … keep up the good work and the fine identity you have build.
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Tasting Notes for this producer
- Maison Harbour – tasting the 2018s The 2018 vintage is mysterious, and more complex than any recent vintage. It is not a vintage that will conform to foregone conclusions: The truth is, as always, in the glass, and not all 2018s are pretty. As always, the ratings here are personal – i.e. there is only Steen Öhman, aka the Winehog, to blame, ...
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