Louis Vallet is like his wines – vivacious – but with more control and delicacy than one would expect. He is both a serious and a talented winemaker. He comes from Domaine Pierre Bourée, and at some point, he will get vineyards from this estate. But as is often the case in Burgundy, the family disagreement just seems to go on and on…
In the meantime, Louis Vallet has turned the page and started a new negociant business in the buildings of his parental home, the Château de Charodon just outside Beaune in Montagny-les-Beaune.
There is little doubt that Louis Vallet will harvest the fruits of the family vineyards one day. But starting out here, other vineyards are in focus.
Louis Vallet learned his trade from people like Pascal Marchand, and I see qualities in the Château de Charodon wines influenced by Marchand’s visionary ideas. I also see influence from Bernard Zito, another prominent personality in Louis Vallet’s development as a vigneron.
These influences result in wines with generous, pure, mid-palate fruit; drinkability and enjoyability; and complexity without being over-engineered. They keep their simplicity, while revealing palpable potential. These are wines of high hedonistic quality, enjoyable yet controlled, despite higher sulphur levels in the reds.
Both the reds and the whites are showing very well, and with the 2020s, I have to give the nod to the whites, although the reds are of almost equally high quality.
Let’s taste the whites!
Château de Charodon Bourgogne Côte d’Or 2020
The Bourgogne Côte d’Or is from the lower parts of Puligny-Montrachet, which is fairly obvious when one tastes the 2020. It’s crisp, with a slightly spicy note and fine minerality and density (typical ’20, that linear minerality) and a nice Puligny reference.
(Drink from 2024) – Very Good – (87-88p) – Tasted 24/06/2022 –
Château de Charodon Marsannay 2020
The Marsannay is 14% alcohol, and it is noticeable. It’s quite dense, rich, and intense, with a warm glow of ripe grapes and alcohol. It is slightly on the warm side, but served with the right food, it could work magic. I’ll try this with spicy seafood and other exotic dishes.
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 24/06/2022
Château de Charodon Auxey-Duresses 2020
The Auxey-Duresses is vivid and lively; goodness me, what lovely tension and energy! More vivid than the Marsannay, this shows slight notes of the lees, along with vivid, citrus-driven fruit and a fresh mineral note. The energy in this wine is outstanding – a bolt of lightning, as wine writer Stuart Pigott would say.
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good – (90p) – Tasted 24/06/2022 –
Château de Charodon Saint-Romain 2020
The Les Argillieres vineyard in the north of Saint-Romain produces a richer, more velvety wine. It’s delicate, with good balance, although ultimately lacking the energy of the Auxey-Duresses. That said, I can make do with less, as this bigger wine will support more substantial dishes.
(Drink from 2027) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 24/06/2022 –
Château de Charodon Puligny-Montrachet 2020
The Puligny-Montrachet comes from the upper part of the classic village terroir Les Enseigneres. What minerality! What balance and energy! This is a truly great village wine, with outstanding minerality that can equal most wines below grand cru level. Classic, with a bit of gunpowder to go along with the intense, brilliant fruit. Not labelled Enseigneres – but it should be.
(Drink from 2032) – Fine – (92p) – Tasted 24/06/2022 –
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