Saturday, April 21, 2018

Comte LIGER-BELAIR (Vosne-Romanée) -- 2016 Tasted from Barrel

Harvesting began on 24 September, said Louis-Michel Liger-Belair. Overall losses were about 35% of a full crop. These losses included 99% of the Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos des Grandes Vignes white and 85% of the red from that vineyard, 35% of Echézeaux, 25% of Suchots, and 40% for vines at the bottom of Vosne-Romanée. 

Malolactic fermentations were late here.

As in other years, quality is high across the board at this biodynamic estate. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, April 20, 2018

2016 Bruno CLAVELIER (Vosne-Romanée) -- 2016 Tasted from Barrel

Bruno Clavelier said that in 2016, he produced only one barrel per hectare (2.3 hl/ha) for regional appellations. For the Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru appellations, he was able to produce three barrels per hectare (about 7 hl/ha). Village yields in Vosne were about 15 hl/ha. The Vosne premiers crus made about 27-30 hl/ha. For the Gevrey-Corbeaux and Nuits-Cras, production was more or less normal, and for the Corton, there was only a little frost damage.

Harvesting began on 21 September and finished on the 25th. Use of stems was a bit more than usual because of the small volumes; overall it was in the 40-60% range. Malolactic fermentations were a bit earlier than usual, beginning in the spring.

As usual, the quality at this longtime organic and biodynamic estate is excellent. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Louis JADOT (Beaune) -- 2016: Part VII: Grand Cru Chablis and Côte de Beaune Whites Tasted from Barrel

Background on the vintage at Jadot is located here. As it often does, Jadot blocked full malolactic fermentation in about half the 2016 white wines.

The three Chablis Grand Cru wines below are all from grapes that Jadot purchases and vinifies in large casks. The wines are then aged in oak, about 30% new, prior to bottling. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, April 13, 2018

Louis JADOT (Beaune) -- 2016 Part V: Village Whites Tasted from Barrel

Background on the vintage at Jadot is located here. As it often does, Jadot blocked full malolactic fermentation in about half the 2016 white wines.

As with the reds, there is excellent value to be had from Jadot’s wines from less fashionable appellations. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Louis JADOT (Beaune) -- 2016 Part III: Côte de Nuits Premier Cru Reds Tasted from Barrel

Background on the vintage at Jadot is located here.

As with the previous reviews of Jadot’s 2016s, there’s outstanding quality and consistency in this group of wines.

Note: the Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses will be reviewed with Jadot's grands crus. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Louis JADOT (Beaune) -- 2016 Part I: Beaune Premier Cru Reds Tasted from Barrel

Overall, production at Jadot in 2016 is off 50% from a full harvest. Harvesting for the Côte d’Or wines began on 27 September. As is standard at Jadot, virtually all wines were made entirely with destemmed fruit. Malolactic fermentations were late, some finishing only in August.

The order of the wines below and in coming reviews of Jadot’s 2016s is that in which I tasted them, which is dictated at Jadot by location of the barrels, as the cellar is so large.

Because of the losses due to frost, you may have more trouble than usual locating a specific Beaune vineyard, but the good news is that the quality is very high here across the board. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Domaine Denis MORTET/Arnaud MORTET (Gevrey-Chambertin) -- 2016 Part II: Grands Crus Tasted from Barrel

There has been an amazing expansion of grand cru offerings here — no longer just the Chambertin and the Clos de Vougeot, there are now at least seen different wines (although the Echézeaux won’t be commercialized in 2016 because production was so low; it is from the same parcel that Christophe Roumier now is making wine from). (Continue reading here.)

Domaine Denis MORTET/Arnaud MORTET (Gevrey-Chambertin) -- 2016 Part I: Regional, Village, and Premier Cru Wines Tasted from Barrel

Arnaud Mortet said that he began harvest on 23 September. Over the summer, he did some green harvesting in order to homogenize the maturity of the grapes. Overall, the maturity was very good, with the grapes coming in at 12.5-13.5º natural alcohol. There was a very small bit of chaptalization. Arnaud noted that the tannins were of hight quality.

Overall, the estate lost 45% from a full harvest. The vineyards most seriously affected were the premiers and grands crus. 

Arnaud said that he used a fair amount of whole clusters in the wines (e.g., 30% in the grands crus) in contrast to 2017, where he used little due to the lower acidities of the wines. 

Malolactic fermentations generally finished in June and July, not terribly late for this cellar which is quite cold. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

BOUCHARD Père & Fils (Beaune) -- 2016 Part III: Whites Tasted from Bottle and Barrel/Tank Samples

Bouchard generally harvested the Chardonnays after the Pinot Noirs in 2016. More on vintage conditions is located here.

Malolactic fermentations generally were a little later than usual because the cold winter of 2016-17 cooled the cellar. As a rule, they began between January and March and finished in mid-June. Barrels were rolled (bâtonnage) two or three times.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

BOUCHARD Père & Fils (Beaune) -- 2016 Part I: Côte de Beaune Reds Tasted from Cask and Tank Samples

Harvesting began on 21 September; it finished, on the Côte de Nuits, on 6 October. The grapes were in excellent health, but triage was needed nonetheless to eliminate those second and third generation grapes that had not fully ripened. Overall, crop was 50% off a full vintage, the smallest since 2003; in addition to the frost, mildew seriously held down the crop, and in some areas vines were blocked by the drought in the second half of the summer. 

Vinification varied according to the level of yields. Where there were low yield vines and concentrated grape bunches, maceration was eight to ten days and the crush was moderated to limit extraction. Where yields were normal and bunches larger, the maceration was ten to thirteen days. There was no pigeage (punching down).

For the red wines, malolactic fermentations generally were early.

Beginning with the 2016 vintage, Bouchard will have a new label. Instead of the current label, which is quite individual and therefore easily identifiable at a distance, the new one is understated and almost generic in appearance. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Domaine FOLLIN-ARBELET (Aloxe-Corton) -- 2016s Tasted from Barrel and a Pair of 2015s from Bottle

Franck Follin-Arbelet said that losses from the frost meant that he did only about 30-35% of a full harvest. The harvesting began on 22 September. There was no red Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru in 2016, and the Aloxe-Corton and  Aloxe-Vercots also suffered badly. However,  following on the frost, there were no problems with mildew, and as a result, there was no need to do a triage. Whole clusters were used in about 10-20%, he said, but more for volume than anything else. 

Malolactic fermentations were late, many finishing in spring, but others dragged on until September.

As usual, there is very good quality here, and the best values probably come from the premier cru wines. The wines show the freshness of the vintage, a contrast to the 2015s where it is the power and ripeness that dominate. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, February 23, 2018

Domaine H. de MONTILLE (Meursault) -- 2016 Part I: Côte de Beaune Reds Tasted from Barrel Samples

Harvesting for de Montille and associated Château de Puligny-Montrachet began on 17 September. There was light chaptalization for a couple of cuvées, otherwise none, and no acidification.

The vintage required 13 treatments for mildew and oïdium vs. 8 in 2017.

Overall, the estate was down 20% from a full harvest, but some areas such as Pommard and Beaune, suffered much more seriously. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Domaine David DUBAND (Chavannes) -- 2015 Tasted from Bottle

David Duband characterized the amount of production in 2015 as “rather good.” 

As with the 2016s discussed in the prior posts, these are very elegant wines, stressing the finesse more than most and light on the palate. They they may not be to the taste of all. 

The estate has been certified organic since 2006.

As mentioned previously, the same wines may also be found under the François Feuillet label. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Domaine David DUBAND (Chavannes) -- 2016 Part I: Premiers Crus, Village, and Regional Wines Tasted from Barrel

David Duband said that overall, he lost about 40% of a normal production in 2016; Morey was ok, there were some losses in Gevrey, and heavy losses in Nuits and Chambolle.

Harvesting began on 25 September. There was no triage. Generally, the wines in Chambolle were composed 80% of whole clusters, for Gevrey it was 95-100%. Malolactic fermentations finished over the winter. New oak is 30% for the Hautes Côtes de Nuits and village wines, 40% for the premiers and grands crus.

These wines are in a style of great finesse — some may find them too light, but I appreciate them for their purity and overall harmony.

You may also find some of these wines under the François Feuillet label; Feuillet is a financial backer of Duband. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Domaine Jacques PRIEUR (Meursault) -- 2016 Part II -- Red Grands Crus Tasted from Barrel Samples

Prieur’s grand cru holdings are among the most enviable in the Côte d’Or. Not just these reds, but also Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrachet, and Corton-Charlemagne (as well as Meursault-Perrières and Puligny-Combettes) in white, which I’ll review in my next post. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Domaine Jean-Marc & Thomas BOULEY (Volnay) -- 2016 Tasted from Tank and Barrel

Thomas Bouley said that overall, he lacked about 70% of a normal crop, making it the smallest vintage since 2012. Harvesting began on 20 September with the reds; the only white was the Aligoté, which is always the last wine harvested here. No red Bourgogne or Beaune 1er Cru Reversées was produced in 2016.

Under the difficult conditions, successful wines were made, and I look forward to tasting the 2017s. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Recently Tasted Northern Rhônes Part X -- 2014, 2015, and 2016: Domaine des 4 Vents, Balthazar, Belle, Burgaud, Clape, Curtat, Darnaud, Durand

All wines below are red unless otherwise indicated. 

2015 and 2016 both are looking like spectacular vintages with more power to the 2015s, a little more freshness to the 2016s, to make a gross generalization; and the 2014s from the proper addresses are not to be snubbed, either. But as always, be aware that your producer is your best guide.

Earlier reviews of Northern Rhônes are herehere, here here,  here hereherehere, and here

(Continue reading here.)