our magnificent 2015 vintage
NEWS FROM OUR 2015 VINTAGE
Of course, talk this year has been focused mostly on the rocky 2016 season. During this time, our 2015s were simmering with malolactic and arising a well-deserved interest.
To be honest, we are a little worried ... Journalists seen so far do not show any particular enthusiasm. Business as usual.
We do not think our wines are in question. Of course, it is always difficult to know what journalists really think of a particular wine : their face is impenetrable, their answers short, and our exchanges limited. They keep their comments for their readers, are often in a hurry, and do not want to be influenced. This is understandable.
But with the ones with whom we can start a dialogue, i was surprised to discover restrictions about the vintage, signaling a lack of homogeneity, wines green or too ripe ... Disturbing indeed: even if we are sure there will be a controversy about the date of harvest (some choices could be criticized), this is the type vintage that could resist almost any kind of mishandling !
We feel we have a real treasure in our cellars.
These wines, tasted and re-tasted, sometimes for sheer pleasure only, are on top of their game and hold all their promises.
While they were very accessible young, their structure is more upfront today. This is a result of their natural evolution, but also a phase: all our recent wines have gone through through this period, in the Fall, where they taste more tannic and tense.
But their true nature has not changed: these wines achieve the synthesis between ripeness and structure the Burgundy amateur is looking for. Rich, silky, and ripe, they are also fresh, sometimes a little acidic, and completed by tannins with just the right firmness.
The reason is a beautiful natural ripeness (almost all our wines are around 13,5°), still at reasonable levels, and completed by a noticeable acidity, everything being in balance.
At harvest, there was little malic acid remaining; concentrations of tartaric acids were just average, but were preserved because of low levels of potassium.So we have a small analytical paradox, where we see low pHs, with barely average total acidities. But is is noticeable during tasting.
To those feeling that 2005s were a little strict, the 2015s are more voluptuous. Those who happened to find the 2009s too ripe and sweet will be delighted to notice that freshness is really upfront in 2015.
During this trying 2016 season, these wines have had a soothing effect: after all, we could have had another 1994 vintage in our cellar ... A good reason to be really depressed !
an eventful 2016 season
The scope of the frost that hit Burgundy late April is unheard of in a very long time.
One has to call on the « old guys » to remember something similar: perhaps in 1945 ? This dramatic start was confirmed when it appeared that secondary buds would not compensate at all ... And vineyards which at first appeared unscathed showed smaller and fewer berries than normal.
During a particularly humid month of May, a downy mildew epidemic wreaked havoc.
Certain vineyards seemed to literally "catch fire", with symptoms appearing in just 48 hours and reaching the grapes themselves. Usually, it is the leaves that take the hit. The vintner was under maximum pressure, and wondered even in June if he would be able to keep the diseases in check: powdery mildew also was beginning to pick up, who knew where it would end ?
Then, a miracle: rain stopped almost completely, and July was fair, August warm and sunny ...
At the beginning, it was taken as a respite, a pause in that crazy run to disaster, enabling people and equipment to rest. But as a warm and dry summer went on, questions shifted nature: how should we protect the berries from sun burns, are the vines evolving slowly because of the lack of water, should we harvest sooner than we thought ? Slowly, another type of vintage, definitely warmer, was taking shape, and with it, our mood shifted.
The drought did not stop until late August.
Even after that date, weather did not change much: it remained calm, temperatures were warm, and precipitations isolated, although sometimes abundant. Rain had been desired and indeed, it allowed the vineyards to restart the ripening process. But berries also increased in size (30 mm of rain in a few days just do not fall unnoticed), and it could have proved dangerous in the end if that messy weather had carried on. Fortunately, it was not the case, and with good weather back, concentration and ripening could resume.
In the end, harvest started on September 26th, in ideal conditions.
Harvesters picked very healthy grapes for the most part. There were one or two threatening episodes but in the end, no significant precipitations. It was a serene process, as much as this term can be used for a harvest ... But still, what a contrast compared to the agony we went through at the beginning of the year ! As if nature wanted to right itself ... Harvesting vineyards stricken by frost was indeed difficult: however few grapes there remained, they were difficult to find in vines which had regrown as bushes. A lot to do for a meagre result.
Qualitatively, we are optimistic.
Analyses show a good balance: we see full ripeness, with alcohols reaching high levels (between 13 and 14°), and very appropriate acidities. On the palate, wines appear very pretty but a bit rain the end; this vintage will show its true character only after malolactic fermentation is complete. Although on paper the two vintages are close, we do not seem to have the same density as last year. Some speak about 2010 ... Impossible to confirm at this stage.
In terms of quantities, there are huge differences between the vineyards.
It is now clear that before the frost, harvest potential was quite big. In Vosne Romanée, which was largely spared, we were surprised with rather high quantities. In vineyards stricken by frost however, there was no miracle, even if crops in general were on the higher end of our estimations. From Vosne Romanée on, yields decrease as you go towards Nuits St Georges. Clos Vougeot, in which we counted 50% of frosted buds, ends up with a crop just 25% lower than normal; the Chambolle 1er crus, heavily affected at 80%, still make a third of a normal crop, but Marsannay does not reach that level. In Corton, there is almost no crop at la Vigne au Saint, whereas Perrières and Clos Rognet, both located above the frost line, turn out a nice crop.
It is undeniable that this harvest has had a soothing effect on the somber mood that has been pervasive since the beginning of this eventful season. But we were very lucky ... And this is not the case of many of our colleagues in the region.
2014, a vintage of balance
2014, a vintage of balance, despite a season of contrasts
After a very early bud break, things dragged on a little, and the flowering took place at the beginning of June as usual. The vines fell behind again in summer because of the dull weather and we harvested at a slightly earlier date than normal. An evolution in fits and starts that could also be observed in the precipitation: after an exceptionally dry spring, the summer was very wet... And that gave us the opportunity to become acquainted with the drosophila suzukii, an extremely harmful vinegar fly. Fortunately, the return of the fine weather, from August 25th onwards, and a hard-working team of pre-harvesters, whose mission was to go into the vineyards to remove the berries that were affected in order to contain the reproduction of the insect, enabled us to bring the disease under control.
The harvest took place in fine weather, starting on September 13th.
Balance is the main characteristic of the 2014 vintage wines. Indeed, in spite of the fine weather which continued during the harvest, the levels of alcohol are not high. That is probably a consequence of the stress the vines must have been subjected to in this inconsistent year. The wines show good ripeness, however, in the form of an enveloping texture and sweet aromas. Acidity is also present, and this ensures fine aromatic freshness, which revitalizes the finish of the wines. For the sake of an anecdote, despite the influence of the vinegar flies, the levels of volatile acidity are among the lowest in recent vintages. In the end, the analytical composition of the wines is not far off ideal (between 12.5 and 13% ABV and a pH of 3.55).
The lower-level wines tend to be exquisite, light in the best sense of the word, delicious and easy to drink. There is more and more structure as you move up in the range, some wines even giving an impression of seriousness without being aggressive. The white wines, which traditionally have higher levels of alcohol, show a great amount of balance, a cheerful freshness and could, in the end, prove to be one of the finest successes in recent years.
When you come to think of it, we can nurture great expectations for this vintage. It's true that the concentration is not quite at the same level as 2012 or 2010..., but there's a little more freshness than in 2012 and the wines are much more relaxed than in 2010. There's every reason to be optimistic!
Straight away, you have the impression of a very open wine with aromas of citrus fruit, plum and flowers. A slight amount of reduction at the bottom of the glass.
The palate is full, and a little tight in the finish. Overall, this wine is coherent and offers an interesting synthesis of freshness and ripeness.
A pleasant example of a white Bourgogne in 2014.
Hautes Côtes de Nuits Clos St Philibert
A very open nose of citrus fruit (lemon, grapefruit), stones and wood, in which ripeness is also present.
The palate is straight, sharp: the fatness comes across in mid-tasting and the finish is acidic.
A tight wine, but very promising, which requires a little ageing to open up, to unfold. From 2018 onwards.
When you open the bottle, there's a slight amount of reduction, which underlines the aromas of stone, gun flint and damp soil...
On the palate, the wine is rather tight and the impression of minerality is confirmed. The wine has some depth, though, the fatness is perceptible in the attack and overall, it's very coherent throughout the tasting. A very promising wine, typical of those tight Burgundies that people like now, but which you have to know how to wait for.
A vineyard plot situated to the north of Meursault, which produces a wine that may be described as very typical of its appellation: ripe fruit with hints of apricot, and you can sense a slight amount of reduction, evocative of earth and stone, and also some floral and smoky notes.
On the palate, the wine is very rich and even fat. Fortunately, there's also a touch of acidity perceptible in the finish, which helps to enhance the wine.
A wine with potential, that appears very classical in character, which you'll have to wait three years for (2019).
At first, the nose suggests mineral and earthy notes, smokiness; there are underlying aromas of fruit (plum) and flowers; also a touch of aniseed, which is nice. Without being closed, you can feel that this wine is showing restraint.
On the palate, the wine is frank but compact, dense and even generous, with a pronounced mineral finish.
Very fine overall, more open on the palate than the nose suggests. Obviously, a few years of ageing will be beneficial. You might try it from 2019 onwards, but 2020 or 21 would be more reasonable.
First of all, a very attractive nose, dominated by red and black cherry. Some sweet aromas of cocoa, too.
The texture is very fine, silky and charming; the finish is slightly acidic, with discreet tannins.
Overall a very elegant wine, perhaps with more distinction and more ready to drink than usual.
A wine typical of its vintage, surprising for a Bourgogne, that you'll be able to taste quite young. From 2017 onwards.
From the outset the nose is pleasant, offering mainly red fruit, when it opens up (cherry, raspberry, redcurrant), and then spices (nutmeg) and hints of smoked tea.
The palate is fine and elegant, slightly acidic in the finish.
Overall a light (not thin) wine, very convivial, that will need a little time to acquire some depth.
Aromas of red fruit (strawberry, raspberry), combined with hints of a little reduction that evoke wood and stones.
The texture is very pleasant, as is always the case with this wine. The attack is silky, the mid-palate very fine and the finish slightly tight, before a very long aftertaste is revealed.
It comes as no surprise to discover that seduction is present; but there is also structure. So wait until 2018 at least.
Morey Saint Denis
To start with, the nose is quite discreet, but you can smell intense cherry aromas. Then things fan out, the cherry becomes absolutely enchanting and touches of wood and liquorice can also be detected.
The wine possesses some fatness but gives you the impression of being straight, somewhat reserved; in fact the finish is slightly tannic.
This wine has lots of conviviality in reserve, but it needs time to fulfil its potential. Wait until 2019.
Cherry and blackcurrant join forces to offer a black-fruit nose; there's a hint of reduction, or could it be an earthy quality expressing itself? An unusual mix of seriousness and seduction...
On the palate, frankness and strictness are dominant, to start with, and you expect a tannic, even harsh finish. But not at all: the wine definitely possesses structure, but not excessively so.
Overall a very fine product, which can't wait to gain finesse and fan out. Very promising.
The nose is very open, intense even. Black fruit, and very ripe cherry in particular, a touch of menthol, wood and liquorice: interestingly complex!
The palate tends to be generous, with quite a lot of fatness in the attack. The finish is light, giving you a mineral impression, but still providing good length.
This is a Gevrey at home in its appellation, with a slightly severe quality, but avoiding any austerity or heaviness, and is overall very interesting.
A fine black-fruit nose (cherry, blueberry), very open and intense, with hints of smokiness and aromas of liquorice.
The palate is silky, compact, and the structure is apparent from the outset. The acidic finish somewhat tightens the wine, without casting any doubts on the balance and the potential.
This is quite a serious wine for the vintage and it's advisable to wait until 2020 at least.
Nuits Saint Georges
This wine is now sold with our négociants label, but is still made in part from our Bas de Combe plot which is being renewed.
To start with, the nose is dominated by red fruit (cherry, raspberry), but you can also detect a little sweetness (almond, vanilla) and a touch of animal-like reduction.
A wine that caresses the palate, offering a lot of fatness in the attack, but then tightens and finishes with a certain amount of simple austerity.
Basically, this is a "nice" wine that needs a little patience to open up again.
A very charming, even enchanting nose: there's vanilla, blackcurrant, raspberry. It appears to be already well integrated and continues to develop in the glass.
The palate is at the same time dense and caressing. You can notice a great deal of concentration, but charm, too, and a discreet structure in the finish, less pronounced than usual.
A very fine wine, already showing good integration and very promising balance. From 2019 onwards.
Fixin 1er Cru Clos du Chapitre
A superb nose combining raspberry and biscuit, but there's also a touch of marzipan. Some floral aromas also join in the show! It's all very charming.
On the palate, it starts off very smooth. Then the wine becomes straight, vertical, with a slightly tannic and acidic finish. There's a strong impression of minerality.
A wine that will have to wait to gain refinement, but has the potential to become charming, exquisite.
Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru les Cras
A pleasant, expressive nose dominated by notes of cherry and smokiness.
The palate confirms this pleasantness, unfolding a texture that's full, smooth, vertical until the discreet but long finish.
The wine is coherent, very "Chambolle": pleasant and charming, but not without a certain powerfulness. Lots of charm. From 2018 onwards.
Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru les Feusselottes
On the nose, there's a certain ripeness, spiciness (pepper and nutmeg) and smokiness underpinned by red fruit (cherry).
The palate is pleasant, well balanced with an attractive silkiness which opens out wide. The tannic structure can be felt, however, and as always, the finish is more pronounced.
A wine that is not lacking in charm but which still requires a little time to fulfil itself; to be drunk from 2020 onwards.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru les Chaumes
Straight away, the wine appears pleasant, with its aromas of raspberry, redcurrant, its touch of vanilla and smoked tea.
A very gentle attack, at the same time pleasant and concentrated. The finish is gradual and tightens the wine a little by giving a slightly acidic impression (lemon).
There's lots of finesse and intregration about this wine and a degree of simple reserve which is very promising. One can't help thinking that this is a typical Vosne, both concentrated and elegant.
Nuits St Georges 1er Cru aux Argillas
As is often the case, the nose is very evocative of black fruit (blackcurrant, blueberry).
On the palate, there's a lot of fullness and depth, but straight away you can feel the straightness, with the finish being marked by acidity.
The wine is very coherent but compact, tight, not giving much away, slightly austere. That's not unusual for this terroir which gains in complexity as it ages. You must therefore be patient and you will be rewarded!
Nuits St Georges 1er Cru les Perrières
A red-fruit nose, in which strawberry and raspberry dominate. Then you can smell a little burnt wood and liquorice.
The palate charms you with the fine texture of its attack, and there's a lot of elegance to follow. The finish is long and slightly spicy.
A wine which is all lace and finesse, underpinned by a discreet structure that supports it. Very attractive complexity. Spontaneously, you'd tend to think of Chambolle rather than Nuits... The effect of the intrinsic minerality of this terroir.
Nuits St Georges 1er Cru aux Murgers
An elegant nose, open and complex, in which the dominant red fruit is followed by sweet aromas. At the end, black fruit can also be detected... An impression of blueberry tart or crème brûlée!
The palate is round, very agreeable, and gives you the impression of a high degree of ripeness. The tannins and acidity are very well integrated.
A powerful, warm wine, which doesn't raise its voice, and yet it seems to be typical of its Nuit St Georges terroir... And quite a charmer at that! Don't be afraid to wait until 2021, though.
Nuits St Georges 1er Cru aux Boudots
Black fruit (blackcurrant) and redcurrant. The picture is completed by some slightly burnt wood and a small amount of animal-like reduction that dissipates quite quickly.
On the palate, the wine is straight and compact, the black fruit emerges, offering a great deal of freshness and youthfulness. There's some tension throughout the tasting, and the finish is a little tannic, but gradually comes together.
Overall, it's very impressive and very promising. You'll need to wait, though, until 2021 at least.
Clos de Vougeot
A very open and charming nose, evocative of red and black fruit, wood, orange peel, liquorice and flowers... This all develops still more in the glass, creating an absolutely enchanting bouquet.
The palate is round, flat, powerful even, but gains in refinement throughout the entire tasting before finishing on a slight touch of austerity, barely perceptible.
Overall, this wine is fulfilled, frank and fleshy at the same time, and achieves a sort of unlikely synthesis of charm and structure, ageing capacity and openness.
You might try it from 2020 onwards, but 2022 would be more advisable.
Corton la Vigne au Saint
An attractive nose dominated by red fruit (redcurrant, raspberry) and sweet aromas, which should remind you of your childhood feasts.
In the mouth, the fine attack is full and lines the palate, and you can also detect the freshness you suspected on the nose. The finish is not at all aggressive.
An elegant, fairly easy-drinking wine, tending towards finesse and charm: this should not be held against it!
A pleasant nose, discreet, to start with, which immediately creates a mineral impression, with slight hints of stone and gun flint. Lots of fruit too: redcurrant, cherry, blackcurrant, raspberry...
On the palate, this wine is full, but fine and very elegant right up to the very long finish.
It's all very charming and finishes joyfully with an impression of fruit and light tannins. Very, very promising. You could try it in 2019 or 20, but it would be wiser to wait until 2022.
Corton Clos Rognet
A charmingly intense black-cherry nose. A little wood, a touch of caramel and some floral notes, too, at the bottom of the glass.
On the palate, the wine is complete, sweet and less massive than usual. Elegance is what dominates here, with a very long finish that intensifies, even though it's still tight.
Very fine balance and great potential to seduce, which should be confirmed in the coming years.
Échezeaux les Rouges du Bas
A very fine nose, sweet and open, suggesting vanilla, cherry and black fruit. A little burnt wood, too. Already lots of depth.
At the beginning, on the palate, you can feel the structure and the enveloping texture straight away. The finish is tight and compact, without being rough.
This is a very interesting wine. It makes a good impression but shows a lot of strength which will need to be tamed in the years to come.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru aux Brulées
Black fruit and, as is often the case, burnt aromas ...
The palate is generous but frank, with lots of understated strength. The very long finish is surprisingly fine, even light.
A ripe, imposing wine, to start with, which finishes exquisitely... A lot of character and charm at the same time. Very, very promising.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru au Cros Parantoux
A very intense nose of red and black fruit. Aromas of wood, vanilla and cinnamon can also be detected.
On the palate, you can sense an imposing structure and a lot of fatness. The finish is tannic but in the process of integrating.
Powerful, concentrated, demonstrative, this great wine needs extra time to mellow.
A rich, demonstrative nose, which offers the complete palette of soft early-summer fruit: raspberry, redcurrant, blackcurrant... A touch of marzipan is there to bind it all together.
The wine caresses the palate; softness and fullness at the same time. Charming, in fact. Everything is complex, refined and above all very long...
Less ostentatious than the Cros Parantoux, but with more class.... And very much open this year.
Nicolas-Jay, the Oregon venture initiated by Jean-Nicolas Méo and his friend Jay Boberg (and supported by the domaine) is now entering a decisive phase with the release of its first wine on April 2nd.
Check out the new website at http://www.nicolas-jay.com
The 2014 season in Oregon was deceptively easy: warm and sunny, healthy grapes, good crop, easy-going harvest (well, it was a first harvest, it is never that easy).
The resulting wines were sweet and forthcoming, so the challenge was to craft a cuvée with finesse, subtlety, and discreet structure.
Bottled this last December, we are very proud to present this typical Oregon wine, displaying upfront blackberry and raspberry jam aromas, and in the mouth, a rich and velvety texture finishing with a hint of youthful tannins that help maintain the tension until the end.