2016: on roller-coastersA trying year for the vintners, nonetheless ending with very nice wines.
After a devastating spring (frost, rain, diseases), the region enjoyed a very nice summer, as well as a sunny September. This resulted in very ripe wines, rather concentrated, with a "je ne sais quoi" underlying their elegance, charm, and soul ...A season everyone in the region will remember !Analyses and TastingsTASTING NOTES - WHITE WINESTASTING NOTES - RED WINES - BOURGOGNE AND VILLAGESTASTING NOTES - RED WINES - PREMIERS AND GRANDS CRUSAll the NewsThe 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 dawny 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.
Wines are often at, or over 13,5° alc. and taste fully ripe.
Malo-lactic fermentations were quiet and un-eventful. They allowed the slightly aggressive finish felt after vinifications to mellow. The vintage has not turned too soft however, and acidities are at a good level, with pHs around 3.5, which shows a good balance.
A very good surprise: the deepness that is now evident in these wines. A character they acquired during summer and their second autumn ... Beyond an evident charm, showing through their caressing and very soft texture, a good structure is detectable. Many cuvées show nice length, with a spicy finish, mineral even, that was not expected of such a ripe vintage.
2016 is not far from the concentration of 2015 !
Who would have thought of such a result when we were so low at the end of June ?
A comparison with 2006 is possible: the vintage is in the shadow of the glorious 2005, nonetheless, it was a ripe vintage, harvested also at the end of September, and that never closed. We wish the same fate to 2016 !
The nose is very open, aromatic and typical of Burgundy. One remarkable element, though, is the almond, with touches of frangipane.
On the palate, the attack is fat and sensuous, with a tighter, more acidic finish and even some lemony notes.
The balance is good, and all the necessary elements are present, but perhaps they are not yet sufficiently integrated. A few months in the bottle can only be beneficial.
From 2019-20 onwards.
Hautes Côtes de Nuits Clos Saint Philibert
A wide-ranging nose, in which you can detect the acidity of pear-drops and yellow fruit, mineral notes of stone and gun-flint and even, in another register, sesame seeds.
The palate starts off fine, straight even, with an underlying concentration which develops during the tasting. A long and complex finish.
Overall, this wine is very coherent, elegant and charming, even. It's prepared for good ageing and is more developed than usual at this stage.
From 2020 onwards.
The first impression on the nose is one of maturity; you can taste the wood a little, with some touches of caramel and crème brûlée. A mineral character too, with the smell of stone!
It seems sound enough on the palate: the attack is frank, with a lot of fatness, and the finish offers us some fine acidity to restore the liveliness.
This is a wine which seems fairly concentrated at the moment, but is pleasant to drink, even if it needs a little time to acquire complexity.
From 2021 onwards.
Saint-Aubin 1er Cru
A floral nose, in which you can detect hints of acacia. Also a little crystallised angelica and pear.
On the palate, the dominant impression is one of concentration; this is a fat wine, with a certain seriousness about it. The finish is a little tight and very lemony.
It's "all crazy" for the moment, and it will require a few years to achieve harmony.
From 2021 onwards.
A tiny harvest, and once again a classic example of its appellation. A little reduction is perceptible on the nose, but otherwise, you can also detect notes of spice-bread and apricot.
The palate is generous, fat and ripe, slightly warm, but with a mineral finish.
This wine is quite rich and sweet, very "Meursault" (but fine all the same), and should age very well.
From 2021 onwards.
At the beginning, the nose is characterised by the discreet presence of wood. Touches of yellow fruit and particularly pear can be distinguished.
The palate is powerful and generous. The fruit is more pronounced than on the nose, and there's a fine mineral finish for us to appreciate.
A wine which has everything, with magnificent presence and fine distinction. It deserves to age in order to gain refinement and integrate the woodiness.
From 2023 onwards.
The nose is fairly open, and you can detect in this Bourgogne red fruit aromas (cherry and raspberry), accompanied by some slight reduction reminiscent of blackcurrant buds (which dissipates very quickly) and a touch of wood.
The palate is subtle and friendly, with a nice finish, characterised by its freshness.
A great deal of affinity for this wine which will gain in subtlety as time goes by.
From 2019 onwards.
There's pleasant aromatic complexity from the start: slightly smoky wood, sweet aromas of almond, red fruit of course, and what's more surprising, salty, almost iodine touches.
The palate is full, quite generous, and the finish is narrower, tighter, bestowing good length.
Somewhat bigger and more serious than usual, this wine will need a little time to achieve harmony.
From 2020 onwards.
A slightly discreet nose at the beginning, with some traces of reduction. Then very ripe black fruit (blueberry) appears.
To start with, the palate is both velvety and silky, but the wine evolves: the aromas of black fruit become increasingly present, before more tension and tightness on the finish, which gives it a good deal of length.
It caresses the palate as always, but possesses overall slightly less charm. This wine too will benefit from a little ageing.
From 2021 onwards.
Morey Saint Denis
As soon as the bottle has been opened, we have an impression of harmony and generosity, with touches of red fruit (raspberry and cherry), citrus fruit and a hint of wood and aromatic herbs.
The palate is very sapid, even mouth-watering, with fine tension on the finish. Overall, it's very pleasant and well balanced.
A Morey with a little bit of Chambolle about it, which you should be able to drink relatively early.
From 2020 onwards.
Coming from the Tavannes lieu-dit, below les Épeneaux, two fine climats producing grapes with small berries. Perhaps that explains why many fruit aromas are present: cherry and raspberry, not forgetting a touch of black fruit (blueberry).
There's a lot of fullness to this wine, which covers the palate whilst appearing somewhat reserved. Indeed, the finish is characterised by a certain strictness.
This wine is coherent right up to the finish, and represents a fine association of finesse, sensuousness and rigour.
From 2022 onwards.
The nose is open and fine, evoking red fruit (cherry and strawberry): sweet and floral notes can also be detected.
The palate is pleasant and friendly, with good definition and finesse, but also a certain rustic character (typical of the appellation?) on the finish.
Promising, thanks to its finesse, but best to let it live its life for the time being.
From 2022 onwards.
As is often the case, a wine characterised by black fruit, particularly blueberry. This year, there are also notes of torrefaction.
The palate is quite frank; there's a fine texture, nevertheless, but overall, it's very reserved, and for the vintage, even appears tight. This impression is enhanced by a slightly tannic finish.
An intense wine, certainly tighter than the average for this appellation, giving the impression of being mature but needing to evolve to slacken up.
From 2023 onwards.
Nuits Saint Georges
Some fine red fruit on the nose, particularly cherry, but also raspberry and blackberry. Touches of caramel, too, probably due to the influence of the new oak.
On the palate, the attack is fine, dashing and pleasant. The wine is coherent, and this may be confirmed by its charm, present throughout, and its long, mineral finish. The tannins are discreet, and underpin the tasting.
There's already a fine balance to this wine which is almost ready to drink. No reason, either, not to predict a fine future for it; its potential is obvious.
From 2020 onwards.
A sweet nose in which can be detected both fruit and pâtisserie (crème brûlée, caramel). Indeed, there's a large proportion of new casks here (50%). It's very delightful, in any case...
The palate is fine, enveloping, and the finish a little tight, with definite acidity, which doesn't, however, provoke a harsh or rustic character.
A little more charming and approachable than usual, this Vosne needs, as always, to age a little, but should be very pleasant before too long.From 2022 onwards.
Fixin 1er Cru Clos du Chapitre
As soon as the bottle has been opened, you have the impression of great ripeness, with dense aromas of fresh fig, in particular, a touch of raisins and menthol.
The wine caresses the palate with its silkiness; real liquid velvet. The finish is slightly acidic, which balances everything up. There's no sensation of heaviness or alcohol.
A great deal of concentration here, the impression of density with a lot of restraint. A fine bottle to look forward to!
From 2021 onwards.
Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
A cuvée composed of les Cras and les Feusselottes, whose quantity this year was too small to be vinified separately.
The nose is frank and very open; very ripe cherry dominates, but smoked tea and sweet aromas reminiscent of frangipane can also be detected.
At the beginning, the palate is fine, with pronounced smoothness; the density makes its presence felt on mid-palate, and then the tannins come across a little in the finish, which in fact is mineral.
A very fine balance tending towards delicateness and characteristic of its appellation. The wine will need to blossom out a little, and should be approachable from 2022 onwards.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru les Chaumes
Nice sweet black fruit aromas on the nose (blueberry); a hint of smokiness with notes of China tea.
A fine palate, full and caressing, which is also very charming. A slight amount of tannin balances everything up.
This wine, at home in its appellation, is nevertheless a little more imposing than usual. It will benefit from a reasonable period of ageing. From 2023 onwards.
Nuits St Georges 1er Cru
This blending of two premiers crus - les Crots and aux Argillas - first greets the visitor with very ripe aromas: Burlat cherry, fresh fig, and some smoky notes to complete the picture.
The impression of ripeness is confirmed with a smooth wine that covers the palate; no over-ripeness, though, thanks to the pronounced minerality and acidity on the finish.
Overall, this cuvée represents a fine synthesis of wines which are both serious and pleasant, not one little bit rustic, and whose ageing is guaranteed. From 2022 onwards.
Nuits St Georges 1er Cru les Perrières
A very ripe nose, a little smoky, in which cherry, fresh fig and black fruit dominate.
On the palate, there's a huge amount of smoothness, softness and charm. The finish is mineral.
This wine makes a great impression on you: with its concentration and finesse, it already shows fine complexity, and gives you an idea of this vintage's potential. This remarkable success of the year is already almost approachable for those who like young wines, but one can imagine its increased elegance from 2022 onwards.
Nuits St Georges 1er Cru aux Murgers
Very ripe black fruit reminiscent of blueberry jam seems manifest on the first nose.
The palate is creamy, dense and reserved, with here again an impression of sugariness, without being heavy.
This is a very fine wine, but that doesn't mean light, as it is also caressing and sensual; as far as the finish is concerned, it allows the structure to come through, with a dash of acidity. To appreciate it as it should be, you have to agree to let it charm you, without searching for brute force. From 2023 onwards.
Nuits St Georges 1er Cru aux Boudots
A fine dark colour, which holds the promise of a lot of concentration. On the nose, there's great complexity: red fruit (raspberry and cherry), sweet and smoky notes, some vegetal touches reminiscent of rosemary.
On the palate, the wine is very impressive and stands firm, even to the point of seeming impenetrable. All the same, you can perceive the fine balance, with a well-structured, but not too tannic finish, despite the small proportion of stalks we added.
Even if this wine may appear massive, it's following the right path, and you'll just have to be patient and know how to wait. From 2024 onwards.
Clos de Vougeot
Although it's somewhat reserved when it's just been opened, the fruit (cherry) soon takes over. Touches of rose and rare wood (vanilla, cedar) can also be detected.
The palate is smooth, but not imposing. You can sense a certain restraint, a genuine discretion. The finish is a little tight.
A wine that opens up perhaps a little less than usual (i.e. in the context of the vintage), but you can feel that its potential is very great. To be laid down until 2024.
From the very start, this is a wine that charms you thanks to a combination of pleasant sweet fruit aromas (blackcurrant, raspberry) and herbal infusions (tea, mint, lime-tree).
The palate is full, very mature, with a fine sugary dimension. On the finish, some notable tannins appear, but with no greenness; they follow on logically in the tasting process.
This wine is very promising with its very fine balance, but will obviously have to age in order to increase the balance. From 2024 onwards.
Corton Clos Rognet
Ripe on the nose, with touches of black cherry. A touch of caramel and toasting, smoked tea and cinnamon.
The palate is tight, still a little reserved, but remaining coherent to the end, with fine tension on the finish. There's a lot of concentration throughout the tasting.
Very promising, a fine smooth wine, whose finesse will require a few years to express itself. A remarkable capacity for ageing. From 2024 onwards.
Échezeaux les Rouges du Bas
A very pleasant red cherry nose, enhanced by notes of smoked tea and rare wood; without forgetting the sweet touches of vanilla, praline and caramel ...
A fine presence on the palate: texture, fullness and a slightly acidic finish, without any harshness.
An elegant Échezeaux offering very fine balance. It must age, of course ... From 2024 onwards.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru aux Brûlées
Immediately black fruit (blueberry, blackberry), rounded off by sweet aromas (vanilla, hazelnut, praline) ... You could eat it!
On the palate, the wine is quite tight: you can detect a lot of silkiness and density, but the finish is tense and very fresh.
A magnificent wine, immensely reserved and which will have to wait. From 2025 onwards.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru au Cros Parantoux
Fine black fruit when the bottle is opened, which is joined by menthol aromas, contributing even more to the impression of freshness.
On the palate, the wine is very caressing, showing very fine texture, but it appears compact and somewhat impenetrable. The finish is tight, perhaps a little hard.
You're dealing with a powerful wine here, but reserved at this stage, and which will thus require quite a lengthy ageing period. From 2028 onwards.
The nose is fine and quite open: lots of small-berry fruit, both red and black (redcurrant, blackberry, cherry, blackcurrant, etc.); in addition, there are notes of coffee and cocoa.
The palate is really pretty, dense, but not excessively so, very caressing. The finish is very long, but still a little tight perhaps.
More subtle than the Cros Parantoux, this wine, nonetheless, also needs to age, in order to show us all the subtlety it's capable of. From 2027 onwards.