2014, a vintage of balance despite a season of contrastsSeason and HarvestWinemaking and ElevageCharacter and Tasting (end of élevage)Character and Tasting (April 2021)Tasting notes (April 2021)
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!
After a nice "setting up" in the first two years of aging, the wines started to close down, a very classic development, the 2013s being rather an exception in this respect.
At the time of its launch, we described 2014 as a balanced vintage ; it was not a hot year, it was even our last cool year: all vintages since have been indeed marked by heat, perhaps to varying degrees, in any case enough to give characteristics of mature vintages to our wines.
This context is not insignificant because our palates quickly recalibrate and we are perhaps less "trained" to assess a vintage like 2014, quite far from these characteristics of concentration and sweetness.
Overall, this tasting is a confirmation of what we suspected, namely that the vintage is not yet ready.
The Vosnes in particular are closed, the description given when they came out suggested more approachable wines. The Clos Vougeot, as often between charm and structure, is ultimately more easily guessed.
This fine vintage, which expresses uprightness and a great deal of elegance, does not have the voluptuousness of a very ripe vintage, but obviously also, not what some might consider to be heaviness. It requires additional aging to be able to precisely reveal all its complexity and not seem out of step with the wines produced in recent years. It is on the right track, as evidenced by the bottles opened since 2021, which showed good availability.
Hautes Côtes de Nuits "Clos St Philibert" 2014:
A nice nose, quite ripe, with a trace of reduction. Wood is revealed in form of toasted and aniseed notes.
On the palate, the wine reveals a nice volume, seems almost sweet before a finish that is still very acidic and brings it a lot of contrast.
We can say that the wine has shown good integration, that the evolution is positive, in particular because élevage is well integrated. However, the wine needs aeration and would gain in integration with a few more years, ideally three to five years.
Discreet first nose but opens quickly on notes of red fruits and brandied cherry. We also guess a hint of spice and wood moisture.
The palate is quite caressing, the texture supple. The wine then continues on its fine and elegant momentum, with a finish lifted as it should by the acidity and peppery notes.
In the end, a pleasant wine, expressive although fine, which now seems good to drink. Of course, it can still wait 3 to 5 years but this is not essential given its light structure.
Chambolle Feusselottes 2014:
A nose that denotes a certain evolution (leather, clove), a little reduction but also after aeration, black fruits of a beautiful intensity.
The mouth is silky, glittering, pleasant even if the finish is marked by tannin, even bitterness for some.
It is an interesting bottle because the wine is already expressive. However, it can still gain width in the mouth and we can hope that the finish will become more polished in the next 3 to 7 years.
Vosne Romanée 2014:
A little closed at first sight, with almost animal scents, which end up giving way to ripe red fruits (cherry, raspberry). Nice integration of wood on liquorice and mint notes.
On the palate, concentration, a certain rigor, a beautiful sheathed structure, between volume and still firm tannins.
Despite a harmonious, coherent, well-integrated wine, we still feel a certain restriction, it does not yet open up completely. Keeping it at least 3 years, more probably 5, seems necessary.
Vosne Chaumes 2014:
A smoky nose, very slightly reduced, with some vegetal notes. After aeration, floral, sour cherry and citrus aromas, not to mention the toasted and vanilla notes.
On the palate, a very nice structure, with a frank attack, a very nice consistency and a finish with solid tannins.
An alliance of appeal and rectitude, certainly representing a very good potential for elegance and flavors. Despite this, it still expresses a lot of restraint and deserves to age for another 3 to 7 years.
Clos Vougeot 2014:
The nose is deep, delicate and seductive all at once: between notes of sweet black fruits, flowers such as rose, the aging being perfectly integrated in the form of moist earth and dried leaves.
On the palate, it shows softness and smoothness, while giving the impression of being reserved. The texture is caressing, the tannins delicate, but the wine remains somewhat monolithic. We can gain in complexity in the years to come, unless a carafe gives it wings?
Vosne Brulées 2014:
Quite closed at first, you have to solicit to collect the black fruits beyond the reduction, the liquorice and the smoky touches.
On the palate, quite powerful, even imposing, with a frank attack, a voluminous mid-palate and a racy but tannic finish.
A superb wine, majestic, deep, not without harmony but which must absolutely age to reveal its full potential. Another 10 years!