Burgundy, Day 1

Beaune, France

Tasted February 11, 2020 by acyso with 291 views

Introduction

As usual, all factual errors are mine and mine alone.

Flight 1 - Domaine Lafarge (17 notes)

Frédéric Lafarge hosted our tasting, guiding us through the vast majority of the 2018 lineup. He had a practiced efficiency with which we went through the tasting and while we never felt rushed, it was certainly very much to the point.

My overall impression was that the 2018s were a great success here; the handling of the hot weather was done with the usual Lafarge aplomb.

White
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Bourgogne-Aligoté Raisins Dorés France, Burgundy, Bourgogne-Aligoté
90 points
Barrel sample. Rich and thick, with a really nice fruit and despite the slightly waxy texture. Fairly unctuous, but a surprising amount of acidity to help balance it. A fabulous expression of aligote, if a little atypical versus others.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Meursault Vendanges Sélectionnées France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
93 points
Barrel sample. From 35 cm soils with little rocks, 70-75 year-old vines. This shows the richness from the vintage again here, but it's coupled with some really nice acidic cut. There's a breadth and moderate waxiness that is quite convincing here, and after this I'm seriously asking myself why I don't buy the Lafarge whites.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Aigrots Blanc France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
90 points
Barrel sample. A little less oaky than the Meursault VS (a village that can take oak a little better than the Beaune). This has a little bit of a leaner vibe, with a brighter tart citrus profile that gives this a refreshing quality versus the richer and slightly waxier Meursault VS.
Red
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Bourgogne Passetoutgrains L'Exception France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Passetoutgrains
90 points
Barrel sample. Outstanding example of Passetoutgrains, without getting into the ditzy, candied gamay elements. There's still a bit of fizziness here; this is effectively a field blend of 50/50 pinot noir and gamay. Juicy and very drinkable, with just a touch of rustic earth on the nose.
Red
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Bourgogne Passetoutgrains Anthologie France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Passetoutgrains
93 points
Barrel sample. From the oldest vines in the Passetoutgrains parcel, created to celebrate both Michel and Clothilde. 1/3 new oak; this definitely is a huge step up from l'Exception, showing more black fruit and density. This is unequivocally a serious wine, and probably one of the best examples of serious gamay (ok, gamay blend) out there. This will only be released in magnum.
Red
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Bourgogne France, Burgundy, Bourgogne
90 points
Barrel sample. Another outstanding example of the entry-level wines at Lafarge; this is just straight-up baby Volnay with that beautiful red fruit and perfume and spice and all that. Of course, it does only get better from this level, and it's a real shame how rare this bottle is.
Red
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay
90 points
Barrel sample. Yes, this is the expected step up from the Bourgogne rouge, in that you get the additional floral and fruit perfumes. Nonetheless, despite the extra intensity, this doesn't show extra heaviness or extraction from the vintage, though the tannic edge here is stronger.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay Vendanges Sélectionnées France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay
93 points
Barrel sample. Again another step up from the regular Volnay in terms of power and intensity. There's more black fruit and tannin in this wine, and it's clear that this needs more time before it's ready to drink. For my taste, this is definitely punching far about the village level on the label.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Aigrots France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
Barrel sample. A little tough to evaluate; this still had a bit of fizz on the palate. Quite heady and rich and pretty powerful, but a slight candied quality here. Not sure if this was in a good mood right now.
Red
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 1er Cru Les Mitans France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
93 points
Barrel sample. Black cherry and a relatively sweeter fruit profile on the palate. The fruit shows a little more on the black side, with a firm tannic structure on the finish. Nonetheless, relatively speaking, this is probably the easiest drinking one of the 1er crus right now.
Red
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
Barrel sample. Hand-destemmed. Tricky to evaluate given a bit of an ornery fizzy red fruit thing, but the minerality here is stunning. The outstanding feature here is the minerality, which is far more prominent than the other three 1er crus.
Red
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
93 points
Barrel sample. A hypothetical mix of the Mitans and Caillerets, with the best elements of each. This has the minerality and brightness of the Caillerets, as well as the fruit-forward character of the Mitans. A good hit of tannins here as well. I loved this, until I tasted the Clos du Château des Ducs (actually I still do).
Red
2018 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 1er Cru Clos du Château des Ducs France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
95 points
Barrel sample. Hand-destemmed. This is an outstanding expression of Volnay; the fruit is pure and there is an intensity to the red fruit and spice here that no other wine seems to have. It's held together with some taut acids, but there is ample sweet fruit to balance everything out. Without a doubt a wine that will get significantly better with age, but also drinking quite deliciously right now.
Red
2018 Domaine Lafarge-Vial Fleurie France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Fleurie
88 points
As far as gamay goes, some of the most serious I've tasted. None of that carbonic glou-glou bullshit, this is a no-nonsense wine with a slight hint of Sharpie marker on the nose but more importantly a brilliant streak of minerality.
Red
2018 Domaine Lafarge-Vial Fleurie La Joie du Palais France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Fleurie
90 points
A clear step up from the straight Fleurie; this was destemmed by hand and shows a significant increase in the amount of raw material here. More dark fruit, more tannin, and probably a relatively longer-lived wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Domaine Lafarge-Vial Côte de Brouilly France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côte de Brouilly
88 points
Not as bright as the two Fleurie examples, this is a little more brooding and shows less of a vibrant mineral streak. On the palate, there's more of a dense, earthy character. Again an example of gamay that doesn't show those confected strawberry candy/artificial sweetener flavours.
Red
2015 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay
90 points
Very classically styled, despite the fatter vintage. A touch high-toned but with a large amount of structure that undergirds it all. There's a touch of cough syrup on the palate as well; it seems this is at a bit of an awkward stage and giving this several more years will yield more enjoyment.
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Flight 2 - Sylvie Esmonin (7 notes)

The 2018s were to be bottled in April.

Sylvie minimizes the use of sulphur as she herself has some sensitivity to it.

Perhaps the greatest piece of wisdom Sylvie bestowed on us was a quote from her father, that you don't have a lot of old wine and a lot of friends.

Red
2018 Sylvie Esmonin (Michel et Fille) Bourgogne France, Burgundy, Bourgogne
90 points
Barrel sample. From the Pressonnier lieu-dit. Shows incredible power for a Bourgogne; a function of the opulently ripe black fruit here. The back end shows a little bit of the roasted character of the vintage. No added sulphur. Muscular and powerful stuff.
Red
2018 Sylvie Esmonin (Michel et Fille) Côte de Nuits Villages France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Nuits Villages
90 points
Barrel sample. This dials back the raw musculature of the Bourgogne and you get a little more refinement and earthiness. The nose shows less of the exuberant fruit and there are some more earthy elements here. The fruit profile here is still mostly black.
Red
2018 Sylvie Esmonin (Michel et Fille) Gevrey-Chambertin France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
Barrel sample. 55-60 year-old vines from over 20 different climats. Not too easy to taste given a bit of fizziness still. The earth tones here are again dialled up a little more, but there's still the ripe fruit of the vintage manifesting itself in a relatively blacker profile.
Red
2018 Sylvie Esmonin (Michel et Fille) Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Vieilles Vignes France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
90 points
Includes the Clos Prieur 1er cru, and 60% whole cluster. The stems seem to give this a little more aromatic lift versus the other three "lesser" wines. This is still a fairly black profile and the thing that stands out here for me are the tannins, which are quite grainy and prominent on the finish.
Red
2018 Sylvie Esmonin (Michel et Fille) Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
93 points
Barrel sample. Drinking Clos St. Jacques in a cellar under Clos St. Jaques. Pretty damn cool. From >60-year-old vines. This was a potent wine with lots of raw intensity and power. There's clearly the most stuffing and layering going on here, and while again the ripe black fruit profile is here in full force, there's just so much more going on with this wine, especially in terms of the earthy minerality. The scale of this wine means it's probably going to be fairly long-lived.
Red
2016 Sylvie Esmonin (Michel et Fille) Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Vieilles Vignes France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
93 points
I think I prefer the purity and relatively lightness of the 2016 vintage to the 2018; this is a more elegant and mineral driven version of the wine, with the fruit profile more red and just a little more juicy acidity here. Drinking very well now, but this clearly has the stuffing to age.
Red
2014 Sylvie Esmonin (Michel et Fille) Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
93 points
This was showing brilliantly out of Sylvie's personal stash. There's an awesome lightness here that I didn't find in the 2018; it feels like there's a bit of a softer touch, with more acidity and brightness. The fruit is crisp and the wine generally very well-delineated.
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Flight 3 - Louis Jadot (14 notes)

We were ably hosted by Amandine, a relatively new employee at Jadot, and an assistant of Frédéric Barnier.

The main facility looks like a panopticon; it houses 130 tanks for fermentation which is approximately the number of distinct parcels Jadot vinifies at this facility. The fermentations are 3-4 weeks, with pigeage 1-3 times a day. The fermentation vats are made of both stainless steel and wood, but it is mostly the size of the harvest that determines what goes where. Of the 10 million bottles that Jadot makes each year, about 1 million are made in the facility just outside Beaune. There is a second facility in Givry that is responsible for the more "industrial" wines.

As far as the negociant operation is concerned, red wines are made from purchased grapes, white from purchased must. Jadot owns about 130 ha, but purchases additional grapes equivalent to about 70 ha.

Jadot owns its cooperage, Cadus. Wines are made in a mix of new, one-year-old, and two-year-old barrels. The whites take Tronçais oak, the reds Limousin.

The 2018s will be bottled in the next few days after our tasting. The whites we tasted were the completed assemblages; the reds from a single barrel (of one-year-old oak).

The use of malolactic fermentation depends on the vintage; it is sometimes arrested to preserve acidity. For example in the 2018 vintage, a lot of the ML fermentations in the whites were stopped for this reason. Sometimes it's blocked in a fraction of the barrels.

White
2018 Louis Jadot Meursault Les Narvaux France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
93 points
From rocky soils quite close to Perrieres. High-toned with some green apples and a touch of oak spice. Very bright and clean but with some fat on the palate. The acidity here is done very well and there's good lift despite the relative breadth of this wine. An excellent lieu-dit wine that seems to drink above its level.
White
2018 Louis Jadot Meursault 1er Cru Blagny France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
A little cloudy from the wine just having finished its assemblage and not yet having had the time to settle. The stirring of all the lees and such potentially releases more SO2, which made this wine seem a lot more reduced than the others. I'm not sure this was a fully representative expression of the finished wine, so I'll reserve judgement. Overall though, this was a little leaner and not as complex as the excellent Narvaux.
White
2018 Louis Jadot Meursault 1er Cru Gouttes d'Or France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
93 points
Apparently the name comes from little bits of gold-coloured rocks in the vineyard. In any case, this was one of my favourites of the Meursault 1er crus in the tasting. This was expansive, tropical, and just plain exotic on the nose, and that also came through on the palate. A little sweeter and rounder than most, but the acidity does save the day in the end.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Louis Jadot Meursault 1er Cru Charmes France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
Not quite sure this was fully representative; it seemed to be a bit of an outlier in that the fruit profile here just seemed a little underripe and green. This shows a distinct tart acidity, but this just didn't seem to be able to hold a candle to the other Meursault 1ers.
White
2018 Louis Jadot Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
95 points
An explosive nose showing an interesting tangerine note, but also plenty of the more traditional chardonnay notes. The palate here doesn't have the same sweetness as the Gouttes d'Or, but you get more mineral complexity layered on the palate.
White
2018 Louis Jadot Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
95 points
Tastes like a Meursault Perrières to me. Stony, rocky, and just really structural with a minute hint of sulphur and lots of bitter citrus oils. Sinewy and lithe without the exuberantly sweet and ripe fruit from the vintage, this is a more mineral and acid sort of chardonnay. The lack of sweetness doesn't mean this is thin, as there's a really compelling breadth to this wine. I will be adding this to my own cellar.
White
2018 Louis Jadot Bâtard-Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
93 points
I found this a little high-toned and while this was certainly a very convincing bottle of chardonnay, this seemed to lack the fatness I associate with Bâtard, and instead you get more of the racy minerality from Chevalier. Perhaps that's due to this coming from the Puligny side of the vineyard? This will improve with time; given the switch to DIAM at Jadot, we may yet be able to see that improvement come to light.
Red
2018 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
90 points
A slightly plusher version of this village wine. There's a nice roundedness to the red fruit here, but it's on the back end where you get just a very mild hit of roastedness. Nonetheless, that's easy to overlook as this is just a really charming and juicy example.
Red
2018 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Cazetiers France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
93 points
Very light and aromatic on the nose; there's certainly something very Clos St. Jacques about this here, especially in terms of the interplay between the earthy/iron elements and the red fruit. This is a significant step up from the village Gevrey; you get a lot more elegance and drop the slightly troubling roasted note.
Red
2018 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St. Jacques France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
93 points
This is from the lower part of the CSJ slope; it's a little more ripe and heavyset, and doesn't have the mineral-driven elegance higher up on the slope. Relatively dark with maybe even some cherry vanilla flavours, this is teetering on the edge of the roastedness but it's handled so well it's not really in danger of falling over that cliff.
Red
2018 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Estournelles-St.-Jacques France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
My least favourite of the three St. Jacques wines. Significantly thinner than the other two, and there's a slight weediness to the palate here. The fruit profile is very light as well, veering more to the strawberry side. Not sure this is showing as it should.
Red
2018 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
95 points
Year in, year out, a favourite from the Jadot stable. This seems to be the hypothetical blend of the Estournelles and Lavaux but by only taking the good elements of each. There's a balance of rich fruit and tart-red-fruited-acidity here, as well as a convincing dose of rusty earthiness. The palate is more layered, silky, and complex. Very delicious already.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru
95 points
From vines planted in 1928, representing some of the oldest holdings in the Jadot stable. This wine is just a pure example of the intensity that you get from old vines; you can feel the shot berries on the palate here with the tannic grip on the finish. Black-fruited, but not overly sweet and some very prominent tannins that will take a good amount of time to resolve.
Red
2018 Louis Jadot Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Domaine Louis Jadot France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru
93 points
A little less convincing than the Chapelle today, but this will probably become the better wine. It feels very structural with its tannin and less than exuberant fruit, but you can tell there's some really good material just waiting to emerge.

Flight 4 - Domaine Yvon Clerget (11 notes)

We caught Thbault right when he was preparing his lineup for bottling; as a result there were not many 2018s to taste. On the other hand, he generously offered a slew of 2019s as well, but I will admit ignorance in being able to evaluate them.

Thibault cited the Mugneret-Gibourg wines as an inspiration.

Red
2018 Domaine Y. Clerget Volnay 1er Cru Les Mitans France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
90 points
Barrel sample. Quite juicy with lots of red fruit, particularly cherries. Perhaps a touch candied but otherwise very bright and cheery.
Red
2018 Domaine Y. Clerget Volnay 1er Cru Clos du Verseuil France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
90 points
Barrel sample. Vines from 1927. 30% new oak. A step up from the Mitans; this has a little more depth and shows a touch darker. More tannins on the finish, but overall very well balanced.
Red
2018 Domaine Y. Clerget Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
93 points
Barrel sample. 100% destemmed from 75-year-old vines and grapes with millerandage. Another step up for my taste from the Mitans and Verseuil in terms of concentration. Lots of power here, with a large amount of tannin on the back end. Excellent.
Red
2018 Domaine Y. Clerget Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard 1er Cru
90 points
Barrel sample. Made in a style to render Pommard slightly more accessible, from 75-year-old vines. The number of punchdowns has been reduced, and there are 20% stems here. Nonetheless, I feel that this does show the slight burliness of the terroir more, though perhaps it is indeed more accessible. Quite nice, but I definitely prefer the Volnays.
Red
2018 Domaine Y. Clerget Clos Vougeot France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
Barrel sample. This was a bit of an outlier in the 2018 lineup; just clamped down hard and showing a serious amount of tannin. There was a good amount of the Vougeot earthiness here, but I didn't really get much else. 50% new oak, 50% whole cluster, from the top of the vineyard, close to the Mugneret-Gibourg parcel.
Red
2019 Domaine Y. Clerget Volnay 1er Cru Clos du Verseuil France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
Barrel sample. Juicy and fleshy, with some exuberant red fruit and some elegance too.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Domaine Y. Clerget Volnay 1er Cru Champans France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
Barrel sample. From a new barrel. Definitely shows some of the funkiness of new oak and the nose is quite raw, but the palate is already shows the red fruit and lightness of the house style.
Red
2019 Domaine Y. Clerget Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
Barrel sample. From a one year old barrel. The most intense and complete of the 2019 Volnay samples. Still a bit sweet with plenty of raw power.
Red
2019 Domaine Y. Clerget Clos Vougeot France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
Barrel sample. A step up from the Volnays in terms of power and density. Quite red-fruited but showing some earthiness already.
Red
2019 Y. Clerget Corton-Rognet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
Barrel sample. Already shows quite a bit of Corton power. Relatively dark in colour. Good intensity but a very pure, red-fruited expression showing a fair bit of mineraliity as well.
White
2019 Y. Clerget Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
Barrel sample. Still with 4g of residual sugar; kind of like a chardonnay Kabinett. Very difficult to evaluate, but some really nice stony mineraliity on the back end here already.

Flight 5 - Miscellanea (5 notes)

Red
2016 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Bonnes Mares France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
93 points
At the Rôtisserie du Chambertin. The nose on this was classic 2016 with the bright red fruit and cherries and crunchy acids and all that. The palate was where this got a little trickier to judge, as it just did not seem to want to come out in an expressive way. On the back end, there are lots and lots of tannins that give this wine tons of grip. One for the long haul rather than being picked off a list as a cherry, but hey, if I don't do it, who is?
Red
2015 Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée La Colombiere France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée
90 points
For the price this commands on the secondary market, I'd be pretty upset. But in France... In any case, there's a really nice perfume on the nose, with all that black spice and heady fruit. But like most of the other lieu-dit CLBs I've had, this falls short on the palate, without much of the weight and potency that the nose promises. Here, it's a little foursquare and short, with some grainy tannins too.
White - Sparkling
2011 Roses de Jeanne / Cédric Bouchard Champagne Millésimé Blanc de Noirs Les Ursules France, Champagne
90 points
At La Maison du Colombier. Doesn't show much of the greenness of the vintage here, which I quite like, but broadly speaking, this has some more of the white grape flavour than I'd have expected. Slightly coarse mousse but overall drinking nicely.
White
2011 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
88 points
At La Maison du Colombier. A little bit disappointing if I'm to be totally honest. Very ripe and tropical and while there's no sign of oxidation, this is definitely showing a bit of its age and in not the best way. Quite waxy and heavyset, without too much refreshing acidity, but the brilliant minerality and rockiness here do give this some of the expected Meursault character.
Red
2016 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
95 points
At La Maison du Colombier. The nose is stunning with a varied array of spice, earth, and fruit. Mostly on the lighter red side but there's a good amount of weight as well. On the palate this was initially quite reticent and this was one of those situations where the last glass was truly best. There is an incredible silkiness on the palate here as well, with an awesome amount of concentration. Needs time, but when you see something like this sitting on a list...

Closing

Continued: https://www.cellartracker.com/event.asp?iEvent=43928

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