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2016 Burgundy En Primeur



2016 Burgundy Offer

 

2016 has resulted in some fabulous red Burgundies and some exquisite whites, which defy close comparison with other recent vintages. The greatest reds are often "better" than those of 2015 - being ripe and seductive, but with more freshness than the previous vintage. They were frequently described as being "classic", with no pejorative intent. The whites display excellent concentration allied with pure acidity and salty minerality.

 

We are also absolutely delighted to be able to offer some NEW domaines this year, namely:- Marc Roy (Gevrey-Chambertin), de Courcel (Pommard), Michel Niellon (Chassagne-Montrachet) and Hubert Lamy (Saint Aubin).

 

Once again, Burgundy was saved by very fine weather towards the latter part of the growing season and during picking. This introduction can only make sweeping generalisations about what was a complicated, messy picture during the first half of 2016. For greater detail, please see the individual reports on the challenges each producer encountered.

 

What we can conclude is that some extraordinarily fine wines have been produced from low yielding, exceptionally healthy fruit. Many of the finest, most highly sought-after wines are only available in alarmingly limited quantities and, as a result, prices have generally risen.

 

Following what was the mildest winter since 2010, April was abnormally cold. However, the night of 26th/27th April saw the most devastating frost since 1985 in the Côte d'Or and 1981 in Chablis - which decimated the newly-emerged buds. Usually it is the lower slopes (village and regional vineyards) which are most severely affected. However, unaccountably, the 2016 frosts attacked the mid slopes which house the finest premier and grand cru sites. The worst hit areas were Marsannay and Chambolle (both significantly), Clos de Vougeot, Echezeaux, Nuits-Saint-Georges (severely), Savigny-les-Beaune, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Chassagne-Montrachet (major impact), Meursault (especially village AOC), St Aubin and Rully. Hail also had a major impact on 13th April around vineyards of Pouilly Fuissé.

 

May was a case of constant drizzle and heavier downpours. Devastating hail storms also ravaged the vineyards of Chablis. June continued rainy, with hardly any sun and little in the way of warmth. As a result, flowering was drawn-out, predicting uneven ripeness at harvest. The relentlessly wet, cold conditions led to some of the most serious attacks of mildew ever seen by some of our more senior producers.

 

Far more encouragingly, July was pleasant and largely warm, sometimes hot, and with some infrequent rain. August was moderately hot, dry and very sunny. This had the effect of sanitizing the vineyards and any further threat of mildew and oidium receded. The beautiful, clement days were accompanied by cool nights which preserved acidity and freshness. September continued in the same vein - with bright, sunny, warm days and chilly nights. There was also some very welcome, occasional drizzle, which alleviated any possible hydric stress resulting from the dry August weather.

 

Our producers generally began picking around the third week in September and had mostly entirely finished by the time more serious rains began falling on 1st October. The fruit was ripe, concentrated, very clean and healthy, with little recourse to sorting tables.

 

 

In terms of style, we constantly tried, with limited success, to put our producers on the spot and compare 2016 to other, or a combination of the best attributes of other, vintages. We had been struggling as to how to present the 2016 vintage and neatly define it, for the benefit of our customers. At dinner in Beaune, on the last night of our final trip, we chanced upon Alistair Viner (Hedonism) and the greatly respected Mounir Saouma (Lucien Le Moine) - who, like us, had both tasted extensively throughout the region. After much discussion, we reached the liberating conclusion that 2016 was simply unique - like no other vintage we had ever encountered.

 

The reds are, at once, sensual, seductive and ripe (especially where yields were curtailed by frost), but offer delightful purity and definition. The whites are, presently, almost two different wines - with ripe, exuberant fruit on the front and mid palate and pure, taut, minerality on the finish. Both colours are excitingly incomparable and, as such, are must-haves for any serious Burgundy fan.

 

Domaine de LA CROIX SENAILLET, Davayé

Richard and Stephane Martin are making some of the most delightfully, crystalline-pure wines in the Maconnais, from their 25 hectares of organic vineyards around Davayé. Yields are down by about 50% in 2016, following hail on 13th April. There was some hydric stress in August, but some welcome showers allowed them to pick perfectly ripe, healthy fruit in mid-September.

 

  • 2016 Saint Véran "Les Buis"
    1.6 hectare plot of east facing 50 year old vines, on Jurassic limestone and clay soils. 100% stainless steel tanks.

 

  • 2016 Saint Véran "Les Rochats"
    1 hectare of south-east facing 50 year old vines on Jurassic limestone, with pink sandstone pebbles. 100% stainless steel tanks.

 

Domaine ERIC FOREST, Vergisson

Eric is making some of the most profound and exciting wines in the Mâconnais, from his 5.5 hectares of vines, planted between 1930 and 1979, around Vergisson. He is one of the most exigeants producers with whom we work. "There was hail on 13th April and more at the end of May, which particularly affected Les Crays. Flowering was normal, but May and June were quite cold. July was warm, but less so than in 2015 and August was dry and sunny - which saved the harvest. September was fine, but cool, with a northerly wind. The fruit was harvested in very good health". Picking began on 26th September with Les Crays - alcohol was 13.5% natural on the same day that it was 11.5% at La Roche, which Eric picked on 30th September. L'Ame Forest was harvested on 8th and 9th October, under glorious blue skies. Once again, an exquisite range of wines.

 

  • 2016 Mâcon Vergisson "Sur la Roche"
    400m, north east exposure with some clay and a bedrock of limestone. Elevage in 300 litre barrels, 10% new.

 

  • 2016 Pouilly Fuissé "L'AME Forest"
    Two vineyards on marl-limestone soils on the northern slope of the Vergisson hill. Elevage in 300 ltr barrels, 20% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Pouilly Fuissé "Les Crays"
    Planted on the warmer, southern side of the Vergisson hill on blue marl and limestone. Elevage in pieces, 25% new.

 

  • 2016 Pouilly Fuissé "24 Carats"
    From two of the best barrels of Les Crays - 50% new oak.

 

Domaine FEUILLAT-JUILLOT, Montagny

Françoise Feuillat-Juillot continues to make exemplary wines from her 16 hectares of prime vineyards in Montagny. 1er Cru Grappes d'Or is a 6 hectare blend of several premier cru vineyards, with an average age of 45 years. It is vinified and matured in 70% stainless steel tanks and 30% oak 500ltr barrels. 1er Cru Les Coères is the best wine made at the property. It is a 4 hectare vineyard of 60-70 plus 90 year old vines, vinified and matured in 500 litre oak barrels - 20% new. 2016 was probably the best tasting we have had at this excellent property.

 

  • 2016 Montagny 1er Cru "Les Grappes d'Or"

 

  • 2016 Montagny 1er Cru "Les Coères"

Domaine FRANCOIS LUMPP, Givry

The new generation of Anne-Cécile and Pierre are now firmly implanted in this fine 9.5 hectare domaine, founded by their parents François and Isabelle more than twenty years ago. They began picking on 21st September. They use up to 70% new oak for their red wines and 30% for whites. As always, an impeccable range of pure, intensely flavoured wines.

 

 

  • 2016 Givry Blanc 1er Cru "Petit Marole"
    40 year old vines, facing east-south-east on fine marne and limestone soils.

 

  • 2016 Givry Blanc 1er Cru "Crausot"
    3 parcels of vines, facing south-east, aged 25, 30-40 and over 50 years old on very pure limestone and fine stones.

 

  • 2016 Givry Rouge 1er Cru "A Vigne"
    Two plots totalling 2.5 hectares, facing south-south-east and south-south-west on clay/limestone with marne and fine stones. A mix of 50, 30 and 11-15 year old vines.

 

  • 2016 Givry Rouge 1er Cru "Petit Marole"
    East-south-east clay/limestone soils. 90% 40 year old vines, 10% 20 year old vines

 

  • 2016 Givry Rouge 1er Cru "Crausot"
    A mix of 30 and 50 year old vines on south facing limestone soils, with some vines situated below Crausot Blanc.

Domaine FRANCOIS RAQUILLET, Mercurey

Francois has 14 hectares of beautifully sited vines, from which he is making some of the most exceptional wines in the Cote Chalonnaise. He works with lower yields than many and is therefore able to harvest ripe fruit earlier to preserve freshness. He began picking on 20th September. All his reds are 100% destemmed.

 

  • 2016 Mercurey Blanc "La Brigadière"
    2 hectares of 25 year old vines on stoney limestone soils. 20% new 400 ltr. demi-muids for 12 months.

  • 2016 Mercurey Blanc 1er Cru "Les Veleys" NEW
    0.7 hectare of 65 year old vines in the sector of Chamirey on heavier Marne soils. Vinified in 400ltr demi-muids (35% new).

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Rouge
    1 hectare of 25 year old vines around the commune of Mercurey. Matures for 10 months in a combination of older barrels and cuve.

 

  • 2016 Mercurey Rouge Vieilles Vignes
    3 parcels, totalling 1.5ha of 60 year old vines, facing east and south on clay limestone. 100% destemmed, 1-3 year old oak barrels.

 

  • 2016 Mercurey "Les Vasées"
    1.2 hectares of 55 year old vines planted on Marne and limestone soils. 25% new oak barrels. 100% destemmed.

 

  • 2016 Mercurey Rouge 1er Cru "Les Veleys"
    0.8 hectare in the sector of Chamirey. 65 year old vines on heavier Marne soils. 30% new oak barrels.

 

  • 2016 Mercurey 1er Cru "Les Naugues"
    Perfectly sited 40-year-old vines on Marne and limestone soils. 30% new oak.

Domaine VINCENT DUREUIL-JANTHIAL, Rully

This 20 hectare domaine is one of the best run properties in the entire region and a wonderful visit for many years. We began working together for the 1996 vintage and Vincent is now one of the superstar producers of all Burgundy - hugely revered by other top growers, press and the best sommeliers alike. This was a challenging year for Vincent, but the resulting wines are absolutely fantastic! He lost 50% of his potential crop to frosts on 27th April and then, faced with mildew in June and potentially producing nothing at all, he used one application of a conventional spray (allowed in Germany but not France for organic production). As a result, his 2016s are not "organic", but he immediately went back into organic conversion and will be re-certified in two years. He began picking extremely healthy fruit on 25th September in fine conditions. Production, overall, is down 70% in red wines (no Nuits St. Georges at all) and 40% in whites. He likens 2016 to 2006 - "but slightly less rich and with more energy". Great wines!

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Blanc
  • 2016 Rully Blanc
  • 2016 Rully Blanc "Maizières"
  • 2016 Rully Blanc 1er Cru "Meix Cadot"
  • 2016 Rully Blanc 1er Cru "Meix Cadot" Vieilles Vignes
  • 2016 Rully Blanc 1er Cru "Raclots" (n)
  • 2016 Puligny Montrachet "Corvée de Vignes"
  • 2016 Bourgogne Rouge
  • 2016 Rully Rouge
  • 2016 Rully Rouge "Maizières"

 

 

Domaine PAUL et MARIE JACQUESON, Rully

Father and daughter, Paul and Marie have now moved to impressive new cellars in the heart of the village. This has given them more room in which to work and the investment is already paying dividends. Their wines are great favourites in the finest Michelin starred restaurants of France offering, as they do, a taste of the Côte d'Or at a fraction of the price. They were severely impacted by the frosts of 27th April and, globally, volumes are around 50% down. They began picking on 22nd September, in fine conditions, at 12.5-13% natural alcohols. As always, a beautiful range of confident, "under-made" wines which give huge pleasure.

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Aligoté
    Vines planted in 1950 on clay limestone soils.

 

  • 2016 Bouzeron "Les Cordères"
    Vines planted in 1937 on very calcaire soils. Barrel fermented, 20% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Rully Blanc Village NEW
    3 sites in Fromanges, La Barre and Chaponnières totalling 3 hectares.

 

  • 2016 Rully Blanc 1er Cru "La Pucelle"
    Planted in 1992. Mainly limestone, with a little clay.

 

  • 2016 Rully Blanc 1er Cru "Grésigny"
    Planted in 1950. Very limestone.

 

  • 2016 Rully Blanc 1er Cru "Les Margotées"
    Planted in 2000. Limestone and white stones.

 

  • 2016 Rully Rouge "Les Chaponnières"
    Planted in 1987 on clay soils.

 

  • 2016 Rully Rouge 1er Cru "Les Cloux"
    Planted in 1967 on 50% clay, 50% limestone.

 

  • 2016 Rully Rouge 1er Cru "Préaux" NEW
    2.5 hectares just below Les Cloux planted in 1967.

 

  • 2016 Mercurey "Les Vaux"
    Vines planted in 1985.

 

  • 2016 Mercurey 1er Cru "Les Naugues"
    Vines planted in 1962. Possibly the finest premier cru in Mercurey.

 

  • 2016 Mercurey 1er Cru Rouge "Champ Martin"
    10 year old vines on clay/limestone facing due south. Always one of the warmest sites in Mercurey.

Domaine HUBERT LAMY, Saint-Aubin NEW

This is the Saint-Aubin domaine to which others aspire. It was founded with 8 hectares in 1973 by Hubert Lamy, who was joined by his son, Olivier, in 1995 - following which began major acquisitions in Saint-Aubin, Puligny, Chassagne and Santenay. The domaine now comprises 18.5 hectares (80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir). The reds, all now planted to high-density (minimum of 14,000 vines per hectare) cordon de royat, in order to lower yields and give better maturation, are fine, ripe, pure and juicy. However, the whites are amongst the best in the Cote de Beaune - at once sublimely chiselled, tense, minerally, reticent and crystalline-pure. They are gently pressed then run straight to barrel, with a maximum of 20% new oak (225 ltr pieces and 600 ltr demi-muids), without debourbage. In 2016, Olivier lost around 30% of his potential harvest to frost. He began picking on 15th September in optimal conditions. The grapes were healthy, ripe and immediately aromatic in the cellar. He believes it to be a classic vintage for his whites "with beautiful balance, aromas of white fruits, purity, freshness and minerality, with great aging potential". There was no new oak or batonnage employed in 2016. His reds offer "complex aromas of flowers, fruit and spices and great finesse". A beautiful range of wines.

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Blanc "Les Châtaigners"
    A 1.10 hectare, high site on the top of the hill in Saint Aubin, planted in 1990 - always the last to be harvested

 

  • 2016 Saint Aubin Blanc "La Princée"
    3 hectares planted in 1985 and 2000. Vinified in 600 ltr demi-muids.

 

  • 2016 Saint Aubin Blanc 1er Cru "Derrière chez Edouard"
    1.68 hectares planted in 1990 on white marl soils.

 

  • 2016 Saint Aubin Blanc 1er Cru "Derrière chez Edouard Haute Densité"
    From the middle ages to phylloxera in the 19th century, many vineyards were planted with up to 30,000 vines per hectare (10,000 is the usual maximum today). The competing root system gives grapes with small berries, thicker skins and less juice and wines of greater depth and concentration.

 

  • 2016 Puligny-Montrachet "Les Tremblots Haute Densité"
    Situated at the southern end of the commune of Puligny. See above re high density.

  • 2016 Saint Aubin 1er Cru "Derrière chez Edouard"
    0.95 hectares planted in 1960.

Domaine FERNAND & LAURENT PILLOT, Chassagne Montrachet

This superb 15 hectare domaine goes from strength to strength. Laurent has now been joined by his young son, Adrien, who is full of great ideas - having worked in South Africa (Hamilton Russell), New Zealand, Oregon and Australia - including longer elevages for some of the white wines. The whites have always been very special, but the reds have improved beyond all recognition over the last few vintages. They are now gorgeous, ripe, generous, supple and multifaceted. The whites are given a very light crushing, no debourbage and minimal batonnage. The reds are generally 100% destemmed (except for Rugiens) and undergo very gentle extractions. Their 2016s, in both colours, are first rate, but they experienced catastrophic losses due to frost:- St Aubin (-100%), Chassagne Vergers (-85%), Chassagne Vide Bourse (-70%), Chassagne Morgeots (-30%), Chassagne Grandes Ruchottes (-35%). Happily, Pommard was less seriously affected and the resulting wines are truly excellent.

 

  • 2016 Chassagne Montrachet
    Several sites totalling 185 ares planted from 1987 to 2006. 25% new oak for 11-12 months.

 

  • 2016 Puligny Montrachet "Noyers Brets"
    A single parcel of 50 ares. Not far from Batard-Montrachet, planted in 1989. 25% new oak for 11-12 months.

 

  • 2016 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru "Les Vergers"
    A 91 ares plot on very stoney soils, with shallow topsoil then straight into limestone rock. Vines planted in 1955, 64 and 84. 40% new oak for 11-12 months.

 

  • 2016 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru "Morgeot"
    62 ares planted in 1954, 72 and 86 in Fairendes and Petit Clos 9both on the upper slopes on fine, shallow, light soils. 40% new oak for 11-12 months.

 

  • 2016 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru "Champgains"
    34 ares planted in 2002. 40% new oak for 11-12 months.

  • 2016 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru "Vide Bourse"
    A 45 ares plot planted in 1967 and 1975 a few meters from Batard-Montrachet, on clay-limestone with tiny stones. 50% new oak - will be bottled later in this vintage.

  • 2016 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru "Grandes Ruchottes"
    A marvellous 37 ares plot, planted in 1973, on a steep, high slope with limestone subsoil and quite deep topsoil. Every year, this site produces super-concentrated, tiny berries. 50% new oak - will be bottled later in this vintage.

  • 2016 Chassagne Montrachet Rouge Vieilles Vignes
    4 parcels totalling 120 ares planted between 1959 and 1969. 20% new oak for 14 months.

  • 2016 Volnay
    4 parcels totalling 73 ares planted in 1960, 90, 98 and 99. 25% of this cuvee comprises 1er Crus Ronceret and Brouillards - too small for individual bottlings. 33% new oak for 15 months.

  • 2016 Beaune 1er Cru "Boucherottes"
    A 23 ares plot planted in 1966 and 1996 on lightly stoney, brown limestone soils. A warm, early site, giving generous dark-fruit flavours.

  • 2016 Pommard "Tavannes"
    82 ares from one single plot planted in 1953 and 1974, on iron oxide rich red clay-limestone. 33% new oak for 15 months.

  • 2016 Pommard 1er Cru "Rugiens"
    65 ares (50% Rugiens-Haut, 50% Rugiens-Bas), planted between 1964 and 1980. 100% new oak for 18 months. 50% whole bunches.

Domaine MICHEL NIELLON, Chassagne-Montrachet NEW

We have long revered this iconic 7.5 hectare domaine and are delighted to have been given an allocation of their impeccable wines. Michel Niellon began working with his father in the 1950s and was joined by his son-in-law, Michel Coutoux, in 1991 and grandson, Matthieu Bresson more recently. From their smart, new cellars on the outskirts of the village, they are making some of the finest wines in the Cote de Beaune. They seek to preserve acidity and are often one of the first growers to begin picking. However, their style remains generous, ripe and concentrated, whilst retaining poise and precision. Of note:- Fermentation begins in stainless steel tanks and then oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and maturation - 25-30% new oak. They like solids and only lightly settle the juice. No batonnage and no racking until bottling. They were badly hit by frost in 2016 and our initial allocation is relatively modest. However, we hope for slightly greater volumes of the 2017 vintage.

  • 2016 Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc
    Several parcels totalling just under 2 hectares, planted between 1963 and 1993. 30% stainless steel vinification, 70% oak barrel.

  • 2016 Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru "La Maltroie"
    0.66 hectares planted in 1977. 30% stainless steel vinification, 70% oak barrels

  • 2016 Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru "Les Champgains"
    0.5 hectares planted in 1988.

  • 2016 Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru "Les Chaumées"
    0.5 hectares of vines dating from 1930.

  • 2016 Chevalier-Montrachet
    0.23 hectares of vines planted in 1962.

VINCENT GIRARDIN, Meursault

The expert team, under the direction of long-standing winemaker Eric Germain, continues to make an exemplary range of Burgundies - 75% white, 25% red. They now have a specialist red wine maker in Christophe Marrin. They have contracts to buy fruit from 85 hectares (55 of which are controlled and harvested entirely by the Girardin team) and have 13ha in ownership or fermage. They will continue to make further investments in their own vines and have recently made acquisitions in Volnay, Puligny, Meursault, Pommard and Auxey-Duresses. They produce a maximum of 50,000 cases per year - but 2014, 2015 and 2016 were 28/30,000 cases - 50% of which comprises Bourgogne Rouge, Bourgogne Blanc, Mâcon Fuissé and Pouilly Fuissé. A fine range of wines, each speaking clearly of their individual terroirs. This is a micro-negociant of the highest quality.

In 2016 frosts accounted for 50% of their production on the lower slopes but the crus were less affected. They began picking in mid-September and finished the first week of October. Sunny, bright weather and cool nights during harvest have retained freshness. Eric Germain likens 2016 to 2014 - "but with additional suppleness, softness and generosity".

 

White Wines

  • Bourgogne Blanc "Terroir Noble"
  • Bourgogne Blanc "Emotion"
  • Mâcon-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes
  • Pouilly Fuissé Vieilles Vignes
  • Pernand-Vergelesses Vieilles Vignes
  • Santenay Vieilles Vignes
  • Santenay 1er Cru "Beaurepaire"
  • St Aubin 1er Cru "Les Murgers des Dents de Chien"
  • Chassagne Montrachet Vieilles Vignes
  • Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru "Morgeot"
  • Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru "Le Cailleret"
  • Meursault Village Vieilles Vignes
  • Meursault "Les Charrons"
  • Meursault "Les Clous"
  • Meursault "Les Narvaux"
  • Meursault 1er Cru "Charmes Dessus"
  • Meursault 1er Cru "Genevrières"
  • Meursault 1er Cru "Les Perrières"
  • Puligny Montrachet Village " Vieilles Vignes"
  • Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru "Les Champs Gains"
  • Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru "Les Referts"
  • Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru "Les Combettes"
  • Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru "Les Folatières"
  • Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru
  • Corton Charlemagne Quintessence Grand Cru
  • Bienvenues-Batard Montrachet Grand Cru
  • Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru
  • Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru

Red Wines

  • Bourgogne Pinot Noir "Terroir Noble"
  • Bourgogne "Emotion"
  • Auxey Duresses Vieilles Vignes
  • Beaune 1er Cru "Les Teurons"
  • Saint Romain Vieilles Vignes
  • Maranges Vieilles Vignes
  • Santenay Village Vieilles Vignes
  • Santenay 1er Cru "Les Gravières"
  • Chorey Les Beaune "Les Beaumonts"
  • Savigny Les Beaune 1er Cru "Les Marconnets"
  • Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes
  • Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru "La Maltroie"
  • Meursault 1er Cru "Les Cras"
  • Volnay Village Vieilles Vignes
  • Volnay 1er Cru "Les Pitures"
  • Volnay 1er Cru "Les Santenots"
  • Volnay 1er Cru "Champans"
  • Pommard Village Vieilles Vignes
  • Pommard Village "Les Noizons"
  • Pommard 1er Cru "Les Epenots"
  • Gevrey-Chambertin "Vieilles Vignes"
  • Corton Perrières Grand Cru

Domaine BALLOT-MILLOT, Meursault

This high-flying, star domaine is making wonderful wines - more akin to Puligny than the old fashioned, stereotypical image of Meursault. There is never any batonnage and the wines always display incisive, tense purity, salinity and minerality.  Severe losses to frost this year, especially in Meursault Village, where Charles has made 15 barrels, rather than his usual 50 and "Criots" where he has made 8 rather than 18 barrels. Charles began picking extremely healthy grapes, which he described as "hyper-sain" on 22nd September and finished five days later. He believes the 2016 vintage to be "un très grand millésime, gourmand, fresh and minerally - like 2010 and 2008 in terms of style". Very little new oak was used here in 2016 - none in village appellations and around 5% in premier crus. His reds, which are always 100% destemmed and are not punched-down, are ripe, supple and sensual. Marvellous wines, as always.

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Chardonnay
    Vines averaging 25 years old - 70% from the commune of Meursault, 30% from Puligny.

 

  • 2016 Meursault
    A blend of 7 different parcels throughout the appellation, Vines average 35 years old.

 

  • 2016 Meursault "Les Narvaux"
    3 parcels of 60, 40 and 20-year-old vines.

 

  • 2016 Meursault "Les Criots"
    Very rocky, hard limestone soils under Santenots. A cool site, always tenser and less opulent than his Narvaux.

 

  • 2016 Meursault 1er Cru "Charmes"
    40-year-old vines on the top part of the slope on Limon (stoney with clay and iron traces) soils. More tense and minerally than stereotypical Charmes.

 

  • 2016 Meursault 1er Cru "Genevrières"
    70-year-old vines on the top part. Always the most intense, incisive and backward of his wines, demanding time to open up.

 

  • 2016 Meursault 1er Cru "Perrières"
    40 year old vines abutting Clos le Perrière. Power, salinity and exquisite elegance.

 

  • 2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru "Morgeot"
    Nearly 1 hectare of 50-year-old vines in Tete du Clos - the highest part of Les Morgeots under la Romanée on very rocky limestone.

 

  • 2016 Volnay 1er Cru "Santenots"
    0.5 hectares on Bathonian limestone. 15-year-old vines.

 

  • 2016 Pommard 1er Cru "Pezerolles"
    60 ares of 35-year-old vines in clay with iron traces and small stones.

 

Domaine LATOUR-GIRAUD, Meursault

Jean-Pierre Latour has 10 hectares of beautifully sited vines in Meursault - 2.5 hectares of which are in two individual parcels of 1er Cru Genevrières Dessus; the top and best part of the vineyard. This is one of the best addresses in the village. Following severe losses to frost in April - plus grapes being stolen off the vines at harvest time!!! - volumes were around 70% down in village Meursault and 15% down in premier cru. July, August and September were good and not too hot and the low crop loads lead to aeration and very healthy fruit. He picked between 15th and 20th September. According to Jean-Pierre "2016 is a classic vintage with good concentration and acidity and less exuberance than 2015 - but it is difficult to compare with any other vintage".

 

  • 2016 Meursault 1er Cru "Genevrières"

 

 

Domaine COMTE ARMAND, CLOS DES EPENEAUX, Pommard

Paul Zinetti likens 2016 to the outstanding 2010 vintage. "We lost around 50-65% of the crop to frost on 27th April, followed by mildew. We continued to treat only biodynamically. July wasn't very nice, but from mid-August onwards it was very good weather. We picked very healthy fruit at 13.5% potential, natural alcohols, between 26th and 30th September".

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Aligoté
  • 2016 Auxey Duresses Rouge 1er Cru
  • 2016 Volnay 1er Cru "Les Fremiets"
  • 2016 Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux

 

Domaine de COURCEL, Pommard NEW

This historic, 11.0 hectare property has been in the de Courcel family for over 400 years. Since 1996, Yves Confuron has overseen major improvements in viticulture and winemaking. (As we go to press, we are also pleased to have been offered a small allocation of Yves' flagship wines - see below). They follow organic practices, tight pruning and green harvesting to limit yields to a maximum of 25 hl/ha (although recent vintages have been far less), ploughing to encourage deeper root penetration and late harvesting to ensure maximum physiological ripeness. Following a thorough selection of grapes and 100% whole-bunch inclusion, they carry out a long, cold pre-fermentation maceration, long, cool fermentations and minimal racking prior to bottling, unfined and unfiltered - after 21-23 months in around one third new oak. Their 2016s are exceptional, profound, concentrated wines - not least because yields were reduced by 75% due to frost.

  • 2016 Pommard "Les Vaumuriens"
    1.44 hectares of 40-year-old vines above Rugiens on shallow, white marl soils

  • 2016 Pommard 1er Cru "Grand Clos des Epenots"
    A magnificent 5 hectare family-owned monopole of east facing 65-year-old vines, in the northern part of the appellation, on soils of rich, brown clay and limestone rock.

Domaine CONFURON-COTETIDOT, Vosne-Romanée NEW

  • 2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru "Les Suchots"
    Four parcels totalling 2 hectares of 60-80 year old vines, bordering Echezeaux and Romanée St Vivant.

Domaine MICHEL GROS, Vosne Romanée

As always, a benchmark tasting chez Michel and a candid assessment of the vintage. Following frost on 27th April, there were substantial losses in Hautes Cotes de Nuits (-75%), Nuits St Georges (-40%) and both Chambolle and Clos de Vougeot (nearly 50% down). Vosne was normal. Rain fell in May and June which led to mildew. July and August were good and dry, which stopped the mildew and very good weather continued up to harvest, which began on 28th September, when grapes in very healthy condition were picked. « The month of September can largely explain the quality of the vintage. Temperatures were 2.5 degrees higher than normal. The wines are superb, with deep colours, very good balance and very pure aromas ». Everything, as always, was destemmed and there is 1/3 new oak for the village wines and 50% for the premier crus.

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Rouge

 

  • 2016 Hautes Côtes de Nuits Rouge

 

  • 2016 Hautes Côtes de Nuits "Au Vallon"

 

  • 2016 Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc "Fontaine St Martin"
    This is a new monopole with the same soil and subsoil as the top part of the hill of Corton - marne and limestone rocks. A 3 hectare parcel of 10-25 year old vines.

  • 2016 Hautes Côtes de Nuits Rouge "Fontaine St Martin"
    As above. The red part comprises 4 hectares of 30 year old vines.

 

  • 2016 Vosne Romanée
    From Aux Réas, Au dessus de la Rivière and La Colombière

 

  • 2016 Chambolle Musigny
    0.69 ha, most of which from Argillières, next to Les Musigny, plus four other small parcels.

 

  • 2016 Nuits Saint Georges
    Several parcels on the Vosne side :- Les Athées, Les Lavières, Les Bas de Combe and La Perrière Noblet.

 

  • 2016 Nuits Saint Georges "Les Chaliots"
    Flinty, stoney soil on the Premeaux side, below 1er Cru Les Poirets.

 

  • 2016 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru
    A 0.3 hectare blend of Aux Vignerondes and Aux Murgers.

 

  • 2016 Vosne Romanée 1er Cru "Aux Brulées"
    30 cm of topsoil, then straight into marble.

 

  • 2016 Vosne Romanée 1er Cru "Clos des Réas" - Monopole
    The treasure of the Domaine. A 2ha monopole bought in 1860, which Michel first vinified in 1975. Marne and big blocks of limestone - the same as Romanée St Vivant.

 

  • 2016 Clos Vougeot
    0.23 hectares in Grand Maupertuis, bordering Grands Echezeaux, planted in 1987.

Domaine GILBERT et CHRISTINE FELETTIG, Chambolle Musigny

Another magnificent tasting! If any domaine has made a more meteoric ascent over the last handful of vintages, we would be extremely surprised. Why? Quite simply, after beginning with his father in 2000 and taking over in 2005, Gilbert was dissatisfied by his 2009s, which he found over-ripe and excessively oaky. He therefore set about changing everything. Organic viticulture and lower yields meant that he could pick earlier to retain freshness. Then, gentler extraction, no pumping, everything by gravity and a more judicious use of oak has resulted in finer, purer wines with greater definition. He also built a brand new cuverie last year. Because of frost, volumes are around 40-50% down. Gilbert began picking on 26th September and finished five days later - harvesting very healthy fruit at 13-13.5% natural alcohols. Sublime wines!

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Aligoté
    40-50 year old vines. Fermented in older barrels.

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Rouge
    40 year old vines, just over the other side of the RN74 in Chambolle. 20% new oak. 20% whole bunches.

 

  • 2016 Vosne Romanée
    2 individual parcels of 40 year old vines. 25% whole bunches. 30% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Nuits Saint Georges
    2/3 from Chaliots on the Premeaux side and 1/3 from Lavières, cote Vosne. 30% whole bunches and 30% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Morey Saint Denis "En La Rue de Vergy"
    A very steep vineyard, situated close to Clos des Lambrays, on Comblanchien limestone.

 

  • 2016 Chambolle Musigny Vieilles Vignes
    40, 50 and 60 year old vines. 20 individual parcels. 30% whole bunches. 30% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Chambolle Musigny Clos Le Village MONOPOLE
    A single 0.5ha plot with thin topsoil on limestone bedrock. Vines planted in 1973. 35% whole bunch inclusion, 50% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Chambolle 1er Cru "Les Lavrottes"
    20+ year old vines on slightly heavier soils. 30% whole bunches, 60% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Chambolle 1er Cru
    A blend of Les Feusselottes, Les Chatelots, Aux Combottes, Les Gruenchers, Les Plantes and Les Chabiots. 6 barrels made from 1.6 hectares = 10 hl/ha! 50% whole bunches, 60% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Chambolle 1er Cru "Les Fuées"
    2 parcels of 20 and 35 year old vines abutting Bonnes Mares. 30% whole bunches, 60% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Chambolle 1er Cru "Les Carrières"
    Limestone and marno-blanche soils. 45-50 year old vines. 100% whole bunches. 2/3 new oak.

 

  • 2016 Chambolle 1er Cru "Les Charmes"
    Very calcaire, stoney soils (like Feusselottes). 60 year old vines. 50% whole bunches, 60% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
    A blend of 2/3 Les Petits Monts and 1/3 Les Chaumes. 50% new oak, 20% whole bunches.

 

  • 2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru "Les Reignots"
    45-50 year old vines. 100% new oak, 20% whole bunches

 

  • 2016 Echezeaux Grand CrU
    Vines planted in 2001 in Les Treux. 2 barrels made. 50% new oak, 20% whole bunches.

 

Domaine ANNE ET HERVE SIGAUT, Chambolle Musigny

This was probably our best tasting with Anne, since we began working together with the 2011 vintage. The wines, from yields down around 40% down globally, because of frost, were super-concentrated, generous, succulent and seductive - but with defined aromatics, freshness and energy. They began picking on 26th September and finished 6 days later.

 

  • 2016 Chambolle Musigny Village
    4 individual parcels of 40 year old vines. 100% destemmed, 15% new oak. 8 barrels made, instead of the usual 20!

 

  • 2016 Chambolle Musigny "Les Bussières" Vieilles Vignes
    Planted in 1959 below 1er Cru Les Sentiers, on the Bonnes Mares side. 30% new oak. 10% whole bunches.

 

  • 2016 Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru "Les Fuées"
    3 parcels of 25 year old vines next to Bonnes Mares. 100% destemmed.

 

  • 2016 Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru "Les Noirots"
    45 year old vines. 30% new oak. 100% destemmed.

 

  • 2016 Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru "Les Sentiers"
    Vines planted in 1947, just below Bonnes Mares. 50% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru "Les Charrières"
    Just below Clos de la Roche. 25% new oak. 100% destemmed.

 

  • 2016 Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru "Les Millandes"
    45 year old vines just below Clos St. Denis. The site gives very small, concentrated grapes - 50% millerandage in 2016. 25% whole bunches. 30% new oak.

Domaine RENE BOUVIER, Gevrey Chambertin

This fine, organic, 17 hectare domaine is producing an excellent range of wines under the direction of Bernard Bouvier. His state-of-the-art cellars have recently been expanded to allow even more precise vinification and maturation. He is regularly featured in Bourgogne Aujourd'hui as being amongst the very best producers in Marsannay, Fixin and Gevrey-Chambertin. He picked very healthy fruit at the end of September and prefers his 2016s - which he likens to 2010 "more classic Burgundy" to his 2015s. 30-40% whole bunch inclusion in 2016. He was badly hit by frost in Marsannay and Fixin. Where he buys grapes (please see* below), he is in total control of all farming and picking - like fermage.

 

  • 2016 Marsannay Blanc "Le Clos" Monopole
    A 3 hectare plot on light marne-limestone soils and vinified in 600 ltr demi-muids.

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Rouge "Cuvée Chapitre Suivant"

 

  • 2016 Côtes de Nuits Villages Rouge
    From vines situated in Brochon

 

  • 2015 Marsannay Rouge "Longeroies"
    Marsannay "En Ouzeloy" was 100% frosted this year and we are offering this cuvee as a replacement.

 

  • 2016 Fixin "Crais de Chêne"
    40 year old vines on small stones, resulting in a far more elegant Fixin than the 80% of the village planted on heavy clay soils.

 

  • 2016 Gevrey Chambertin "La Justice"
    50 year old vines on small stones washed down from the Combe de Lavaux.

 

  • 2016 Gevrey Chambertin "Les Jeunes Rois"
    On a steep slope. Thin clay topsoil, then hard limestone base. 45-50 year old vines.

 

  • 2016 Gevrey Chambertin "Racine du Temps"
    80-90 year old vines, close to Les Jeunes Rois.

 

  • 2016 Vosne Romanée *

 

  • 2016 Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru "Les Fuées"*

 

  • 2016 Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru *

 

  • 2016 Echezeaux Grand Cru

 

 

Domaine DUGAT-PY, Gevrey Chambertin

As always, tasting at this great domaine was one of the great highlights of our vinous year. According to Loic Dugat, "It was a very humid spring. Lots of growers stopped organic viticulture, we continued. We were about 10% down on 2015 in terms of volumes. July, August and September were warm to hot and largely dry. Picking began on 21st September and finished 6 days later. The wines are somewhat like 2010 - fresh with ripe tannins or 2002 - classic, in the best sense". The wines will be offered, as usual, en primeur in the autumn.

 

 

Domaine PHILIPPE LIVERA (formerly Domaine DES TILLEULS), Gevrey Chambertin

Damien Livera has again excelled in 2016, from his 8.5 hectares of wonderfully sited old vines. These are lovely, sweet, dark, masculine wines, which manage to retain great class and balance. 100% destemmed, no fining or filtration here. A lovely range from a now established young, star grower. He is turning potential customers away in droves and our small allocation is unlikely ever to grow beyond its present level. They largely escaped the ravages of frost, except in Marsannay, which was wiped out. They began picking on 25th September and finished on 29th.  Damien likens 2016 to 2010.

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
    1 hectare of several parcels of vines, 2/3 around Gevrey and 1/3 Brochon, with an average age of 50 years.

 

  • 2016 Côtes de Nuits Villages
    From the stoney, Minerally soils of "Preau" in Brochon. Planted in the 50s and 60s. 20% new oak.

 

  • 2016 Fixin
    40 year old vines from the stoney, minerally soils of "En Oliver".

 

  • 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin "En Champs"
    Bordering Brochon, just under 1er Cru Champeaux. Very thin topsoils, straight into limestone bedrock gives great tension and minerality.

 

  • 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin "Les Evocelles"
    35 year old vines. A fine lieu dit and with a southern exposure, to the north of the village, always gives more delicacy.

 

  • 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin "Clos Village"
    1.5 hectares, in the heart of old Gevrey, below Clos St Jacques, of mainly 70-75 year old vines and some planted in 1935.

 

  • 2016 Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru
    Planted in 1952 in the lieu dit of Les Gemeaux, directly below Clos de Beze.

Domaine MARC ROY, Gevrey-Chambertin NEW

We have long admired and drunk these exquisite wines, on the recommendation of the patron, at Ma Cuisine in Beaune. Alexandrine Roy represents the fourth generation of growers in Gevrey and took over from her father, Marc, in 2003. She owns and works, almost single handedly, 3.5 hectares in Gevrey-Chambertin and 0.5 hectares in Marsannay. Whilst her holdings exclusively comprise "villages" sites, the resulting wines taste as though they originate from premier or even grand cru vineyards. As one of our most friendly customers succinctly put it, "they look a little expensive…………until you take the first sip!"

In order to produce her sublimely silky, plush, supple, transparent wines, Alexandrine works with low yielding old vines, rigorous selection, 100% destems and indigenous yeasts. Extractions are very gentle and use of new oak judicial. There are no hidden secrets. Alexandrine's 2016s are exceptional, and we are also very fortunate to have acquired meaningful stocks of the 2015 vintage.

 

  • 2016 Bourgogne Rouge
    50-60 year old vines from the commune of Gevrey-Chambertin.

 

  • 2016 Marsannay Blanc "Les Champs Perdrix"
    0.5ha of 40 year old vines on a steep hill at nearly 400m. There is 10 cm of fine rock top soil, then straight into pure limestone. Vinified in 20% new oak, sur lie, and not racked until bottling. No malolactic.

 

  • 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes
    70 year old vines from 6 individual parcels:- En Jouise, Les Murots, Carougeot, Les Crays, Vignes Belles and Les Seuvrees. Characterized by depth and generous, silky, round fruit.

 

  • 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin "La Justice"
    At the top of the slope next to Clos de la Justice. All charm, freshness, elegance, purity and finesse.

 

  • 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin "Clos Prieur"
    A magnificent parcel of 60 year old vines, on iron-rich clay over limestone, below Mazis-Chambertin. Sees 30% new oak and exhibits a deep core of gorgeous, dense, spicy dark fruits and a plush, sensual texture.

 

  • 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin "Cuvée Alexandrine"
    A very special, extremely limited production cuvee made exclusively from millerandaged, tiny, thick-skinned, super-concentrated grapes - individually selected from all Alexandrine's vineyards. Simply outstanding!

 

 

Domaine NATHALIE ET GILLES FEVRE "Marcel et Blanche Fèvre", Chablis

Nathalie and Gilles have now been joined by their daughter Julie - a qualified agricultural engineer and oenologist in her own right. This is a wonderful 50ha domaine, 33ha of which is village Chablis around Fontenay-Pres-Chablis. These are absolutely delicious, benchmark examples of pure, incisive, concentrated, sumptuous wines. The stars of the domaine are the 2ha plot of 1er Cru Vaulorent (at the southern tip of Fourchaume, bordering Grand Cru Les Preuses) 50 year old vines, 15% barrel fermented (half new) and Grand Cru Les Preuses - a magnificent 2.5ha holding of 55 year old vines, vinified 30% in barrel (half new) and 70% stainless steel. The straight 1er Cru Fourchaume, all vinified in stainless steel, is mouth-wateringly delicious. After an extremely challenging early and late spring, they sustained significant volume losses to frost and hail. The quality, thankfully, is exemplary!

  • 2016 Chablis 1er Cru "Fourchaume"
  • 2016 Chablis 1er Cru "Mont de Milieu"
  • 2016 Chablis 1er Cru "Vaulorent"
  • 2016 Chablis Grand Cru "Les Preuses"

Domaine CHRISTIAN MOREAU, Chablis

Superstar wines - but huge losses to frost and hail (please see individual wines below for details). Biblical conditions until July, when things improved greatly. Many high-profile Chablis producers gave up on organic practices. Moreau has continued. They began picking on 26th September and finished 6 days later. "The fruit that was left was in excellent health and quality". Regretfully, we are not able to take on any new customers and existing customers should expect severely curtailed allocations.

 

  • 2016 Chablis 1er Cru "Vaillon"
    5 parcels in Le Vaillon (the best and original part) as opposed to Les Vaillons. Average 49 year old vines. 35% barrel fermented (3% new oak). 70% down

 

  • 2016 Chablis Grand Cru "Les Clos"
    2.9ha parcel, averaging 54 years old, in one block, in the middle of Les Clos, top to bottom. 40% barrel fermented (3% new oak). 47% down

 

  • 2016 Chablis Grand Cru "Valmur"
    1 hectare in two blocks on both sides of Valmur. 54 year old vines. 50% barrel fermented (3% new oak). 41% down

 

  • 2016 Chablis Grand Cru "Vaudésir"
    Planted in 1998. 100% barrel fermented. 3% new oak. 45% down

 

  • 2016 Chablis Grand Cru "Clos des Hospices"
    0.5ha, 35 year old vines at the bottom of the slope, which has been in the family since 1904. More clay than the other cuvee of Les Clos, it is broader, fuller and richer. 50% down.

 

  • 2016 Chablis Grand Cru "Clos des Hospices" MAGNUMS