Monthly Archives: April 2014

An impressive village chambolle from a producer on the rise

This estate is really interesting and definitely on the rise in Burgundy. The quality was very much improved by Pierre Nawrocki’s time as cellar master and set a new benchmark that brought some attention, but we don’t think that the world has really understood their potential yet and the very positive direction they are going. Since 2008, Charles van Canneyt is heading the estate with much help of the enologist Vincent Meunier in the cellar that somewhat appears to have been taken over the relay race baton from Nawrocki and they keep getting better and better. There is always this saying that a true great producer is not only met by his greatest wines, but his more simple village wines. It could not be more true than with this estate, since both the Bourgogne rouge and the base Chambolle-Musigny and Vosne-Romanée have impressed us in the latest vintages.

The vintage 2011 was a difficult one and yields about 35% lower than normal and consequently the prices for the crus are high. It is a short-cycled vintage with very early bud break and a uniform flowering that was in full blossom already in a summer-like May. In June fierce winds destroyed some plants. Summer was unstable until mid August emerged as quite hot but with heavy rains that caused some mildew and rot. However, tannins in the grapes were almost perfect and ripening equal to 2010. An extremely early harvest began in the last days of August like in 2007.

2011 Hudelot-Noëllat, Chambolle-Musigny

The colour is translucently crimson red with light cerise and red purple edges.
The nose offers seductive perfumes, peon roses, typical rowan berries, wood glue, very distinct dusty gravel, Asian spices, cardamon, clove, some delicate and somewhat carefully, burned, minerals. It has a much better nose than expected from a village wine from chambolle and this is very transparent and fresh.
The taste is very pure, fresh and sourish red fruit; red current and wild strawberries, blood orange, Asian spices, ginger, dusty gravel, notes of menthol, anise, tea and fine tuned burned minerals. After one hour of decanting, the acidity calms down and it reveals its very balsamically fresh energy. The structure a little light, but concentration is fine. Texture is silky and tannins are very approachable, but they lack some backbone. In addition, maybe it is overly polished too.

This wine may be a little too polished, suffering a little from a volatile envelope and lack some grip in the finish, but these are minor remarks considering how very price-worthy this chambolle village really is in terms of purity and richness. Open 2016.


A crowd pleaser from Burgundy: 2006 Domaine Guyon, Vosne Romanée

Domaine Guyon is a small estate with 8 hectares headed by the brothers Jean-Pierre and Michel Guyon since 1991. This wine is made from 50-60 year old vines and it is matured for 10-14 months in oak (30% new).

The 2006 vintage can be described as an average vintage for red burgundy. The wines are quite fruity, fresh and easily approachable. You can drink them at a quite young age.

2006 Domaine Guyon, Vosne-Romanée

The nose is very generous and quite dense with lots of raspberries, strawberries, menthol, sweetness and hints of oak.

On the palate we find an abundance of quite sweet red fruit as well as hints of leather and some spices. The acidity is fresh and clean and there are minerals in the background. Unfortunately we find some bitterness in the finish which affects the total impression.

This is a very approachable and surprisingly powerful wine for a Vosne-Romanée. Unfortunately the wine lacks complexity and personality for a top score. Just open and enjoy instead of spending hours analysing.


A holy santo stefano from a great traditionalist

This estate has been selling their fruit from the great Santo Stefano vineyard to the famous Bruno Giacosa for several years. Noteworthy is, that the grapes for this wine has been the best of Giacosa’s range since 1964, even including the mythical Asili according to many critics around the world, but lately the Stupino brothers have decided to produce everything themselves from the 2012 vintage. They put Albesani on the label since they want the customer to know that this is an important lieu-dit in the Santo Stefano vineyard. After thorough selection, this wine undergoes 12 days of maceration. The estate ages the wine in barriques for 24 months in barriques, one year in neutral botte and one year in bottle before it is released to the market. We don’t know if any new toasted oak is employed for this barbaresco, but we have not noticed any, so we assume 2nd passage only or at least a very low portion. First bottling of this vineyard was in 1971 and the vineyard is about 40 years old now.

Castello di Neive Santo Stefano 2007 Barbaresco

When you open up this wine, it at first gives you the impression of being somewhat diluted and lack concentration, but give it a three hours of airing and it really opens up. I mean really gets to life!
The colour is very translucent deep ruby to dark red purple with clean, transparent edges.
After about 3-4 hours of airing, the nose is distinct and very special, delicate and offers seductive inner perfume as well as very detailed roses and the tar and asphalt. In addition, some balsamic fur, some clove and dried herbs as well as notes of mint and worn leather slowly arriving. Very impressive and deep complex nose indeed that reminds me of when Bartolo Mascarello is at its best which is quite a record of notice in my opinion really.
When taking a sip, it offers distinct layers of raspberry fruit and ripe, fresh and very pure wild strawberries, orange-peel, distinct anise, fennel, balsamic herbs, exotic spices pastry and loads of fine tuned lime minerals. Concentration is really good, but maybe just a little volatile. It is medium bodied and there is just enough power to lift it. The acidity is gnarly now, but energetic and balsamically fresh wrapping grape-peel after decanting and this just needs a few more years to shape up. Texture is fine sandy, dusty now, but the tannins are good, but lacks a little chewiness. However, they are ripe and not green. A really good soprano is offered in the persistent finish and fine tuned details in the base.

When the overly energetic, sulky acidity will calm down in a few years, we are absolutely sure this is a real treat, so don’t forget to air it for at least 3-4 hours. This wine is really forward, but at the same time shows the secrets of this magnificent vineyard. Even though we may lack some complexity regarding the taste, this is tiny remark and we are sure this will be great in a few more years, since everything is in here that we seek for; transparency, some depth, purity and elegance. Open 2015.


An honest and very concentrated brunello from Salicutti

The estate Salicutti is probably the first to employ organic cultivation in Montalcino back in 1994. The owner, Francesco Leanza, is a very self-made man that does pretty much everything by himself. Except for organic cultivation in the vineyards, he employs thorough green harvest, topping and thinning out and leaves 5-7 bunches on each vine before harvest to ensure high quality grapes. Giving up a profession as a chemical engineer in Rome he became a wine maker and produced his first wine in 1996.

2006 Brunello di Montalcino Salicutti “Piaggione”

Its colour is translucent blood orange middle with light orange edges.
The nose after two hours of decanting offers distinct tar, smoke, worn leather, notes of tobacco and balsamic notes. In two additional hours, there is suddenly distinct balsamic herbs, cooked asparagus and very unusually I think I recognise fresh basil too. Moreover, at this point there is a lot of resonant fruit in here, but even more so there are beautiful top notes of very delicate inner perfumes, red flowers, bergamot, salvia and a salt-stained, fresh breeze. This is not a big and imposing nose, but rather a slow, fragrant one that is more about complex details and delicate aromas from the site.
The taste offers layers of very concentrated, ripe and pure fruit of which cherries, is most prominent, but there is also wild strawberries, cranberries and plum. Texture is already velvety and a little dusty. Ripe tannins steers the wine, but now still gives the tongue a spur, but they will develop fine and soften even more. This is a medium bodied and very balanced wine with great, energetic acidity without any harshness at all. It is persistent too and concentration is impressive and consistent. The crescendo in the long aftertaste offers very delicate chalky minerals, anise, liquorice backed by dusty tar and leather.

Yes, this is an honest, transparent and very slowly emerging wine with impressive complexity and very pure aromas. It is quite Burgundish with its details, balance and freshness. Open in 2017.