Category Archives: 2008

A very round and silky, but subtle Les Suchots from 2008

The age of most of the vines in the Les Suchots vineyard of Hudelot-Noellat’s parcels are almost 90. A very interesting wine in deed.

DSC038402008 Vosne-Romanée 1er cru “Les Suchots”, Hudelot-Noellat

Colour is translucent blood orange with transparent light-orange edges. Beautiful colour!

The nose is very closed and careful in the decanter even after six hours, but some typical rowan berries, distinct ginger, clove, white pepper, pastry, overripe red fruit jam, tiny notes of medicine cabin, but also very fragrant and intense red flowers combined with lovely and just a little sweet, seductive perfumes.

On the palate it is dominated by ripe, candid red fruit and there are notes of blood orange, ginger and some anise. It is slowly filling up to be medium-bodied and is actually quite generous if you can wait a day. Texture is very silky, supple and it is long with just enough structure to go all the way. At the same time it is a little thin and a little less complex than expected, but it possesses all the goodies and characteristics of this sacred wine area.

It is super-round and well balanced wine with finesse that Charles van Canneyt and his team offers in this vintage. Open in 2017.

91-92p/100

A very spicy burgundy wine with complex nose from Guyon

In our previous post, we tasted Cathiard’s version from this cool, windy, chalky site. This time it is the 2008 vintage, not in general equally great as the 2010 vintage, but usually underrated. This time we focus on another producer that is clearly under the radar; Domaine Guyon. Actually, we did taste their base red here. In 1991, Jean Pierre followed by his brother Michel took over the vineyards from their father. They use 100% new oak, extraction endures for 18 days in steel vats and vines are about 40 years old in their parcels in en Orveaux.

2008 1er cru En Orveaux, Domaine Guyon

The colour is beautifully blood orange with red purple nuances and edges are orange-pink.

The nose emerges with a lot of sulphur the first hour as well as notes of medicine cabin, typical chalky saline minerals and oil paint. After numerous hours, the typical saline and chalky notes from this site takes a step back and let the vosne herbs arrive to the scene dominated by freshly cut ginger, dry mint and ground cumin. In addition, there is some really enchanting sweet-peppery pastry notes combined with Indian spices that gets through at times that is just lovely. When giving this wine plenty of time in the decanter, the dominating base of chalky and dark minerals as well as the dominating saline acidity, let other complex scents through and the nose is in fact really good and interesting.

On the palate, the high level of chalky and distinct saline acidity that is so typical for this windy site is still dominating and coating the bluish and pure fruit. Unfortunately, the taste does not shape up to the impressive nose, but there are loads of delightful spices and anise seeds in here, but it is not really well balanced and the finish is a little too saline.  The high level of new oak is at this stage quite well integrated and doesn’t disturb the palate. However, texture is impressively silky without any spurs on the tongue whatsoever and it is quite persistent too.

A really interesting nose, but it falls short on the palate that is, unfortunately, less balanced now and lacks complexity. Open in 2018.

89-90p/100

A vertical tasting of Fevre’s chablis Bougros grand cru

We really like the chablis wines of William Fevre, the estate who is owned by the champagne house of Joseph Henriot since 1998. Didier Séguier, previously successful at the estate Bouchard in Beaune, has really elevated quality to an even greater level each year it seems. The great 2010 grand cru Les Clos that literally blew us away was tested here. It also contains more information about the producer and their work.

The chablis grand cru 2012 Bougros was newly released and we got really exited with the amazing 2010 vintage fresh in mind, but not expecting the same supremacy. So at this vertical tasting – not surprisingly – we added the 2010 as well as the classic vintage of 2008.

The 2008 vintage is good and classic with a lot of delicate lime minerals backed by a overly high level of energetic acidity and very pure fruit. However, this year survived spring frost well, but lacked sun until very late mid-September when it got hot. Luckily, it was saved by cooling north winds to keep acidity levels in the grapes. The lack of summer sun appeared an issue at first, but it is in general usually quite balanced, very fresh and managed to reach almost perfect ripeness right before harvest. However, the acidity is in general usually very high and gnarly wrapping loads of chalky minerals now so it certainly needs time to integrate much more. 2008 has all the element and grace for a better than normal vintage, but needs patience to develop into a more balanced wine.

2010 is in our opinion a greater and iconic, but unusual vintage compared to the very good and classic vintage of 2008 for chablis. Actually, spring was unusually cold, wet and very irregular which rendered very late and uneven flowering thus yields are 35-40% lower than usual in the grand cru vineyards and producers needed to sort grapes meticulously. Moreover, the vintage was saved by normal weather from late July until harvest, but still with heavy rains. Fortunately, the vintage manage to come out unusually great and much better than anticipated. The 2010 takes everything in a classic vintage even further and is remarkable for its impeccable balance, aromatic precision and unusual power for a Chablis, but without sacrificing any detail or complexity. On the contrary, it rather emphasis them. However, these descriptions only applies if you harvested early. Otherwise, the wines may get too heavy and overly concentrated without freshness. It may very well be the greatest vintage in Chablis in the latest 20 years and it will have a longer life than usual.

The 2012 started off with disaster during spring in the grand cru vineyards with frost and really poor weather conditions that prolonged flowering by weeks and when summer finally arrived in August, it got really hot and dry, but there was enough water retained in the soil in most places. However, due to the issues during spring, yields were down by up to 40% from normal and it was crucial to pick early to avoid too low levels of acidity in this vintage. Among the producers that did, 2012 is in general a little bit like a less complete version of the 2010, equally powerful and almost as concentrated, but not with the same precision and balance. This warmer vintage stand out as unusually rich, generously forward and much more approachable than the other two.

Now over to the tasting..

2008 William Fevre, Bougros grand cru

Sir Galahad:

The colour has a pale but translucent middle with transparently yellow with a little light-green nuances and light yellow edges.

The scent has a base of vibrant, slightly burned lime minerals, fennel, nettles, exotic spices, grape, lime fruit and wonderful top notes of white flowers. A quite complex and beautifully fresh nose, but little nose, that is dominated by fresh minerals.

Typical pure layers of lime, grape, gooseberries, green apple and notes of almond. A lot of vibrant lime minerals that is dominated by a very energetic and balsamically fresh acidity that needs a lot of airing, but even after two hours, it is still gnarly now and obviously needs more time to integrate and really calm down. Texture is smooth, it is medium-bodied and driven by its overly energetic acidity.A classic and mineral-fresh wine with pretty nose, but now a little too high acidity-level. However, everything that you would expect from a classic is in there. Open 2016.

91-92p/100

2010 William Fevre, Bougros grand cru

Sir Galahad:

The colour has an overall translucent quality and the middle is pale, but transparently yellow with just a little light-green nuances and light yellow edges.

The scent emerges after about two hours in the decanter and offers distinct vibrating, somewhat burned, and very delicate lime and minerals. Moreover, there is pure lime fruit, elder, nettles, delicate white flowers and a very discrete slowly emerging, but mysterious inner perfume. A very deep and complex nose that make us happy and hooked.

We really like the vibrating, fine tuned and lightly burned chalky lime minerals that are elevated by the impressive acidity that is so energetic, fresh, olive oil-creamy and crispy. Moreover, the palate offers quite intense, but absolutely pure aromas of lime fruit, gooseberries, honey melon, passion fruit and notes of dry honey that gradually builds its weightless power into a super-long and elegant final. It is voluptuous, provides a consistent high-level concentration and texture is fine-grained and chewy.

This is an impressive and unusual version of this grand cru that is quite intense with impressively fresh and really pure aromas. Moreover, it is an amazingly persistent and powerfully structured wine build with impeccable balance and finesse.

95p/100

2012 William Fevre, Bougros grand cru

Didier and his crew started picking early on the 20th of September, so they managed to keep a very high level of acidity in the very hot and dry end of the summer.

Sir Galahad:

The colour has an overall translucent quality here too and the middle is pale yellow with just a little light-green nuances and light yellow edges.

Even after two hours of decanting, the nose is still very slow and emerges with white flowers, fine tuned minerals and citrus- and exotic fruits, but the fruit is very much in the background now. A fine but a little backward and less complex nose.

The taste is is quite the opposite, actually. It is very generous and offers lime, pears, gooseberries, honey melon and sea grass. It is very rich and more forward than the 2010, but it is not as balanced and lacks some depth and complexity. Texture is fine grained and the crispy acidity reveals itself in the very long final with less austerity than the 2010 and more saline notes. It is very rich, generous and weightlessly powerful for a chablis.

A broad-shouldered Chablis that stands out as rich and generous with plenty of fresh and high quality acidity for early drinking. Even so, my suggestion is to wait another year or two, so it can come together more and hopefully the nose will open up some more too then.

93-94p/100

Andreas:

Compared with the nose in for example the Fevre 1er cru Montee de Tonnerre, the Bougros is slimmer, holding back and quite crisp in the beginning. A few hours after opening the bottle it gets rounder and opens up more. We find fresh pears, mineral notes and some exotic fruit in the background. Today this wine delivers a greater experience on the palate than on the nose. The acidity is fantastically crisp and energetic and carries the wine forward. There is also minerals, again some pears, and hints of honey in the end.

This wine should develop with time. Today it is a bit slim but has all the potential in the long run. This wine is all about freshness and energy rather than about complexity and depth, which of course could develop more with time. These short comings will not render top ratings, but this is a fantastically fresh wine.

92-94p/100

Summary

The Bougros is a grand cru that in certain vintages like 2010 and 2012 can get really complete with more power without compromising details and complexity in the hands of a very crafted producer, but obviously it falls short to its supreme sibbling, the Les Clos. The 2012 Les Clos and the special Bougros, the “Côte Bougureots” will be released in August and we will be back with a tasting later that month, so stay tuned. Open a Bougros from Fevre to very fresh sea food, medium-fat fish dishes with creamy sauces. Ensure you have decanted the wine for at least three hours and that they are served at 12 degrees Celsius.

The Lovers Vineyard in Burgundy

The Les Amoureuses is a very special vineyard usually offering a very intensely fragrant, feminine, enchanting bouquet. It is classified as premier cru, but everybody considers it being Grand cru, but anyway it is the little sister princess residing at 250 m above sea level just below the great queen of Musigny.

The wines at this estate are a made in a collaboration by Robert, Robert Groffier’s son Serge and grandson Nicolas, so three generations are involved with the wine making business. They own the largest part of the Les Amoureuses vineyard (1.09 ha which is a 20%) and vines are about 30 years old and divided into three bigger parcels with slightly different exposition. They aquired these in 1933 from a négotiant at the time. They employ 5-6 days cold soak and maceration is carried out at remarkably high temperatures. Vinification parameters vary depending on vintage and they add ripe stalks when extra tannins for structure is needed. The wine is raised in barriques for one year of which 50% are new and then the wine rests and stabilises even further in neutral steel vats until bottling after 16 months.

2008 is a classic vintage with a very inconsistent growing season that reminded people at first a lot of the previous bad year of 2007. However, even though it too was wet and in general cool, it was saved by some weeks of well needed sun and warmth beginning in late June, but went cloudy in July. In the first part of August, the weather was really sunny followed by a very wet and cold September. Harvest was not easy with mildew and started in the last week of September, but the wines have developed better than anticipated. They are definitely better than 2007.

2008 1er cru Amoureuses, Robert Groffier

A really beautiful, translucent dark cerise-red colour with light-orange and transparent edges.

The scents at the base holds under vegetation, dusty gravel, distinct earthy minerals, wood glue and then you are suddenly transferred into a summer meadow with morning fresh dew. After two hours, it offers quite intense top notes of violets, fresh flowers, dried Mediterranean herbs and balsamic notes. In addition, very deep, fragrant and seductive scents with stylish inner perfumes emerges in waves at the glass. And finally, after three hours, the bouquet offers ripe fruit and the perfume is a little less intense at this stage, but more prominent than other scents in here. This vineyard is always something very beautiful and seductively captivating.

It is detailed with quite deep layers of red fruit; very ripe wild strawberries, sloes, cranberries and in addition some quite surprising passion-fruit. In addition, there is fresh herbs and spices e.g. clove, nutmeg, anise, cardamon, Sicilian blood orange, gravel and balsamic oil. Texture is velvety, almost silky and tannins are ripe and of really high quality. Acidity is incredibly fresh and wraps balsamic oils, delicate pears and orange-peel. Concentration is fine, but could be better and there is just enough structure.

This supreme princess just lacks some concentration, grip and backbone to reach all the way to the finish-line as well as suffering just a little from some excessive sweetness, but otherwise this sophisticated and lovely young woman, is a sensual personality, all dressed in velvet, is strikingly balanced, feather-lightly structured and certainly emerges with grace and elegance. Her scent is incredibly fragrant, captivating and intense from a lovely site that we certainly can never get enough of. It is enjoyable now, but I urge you to wait until 2018 to let the tannins integrate more and get everything into place.

93-94p/100

2009 may not be a classic vintage, but it is a really good one that is fat, fleshy, rich and forwardly packed with fruit. It may not have a very long life ahead, but it is approachable with an relatively early drinking window and the French characterises it as sexy. Some says it is a lesser version of the great, big and high acidic 2005 and others mean it resembles the other vintages that end with a 9.

 

2009 1er cru Amoureuses, Robert Groffier


The colour is beautifully translucent blood orange with scarlet nuances and light-orange edges.The first hour, the base nose offers medicine cabin, earth cellar, cherries and distinct wet gravel. After another two hours, the expected flowers finally arrive. A blossoming summer meadow, earthy minerals and then waves of really intense flowers and seductive inner-perfumes leave the glass. The scent is intensively forward, complex and fragrant with its spellbinding qualities.

Texture is very soft and already silky with almost no spurs from the tannins at all. The fruit is forwardly super-fresh and dominated now by deep layers of red currant, sloes and cranberries, but there are notes of wild strawberries too in here. The mid palate offers typical terroir-characteristics; pleasant metallic and earthy minerals as well as anise seeds, distinct herbs, pastry, dusty gravel and cardamom. It is a persistent, very pure, concentrated, refined and very forward taste sensation with great balance. All these great flavours are coated in very fresh and balsamic acidity that wraps passion-fruit, pears and oils.

Yet again, a great effort by Groffier and the site has proved itself to be absolutely worthy of its grand cru nomination and all its feminine magic. This princess is full of self confidence, very generous and direct. It is more complete than the 2008 vintage, especially on the palate with better concentration, and simply lovely.

95+p/100

 

Vertical 2005, 2008, 2009 Altare, Barolo Arborina

I have visited Silvia Altare, the daughter of Elio Altare, several times in La Morra, Barolo. I have always been impressed by their Barolo Arborina, especially from the vintages 2000 and 2004.

Arborina is a very small vineyard in La Morra with a lot of calcareous clay mixed with sand, marl and rich in manganese/magnesium carbonate. Typical soil from the Tortonian geological era which makes up for fragrant and very elegant wines in this region. It is also, unfortunately, exposed to hail and heavy rains. In 2006, hails wiped out the whole harvest, so no bottles from Arborina were made this year. Arborina is not considered among the best crus in the region, but Altare has succeeded in making great wines from here and is a good example of what a really skilled producer can do.

Elio Altare was the leader of the “modernista” movement back in the 80’s inspired by a trip to Burgundy. The modernists aimed for more approachable barolos with the use of barriques to soften the tannins but also to make an elegant, international style barolo. In order to restrain the prominent tannins in the nebbiolo grape during extraction, an extremely short 4-day maceration is still employed and the use of rotary fermentor which is a stainless steel temperature-controlled cabin originally invented by Enrico Scavino with a mechanic rotor that is configured to automatically move around the skins from the surface a few times a day. In the case of Arborina, usually 20% new and 80% 2nd passage french barriques are used to make this very burgundish barolo. Thus a fairly low level of new oak is employed.

2009 Barolo “Arborina”, Elio Altare

2009 is an average-good vintage that was warm, very patchy, short-cycled and absolutely not a classic one. In general, it may offer less concentration and be a little volatile, but if harvested at the right time it usually renders fine balance and the quality of tannins in terms of ripeness are in general better than the forecast. Many skilled producers that employed careful selection of grapes still managed to do really good wines.

Sir Galahad:

Colour has a very dark ruby middle, very young white/transparent edges.

The nose emerges with immediate, distinct sweet fruity cream cake, but then the nose changes tremendously even after three hours of airing. Anyway, there are pleasant and subtle fragrances, scents of water-on-stone, some tar, tiny asian herbs, saline mushrooms, mint, violets, solvent and oil paint in here. This somewhat continuously changing broad spanning nose is really fresh and delightful.

The palate offers intense, pure and very forward fruit. Grape-peel, shale, anise, fresh menthol and fine tuned minerals. Very fresh, balsamic and energetic acidity. Alcohol is a little high now, but this is just a very minor remark. Fine, but now a little rough tannins, but still of good quality. Texture is sandy now and structure is fine with a medium body. There is complexity here but this wine needs to integrate a few years more, but it will be really fresh and pretty.

A fresh and approachable wine that still offers good concentration and complexity considering the short-cycled vintage that is not in favour for nebbiolo. Open 2015.

93-94p/100

Andreas: 

A somewhat carefully nose with red fruit, lots of wild berries, balsamic notes and menthol. Not so much depth but very fresh.

Taste: Again generous with wild berries. The acidity adds freshness and energy. Some sweetness, candy and hints of solvent.

Finish: There are some sandy tannins but also fresh acidity.

Summary: This wine needs a few years for the acidity and tannins to get integrated 100%, but it has great potential and is already very good. Compared with the 2004 it is much fresher in the finish. You feel like drinking more immediately. This is a quality wine.

94p/100

2008 Altare Barolo Arborina

Sir Galahad:

2008 was a cool, somewhat patchy and difficult vintage with hails and a wet summer with mildew and parasite, but was saved by a stable weather with minor rains and cool nights in the beginning of September that lasted until a late harvest caused by an unusually late ripening. A vintage of timing the harvest it appears.

It is a good and classic vintage and generally appear, I think, very aromatic and with structure, but with more saline minerals than usual and now usually not approachable at all. The acidity level is very high and will most likely need significant time to integrate, so acidity and minerals has a tendency to cover everything else and certainly needs more airing than usual.

Colour is dark ruby middle, scarlet-red tone in the outer parts with transparent edge.

There is notes of sweet oak and some alcohol on the nose, glue, some tar, rosemary, vibrant earthy minerals and spices. After an hour, bunches of intense red flowers and the typical feminine, lovely style perfume emerges.

The mid palate has layers of blackberries, anise, peppers, pastry, black tea, notes of truffles, fresh herbs and a lot of earthy minerals. Instantly more meaty and fleshy than expected, very mouth-filling, generously full-bodied indeed with impressive concentration and it is long. The end currently has thick, chewy tannins (a little more than usual for this wine) that bites and the acidity is a little gnarly even after a lot of airing, but it is pleasantly balsamic and promises freshness for a long lifetime. This all very good. On the bad side here, is some unexpected excessive alcohol and a little sweetness and bitterness from new oak which disturbs the mid palate a little. The latter is a surprise, since the estate is usually very skillful with new oak. Even though it is too young now for evaluating its future destiny in terms of balance and elegance, it is clearly not in the same league as e.g. the great 2000 or 2004 vintages. Open 2018+. Costs about €70.

92-94p/100

2005 Altare Barolo Arborina

Sir Galahad:

2005 is a very good and underrated vintage, but not a classic one. It is in general less heavy on tannins, less structured from a little cooler vintage that is for early drinking that will not gain that much from further bottling. Concentration is usually good and if harvested at the right time it is usually balanced and more complex than forecasted.

Colour is very dark ruby middle, scarlet-red tone in the outer parts with transparent edge.

A little sweet oak on the nose, tar, asian herbs, cinnamon, rosemary, vibrant earthy minerals, very fresh black fruit, forest floor, very balsamic, a bunch of intense red flowers and the typical feminine, stylish inner perfumes. Super-freshness and stylish perfume are the obvious key words here!

The mid palate has layers of fruit typically boysenberries, wild strawberries and dark cherries. Other aromas follow e.g. anise, fennel, menthol, notes of truffles, fresh herbs, black tea, balsamic notes, spices, pepper, a lot of fine tuned earthy minerals and tar. Tannins are surprisingly just a little heavy still and not as polished as I would expect in this vintage and site when drinking it now. A very balanced wine that only suffers from just a little excessive alcohol and some oak notes that is a little disturbing, but more importantly it doesn’t cover the complex aromas here at all. Concentration is great, complexity is impressive and it is long.

An incredibly fresh and complex nose. Yes, I’d like less alcohol here too, but in this case I think there is so much else to discover here so I am more forgiving in this case. It is elegant and the tannins are thicker than usual, they are pleasantly chewy and it is complex, long and very balanced and very, very Burgundish. Open in 2014 just to let the tannins settle a little more and get more polished. Costs €82.

95p/100