Category Archives: 2012

A neutral terroir-focused 2012 Bordeaux that impresses

We don’t focus on wines of Bordeaux, but this producer, Château Le Puy, is interesting and caught our attention when it was offered recently at a wine bar (l’Enoteca) in Malmö, Sweden.

This producer works dynamically and uses no sulphur or pesticides and have never done so. They use no new wood at all as they want real terroir in their wines and they conduct extraction by the ultra traditional submerged caps method. Wow, we are hooked. A blend of 85% merlot, 1% carmènére and the rest cabernet sauvignon.

Scissored from the producer’s website:

“To be a winemaker you need to be observant, curious, imaginative, hard-working, thick-skinned, meticulous, passionate about nature and about life and filled with respect for your fellow man. A winemaker must be artistic in his methods, bold in his thinking, enthusiastic yet reflective, passionate yet patient, pragmatic yet imaginative, efficient yet generous. Being a winemaker is about communicating directly with wine lovers, showing them the very best of yourself through the medium of wine. ” – Jean-Pierre Amoreau

Yes, this might be one of the best description of the art of making wine, but how does the wine taste?..

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2012 Château Le Puy “Emilien”

Distinct nose of tidy barnyard, undervegetation, horse back, muddy gravel, dried raisins and figs. The typical pen lead, gravel, undervegetation, black olives and black currants wrapped in metallic and saline minerals. Texture is dense and just a little hefty now with tannins that need more time still. Otherwise, very crisp and balanced already. A rich, well structured wine with a lot of honest character (true terroir) and dry sensation in the persistent finish. (tasted 5/8-2016)

89-90p/100

2012 Cathiard impresses again in Aux Malconsorts

 

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We simply love the precision and quality that Sébastien and his father Sylwain succeeds to deliver in every vintage regardless of how difficult it may be.

2012 Vosne-Romanée 1er cru Aux Malconsorts, Sylwain Cathiard

The classic popcorn, distinct orange-peel, Vosne spices, ginger and intense violets and subtle roses. The clean bluish-red and creamy fruit is wrapped in layers of vibrating minerals and orange-peel. It is more forward, denser and opulent than usual, but still with that remarkable precision and finesse as always.  A very generous, rich and persistent wine that still should be kept for a few years more to the let the thick tannins ripen even more. (Tasted 5/8-2016)

94p/100

An Albino Rocca from Ronchi in 2012

The vineyard Ronchi is situated north of Montestefano and below Rabajà, but it shares its power and darker characteristics from the former. The warm vintage 2012 is much better in Barbaresco compared to Barolo regarding nebbiolo with generally well structured wines with good balance and fine tannins. The reason being a much the colder spring than usual and late warmth compared to Barolo.

DSC046732012 Barbaresco “Ronchi”, Albino Rocca

It emerges with dried rose petals, new cut ginger, crushed stone, dried herbs, dark cherries. A complex, but a little modern and pretty nose, but reticent.

On the palate, it is very dense, powerful and fleshy. At the same time it is pliant, but now texture is too fleshy and clumsy. The new oak addition is currently not doing it any favours (is it ever?), especially not in the quite persistent finish that now is a little bitter, too dry and packed with artificial powder. Flavours are typical dark cherries, black berry jam with stones. It is saved from being too one dimensional and awkward by a very fresh and vivid acidity. Balance is ok.

This wine certainly needs a lot of time to come around and is obviously saved by its approachable acidity, but still it is currently hard to see it turning into a wine with finesse. No, even though nose is pretty and its acidity is great, Albino Rocca is not tuning down its level of new oak so we cannot recommended it. Open in 2020 is our guess, but don’t buy.

86p/100

A creamy, powerful 2012 Les Clos from Fevre

We have praised domaine William Fevre before and especially the work by the team behind Didier Séguier. The 2012 Bougros was tasted in a vertical here. This post also summarises our thoughts of the 2012 vintage. The fantastic 2010 Les Clos was tasted here.

DSC046452012 Chablis grand cru Les Clos, William Fevre

Colour is quite crystalline lightly yellow pale with tints of green.

The nose emerges with immediate popcorn, nettles and hazelnut. You need to decanter this at least for two hours, but then more nettles arrive to the scene as well as lime, citrus-peel, and elegant perfume of white flowers.

On the palate, the texture is very creamy, soft and chewy. A quite big-bodied and powerful wine in accordance with its vintage, but still with remarkable precision and amazing concentration. A very aromatic wine with a lot of dried tropical fruit, walnuts, sea grass and of course citrus flavours. All coated in really fresh, impeccable and mineral-driven acidity of high quality wrapping olive oils and rocks.

A broad-shouldered and ample wine with steadfast focus and immense freshness.Obviously, not as balanced as the amazing 2010, but still really refined, focused and with a lot of finesse. It is drinkable now, but I would wait until 2018 for perfection. Perfect to fat fish dishes or shell fish.

94+p/100

The 2012 version of the little “Chapelle” from Paul Jaboulet-Ainë

Like its superior bigger brother wine, this is a blend of the diverse terroirs (granite, gneiss stone, sand, etc) from the following vineyards; Les Bessards, Les Greffeux, Le Méal and Les Rocoules. The goal is to achieve richness, complexity and longevity. The chapelle eventually became the property of the negotiate Paul Jaboules Âine in 1919. Syrah grapes are raised in 20% new oak.

2012 Hermitage“La petit Chapelle”, Paul Jaboules Âine 

Colour is glowingly, deep red purple.

The nose emerges with an abundance of spices; salvia, rosemary, obvious black pepper but also ginger. All lifted by careful oak treatment, even though noticeable, it is still done with skill. In addition, eucalyptus leaves, balsamic fur, crushed stones and savoury notes.

On the palate it is fleshy, quite soft, round, supple and very thick, or should we be frank and say.. somewhat heavy and big, but strangely not powerful or hard at all even though the tannins take a some grip in your cheeks at this level. Aromas here are really dense from juicy, dark cherries, blackberries, iron-soil, roasted meat and very metallic minerals in the solid, highly concentrated and pleasantly persistent finish. Moreover, there are Acidity is really fresh and vivid wrapping saline black olives and balsamic dark, somewhat heavy, chalky minerals.

This may not be very elegant and overly complex yet, but currently it compensates this with precision, freshness, bold flavours and some depth as well as dry, persistent finish. After all, these are wines to lay down 10 years on.

92-93p/100

Burgundy tasting part 3 – A few more reds and final thoughts

This is the third and last post in our series from the Burgundy tasting at Otto Suenson in February. The previous can be found here and here.

2012 Domaine Michel Magnien Chambolle-Musigny Les Fremieres, Cote de Nuits

Very fruity and quite powerful nose with pure red and dark berries and some slight hints of barnyard in the background. Very expressive for a Chambolle. There is a well needed acidity that complements the dense palate. This is a good wine, but not at all what I expected. Focus is on power and not finesse.

89p/100

2012 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits

As expected with a Cathiard, the fruit is extremely pure and fresh, but the wine also offers some darker notes and is surprisingly dense. I also find some floral notes and black currant. Extremely fresh and well balanced on the palate, where a precise acidity meets silky tannins and pure fruit. Fantastic for a village wine and a more dense impression than expected.

90-91p/100

2012 Domaine Dugat-Py Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvee Coeur de Roy Vieilles Vignes

Lots of dark fruit jumps out of the glass, unfortunately together with oak and hints of barnyard. Extremely forward on the nose. On the palate we find an abundance of overly toasted new oak and in there are some dark fruit, mainly black currant, and some dark minerals.

This is a powerful wine and was probably intended to be just that. Not a typical burgundy wine and not our style. However, since the age of vines here are almost 100 years and they claim to put a lot of effort into the vineyard, it is a shame that they put the grapes in 100% well toasted new oak we think.

86-88p/100

2012 Domaine des Epeneaux Comte Armand Clos des Epeneaux Monopole, Pommard Premier Cru

This family has been running the estate since before the French revolution and since 1999 Benjamin Leroux has been directing it to higher quality ever since, turning them biodynamic, de-stems totally and don’t crush all grapes.

Not surprisingly we are met with dark fruit and quite earthy notes. On the palate we find a tannic structure that reminds us of nebbiolo, but turns a bit sandy and dry. This wine is a powerhouse and delivers what many people expect from a Pommard, but it is good.

90-91p/100

2012 Maison Bertrand Ambroise Corton Le Rognet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune

Great nose with both red and black fruit as well as spices and slight earthy notes. Good balance between acidity and fruit on the palate even though the acidity need some time to integrate. A wine that is easy to recommend and it also has some character and personality.

91-92p/100

2012 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Cote de Nuits

We recently met with Laurent Ponsot at his Domaine in Burgundy and among other wines tried the Clos de la Roche from 2012. Therefore we will return with a full tasting note later.

This is a very expressive wine with lots of beautiful fruit. Ponsot also manages to keep the finesse and balance in this generous Clos de la Roche.

 

Final comments

This tasting certainly showed how many different expressions you can find in Burgundy even though you focus on one vintage.

It is hard to appoint a winner at this tasting, but some of our favourite wines and positive surprises came from Domaine Leflaive, Roumier, Sylvain Cathiard, Maison Bertrand Ambroise, Benjamin Leroux and Domaine Ponsot.

Burgundy tasting part 2 – Over to the reds

This is part two of our notes from the Burgundy tasting at Otto Suenson. We now move over to the reds, which are split into two sections. To read our previous post where we also make a short comment about the 2012 vintage click here.

2012 Domaine Jacques Prieur Champs Pimont Rouge, Beaune Premier Cru, France

Rather deep nose with ripe, quite dark fruit and some hints of paint. Similar on the palate but also with a quite strong tannic structure and clear oak flavours which adds a bit of bitterness in the finish. A powerful Pinot Noir of good quality but it lacks some elegance and needs more time.

89p/100

2012 Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Les Narbantons, Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru

Pure expression with red fruit and some slight menthol notes. On the palate red currant appears together with a precise acidity that adds some freshness and attitude to the wine. A very fresh and pure wine with quite juicy fruit.

89p/100

 

2012 Domaine Hubert Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis Tres Girard, Cote de Nuits

Nose is dominated by intense fruit, some red but mainly dark. Unfortunately some oak notes later take over and carries over to the palate where we also find a strong tannic structure. This is a surprisingly powerful wine but it needs to mature.

88p/100

 

2012 Domaine Lecheneaut Les Charrieres, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru

Pure fruit notes open up the nose and are then complemented with some notes of spices. Very energetic acidity that today is a bit too dominant, but should calm down with time. There is also a rather chalky impression and some sandy tannins that gives structure. This wine has lots of attitude and a good potential, but it needs some time.

90-92p/100

2011 Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Les Combottes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru

Lots of red fruit complemented by a hint of blackcurrant welcomes us to this wine. In total the nose is quite dense and has a pure fruit expression. On the palate we find much of the same but also spicy notes and a very energetic acidity, which at the moment is slightly harsh but should calm down. Pure and fresh wine with a life ahead.

92p/100

Burgundy tasting part 1 – The whites

In February we attended the yearly Burgundy wine tasting at Otto Suenson, a Danish wine importer with a great selection of Burgundy wines. The tasting was mainly for 2012 wines but a few 2011s had made it into the line-up too.

For growers in Burgundy the first half of the 2012 season was terrible with late prolonged flowering and hail in parts, but then the weather changed and the quality of the vintage was saved during the second half of the season by north cooling winds and daily warmth. Unfortunately yields are in some areas insanely low which has resulted in even higher prices from an already high level. In general, the wines are quite dense with really good concentration of forward fruit and, for red, a good and quite soft tannic structure. It is a very generous vintage and with good precision.

Below are our notes for the white wines we tasted and we will return later with the reds.


2012 Domaine Ramonet Bourgogne Aligote

Quite open nose with ripe pineapple, other tropical fruit and yellow pears, but also some notes of oak. The palate is similar, but with less fruit and with a quite fresh but soft acidity. Pleasant easy-to-like wine, but no wow-effect.

84p/100

2012 Domaine Olivier Merlin Macon La Roche-Vineuse

Very tight nose that mainly revealed notes of lime and lemon. The same impression stays with us on the palate where we mainly find lemon and grapefruit, but also some minerals. I like a tight and precise wine, but this was too slim for me.

83p/100

2011 Maison Remoissenet Pere & Fils Saint-Romain, Cote de Beaune

Quite forward nose with pleasant nectarine and some clear notes of oak. A fleshy and broad palate with an abundance of tropical fruit and a quite vibrant acidity. In the finish we find more oak before the wine closes down. A wine that is more about generosity than elegance.

87p/100

2012 Domaine Paul Pillot Clos Saint-Jean, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru

There are quite dense notes of pineapple and nectarines but also flint and some oak on the nose. Very generous and open. Similar fruit and denseness on a quite fleshy palate with an acidity that contains some lemon. A pleasant wine that is easy to enjoy.

86p/100

2012 Benjamin Leroux Poruzots, Meursault Premier Cru

Open and ripe fruit together with some hazelnut and notes of butter. Generous without being over the top. Great juicy tropical fruit and some peel from pear accompanied with a soft and almost tingling acidity. This is a crowd pleaser but it also has balance and complexity and whose aromatics should fair even better with its food pairings. I would happily take another sip…

91-92p/100

2011 Domaine Leflaive Clavoillon, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru

Beautiful and fresh nose, mainly fruity but also with a fresh mineralic expression and some perfume and white flowers in the tail. The palate has a great balance between a fresh acidity and quite ripe fruit. A very elegant wine that still has a lavish side to it.

92-93p/100

 

We will be back with the reds…

Raspberries and smiles from Beaujolais

It is not often we drink wines from Beaujolais, but at a blind tasting recently a bottle of Jean Foillards Morgon Cote du Py Cuvee 3.14 put a smile on our faces. Therefore we could not resist buying a few bottles of their latest vintage of Morgon Côte du Py when we got the chance. When reading the notes, keep in mind that the 2009 vintage is in general a safer bet than 2012.

Jean Foillard is a legend in natural wine making in Beaujolais and is often grouped together in the “Gang of Four” together with Marcel Lapierre, Guy Breton and Jean-Paul Thévenet. His wine making methods include late harvest, natural yeast, no filtering and minimal or no sulfur dioxide. This results in honest and transparent wines.

Notes from the tastings

2009 Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Cote du Py Cuvee 3.14

The nose is very direct with an abundance of fresh and quite sweet raspberries, crisp acidic notes, minerals and hints of stable in the background. This is an intriguing and generous nose. In the mouth we are washed over with juicy and very cool raspberries, but also hints of grape and a very fresh, energetic and direct acidity. The finish is not very long but very vibrant and leaving you wanting more of this wine.

We became very happy when having a sip of this wine. We are not talking about the most complex wine, but it is seductive, energetic and fresh. The most impressive here is the level of purity of the fruit. We could have finished several bottles of this wine and the best recommendation is to drink and enjoy, instead of taking notes.

91-92p/100

2012 Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Côte du Py

The wine has a very flirtatious nose with fresh, sweet red fruit and quite good depth. There are minerals, some nail varnish, a hint of ripe banana and loads of raspberries and cherries. It is hard not to be seduced immediately but it is more a flirt than the beginning of a long lasting relationship.

In the mouth the fruit gets more ripe, the cherries take a more dominant position and there are hints of bitter almond. The acidity is more harsh than fresh and crisp.

When the sharpness has disappeared we are left with a quite sweet ending.

I was not expecting miracles from this wine, but I was hoping for something more. The main drawback is the lack of balance and crispness in the taste. The wine could develop with time, so I will save the other bottle a few years.

87p/100

Summary

It is not a surprise that we have a difference in quality between these wines, but it was larger than expected. The Cuvee 3.14 is several steps up and has balance and energy which cannot be matched in the basic Morgon Côte du Py. And an important warning has to be made: If you do not like raspberries these wines should be avoided!!!

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.