Tag Archives: Amoureuses

A 3rd visit at Comte George de Vogüé – 2015 vintage tasting

On our last day of visits in Burgundy, a Friday the 25th of November, we met up with François Millet at domaine Comte George de Vogüé as we usually do in the last past years every time we are in Burgundy. The domaine has been around for a long time, actually since 1450 and the owners, Claire de Causans and Marie de Ladoucette, are the 20th generation of the family. François Millet was hired by them in 1986. He is a perfectionist and talks about young vines as “gifted teenagers but without any experience”. They are the largest owner in the best vineyard of Chambolle, the 10 ha large grand cru Musigny vineyard. 0.62 ha within this vineyard is planted with chardonnay for a very interesting re-planting of the Musigny blanc, but it has not yet been released to the market. They need to reach about 25 years of age before they are ready according to François. Their other grand cru is Bonnes-Mares and the “should be grand cru” Les Amoureuses. In addition, four premiers crus of which these can be mentioned; Les Baudes (bordering the Bonnes-Mares in the east) and Les Fuées (Their plot is in the middle bordering the Bonnes-Mares in the south) that have an average age of 45 years. They work organically, but they are not extremist in any way. Rather traditional and meticulous.

The 2015 vintage

François explains that 2015 vintage has a overly fast bud break, flowering and a warm June and July without any rains that reminds him of the long drought in 1976, but he agrees that it also shares some characteristics with 2005. A bit of rain in August really saved this vintage. They started harvest on the 3rd of September. There were little juice in the berries, so it is rich and concentrated, but at the same time remarkably fresh, balanced and transparent. Certainly a unique combo of richness, balance and freshness.

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François Millet

The ever so philosophic François has an interesting way of using metaphors to explain each vintage and he describes the vintage like relaxing on a ship’s deck on a Sunny day. He continues, “The Bonnes-Mares is the forest above the big, deep lake of Musigny and the river to that lake is the Amoureuses”.

2015 Chambolle-Musigny – BARREL

Mainly from Les Porlottes (west of the Chambolle village close to the nearby forest), but also contains juice from Chambolle’s premiers crus Les Baudes (bordering the Bonnes-Mares in the east) and Les Fuées (Their plot is the middle bordering the Bonnes-Mares in the south) that have an average age of 45 years.

A bright and fragrant nose. Bright black fruit wrapped in some spices and really fresh, vibrant minerals. Surprisingly elegant, balanced and generous for a village. 91-92p/100

2015 Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru – BARREL

This wine is made exclusively of declassified grapes from young vines (<25 years of age) in grand cru Les Musigny. “The Musigny in short trousers.”.

A slow and fragrant nose. Black fruit, but also pomegranate. Some spices and newly cut ginger. Notes of cinnamon. Really fresh, balanced and packed with vibrant and quite intense minerals. Elegant, rich and just so fresh. 93-94p/100

2015 Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru Amoureuses – BARREL

Mainly planted in 1964, 1974 and 1976. Only 0.56 ha in here. Stoney topsoil on a bed of limestone. They did a second racking just one week prior to our visit.

Beautiful, sensual and fresh floral top notes and vibrant, intense minerals at the base. Fruit leans more to black currant than normal, but also red currant and pomegranate. All wrapped in an abundance of sensual and intense minerals that steers the wine. Newly cut ginger and white pepper. A very sensual, delicate and sappy wine with impressive precision and persistence. 95-96p/100

2015 Chambolle-Musigny grand cru Bonnes-Mares – BARREL

2.7 ha located in the south-east corner of which the oldest were planted in 1945. Stoney and thin top soil mainly in the red soil part of this vineyard with more clay and marls, but very little minerals. François says that this wine is a wild man wine that needs close contact, but he was very careful this time and punched the grapes much more gentle than usual and fewer times than usual to avoid too much extraction and keep the sappiness. He also adds that “everything in here is purple in almost every sense”.

A very deep purple colour. Forest, pine, morning dew, peony? and black-blue fruit. Very, very juicy, creamy and sappy. Some anise seeds and undervegetation. A deep, multilayered, very pure and expressive wine with impressive precision. 96p/100

2015 Chambolle-Musigny grand cru Musigny – BARREL

The domaine owns the massive amount of about 7.5 of 10 ha here of this great grand cru. The oldest vines were planted in 1956, but parts were re-planted in steps 1986-1997. The terroir is not that much different from the Amoureuses, but it always offer more authority and precision. François compares it to the big and deep lake on a great summers day with little wind. 30% new, medium-toasted oak.

Deep red-red purple colour. Aristocratic and elegantly slow, but intense floral with a noble sensuality. The palate is long and balanced with an ample mid-palate of generous, rich and very fresh fruit; mainly pomegranate, but also black currant and raspberries. Also ginger and integrated spices. Super elegant, driven by truly vibrant minerals and with that special precision and depth to die for already. It will be truly exiting to wait for the release of this wine. 97-98p/100

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Frederik and François Millet

A 2009 Amoureuses from a detail-focused fan of gravity in Volnay

Now, we are back after the x-mas holidays!

Mr Patrick Landanger, with a background of running a family business of developing surgical equipment with several inventions of his own, is the producer of the wine this time. If you pay him a visit, you’ll notice several inventions, e.g. the glass constuction on each barrel used when topping them.

Like many other vignerons in Burgundy, he employs cold soak for a few days, in his case, seven and then 21 days of maceration on the skins. The grape juice is raised in 30% new oak for 18 months on the lees without batonage and Mr Landanger is a big fan of gravity and thus avoids any side-effects from pumping. He pays attention to the moon calendar, but thinks biodynamics is too religious. The roots in his parcels in this great vineyard are quite young; replanted in 1976 and 1977 and they were acquired in 2008 when Daniel Moine was selling out. This bottle is the very first bottling of Amoureuses under the Domaine de la Pousse d’Or’s label. The vineyard was according to rumours in very bad shape when Patrick took over.

DSC046662009 Les Amoureuses 1er cru, Domaine de la Pousse d’Or

Colour is transparent, red orange with typical pink-orange edges. However. less pink than usual and very beautiful indeed. Hence, a little more blood orange than pink almost like a nebbiolo wine. 🙂

A nose of immediate popcorn, newly cut ginger and subtle notes of cardamom. The vineyards recognisable, seductive and hedonistic inner perfume emerges extremely slowly after two hours in waves. After another two hours, newly cut rose petals and white lilies appear as top notes as well as grape-peel and the sought-after morning-dew on gravel.

On the palate, the red fruit is clean, pure and dominated by wild strawberries, but also red currant and ginger as well in the anorectic building body with quite long and somewhat elegant finish. However, oak is a little dominating yet. Acidity is fresh, cool, but except from grape-peel, it wraps overly saline crystalline minerals; almost salty and a little bitter. Unfortunately, it is a little diluted too, but precision is here and elegancy. Texture is soft, but still spurs too much in the cheeks and needs much more time.

It certainly lacks concentration, is overly saline and a little bitter, but still it offers the elegancy and perfume from this sacred and wonderful vineyard with some precision. Since this is the first wine Patrick produced, most likely quality will improve and we need to try upcoming vintages. Open in 2019.

92-93p/100

 

Burgundy-trip 2015: Roumier, a genuine man from the soil

Early in the morning back in February this year when we reached Burgundy, we met up with Christophe Roumier at his estate in the village of Chambolle. We have for some time been very exited about visiting him.

Anyone understanding Burgundy and its producers, knows that Roumier is one of the true top producers here for sure. Just next to him is the residence of yet another great favourite producer in Burgundy, Mr. Frédéric Mugnier and our impression is that hey are good friends here in Chambolle.

He cannot give us his view on 2014 just yet, since it needs to go through malo first, but he thinks it looks more promising than expected and with just a little better yields than the last 4 years in a row. However, it appears to be a tender type with delightful character, but not an obvious great one.

However, now we are here to understand the 2013 vintage. This vintage was not convincing at first during harvest and flowering was not good and rather uneven, but after hard sorting, Christophe was still surprised with the outcome after malo which rendered really good, ripe tannins, low alcohol and good balance. Obvious to us is that from the hands of the best producers that did meticulous sorting, you’ll get very good precision, a little bit of a holding back impression, but still with delicate good tannins.

Christophe doesn’t normally do green harvest since it can backfire and dilute the grapes in his opinion. Instead he prunes short, removes buds in spring and does a lot of thinning-outs for controlled low yields a few weeks before harvest. He adds that size of grapes are very important for balance of tannins and fruit. He keeps high trellising canopy as he remind us that the ratio between leaves and fruit is crucial and the leaves exposition.

He prefers open vats of wood and concrete over steel and usually prolongs maceration to get more terroir-specific expression and he is well aware of the fact hat he will render some more important tannins. For backbone and structure, he usually adds stems, but not surprisingly the percentage varies depending on the vintage. In addition, a typical 15 degrees Celsius cold soak is conducted.

His favourite vintage, even though he rightly so prefers to see them as different and unique expressions, is ‘99 and maybe ‘95.

2013 Chambolle village

Fine village that is fresh with a nice perfume. Well balanced and fresh is the main impression.

86p/100

2013, Morey St. Denis, 1er cru “Bussière”

Christophe says it is flatter vineyard a lot of clay and stones that holds water well even in very hot vintages, but it is a simple vineyard in his impression. He uses some ripe stems for this wine.
Fine nose that is a little musky, austere. Dry herbs.

Taste is darker fruit with more structure with thicker tannins. Good balance and depth!

91p/100

2013 Chambolle-Musigny, 1er cru “Combottes” (0.27 ha)

Christophe says he made 3 barrels. Further down, a mixture of very large rocks, clay and stones that holds water well with intensive exposition to sunlight which usually renders good concentration and ripe fruit.

A bunch of red flowers and enchanting perfume. Clean scent that is incredibly fresh. On the palate it is seamless and very well balanced with silky tannins. Very persistent too. Darker fruit. Very approachable and quite seductive. Fennel, ginger, pure and fresh. Strangely, it was perceived as a little more restrained and reduced than the Les Cras. Very surprising, since usually this one adds just a little more complexity than its sibbling.

92-93p/100

2013 Chambolle-Musigny, 1er cru “Les Cras” (1.75 ha)

Christophe says this is probably the one with most minerals. Limestone marls with plenty of fossils at the foot of the hill in a gentle slope with south-south-east exposition.

Red flowers and enchanting deep mineral-fresh perfume. Clean scent that is incredibly fresh. On the palate, it is really well balanced, persistent with good grip and backbone. A very elegant, balanced and mineral-fresh wine.

94-95p/100

2013 Grand cru Chambertin, “Ruchottes” (0.5 ha)

Christophe says this is very, very stony high up above Close de Bèze in a very cold place.

He doesn’t own this vineyard, but he has a sharecropping agreement with the owner Michel Bonnefound where he keeps 2/3rds of the grapes.

Loads of dried herbs. Mineral-infused gravel and a delicate inner-perfume. The envelope hides its intensity. At first a little thin impression, but with good balance. A linear wine with less power than Bonnes-Mares.

92-93p/100

2013 Grand cru Bonnes-Mares (1.3 ha, 4 sections; ~15 barrels)

Christophe says that he has one parcel in the “terroir rouge” and three in the more elegant “terroir blanche”. Calcareous marl top and clay-limestone at the bottom of the hill.

Fine fruit infused with gravel. Soft blue- and red fruit. Acidity wraps grape juice. Balanced, clean and long. A little dry in the end but delicate deep minerals. Good backbone and grip here. Texture is silky already and tannins are chewy. Weightless power. We would like to give this a greater score, but it didn’t dance for us at this stage.

92-93+p/100

2013 Chambolle-Musigny, 1er cru “Amoureuses” (0.39 ha; 5 barrels)

Christophe says Mugnier’s version has less extraction and more refined tannins than his. 🙂 His parcels were replanted in 1954, 1966 and 1971.

Ahh… The seductive, endless and effortless perfume, blossoming meadow, morning dew and delicate gravel. Fullbodied, generous layers of juicy fresh fruit, anise, ginger and deep minerals. Fresh. Super elegant. Long. Acidity is really high quality and crisp.

95-96p/100

2013 Chambolle-Musigny, Grand cru “Musigny” (<0.10 ha; 1.25 barrels)

The vines here were planted in 1934 and the oldest from 1905. Christophe’s parcel is in the top part above the road there in its northern corner. Calcareous clay, marls on a limestone bedrock with gravel.

Similar to the Amoureuses in many aspects but more concentrated and slower nose. Just a little more tight, refined feminine and aristocratic perfume. Layers after layer of fresh and very small fruit. Good grip. Clean. Ginger, some anise, delicate gravel. Incredibly balanced. Tannins are a little more chewy here and just a little thicker when compared to the Les Amoureuses.

96-97p/100

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Christophe Roumier and Frederik

This was the first visit to this estate ever. Both Amoureuses and Musigny are really impressive wines as expected and both really stand out as the estate’s top wines. And even more importantly, we like to put foremost that Christophe is a really good vintner, honest and humble guy. We really like him! He gives his neighbour Frédéric Mugnier a lot of credit for making wines with even more finesse and elegance, while he thinks he may have more power and structure. We think he might be a little too humble in this case, but this just shows his character.

Burgundy-Trip 2012: Francois Bertheau, A non-intervenist under the radar in Chambolle

This was a fantastic visit during our week in November in 2012, despite the fact that we and Francois did not speak the same language, or we did not speak French that is. Francois reminds us of that spoken language sometimes is overrated. 🙂 His personality and fantastic wines comes across anyway. Actually, when we emailed him, we were surprised how good answers we got back in return in English. When we arrived, Francois just said “Google translate” and smiled happily guiding us to his cellar. This is the type of producer we love because of his down to earth personality and focus on honest wines.

Francois Bertheau

Francois is a hands-off wine maker who does not want to shape or polish the wines, but instead let the terroir speak for itself and let the fruit come through. It is a principle that we agree with totally. In his cellar, there are old tools on the walls both for work in the vineyard and winemaking. Quite the same type of cellar that you’ll find at another traditionalist, e.g. Giuseppe Rinaldi in Barolo. 🙂 Francois appears to be a fun and very positive minded person as he nods, smiles and swiftly moves around in the cellar to get samples for us. He really tries to understand what we are saying as we show our appreciation of the wines, but communication is hard even though it helps a little that he uses a crayon to write on a barrel. However, some numbers and recognisable words for wine nerds about vinification and location of vineyards are apprehended.

Andreas in the cellar

Francois took over in 2004 shortly after his father passed away and he is the 5th generation running the estate.  They don’t own any parcels in the areas divine vineyard, Les Musigny, but they do have a very thin parcel in another grand cru, Les Bonnes-Mares. However, to us it is the lovely 1er cru Amoureuses that has caught our attention to this estate. Moreover, they own parcels in five more premier cru among which Les Charmes is worth noting.

It is amazing how this estate still manages to stay under the radar when you consider how long they have been here in Chambolle.

Vinification is pleasantly straight-forward. Fruit is sorted (triage) in the vineyard, grapes are de-stemmed and employs four days of cold soak. Fermentation is done in stainless steel and cement and extraction with daily punch-downs is carried out for 16-18 days and then the grape juice is aged for 18 months in oak barrels of which not more than 10-20% are new. They employ little racking, no filtration, uses only indigenous yeast and no form of manipulation/compensation are carried out in challenging vintages. Vineyard work is essential to this estate and it is here that Francois put all his efforts. Unfortunately, we have less details here on how he keep his vines and canopy management.

At this occasion, the 2011 vintage from barrel was tasted.

2011 Chambolle-Musigny – Barrel 

This is the entry level wine and what an entry! We are met with an abundance of sweet red and charming fruit, but of course is not very complex wine. The finish is surprisingly long and leaves us wanting more. This is a village wine to look out for.

90p/100

2011 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru – Barrel

Here we take a step up from the village wines. This is a blend of the premier crus ; “Les Noirots”, “Les Groseilles”, “Les Baudes”, and “Les Gruenchers”. They are all neighbour vineyards just south-east of Bonnes-Mares, but have little in common with their grand cru neighbour. Les Baudes is the only one bordering Bonnes-Mares in the south.

Again we are met with a wine which is generous with red fruit. Compared with the village Chambolle-Musigny as expected we get some more complexity in here.

91p/100

2011 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes – Barrel

This premier cru is located just north of Amoureuses, but a little further downslope.

This wine shows a lot more elegance than the basic 1er Cru blend. There is great length as well as crystaline minerality and fresh acidity in here, which creates a clear direction and indicates a long lifespan. We find perfumed sweet red fruit blossoming roses in this medium-bodied wine, which has a quite long and intense finish.

Just as the name suggests this is a charming and seductive wine in typical Chambolle-style and just a little overly sweet, but without any disturbing alcohol.

93p/100 

2011 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses – Barrel 

As expected here, we are taking a considerable step up in quality and precision. The nose is complex, seductive and graceful offering fresh, ripe red berries, sensual inner perfumes, lilies, delicate roses as top notes with fresh crystalline minerals and wet stone underbrush at the base. We could spend hours with just the bouquet of this wine. We love this vineyard!

On the palate, it is not equally immediate as previous wines, but rather it emerges and unfolds very slowly and with grace. There are wild strawberries, sloes, raspberries, blood orange, pomegranate, mint, hints of truffles and very fresh crystalline minerals. It is medium to full-bodied and texture is already silky. After a while in the glass, this sexy, slender and light-footed beauty dances on the palate and it is a persistent show.

For such an already graceful, super-floral, seductive and generous wine it offers an impressive balance and remarkable persistence. This is a fantastic Amoureuses and everyone who manages to get their hands on some bottles should consider themselves very lucky.

95-96p/100

2011 Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru – Barrel

Francois’ small parcel in Bonnes-Mares (only .34 ha) is a very thin vertical parcel from top north from heavier soils with clay down through the lighter and stonier in the south having Jadot as immediate right hand side neighbour.

To our surprise, we are met with a more rustic and earthy tone in here. There are compact and multi layered darker fruit in here and there is some depth, some pepper, anise and spices, but it lacks a little freshness at this stage too. Moreover, we lacks some of the authority and concentration that we expected from this site, but we hope and expect it to improve over time.

This is currently very reduced, introvert and therefore very analytic at this stage, but it may prove to be much better from bottle later. A much more light-footed version compared to e.g. de Vogüé.

92-95p/100 


Summary  







Francois Bertheau’s 2011 reds are packed with ripe and forwardly red fruit, but even though just a little overly sweet more importantly there is no hint of excessive alcohol. Overall impression is that his wines are very fresh, fruit-driven, seductively feminine, incredibly silky and we think they just lacks some structure and concentration. Regarding structure, maybe some mature stems would have done the trick, but at the same time the wines are generous, site-expressive and elegant. Concentration has to do with the vines and the soil somehow. They obviously favour finesse and elegance over power. Francois Bertheau is a producer worth following closely in the future, not only for his true focus on conveying the terroir into honest wines, but for the modest price-level compared to other more renowned producers here and we are fortunate to have a few of his 2010’s Amoureuses at home.

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