2017 white & red burgundy from magnificent Meursault estate
It’s three years since we began working with the Labruyère family to bring you these refined burgundies from some of the most exalted parcels on the Côtes d’Or.
Once again winemaker Nadine Gublin and the team have shown their sensitivity in translating the land and the vintage conditions in a very special range of wines. The exceptional mildness and sunshine of March and the first fortnight of April led to rapid development of the vines. The drop in temperatures at the end of April had no consequence and, unlike 2016, the vineyard was spared frost.
With temperatures still high, vine development during the vegetation phase was meteoric (early and rapid flowering at the end of May-beginning of June and “lightning” véraison, completed on August 10th).
With a very warm end of August interspersed with rainy intervals, the grape ripening process accelerated and 2017 enters the ranks of the earliest vintages since the beginning of the 2000s. Harvest began on August 29th.
0.59Ha plot within Jacques Prieur’s Clos des Santenots monopole, with vines planted in 1997.
A more obviously floral-infused nose displays cool nuances of tangerine peel, pear and a hint of matchstick. There is both better volume and richness to the generously proportioned flavours that possess good underlying tension if only average depth on the refreshing finish.89-91 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound
100% Pinot Noir from holdings of 0.27 hectares, coming from two small parcels located on the mid-slope overlooking the 1er cru Les Epenots. The site has ideal east exposure on a well-drained, shallow, stony soil consisting of marly limestone. 21 days in the open wooden vat at controlled temperature; plunged twice a day during alcoholic fermentation. 17 months’ élevage in oak.
Here too there is a discreet application of wood to be found on the softly spicy and quite floral-scented nose of essence of dark currant. The succulent, round and caressing flavours deliver fine length though not quite the same depth though that may well develop as this ages.89-92 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound
1.59Ha plot on a very steep slope with south exposure. Thin, light brown, light loamy and clay-limestone soil over lots of cracked limestone running through. Perfect drainage. 100% destemmed. Élevage 16 months.
The 2017 Beaune Clos de la Féguine 1er Cru is a monopole and it is completely de-stemmed. It has a fresh, clean raspberry and cranberry scented bouquet with hints of vanilla pod. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, a fine line of acidity, well structured with a brisk, minerally finish. Good potential – I expect this to land towards the top of my banded score.89-91 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media
This large plot with the name meaning “fields at the foot of the hill” climbs the hillside behind Beaune, towards Pommard. This vines have full south exposure, and produce both white and red wine. The Pinot Noir in its lower part has plenty of clay in the soil, giving powerful wines with colour, while the high proportion of iron often brings out smoky notes. 30% new oak.
A discreet application of wood sets off the red and dark raspberry aromas that offer up wisps of underbrush and spice. Here too there is a beguiling mouth feel to the enveloping medium weight flavours that possess a velvety texture along with plenty of minerality that really comes up on the youthfully austere and softly rustic finish. This is slightly less refined but there is more depth and more aging potential.90-92 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound
Clay dominates this terroir, which produces powerful and structured wines which are a little rustic in their early youth. Jacques Prieur’s roughly 1Ha is “at the top of the bottom of the Clos”
The 2017 Clos Vougeot Grand Cru includes 20% whole bunches this year. It has a slight mintiness on the nose, quite generous if not as complex as the Corton-Bressandes tasted alongside. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, quite strict and fresh with a chalky texture, and a slightly curmudgeonly finish. Give this three to four years in bottle to lighten up.90-92 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media
100% Pinot Noir from a 0.36 hectare plot in the “Champs Traversins”, in the heart of historicEchézeaux. It’s a north-south planting just outside the Combe d’Orveau. Brown soil, not particularly thick. Pebbles on the surface, very fine and sandy/siliceous. Nice micro-climate, very airy, fresh, healthy with a small stream of fresh air. The grapes were harvested by hand then sorted and totally destemmed. Fermentation lasted 21 days at a controlled temperature in wooden vats. 18 months’ ageing.
An overtly spicy nose features notes of Asian-style tea, sandalwood, cassis and lovely floral hints. The caressing yet entirely serious medium weight plus flavours possess good density for the vintage, all wrapped in a surprisingly powerful and lengthy finish.91-93 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound
It’s one of the greatest terroirs of the Côte de Nuits on a fault overlooking the Clos de Vougeot and adjoining the Combe d’Orveau. With a southeast exposure and a confined, sunny micro-climate, the parcel has thin, light soil with a strong presence of stones, guaranteeing good drainage. 100% destemmed. Aged in new oak barrels for 20 months.
The 2017 Musigny Grand Cru, which is completely de-stemmed, has a very sensual and generous bouquet with very pretty black cherries, raspberry preserve, overripe Satsuma and mineral scents that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, more backward than the aromatics at the moment but very well balanced with super-fine tannin framing the feminine and quite persistent finish. Good potential here.92-94 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media
0.49Ha plot with deep and highly evolved soil, brown on the surface. Large blocks of cracked limestone below; full east exposure. Totally destemmed and with 18 days at controlled temperature in wooden vats; pigeage twice a day during the active phase of the alcoholic fermentation. Élevage in 100% new oak for 20 months.
This is aromatically quite similar to the Gevrey 1er though with a broader panoply of spice elements. There is more obvious minerality as well as better size, weight and power to the tautly muscular flavours that display excellent focus and drive on the linear, youthfully austere and firmly structured finish.91-94 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound
Large (2.87Ha) walled vineyard in Meursault with soil of chalky clay-limestone laid on an old river bed. 10% new oak, though most of the wine is in large barrels resembling Alsace foudres. 20 months’ élevage.
A very Meursault-like nose offers up notes of hazelnut, various white orchard fruit and soft lemon zest nuances. There is both excellent volume and richness to the sappy and seductively textured medium weight flavours that deliver fine length on the refreshing finish. This generously proportioned effort isn’t especially refined but it delivers fine quality for its level.89 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound
Facing south-east, this 1.5 hectare plot has clay-limestone soil with a strong presence of pebbles. Whole bunch-pressed, settled over 12 to 14 hours and then full barrel fermentation (about 30% new). 100% MLF. 17 months’ élevage.
Here too the wood toast influence isn’t subtle as it includes discreet notes of vanilla on the markedly floral aromas that include wisps of lilac, lavender, acacia and gardenia along with mildly exotic fruit nuances. The very rich, succulent and borderline opulent medium-bodied flavours coat the palate with copious dry extract that also buffers the moderately firm acid spine shaping the bitter lemon-inflected finish. This is both stylish and classy and should amply reward up to a decade of cellaring; besides it will need at least a few years to integrate the wood.90-93 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound
From a 0.59-hectare parcel. Very sunny, mid-slope, perfect drainage. East/southeast exposure. Thin, stony soil, higher in sodium. Outcrop of white marl. The grapes are harvested by hand in small crates, then whole bunches are pressed in a pneumatic press. The juice is cold settled after pressing for 12 to 14 hours. Alcoholic fermentation and ageing are 100% in new oak barrels. Full MLF. Élevage of 21 months.
This too is quite leesy and impossible to read today. More interesting are the bigger, rich and more muscular broad-shouldered flavours that deliver superb depth and persistence on the equally driving and hugely long finish. This carries its imposing weight effortlessly and while it’s no ballerina, the fine balance and proportions impress me.92-95 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound