Five Pinot Noirs, three of them Premier Crus or ‘First Growths’, plus a cheeky Gamay from the far south, make up this compelling north-south survey of the red wines of Burgundy.
Jerome Galeyrand ‘Antonin’ Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2016
Jérôme Galeyrand is a Loire Valley cheese-maker turned passionate Burgundy winemaker. In 2002 he bought his first vines – a tiny 0.05ha plot. He is based in Gevrey-Chambertin and his now-5ha estate was certified biodynamic in 2015. This wine comes from four parcels in the village of Chambolle grown on clay-limestone soils. The grapes were 100% de-stemmed, then macerated for 3-5 days before fermentation over 18-20 days followed by gentle pressing and 16 months maturation in oak barrels (20% new).
Lignier-Michelot ‘En la Rue de Vergy’ Morey-Saint-Denis 2015
This 2ha terraced vineyard, planted in 1974, lies immediately above Clos de Tart and is farmed organically (though not certified). The grapes are cold-macerated briefly before whole-bunch fermentation followed by one year of maturation on fine lees in oak barrels (20%-30% new). The wine is settled in tank before light filtration and bottling.
Dominique Mugneret ‘Aux Boudots’ 1er Cru, Nuits-Saint-Georges 2015
The Premier Cru ‘Aux Boudots’ borders the commune of Vosne-Romanée. The Mugneret vines, below Les Damodes, bordering Les Malconsort, and planted between 1930 and 1980, sit on steep (18%), north-facing, mineral-rich (limestone and clay) slopes. The grapes are hand-harvested, 100% de-stemmed and cold-macerated for 4-6 days before 12-16 days fermentation in tank on indigenous yeasts. Aged in oak barrels (50% new) for 16-17 months.a year before bottling unfined and unfiltered.
La Pousse d’Or ‘Clos de la Bousse d’Or’ 1er Cru, Volnay 2014
La Pousse d’Or is one of the great names of red Burgundy. This walled monopole vineyard is located next to the Volnay town hall. A quarter of the vines were planted in 1958, the rest in the late 1960s and 1970s. The grapes are and-harvested, destemmed and fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature controlled tanks. The wine is aged in French oak barriques (30% new) for 15 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Domaine Joblot ‘Les Bois Chevaux’ 1er Cru, Givry 2015
Domaine Joblot is among the greatest names of southern Burgundy. The wines from this 14ha estate are made with meticulous care and can rival the best of the Côte d’Or. The Pinot Noir grapes are de-stemmed and elevage is mostly in barrels from Francois Freres. Ageing is for around 16 months but the wines do not take on too much character from the wood; rather the aim is to enhance texture. This Pinot Noir shows great finesse and charm. The nose is typically fresh and fruity, with cherry and raspberry notes. Earthiness and gentle oak on the palate are complemented by red fruit notes. This is a medium bodied Pinot with moderate tannins and a balanced finish,
Chateau du Moulin-à-Vent ‘Couvent des Thorins’ Moulin-à-Vent 2016
Chateau du Moulin-à-Vent dates back to 1732 and gave its name to the appellation when it was created in 1936. The estate has 37 hectares of vines across the appellation’s finest terroirs on mostly granitic soils rich in iron oxide, copper and manganese. This is the entry-level wine, 100% Gamay from three sites on the eastern slope below the windmill that gives the appellation its name.
The 2014 Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la Bousse d'Or, the 2.13ha monopole from vines planted between 1958 and 1991, has a refined bouquet with more mineral scents filtering through the carapace of black and red berry fruit. There is something gentle about these aromatics. The palate is fleshy on the entry. The oak is nicely integrated here, lending this a creaminess to the texture. This is very harmonious with just a touch of salinity furnishing the elegant finish... a well-crafted Volnay.
90-92 points, Wine Advocate, December 2015
Bright medium ruby. Aromas of black cherry, black licorice, resin and mint are lifted by high notes of violet and peppery herbs. Comes across as more mineral in the mouth than the Caillerets, but also with a distinct herbal aspect to its flavours of black fruits and dark chocolate. This extremely primary wine, made from a crop level below 20 hectoliters per hectare, finishes with substantial, slightly drying tannins. Incidentally, Landanger prunes short for a crop load of 35 hectoliters per hectare, preferring this approach to carrying out a green harvest during summer to reduce yields.
90-92 points, Vinous, January 2016
Dark red-ruby. Aromas of black cherry and licorice complicated by hints of leather and animal fur. Supple, juicy, slightly high-toned kirsch and spice flavours are accented by pepper and herb notes... a rather easygoing, fine-grained wine. Finishes with dusty tannins and a lingering note of redcurrant.
90 points, Vinous, March 2017
From a storied cru in NSG, which abuts Malconsorts in Vosne Romanée. Cherry, damp earth, plenty of spice and oak. It’s medium-bodied, but rugged and powerful, with firm acidity, a fair amount of drying tannin, and a tangy finish of good length... There’s a lot I like about it... (and) time may be kind.
91+ points, Wine Front, January 2018
This wine that comes from three different parcels has an open style, ripe with berries and rich flavours. The style is rich and concentrated, with a solid core of tannins. This wine could well age, and it will be best from 2019.
93 points, Wine Enthusiast, January 2018
Notes of pomegranate, raspberry and plum introduce the 2016 Moulin-à-Vent Couvent des Thorins, a medium-bodied, open-knit and mouthwateringly saline wine with tangy acids, fine tannins and an open-knit, rounded profile. Matured almost entirely in tank and consequently unmarked by the oak influence that inflects the domaine's grander bottlings, its purity and transparency are very appealing.
90 points, Wine Advocate, September 2018
Bright and attractive strawberries on the nose. Has a very smooth, red cherry and raspberry core, as well as cassis and licorice. Very soft and approachable.
90 points, jamessuckling.com, February 2018
Bright, moderately saturated medium red. Very ripe, complex nose combines raspberry, mocha and mineral notes with suggestions of exotic fruits. Plush and seamless in the mouth, conveying a restrained sweetness and considerable early charm. Finishes classically dry, with inviting soil tones and ripe tannins.
Vinous, January 2018
...has a lifted blackberry and raspberry-scented bouquet, touches of black pepper and damp undergrowth emerging with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin... opens towards the finish with a tang of orange rind on the lightly peppered finish. Give this 3-4 years in bottle if you can, because there is fine substance...
88-90 points, Wine Advocate, December 2016