(2022) Another lovely Pinot Noir from d'Etroyes, from vines around 50 years old, only around 10% of the oak for ageing being new. Fragrant and elegant despite 14% alcohol, it's all about crushed raspberry and firm-edged cherry fruit on the nose and palate, but there is structure here and enough weight on the palate. Firm tannins, fresh acidity, and the finish is on fruit, delicate spices and crispness.
(2022) Les Lavières is a south-facing Premier Cru on limestone-rich soils. This cuvée used 70% whole-clusters in fermentation followed by 16 months in French oak, 20% new. In the house style, it is a ripe and rich style, 14.5% alochol and plush, but there is lovely fragrance and a definite floral touch to the perfume, giving a real sense of elegance. In the mouth the fruit is all crushed raspberry and spice, that lovely fragrant style carried through with sweet red fruit, herbs and a hint of exoticism. The tannins and alcohol give weight and a sense of fleshy richness, the acid and a touch of gravelly terroir adding a keen edge, in a bold, big, but delightful wine.
(2021) This PInot Noir is 100% whole-bunch fermented with natural yeasts and no added sulphur, and spent 18 months in cask. Medium-pale garnet in colour, a finely-woven incense and floral, lacy top-note to the red fruits. The little herbal nuances from the stems is not green, but just adds a little briary note. Absolutely beautiful, soft, charming palate, the red fruits pulpy and buoyant, but beneath there's enough grip, enough barrel component and lovely acid balance to give this lingering appeal. Just delicious, proper red Burgundy.
(2021) Emmanuel says the plot this wine comes from has an excellent exposition. The wine is made with 60% whole clusters, perhaps that adds to the perfume and fragrance here, touches of old roses and wild scrubland herbs, a buoyant and ripe fruit character too, little truffle notes add even more interest. The mouth is silky and has a wonderful sweet depth of fruit, and although there is a creamy chocolate weight, especially with 14% alcohol, it has freshness and vitality and drinks beautifully. There was 20% new oak in this, the wine aged for 16 months in medium-toast barrel but with no punching down. Emmanuel likes to drink this young, with the fruit and freshness, but is very confident that it will cellar for 20 to 25 years.
(2021) A rich, ripe and hedonistic red Marsannay, made with 30% whole bunches, the colour is a transluscent bright garnet, and the aromas touched by woodsmoke and spice, but fruit packed on top, lovely incense and floral highlights floating above. Again, plush and sweet on the palate, crushed red berries and a nice liquorice stripe of tannin and acidity, giving cut and length against the weight of fruit. A delight to drink now, but should cellar well.
(2021) J&B suggest this vineyard is "A prime candidates for elevation to Premier Cru status," and indeed it is a very impressive wine. Bruno Clair and his sons are 'minimal intervention' winemakers and use a mix of large, old foudres and barriques for slow ageing of their wines, this fermented with 30% whole bunches. It is super-smooth, silky and charming, replete with juicy and plump cherry fruit, bitter dark chocolate and a hint of twiggy herbaceousness that gives bite and freshness. The tight, fine, slick tannins are perfectly set against the supple fruit and acidity. A lovely wine.
(2021) From a fourth generation family estate based in Meursault, this Premier Cru was de-stalked and aged in 20% new oak barrels for 12 months. It has a fresh, medium-pale garnet colour and aromas evoking mushroom, a touch of silage and all-sorts of terroir-driven notes but cherry and rhubarb fruit too. The palate has a stripe of lean, chewy and gamy tannin and acid structure, with a bittersweet liquorice and dark, savoury, redcurrant fruit. It's a savoury and leaner style of red Burgundy, with quite an intense, concentrated and incisive style.
(2020) This organically-certified Pinot comes from a producer new to me, located between Beaune and Nuits-Saint-Georges, where Jean-Louis is assisted by his sons Frédéric and Laurent. It has quite a deep but not opaque colour, and a charming nose: firm and cherry scented, with briar and a hint of gamy perfume, but there's a ripeness and succulence to the fruit quality too. In the mouth there is good sweetness to the fruit, but it is sappy and lithe, a little spicy, smooth tannins and very nicely balanced juicy acidity, for a lovely glass of Burgundy that will cellar for several years.
(2020) From a single vineyard in the Côte de Nuits Fixin appellation, vinified in oak fourdres and aged in barriques, this has a medium-deep colour and, as always with this producer, delightful aromatics where those floral and lifted, almost camphor like notes meld beautifully with berry fruit and subtle oak spices. There is earthiness and honesty here. In the mouth the sweetness and pulpy textural weight of the fruit is a treat, the acid and tannin axis sharpening things up but never, ever dominating: it stays supple and fruity, spicy too, into a long, fresh finish. Seriously lovely stuff. £29.99 as part of a mixed six.
(2020) Just like the white wines, Pierre Bourée only vinifies his red wine in oak vats and ages in barrel. This Gevrey is classic stuff, quite a pale ruby colour and offering a nose that is distinctly and attractively fruity - red berries and cherry - but with such lovely and complex counterpoints of violet and old roses, hints of truffle and game, and a dusting of vanilla. On the palate it strikes a genuinely lovely balance between that fruit concentration and more ethereal, mineral and cherry-skin acid edges, a hint of coffee and truffle again in the finish. Quite firm, quite serious, and a terrific village wine that is surely capable of a decade of cellaring. £44.99 by the mixed six.