Monday, 13 February 2017

2015 Burgundy - is there enough?

January is traditionally the month for tasting and buying the new vintage of Burgundy, wines which are mostly still in tanks and barrels, having been harvested only 15 months earlier. This year was the turn of the much heralded 2015s. This was a year in which not much could go wrong and, on the evidence of the wines I have tasted, very little did.

For me, I tasted extensively in the Chalonnaise, especially around Givry - I wanted to ensure that Domaine Joblot continues to be the best (it does) and, as a consumer, I have to consider that these are wines I can actually afford to drink. I also went to the so-called Ozgundians tasting in Soho where three Australians who make excellent (but by no means cheap) Burgundies were showing off their 2015s. A handful of other wines tasted confirmed, with all the above, that this is one of the great vintages. But you don't need me to tell you that when it's all over the wine press.

What I can tell you about is the excellent 2015s from Domaine Joblot. Juliette is increasingly at the helm of her family's estate and she is continuing with the outstanding reputation built up by her father and uncle. The Servoisine Blanc is drinkable already but could really do with a few years longer in the bottle. Tasted alongside the 2013 and 2014 of the same cuvee, 2013 was ready to drink (but no hurry), followed by the 2015 with the longer-lived 2014 needing more time (or more air!) to bypass the lean minerality of this classic vintage, so good for white Burgundy.

The four Premier Cru reds were tasted alongside each other over a period of five days. First, the Bois Chevaux, light and pretty but, at first, overpowered by the oak. This will fade into the background (as it did by day four) - witness, for example, the 2010 which I have been enjoying on more than one occasion this year (see previous post). My notes for this are consistent: a delicious Pinot, fleshed out and well balanced with fruit that draws you in. Not perfect, perhaps - certainly some tasters will strive to find flaws but, frankly, why bother? It's perfectly enjoyable and, for me, that's enough.

Cellier aux Moines and Servoisine are, classically, the two great wines from this estate. Neither is better than the other but there is a little difference in their styles with the former offering a little more structure and, presumably, longevity whilst the latter has slightly richer fruit. It doesn't really matter which one you opt for as both are going to give the 2015 Gevreys a run for their money when they have grown up. For now, both are impenetrable though: the tannins of 2015 are quite impressive! By day three, they were beginning to be more merciful and by the end of the week, the final glasses hinted at the great pleasure to follow in three or four years.

Finally the Clos Marole. Why? Simply because it is the first to be bottled and, as such, is the most forward at this stage. We also tasted it alongside the 2014 which was a 'Coup de Coeur' in the Revue du Vin de France's 2017 Guide which described its

"very beautiful aromas remind us of raspberry jam. Beautiful consistency on the palate for this pure juice. Its tannins, already well coated will refine over the next few years. This impressive wine shows the great mastery of pinot."

Well, we enjoyed it anyway. And the 2015 was, as expected, the most forward and in a similar style - although I would suggest 'black raspberry jam' as a more accurate descriptor.

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