DOMAINE FOURRIER + JEAN-MARIE FOURRIER (GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN)
Speaking to Jean-Marie Fourrier in 2021, he was worried about phenolic maturity for anyone harvesting as early as 19th/20th September; he held off picking until 25th. As he and winemaker François Orisé told us, it was the polar opposite of 2019 or 2020, much more classic, pale and low-alcohol with a red-fruited – but ripe – profile. “It’s Burgundy,” Fourrier says, with a shrug. The range is stunning – really elegant and vibrant wines, with good fruit intensity and perfume in every single one. The fruit is all de-stemmed here, but in recent vintages they’ve re-added the stems into ferments to add freshness – something that wasn’t needed in 2021. He felt more extraction was needed – punching down by hand to get colour and structure in the wines. The result is pure with a silken texture. Despite their early appeal and openness, Fourrier and Orisé feel that the best wines will age beautifully. Unfortunately, the volumes are tiny – not since 1991 has Fourrier seen the cellar looking so empty, with just a quarter of the normal production.
2021 Gevrey-Chambertin, Premier Cru, Combe aux Moines, Vieille Vigne, Domaine Fourrier
DOMAINE TORTOCHOT (GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN)
Domaine Tortochot produces very pretty, elegant, perfumed Pinot Noir and remains a good-value option in Gevrey-Chambertin. As with most addresses in 2021, yields were even lower than in 2020 – with 70% less made than normal, and yields impacted equally across the appellations. Frost was the main challenge here.
They used 30-40% whole-bunch across the range, with around 50% new oak on the Premiers Crus and 75% on the Grands Crus. While some in the vintage suggested that the lighter vintage couldn’t stand up to such high proportions of new oak, here the oak is integrated beautifully – the elegant wines wearing it lightly. All sitting at around 13% alcohol, the team here feels like 2021 harks back to the Burgundy of yore – with light colours and high acidity, comparing to the likes of 2001 or 2011, forming a neat trilogy. The wines are a charming set of vibrant and floral Pinots, with mouth-watering purity and mineral freshness.
2021 Charmes-Chambertin, Grand Cru, Domaine Tortochot
DOMAINE DUROCHÉ (GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN)
Since Pierre Duroché took over the estate in 2009, this has fast become one of the most consistent and impressive domaines in Gevrey-Chambertin. Unfortunately in 2021, Gevrey suffered not only from frost, but hail that struck the north of the village – with particular damage in Champeaux and village sites. Yields are always low here with old vines, but at 20hl/ha he is around a third down on normal. Due to the tiny production, some of the cuvées have been blended together.
The village Gevrey includes fruit from Le Clos, Champ, En Vosne and what little remained of Premier Cru Champeaux. In addition, Duroché has created a special second village Gevrey blend called “Cuvée 26” (after the number of the tank used) which includes fruit from Jeunes Rois, Etelois, Cazetiers and Estournelles. He noted that phenolic maturity was better than in 2018, 2019 or 2020 as the vines didn’t suffer from hydric stress, and when it wasn’t raining it was sunny, with the growing season longer too.
Loose bunches helped with disease pressure, which wasn’t much of an issue here. In general, he considers it an “old style” vintage – one that wouldn’t have been good if it had been produced 30 or 40 years ago, but with modern technology and the income to employ more people, it's a different story. The wines are pure and open, with surprising density to the sweet fruit, but a pretty perfume and silken texture. It’s an alluring vintage here, and one that Duroché is rightfully happy with.
2021 Gevrey-Chambertin, Domaine Duroché
DOMAINE HERESZTYN-MAZZINI (GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN)
Florence Heresztyn welcomed us with a smile this year – even though she lost between 50 and 60% of the 2021 crop. Certified organic since 2017, they needed to work hard to battle the pressure of mildew, but are pleased with the results – very elegant wines with crunchy fruit, wines that are, in her words, “very Pinot Noir”. It was essential to be attentive at every stage of production to guarantee success.
She harvested from 24th September and reduced the percentage of whole-bunch this year to avoid any greenness (30-60%, versus 50-100% normally used). The growing season reminded her of 2016, although she feels the wines sit somewhere between those of 2013, 2016 and 2017. Tasting through the range was a treat, these are juicy and sweet-fruited Pinot Noirs, but with more tannic bite than many. The chalky texture gives them a more serious profile needing time, although the perfume is enticing now.
2021 Gevrey-Chambertin, Premier Cru, La Perrière, Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini
DOMAINE HENRI & PHILIPPE JOUAN (MOREY-SAINT-DENIS)
Philippe Jouan was as jovial ever when we saw him this year, even though 2021 was, in his view, “a year not to repeat”. He made just half the normal amount – although yields are always relatively low given his old vines, which average 70 years in age.
The disease pressure was severe and the constant rain during the summer meant he couldn’t get into the vineyards to spray. He picked earlier than some producers, from 15th September. Very little changed in the winery here, although he opted for around 50% whole-bunch across the range (up from 30% in 2020). The wines are taut and red-fruited, with bright acidity and a fresh profile, all sitting at around 13-13.5%.
2021 Gevrey-Chambertin, Aux Echézeaux, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Henri & Philippe Jouan
DOMAINE GÉRARD RAPHET (MOREY-SAINT-DENIS)
Raphet is an understated estate, blessed with a few exceptional parcels – most notably their old-vine Clos Vougeot and Clos de Bèze Grands Crus – that are fantastic value. Marion Raphet was particularly happy – with twin girls due early next year and a full cellar of 2022s, even if the same can’t be said of 2021. She feels that 2020 and 2021 were the “same battle”, even if 2020 was solar to 2021’s more classic style, with lower alcohol and paler colour.
She picked from 20th to 25th September, with higher yields on her Grands Crus than the Bourgogne parcels, which were struck by the frost more. Although yields were heavily impacted and the cellar looking rather empty, she likes the wines. If not a great year, in her view, it’s a good one – with classic, long wines that all sit at 13-13.5%.
It was a year in which they “rediscovered the typicity” of Burgundy, she said. She compares the wines to 2014 or 2017, for the freshness of acidity, and wonders if – although they’re incredibly approachable now – they could shut down for a period. Only time will tell, but the line-up here showed impressive concentration, with delicate aromatics, ripe red fruit and the sweet flourish of new oak.
2021 Clos de Bèze, Grand Cru, Domaine Gérard Raphet
DOMAINE GEORGES LIGNIER (MOREY-SAINT-DENIS)
Benoît Stehly is one of the region’s most erudite and thoughtful vignerons, completely engaged in getting the best from his vines. With his large holdings of Grand Cru Clos Saint-Denis (two separate plots) he makes one of the best-value Grands Crus in the Côte. The 2021 vintage was trying for him, but he was buoyed by the just-harvested, generous 2022 crop. With his old vines, yields are already low but with permanent grass cover, the frost impacted his parcels more – especially the village or regional wines.
The wet weather meant the organic vigneron was constantly out spraying. He was reluctant to use chemicals, but eventually did after reaching a point of such exhaustion that he crashed his tractor (fortunately with no significant injuries beyond the tractor).
Even with that one chemical spray, he lost half his crop (there’s no blended Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru this year due to the low volumes). He considers it a vintage of wine-growers, a classical Burgundy year that is reminiscent of 2014 or 2017, but with more tannin. He picked from 19th September, with extensive sorting, and reduced the portion of whole-bunch for the vintage significantly, not feeling the stems were ripe enough.
The wines show the elegance and freshness seen across the vintage, but with a little more structure, depth and tannic grip than at many addresses this year – bringing a welcome firmer framework to the Pinot Noir. In his words, "We didn’t imagine it could be as pretty or elegant.”
DOMAINE DES LAMBRAYS (MOREY-SAINT-DENIS)
Winemaker Jacques Devauges is like a cat that got the cream in 2021 – welcoming us to taste in his brand new winery (which was used for the first time for the 2022 vintage), a “working tool” to help him make even better wine at this iconic estate. Frost destroyed half of the 2021 crop, but Devauges feels like Mother Nature was kind in the end – making up for the April chill with an excellent September, offering light, sunny conditions with a north wind that reduced disease. Indeed, Devauges felt the mildew pressure wasn’t drastic, even though it was only their second year working biodynamically. He harvested relatively late, from 22nd to 27th September.
He feels the wines have been improving significantly in barrel, offering more concentration and aromatics with each month that passes – something that reminds him of the 2010 vintage. Excitingly, there are also a handful of barrels from new vineyards in 2021 (Vosne-Romanée, Premier Cru, Les Beaux Monts; Nuits-Saint-Georges, Premier Cru, La Richemone; and Ruchottes-Chambertin, Grand Cru), although they aren’t set to be released until 2024. Tasting different sections of Clos des Lambrays and then the complete blend is always a treat – and it was no different this year. The wine is greater than the sum of its parts, with incredible freshness, length, aromatics and concentration. At Domaine des Lambrays, this vintage is, as Devauges said, “200% in the Burgundy spirit”.
DOMAINE HUDELOT-NOËLLAT (VOSNE-ROMANÉE)
Charles van Canneyt always looks as smart as his cellar – both immaculate and polished. Volumes are tiny in 2021 – he made just 90 barrels in total versus 230 in 2022. That said, he feels that the low quantity (reduced by frost, mildew and oidium) is what saved the year’s quality – not having the conditions to ripen a larger crop. Sadly, there is no Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Bas de Combes or Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru Malconsorts, with the latter declassified this year (and making the village Vosne-Romanée even more appealing). He had to buy smaller tanks for the miniscule yields, which therefore fermented more quickly and he was careful to keep maceration short to avoid over-extraction.
It’s a refreshing vintage in his view, and one that is more to Van Canneyt’s taste – classical yet now atypical, approachable in its youth with good acidity and, he suspects, better ageing potential than people will expect. Tasting through the range, it’s hard to disagree – these are wines of stunning perfume and finesse, with an effortless balance that makes them hard to resist, even now. The wines from his négociant label, Charles van Canneyt, were also a particular highlight this year – possibly the best vintage to date.
DOMAINE GEORGES NOËLLAT (VOSNE-ROMANÉE)
Under the guidance of Maxime Cheurlin (Georges Noëllat’s grandson) since 2010, Domaine Georges Noëllat is now one of the top producers in Vosne-Romanée. Cheurlin produces beautifully elegant Pinot Noir from top sites throughout Vosne-Romanée, Nuits-Saint-Georges and beyond. He and his Bernese mountain dog Lafite welcomed us warmly, despite the disheartening 2021 yields – around 50% less than normal, with 20-22hl/ha (30% less than 2020). Cheurlin can seem a little gruff at first, but he’s one of the region’s most attentive winemakers – adapting everything he does each vintage.
He picked around 17/18th September and used warmer, shorter fermentations to build the mid-palate in the wines, and less new oak but higher toast levels to add further complexity. These efforts have clearly paid off at what was one of our favourite visits, with a line-up of subtle, perfumed, pale Pinot Noir yet an energetic intensity that speaks volumes. He compares it to the superb 1991 vintage – a year that he feels had similar balance and colour, but amazing density. Given the wines’ open profile, he’ll bottle them a little earlier than normal (between December and March depending on the cuvée).
2021 Vosne-Romanée, Premier Cru, Les Beaux Monts, Domaine Georges Noëllat
DOMAINE LAMARCHE (VOSNE-ROMANÉE)
A visit to Nicole Lamarche is always a treat. Not only does she produce some of Burgundy’s finest, most elegant wines (year in, year out), but she does so in style. In 2021, she has once again produced an array of spectacularly ethereal wines. Unfortunately, due to the end of a lease, this will be the last vintage of Lamarche’s Malconsorts – with a handful of other parcels lost with the contract, but this has been balanced by the introduction of some new négociant bottlings. In 2021, her yields were reduced by 60-70% on average, although it varied significantly according to site.
She picked from 18th September, as ever trying to “take the most beautiful things of this vintage”. With the wines between 12.5 and 13%, these are amazing expressions of their terroir, offering transparency and incredible aromatics. For Lamarche, the vintage reminds her of 2008 – a high-acid year – or possibly 2013/2017, although she thinks the wines will age better than the 2008s. Given the persistence here, there’s no doubt in our mind that they will.
2021 Vosne-Romanée, Premier Cru, Les Malconsorts, Domaine Lamarche
GROS FRÈRE & SŒUR (VOSNE-ROMANÉE)
There’s been a notable shift at this modish Vosne cellar in recent years. While once the address was known for generous use of new oak, this has been reined in. There were just 10 new barrels across the entire cellar in 2020 – and it’s the same proportion in 2021, the level of new oak being adjusted according to the year’s small volumes.
While the lack of water in 2020 produced mature grapes with high levels of phenolics, 2021 was – in Vincent Gros’s view – a much more traditional year in terms of temperatures (with no heat spikes) and the wines reflect that with their more classical style. They picked in the third week of September, and the wines show a leaner, fresher style in a similar vein to 2020.
2021 Chemin des Moines de Vergy, Gros Frère & Sœur, Vin de France
DOMAINE FAIVELEY (NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES)
Visiting Erwan Faiveley is always a delight – the winemaker armed with detailed information on the vintage up and down the Côte. He explained how it was important to wait to harvest after rain fell in 2021 – otherwise producers risked bringing in dilute fruit. Frost devastated Faiveley’s white crop, with oidium then a subsequent challenge – extensive spraying and sorting was key to preserving quality.
They managed to protect their parcels of Bâtard-Montrachet and Bienvenue-Bâtard-Montrachet, but made, for example, just three cases of Garenne – which has therefore been absorbed into a blended Premier Cru. Yields varied so significantly depending on site, but Faiveley reported losing two-thirds of the Chardonnay and around half of the Pinot Noir crop. He told us he feels the whites have “some struggle in them” – but, tasting the wines, it seems perhaps he’s biased by the challenges of the year, as the whites show such concentrated power and precision.
The reds here are beautiful – pretty, charming expressions of Pinot Noir at its most elegant, wines that are very much about their perfume rather than their structure. He compares the 2021s to 2007 – a vintage that was transformed by time in barrel and, although not a blockbuster year, has never shut down or disappointed – drinking beautifully today. From 2022, the domaine will also all be organic.
2021 Gevrey-Chambertin, Premier Cru, Les Cazetiers, Domaine Faiveley
DOMAINE DAVID DUBAND (CHEVANNES)
This is certainly one of the most exciting younger domaines in the Côte d’Or. Based in the village of Chevannes in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, David Duband has an impressive array of vineyards throughout the Côte de Nuits. He is a big fan of whole-bunch fermentation, opting for 90% on his Grands Crus, 70% on his Premiers Crus and 60% on his village wines. Duband lost 60% of his crop in 2021– it was, he said, an “été de merde”.
That said, he loves the wine that he did produce, which he describes as “traditionnel, bourguignon, frais” – and he’s quite right, showing a range of open and aromatic wines. Some reduced the use of whole-bunch for concern over the lignification of stems, but not Duband – and there’s certainly no unripe tannin or greenness here, even with barely any de-stemming. He picked from 25th September. In his view, the key to the vintage was being reactive during the growing season, spraying as needed to protect the vines – and it’s clear his hard work has paid off, with a range of wines that bear his hallmark perfume and freshness.
2021 Nuits-Saint-Georges, Domaine David Duband
DOMAINE JEAN-MARC & HUGUES PAVELOT (SAVIGNY-LÈS-BEAUNE)
Domaine Jean-Marc & Hugues Pavelot is one of the leading producers in Savigny-lès-Beaune with extensive holdings throughout the Premiers Crus, as well as additional holdings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Pernand-Vergelesses and Corton. A tasting at the domaine is a masterclass in the varied terroirs of Savigny, each wine with its distinct character. The vineyards are biodynamic, though not currently certified. Hugues Pavelot pruned late in 2021, which helped protect his crop, yet still lost almost 50% due to frost.
It was a year where he felt work in the vineyard was essential – with, he estimates, four times more work than a normal year. While he’d normally use 15-20% whole-bunch, he de-stemmed everything. The wines here are vibrant with aromatic definition and a charming fruit profile. Despite the harvest being a month later than that of 2022, he feels both vintages will age well – having good balance, even if producing very different wines. He’s also purchased three additional hectares of vines in Savigny-lès-Beaune, bringing the domaine total up to 17 hectares.
REMOISSENET PÈRE & FILS (BEAUNE)
“We were so depressed – but happy at the end,” the chic Cécile Begin at Remoissenet told us. This was certainly not an easy vintage, with rain in July and August leading to high disease pressure. Sorting any diseased fruit out, and the April frost, means Remoissenet produced just a third of the normal volume. They picked early in 2021, from 10th September, with all the wines at around 12-12.5%.
The reds were racked more because the lees were so heavy, but they anticipate that some people will bottle the wines sooner, not expecting them to gain body with time in barrel. There’s nothing “bling bling” about this vintage, Begin told us – and she’s right, but it’s a beautiful line-up at Remoissenet – restrained, perfumed reds that speak of a cooler year in all the right ways, with concentrated and powerful whites with a backbone of pinpoint acidity.
2021 Le Montrachet, Grand Cru, Remoissenet Père & Fils
BOUCHARD PÈRE & FILS (BEAUNE)
Winemaker Frédéric Weber describes 2021 as "appealing”, “delicate” and “aromatic” – but he produced just 10hl/ha for the whites and 20hl/ha for the reds. It’s the smallest vintage he’s ever seen, with Bouchard’s records only noting similar yields in 1910 and 1930. It was a good test for working organically, proving that they could cope with the vintage’s conditions, but yields were as low as 3hl/ha (on their village Meursault). The health of the fruit was the main challenge, he found, needing to get rid of the very first free-run juice, and inoculate so that fermentations ran smoothly.
Because the wines have such natural freshness, he’s used more oak this year – although there’s little sign of it marking the vibrant fruit profiles here. To manage the high acidity, he also opted for a higher proportion of whole-bunch fermentation for the reds. He compares the reds to those of 2017 for the delicate fruit and definition between terroirs, or 2014/2008 for the whites – with the beautiful acidity, salinity and ageing potential.
He’ll bottle the reds before the whites because of the potential he sees in the vintage’s Chardonnay – and rightfully so, although production is so limited, the whites show tight, citric power and precision. The Pinot Noirs are pretty and open, with an appealing minerality and crunchy-fruited style that is moreish.
2021 Beaune, Premier Cru, Clos de la Mousse, Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils
LOUIS JADOT (BEAUNE)
Talking with Thibault Gagey and Frédéric Barnier is always educational, with their ability to offer an extensive view of a vintage, making wine the full length of the Côte. The 2021 was their first vintage in conversion to organic farming (with certification set for 2024 for Domaine Gagey and Domaine Jadot), making the year’s conditions all the more challenging.
They made a tiny crop – with just a quarter of the normal yield for whites, and a third for reds. Some Premiers Crus will be blended as there simply isn’t sufficient volume to make them all as separate cuvées. They opted to use foudres for the first time, reducing the oak influence on the wines.
Thibault Gagey describes the reds as “old school”, more classic and light-bodied, set to be approachable young, comparing them to the 2013s or 2017s, or possibly the 2004s. He feels it’s a stronger vintage for the whites, which he finds hard to compare, with 2011 or 2013 possibly the closest – but with 2021 better than either.
2021 Saint-Aubin, Premier Cru, En Remilly, Louis Jadot
ALBERT BICHOT (BEAUNE)
Albéric Bichot and winemaker Alain Serveau continue to impress at Bichot, crafting wines that improve year on year. Serveau initially described 2021 as “different” – highlighting the shift from the solar 2018/19/20 vintages. Lighter in colour and body, he feels the wines express freshness and the “elegance of terroir” with distinctly long finishes.
The downside, as with elsewhere, is the yield – with 70% less than normal at around 15hl/ha on average (with particularly tiny volumes in Chablis). With the lighter body, Serveau feels the wines will need more time in oak to develop. Extensive sorting was key given the wet conditions and therefore high disease pressure. He also felt it was important to have ripe tannins to balance the year’s high acidity levels, making the picking date and extraction crucial to success.
The range from their Chablis property, Long-Depaquit, was superb – thrillingly taut, while the reds show bright fruit and acidity, with more weight and colour than many of the 2021s. This will also be the first vintage with a new suite of labels for Bichot.
2021 Vosne-Romanée, Premier Cru, Les Malconsorts, Domaine du Clos Frantin, Albert Bichot
DOMAINE DE BELLENE + MAISON ROCHE DE BELLENE (BEAUNE)
Nicolas Potel is one of Burgundy’s most knowledgeable and connected winemakers – sourcing fruit from top growers around the region for his négociant label, as well as working with his own vineyards for Domaine de Bellene. In 2021, he feels that long élevage will be key – likely 24 months rather than the normal 12. Ironically, perhaps, the frost is what saved the year – the small yields meaning it could ripen sufficiently, producing concentrated and balanced wines, provided producers sorted sufficiently to remove any diseased fruit.
For him, this is a grower’s year – with work all in the vineyard, and the vinification relatively simple. He compares the wines to those of 1979 at Pousse d’Or – with a “suavité bourguignon”, pale colour but density and elegant tannins – or perhaps 2017, but with better fruit and lower tannin levels.
Tasting through an extensive flight, as ever here, was a treat – especially given the vast majority were Grand Cru. It’s amazing to see how he can still source such fantastic fruit despite the year’s low yields.
2021 Charmes-Chambertin, Grand Cru, Maison Roche de Bellene
OLIVIER BERNSTEIN (BEAUNE)
Olivier Bernstein is one of the region’s top producers, working with old vines and low yields to produce a flight of outstanding Premiers and Grands Crus in Gevrey-Chambertin – thanks to his impressive farming contracts and domaine parcels. Olivier Bernstein and Richard Séguin explained how they picked from 25th September, using 30-40% whole-bunch – a lower percentage than warmer vintages, as they didn’t feel they were needed for freshness nor sufficiently lignified.
As for Duroché, hail was an issue – meaning they lost 50% of the crop in Champeaux, but otherwise yields were a fairly generous 30-38hl/ha, meaning perhaps there is one fewer barrel of each of the Grands Crus. The resulting wines are gorgeously elegant, with density and structure that stands out in the vintage – without losing any of the precision and perfume of the year. A darker colour with definite ability to age, the Bernstein wines are a real success story in 2021.
2021 Bonnes-Mares, Grand Cru, Olivier Bernstein
HENRI BOILLOT (MEURSAULT)
Guillaume Boillot produced a flight of wonderful wines in 2021 – just sadly very little of them. He started picking on 27th September in Volnay, then Meursault and the Côte de Nuits, finishing in Puligny on 1st and 2nd October. He lost around 80% of his crop, with the yield on average between 8-12hl/ha – the lowest his family has ever seen.
For example, he made less than 20% of the normal production for their flagship monopole Clos de la Mouchère. Because of low yields and the style of the vintage, he decided to use no new oak at all this year on either the whites or reds, with the wines instead all in first and second-fill barrels. Sorting was key, and he felt a longer maceration was needed for the reds to gently extract the fruit and aromatics.
All in all, he feels the whites are elegant and pure, saline with “belle matière” – a judgement that we can wholeheartedly agree with. The density and energy of the whites is impressive, while the Pinot Noirs here – which improve each year – are charming and open, with floral lift and vibrant acidity.
2021 Volnay, Premier Cru, Les Caillerets, Domaine Henri Boillot
DOMAINE PAUL PERNOT (PULIGNY-MONTRACHET)
The Pernot brothers have worked together on the estate since 1978 and have carried on their father’s, Paul Pernot Sr’s, traditional techniques, making a quite forward style of Puligny-Montrachet that can be enjoyed after a couple of years in bottle.
They have some of the finest plots in the village. Yields were tiny this year, with just nine barrels of their flagship Folatières (versus the 60-65 of a “normal” year) and 40% less Bourgogne Blanc. Indeed, they didn’t produce Champs Canet at all in 2021.
They picked their Chardonnay from 21st September, producing a crop of intense whites with alcohol levels between 12.3 and 12.8%. The wines are fresh, with cool fruit and mineral tones, and clear delineation between the village, Premiers and Grands Crus – another strong showing from this domaine.
ALVINA PERNOT (PULIGNY-MONTRACHET)
Our tasting at the “other” Pernot, was at this rising-star estate’s new winery, just down the road from the family domaine. When we visited last year it was still a construction site, but is now finished, complete with a very smart tasting room. Fitting with their more modern style, Philippe Abadie and Alvina Pernot picked their fruit three days earlier than Domaine Paul Pernot, from 18th September, with all the grapes harvested over three days.
The style of the vintage aligns neatly with the philosophy here, with taut profiles and high acid. Mineral and pure Chardonnay is the name of the game here – and it’s an impressive line-up in 2021, even if there’s very little of it. Indeed, for one cuvée (their Clos de la Jacquelotte), they made a mere 80 litres. Abadie and Pernot compare the vintage to 2014, describing it as “classic Bourguignon”. This is also the first vintage of their Bourgogne Blanc with the name La Rue de Bois – as it comes exclusively from vines from around their new cuverie.
2021 Puligny-Montrachet, Premier Cru, Les Pucelles, Alvina Pernot
DOMAINE HUBERT LAMY (SAINT-AUBIN)
It’s busy chez Domaine Hubert Lamy, where extensive building works are underway for a new cellar. He picked his 2021s around 15th September, bringing everything in over a week because there was “rien à récolter” (nothing to harvest) – with just one bunch per vine. Frost hit En Remilly and Chatenière particularly hard.
The growing season reminded him a little of 2011 – with a warm start, rainy June/July and warm September that brought maturity. In his view the Pinot Noir is easier to understand – with its appealing red fruit, pale colour and elegant, “digeste” style, while the Chardonnay is more concentrated with good energy and acidity. We’ll have to wait until next year to taste the 2021s, but the 2020s were singing – as were the flurry of back-vintages uncorked, with a handful of bottles from 2017, 2014, 2011, and a particularly impressive 2003 served blind. Lamy is constantly experimenting and pushing the envelope, and we’ve got every faith in his prowess.
AU PIED DU MONT CHAUVE (CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET)
This brilliant-value label from the Picard family is a firm FINE+RARE favourite, produced at the impressive Ch. de Chassagne-Montrachet, with all the vineyards farmed biodynamically. Partly thanks to their sustainability efforts, and the drastic April frost in the Côte de Beaune, yields were particularly low at Au Pied du Mont Chauve in 2021.
Picking in the third week of September, they harvested just 20% of a normal crop, with a yield of around 8-10hl/ha (versus 35-39hl/ha). Given these miniscule volumes, they made a blended Premier Cru rather than their three individual cuvées, Chaumées, Caillerets and Maltroie. What little wine they produced is intensely concentrated – with almost exotic fruit, but a backbone of bright acidity that characterises the 2021 vintage.
2021 Chassagne-Montrachet, Au Pied du Mont Chauve
DOMAINE JOBLOT (GIVRY)
Domaine Joblot is one of the finest producers in Givry, consistently proving that this corner of the Côte Chalonnaise can produce wines of real elegance. In 2021, sadly, they made 60% less than normal – losing 85% of their whites and 50% of their reds.
Indeed, they won’t make their Bois Chevaux cuvée at all, as they only managed to pick just 500kg of grapes (the fruit is included in L’Empreinte instead). They opted to use more new oak than normal, feeling that it helped add weight to the lighter style of the year – and integrated rapidly. Tasting through the range, it’s unmarked by the 50% new oak, with the reds offering bright fruit, seamless balance and clear definition between sites. It’s a shame there isn’t more to go around, especially given the brilliant value offered by this domaine.
2021 Givry, Premier Cru, Clos du Cellier aux Moines, Domaine Joblot