Why are these Wines so Yummy?
Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Rouge 2015
Known for their impeccable Chardonnays, turns out Olivier Leflaive can make a pretty bloody solid Pinot too! Crunchy, vibrant fruit, dusty tannins, filled with fresh cherry fruit, juicy acid and hints of earthiness. Cracking Bourgogne from the generous 2015 vintage.
Wine vinified from a blending of different vineyards, located on la Côte de Beaune, la Côte Chalonnaise and les Hautes Côtes de Beaune et Côte de Nuits.
IN THE VINEYARD
Age of vines: 25 years
Maximum yield authorized : 62 hl/ha
Wine-Growing method : Sustainable
Harvest: 70 % manual, 30% mechanical
At their arrival in our cellar, the grapes are carefully sorted in order to keep only the healthy grapes at an optimal ripeness
70 % destemmed grapes.
15 days of fermentation on the skins at cold temperature
12 months (4 months in stainless steel tank)
10% oak barrels (10% new oak)
Faiveley Bourgogne Rouge 2016
Excellent value, crunchy fruit, good mid-palate weight (always look out for this, it’s an indicator of quality) playful tannins. A beautiful floral lift and juicy red cherry fruit core. Edgy little personality in this one!
From Vincent Avenel of Faiveley:
We don’t use any new oak for this wine’. Fruit is sourced from various managed grower estates and owned vineyards. Spends twelve months in the older wood. Bourgogne Rouge can so often be tightrope-walking, but in superior years, usually works out pretty well for careful, thoughtful growers and producers.
Domaine SC Guillard Bourgogne Rouge 2016
Pure & Vibrant! The palate is seamless and finely balanced. This is exceptional Bourgonge pushing up to Village quality!
A lovely perfume, with savoury notes, musk and cherries carries through to the palate. Fresh, vibrant, fine tannins, sit in balance. It’s going to be hard to wait the 2-8 years and hit the drinking window. A delight. Drink 2020-2028.
It’s important to note that this is 100% Gevrey-Chambertin fruit, one of the great Pinot growing regions in Burgundy, and, it shows!
The honesty of the Guillard wines is striking. The fruit has serious depth and length, the tannins great quality. When young, they can appear very tightly wound. I’m looking forward to seeing the 15’s. The base level 2014 Vielles-Vignes Aux Corvée has just started to hit it’s straps. 6 months ago it was tight and lean now it’s starting to deliver an earthy opulent fruit and the acid is balanced long and fine definitely some classic Gevrey characters coming through. Great density and length of fruit I can see now why they are happy with the perceived higher acid when the wine is younger. As the wine has settled the acid is helping to tame the incredible richness of some superb fruit, bring the wine into balance as it matures gracefully.
New World vs Old World Pinot
The Gap Narrows
The gap in quality between Pinot from the new and old world Pinot has closed dramatically over the last couple of decades, particularly at the sub-$100 level.
Both the maturity of the vines and vignerons has played a big part in this. Older, balanced vines have increased fruit quality, vignerons have slowed gleaned a better understanding of how to manage their vineyards and in the winery, experience, which simply can not be replaced has helped winemakers refine the wines, with balance, texture, harmony, and, restraint improving year on year.
The Pinot world has not stood still!
What’s the Difference
The difference at this level is not so much about quality, but, expression of site and style. In other words, the vineyards and the climate are yielding different styles.
Typically the new world wines will show greater opulence of fruit, more primary fruit, overt fruitiness, the French wines more secondary characters, earthiness, spice and alike.
Tannins and texture can be very different. In general, you could say at the lower level, tannins can be edgier in Bourgogne wines. This is a mass generalisation given the incredibly diverse sites around the world where Pinot is planted and the styles made. The sophistication of the tannins in the Guillard for examples punches well above it’s standing as a humble Bourgogne wine.
At the higher levels, the sophistication of tannin in Burgundy sets it apart.
Burgundy is the mythical home of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It’s worth taking a look at our series on getting your head around Burgundy. Start with:
It’ll give you a solid understanding of the classification system, the importance of site, and, just how significant this can be over just a few meters distance.
The 2015 Vintage
2015 has been lauded as one of the great vintages. It certainly produced ripe opulent wines, the weather was kind, disease pressure non-existent. The biggest risk was the winemaker stuffing it up by picking at the wrong time and doing something crazy in the winery!
The 2016 Vintage
I’ve now had the good fortune to see a wide array of 2016’s both red and white. This was a tough year for many where frost impact large swathes of Burgundy. A fickel beast some vineyards like those of Guillard remained untouched, while others were decimated. Disease pressure was higher and vignerons worked hard to earn their crust.
The results in the glass are impressive, the sophistication and harmony has lifted and the wines are perhaps more individual. Guillard’s are in his words the best he’s ever made.