The 2010s here were in the middle of their malolactic fermentations at the beginning of June--no surprise in this cold cellar. Antoine Jobard noted that the crop in 2010 was very small, and that the wines are better balanced than the 2009s owing to their healthier acidity. Although the family's vines were not hit by hail, considerable coulure, especially on the hillsides and in the old vines, reduced the yields. A number of the crus, said Antoine, were down 60% from 2009's production, and the estate made even less wine than in 2008. When I asked Antoine what changes he has made to this domain's very traditional practices since taking over responsibility for winemaking, he told me that he's picking four or five days earlier than his father Francois did. "My father likes 14% potential alcohol but I prefer 13%," he explained. Francois never did a decanting of the must, but Antoine now does two or three hours of debourbage to eliminate reduction and bitterness, which he feels are difficult qualities for young, uninitiated tasters to deal with. He breaks certain cuvees into two parts, decanting half for a few hours but keeping all the lees with the other portion. Even after a wine has been in barrel for a year, it still contains seven or eight liters of lees, and this "dirty juice" may well partly explain why this domain has had very few problems over the years with premature oxidation. Jobard also plans to raise the percentage of new oak here from 15% to about 25%. He would like to shorten the elevage a bit, as he doesn't want to lose fruit and freshness. In fact, the 2009s were in bottle by the time of my visit: they were racked in March and bottled in early May.
Good limey lift to the aromas of white peach and violet. Rich, juicy and firmly built, with a saline minerality to the lemon and lime flavors. Finishes with good grip. Made from four parcels ranging in age from 12 to 50 years old.
Pale, bright yellow. Pear, peach, truffle and earth on the nose, complemented by an exotic whiff of mango. Broad and rich, making a sweeter impression than the Tillets. More fruity than minerally, and a bit less biting on the back end than the Tillets. But there's lovely sweet fruit and very good material here. I'd hold this for a couple years before pulling the cork.
Steely aromas of peach and flowers; very Puligny. Juicy but youthfully imploded, with excellent cut and precision to the stone fruit flavors. Good firm wine with a slightly dry finish. These vines are always picked late, like the Meursault Blagny.
Good bright, pale yellow. Cool aromas of pear, menthol and crushed stone. Intensely focused and precise, with juicy acidity keeping the lemon and flint flavors tightly wound. Finishes with excellent lemony cut. This wine seems much more firm in the bottle than it was in the barrel. Needs time.
Pale bright yellow. Very hermetic, discreet nose hints at honey. Broad and powerful but a bit youthfully aggressive, with a slight alcoholic warmth to the rich honey and orange flavors. Quite subdued today, with its fruit in the deep background. Hold this for at least a few years.
Bright pale yellow. Subtle lemon, lime, marzipan and wet stone aromas are lifted by floral and minty treble notes. Bright and powerful, showing strong dusty minerality for the year. Very long and stony on the finish. Offers some early appeal but this should really blossom with six to eight years of cellaring.
Pale, bright yellow. Sexy aromas of lemon, orange oil, hazelnut and vanilla. Tangy, ripe, dense and sweet, with lovely concentration to the explosive soft citrus flavors. Really hides the alcohol of the year. This brisk, fresh, juicy wine boasts terrific early appeal but should also age well. For the first time, a barrel of young-vines juice from Charmes du Bas was included in this cuvee. Antoine Jobard feels that it brought vivacity and higher acidity, and also reduced the alcohol level of the finished wine. A beautiful showing.