It was necessary to treat the vines against oidium and mildew until early August in 2010, said Pierre-Yves Colin, but in the end he had clean grapes and a superb harvest, "with less than 5% rot." Colin believes that his 2010s have similar acidity to the 2008s, which he describes as a bit more exotic, but that the newer set of wines also possess a better natural balance of vivacity and gras. The 2009s, he continued, are less vivid today but they may have more force than the 2008s and 2010s. "They should be great in ten years." Colin racked the 2009s twice, exposed to air, and a long elevage on the lees in an attempt to "shrink them down." The 2010 malos were almost entirely finished by the date of my visit but the wines had not yet been racked. He did no debourbage and no batonnage, and with the fruit picked with potential alcohol between 12.8% and 13%, no chaptalization was necessary. Colin continues to bring down the percentage of new oak he uses to age his wines.
(from 50-year-old vines): Candied peach and cool calcaire minerality on the nose. Dense but juicy and precise, with lovely acid cut to the orange flavor. Finishes firm and long.
Enticing aromas of pineapple and spices. Juicy, sweet pineapple fruit given cut by strong acidity. Finishes sappy and saline but smooth, with a brisk, lingering lemony flavor. Colin has three parcels in Remilly, two of them 45 years old and the third 20.
Reticent aromas of lemon and orange zest, white peach and flowers. The palate offers good volume, with ripe acidity and a peppery nuance giving lift to the citrus and stone fruit flavors. These 85-year-old vines were picked first, according to Colin.
Reticent nose hints at white flowers and meaty reduction. Less creamy than the Ancegnieres, but with strong acidity giving grip and lift to the lemon and mineral flavors. Lovely cut here.
Pale yellow. Orange pith, crystallized lemon and a floral nuance on the nose. Densely packed and intense, but less showy today than the Chenevottes. Finishes subtle and long. "It was necessary to wait to pick these vines," noted Colin, adding that they were ultimately harvested at the end.
Pale yellow. Wet stone and lichee on the reticent nose. Tightly wound on the palate, with mineral and lemon flavors kept under wraps by slightly tart-edged acidity. A strong crushed stone quality contributes to the impression of tautness. In a distinctly virile style, densely packed but still youthfully imploded. Finishes long and austere, with a light touch. I'd love to see this again in bottle.
High-pitched aromas of spicy peach and clove oil. Nicely dense, with good breadth but only moderate nuance to the apricot, peach and spicy oak flavors. Quite dry and backward today for village wine and showing some oak influence on the back end.
(from 75-year-old vines; this fermented well into December): Very ripe soft citrus fruits and flowers complicated by a leesy nuance on the nose. Sweet, lush and glyceral but with a chewy, tactile quality and uncompromising dryness giving this sappy wine an almost painful impression today Finishes saline and quite long. Very serious juice.
Piquant aromas of orange oil and powdered stone lifted by a limey note. Then fat, ripe and sweet on the palate, with the orange flavor joined by more exotic fruits. A very ripe, sweet style that should offer terrific early appeal.
(Colin has three parcels at the top of Charmes, near Perrieres): High-pitched aromas of soft citrus fruits and spearmint. Quite dry, even austere, in the mouth, with a cool Perrieres-like minerality keeping the mid-palate a bit clenched today. Nothing fat or pliant about this Charmes. A bit of oak spice dries the middle palate and gives the wine a youthfully medicinal aspect. There are two 300-liter barrels of this juice, one of them new.
Pale yellow. Ripe aromas of peach, orange and pineapple, complicated by slightly high-toned spicy oak. Dense, creamy and sweet but with terrific acidity and a piquant flavor of orange oil giving verve to the middle palate. Finishes strong and long. Terrific potential here.
Bright yellow. Fresh peach and apricot aromas are lifted by citrus peel, peppermint and crushed stone; riesling-like in its high pitch. Then dense, smooth and sappy in the mouth, with outstanding concentration to the flavors of soft citrus fruits and wet stone. Very long and complete wine--almost always an outstanding cuvee from Colin.
White peach, spearmint, white pepper and crushed stone on the nose. The palate offers an exhilarating balance of sweetness and acidity, with dense, fine-grained lemon and powdered stone flavors joined by mint on the very long, mounting back end. Half of Colin's vines come from Pernand and half from Aloxe, but he picks and presses both parcels on the same day. Great potential.
Pale yellow. Very ripe stone fruits, oak spices and clove oil on the nose, along with a suggestion of earth. Less deep and less refined on the palate than the Corton-Charlemagne, with a strong but youthfully aggressive peach flavor dominating. There's one new 300-liter barrel and one one-year-old barrique of this juice.
A ripe fruit bomb on the nose, dominated by aromas of peach, pineapple and orange oil. Dense and sweet, with an almost exotic orange peel quality enlivened by strong acidity. Tactile, seriously solid wine with real structure and force. From the Chassagne side but very close to the border with Puligny. For all its early sex appeal, this is likely to need at least several years of bottle aging.
Bright pale yellow. Crystallized lemon peel, orange, smoked meat and powerful minerality on the nose. Thick-verging-on-solid in the mouth, with outstanding intensity and cut to the orange oil and liquid stone flavors. The vibrant, perfumed finish goes on and on. Just two 350-liter barrels of this cuvee, one of them new.
Pale yellow. Aromas of flinty minerality, baked bread and menthol. Dense and minerally in the mouth, with lovely precision for 2009. The dusty, vibrant finish shows a slight phenolic bitterness.
($78) Pale yellow. The nose shows a slightly candied pineapple quality. At once exotic and penetrating, with classically dry stone and menthol flavors dominating. Youthfully shy wine with a subdued finish. This needs a couple years in the bottle to harmonize.
($56) Dried apricot on the nose, along with a hint of nut oil. Rich and a bit exotic on the palate but showing modest dimension today. A pineapple note emerged with air, but the finish is a tad bitter. I wanted more mid-palate flavor and depth.
Tangy aromas of apricot, orange peel and honey; smells like noble rot! Then dense, sweet and powerful, with a mid-palate dominated by orange peel and nut oil. Like the 2009 Batard this is relatively high in alcohol but it has the material to support it. I'd give it five or six years in the cellar to harmonize and gain in complexity.
Very ripe soft citrus aroma complicated by wet stone. Powerful and a bit warm on entry, then quite penetrating in the middle, with highly concentrated soft citrus and spice flavors dominating. This is a baby today: give it eight years.
Pale yellow. Fresh apricot, peppery spices and stone, plus a whiff of exotic fruits. Fat, spicy and powerful; less minerally than the 2010 version but dense and backward. Finishes chewy and very long, with a captivating gingery quality. Another wine that will require patience.
(50% new oak): Nut oil and a hint of stone fruits on the unforthcoming nose. Taut, dry and a bit reduced today, with concentrated flavors of stone fruits and toasty oak. Strong acidity gives definition to the peachy finishing fruit. This has barely evolved since I tasted it from barrel a year ago but is showing more fruit from the bottle.
($375) Lemon, fresh apricot, crushed stone and a whiff of iodine on the nose. Fat, suave and sweet; the most minerally of these 2009s, with a strong crushed stone flavor spreading out to saturate the entire palate. Somehow manages to be both smooth and dusty at the same time. Classic Chevalier-Montrachet, and a real triumph of terroir over vintage.