Olivier Lamy told me that because his cold cellar can sometimes block his wild-yeast fermentations, he's now experimenting with selected yeasts. This is giving him much drier wines, where previously some of his cuvees fermented for up to a year and finished with three or four grams of residual sugar. Lamy described 2010 as "a changeable and complicated growing season to work the vines and pick the harvest dates. The small size of the crop saved the vintage." He began picking on September 14, noting that grapes that were already close to 13% when it stormed on the 12th were more affected by the rain than fruit that was less far along. Lamy does very little lees stirring because his wines remain troubled on their own, due to the late alcoholic and malolactic fermentations.
($40) Pale yellow. Peach pit and flesh on the nose. Juicy flavors of yellow fruits and minerals. This should be very easy to drink. From a blend of young and old vines planted on poor, calcaire-rich soil, notes Lamy, "with lower water reserves than on the low slopes of Puligny-Montrachet."
($68) (these vines are mostly 45 and 70 years of age, some even older, from a site near Enseigneres): Bright pale yellow. Perfumed aromas and flavors of ripe peach and orange oil. Broad and ripe but with very good mid-palate tension and cut. The steely, vibrant finish is all Puligny. Incidentally, Lamy likes the balance and concentration of the 2009s, and only his village Chassagne was harvested with as much as as 13.3% potential alcohol.
($95) Quite closed on the nose, hinting at pear, yellow peach and vanilla. Fat, ripe and peachy but quite dry, even simple, today, with a bit of alcoholic warmth currently blurring the mid-palate.
($55) (this one fermented for a year with all wild yeasts): Bright pale color. Pure aromas of lemon, chalk and crushed stone. Rich, ripe, round and broad, but with pungent chalky and spice elements giving a compellingly juicy quality to the middle palate. Finishes saline, dense and long, with terrific energy. This transcends the vintage.
($53) (from vines located just above the Clos du Meix): Pale bright yellow. Subdued but pure aromas of soft citrus and stone. Brisk orange and lime flavors are currently dominated by crushed stone and firm acidity, giving this wine a distinctly austere character today. Chalky and limey on the long aftertaste. Lamy normally likes this wine about five to eight years after the vintage. "The 2001 is still very fresh, but the 2002 needs to be drunk," he told me. "The 2004 is starting to reach its peak."
($53) (this has been in cuve since September on its fine lees and was scheduled to be bottled in June): Bright yellow. Crushed stone, orange peel and grapefruit on the nose. Round and sweet but light on its feet, with considerable complexity to its citrus and crushed rock flavors. Very fine-grained, ripe and long, with sappy acidity giving lift to the aftertaste. This has benefited from the longer elevage.
($75) Bright, pale yellow. Steely aromas of crushed stone, menthol and fresh herbs, with hints of ripe fruit in the deep background. Large-scaled, plush and rich, and fruitier in the mouth than on the nose, with a peachy flavor supported by a rather powerful structure. Impressive density and material here.
($65) (from very steep 50-year-old vines facing full south): Bright, pale yellow. Vibrant aromas of lemon, fresh herbs and white pepper. Fruitier and more approachable than the Murgers des Dents de Chien, with more flesh to coat its underlying calcaire. Lemon and orange flavors are nicely framed by ripe, easygoing acidity. The fruit carries impressively on the long aftertaste. I wouldn't be in any rush to drink this.
($69) (still in cuve): Bright pale yellow. Very ripe, subtle aromas of lemon, orange and stone. Sweet, fine-grained and energetic, combining a creamy, sun-drenched character with excellent inner-mouth lift. Orange and mineral flavors saturate the palate on the very long, strong finish. A great Saint Aubin in the making.
($120) (planted at 30,000 vines per hectare in 2000; this was bottled by hand in March): Austere aromas of sugar-dusted lemon drop, underripe pineapple and crushed stone; smells a little like dry riesling. The superconcentrated, layered palate offers an extraordinary combination of density and vinosity, with orange, lemon and mineral flavors displaying outstanding persistence. This has remarkable structure for young vines. A real amplification of terroir: Lamy notes that he always picks these vines at the beginning of the harvest, just after his Chassagne villages.
($399) (also bottled by hand): Subdued, lightly musky aromas of lime peel, spices and mint. Then fat and broad on the palate but less filled in than the high-density Derriere Chez Edouard. Big, rich and powerful but showed more minerals and honey than primary fruit until extended aeration brought up orange and lime notes. Seems more large than long. Clearly a wine from a warm season and hard to judge today.
Sexy aromas of lemon drop and flower blossom. Sappy and rich, but with excellent cut to the flavors of tangy stone fruits, orange and flowers. Very long and aromatic on the rising finish. From ripe fruit picked early. This should make a terrific village wine. (The Chassagne villages showed excellent acidity as well but still had a bit of unfermented sugar and was impossible to assess.)
White pepper, fresh herbs and a lively floral topnote on the nose. Ripe and sappy but quite dry and tightly wound, with a sturdy spine. Most impressive today on the long finish, which features a saline, tactile crushed stone flavor and harmonious acidity.
Complex, soil-driven aromas of flinty minerality, saline oyster shell, menthol and wild herbs. Sappy, fresh and sweet, with a saline quality to the peachy fruit. Not a large-scaled wine but serious and long, with a lightly tannic quality and subtle saline notes on the back end.
Lemon drop, wild herbs and a sexy note of toast on the nose. Creamy flavors of ripe peach and pineapple are given a tangy quality by lively acidity and gentle minerality. Much less aggressive today than the Chez Edouard, with the pineapple quality carrying through on the long finish. There's still a hint of r.s. to be fermented, but this wine displays a lovely combination of fruit and minerality.
Tangy, slightly high-toned aromas of orange oil, pineapple and rock. A creamy, concentrated fruit bomb with a fine-grained texture to the sweet flavors of red grapefruit, orange peel and pineapple. Acidity is nicely integrated. Not yet too minerally but that element will come. The long, saline finishing flavors really stain the palate. Very promising Saint Aubin.
Orange oil and a bit of sweet oak on the nose. Dense, thick and concentrated but with good energy. Clearly a wine from a sunny site. Finishes tactile and quite dry, with a lightly mentholated quality. Showing less personality today than the Remilly but long on the aftertaste.