THE WINE ADVOCATE 2016
THE WINE ADVOCATE 2016
My tasting with Jean-Pierre Guyon was one of the highlights of over two months tasting in Burgundy, as I hadn’t appreciated just how exciting the wines emerging from this six-hectare Vosne-Romanée domaine are. Guyon, whose first vintage was 1987, recounted how in the late 1980s and early 1990s he—along with many of his contemporaries—made heavily extracted, oaky wines, attempting to prove that Pinot Noir need not lack color or structure. Today, by contrast, his ambition is to revert to what he considers the old-fashioned way of doing things: that’s to say, vinification with most whole clusters; no sulfur additions, if possible, until the Spring following the harvest; a cuvaison of some twenty days; and gentle basket pressing. The consumption of this new approach, along with organic certification, dates to 2012. Thanks to an enviable patrimony of old vines (« I don’t have any young vines », boasts Guyon), yields are low, stems ripe, and the new approach works remarkably successfully. While the wines are certainly marked by their whole cluster fermentation, which lends them lovely aromatic range, they have such natural concentration that they avoid being overtly stylized, and site distinctions are articulately expressed. Guyon’s 2017s, it would be fair to say, transcend the vintage norms in terms of depth and dimension, and I warmly encourage readers to acquaint themselves with this exciting domaine.
Savigny-les-Beaune Les Planchots red (91/100) – Drink date 2020-2035
The 2016 Savigny-les-Beaune Les Planchots is showing very well from bottle, wafting from the glass with a bouquet of dark berries, exotic spices, smoked meats, raw cocoa and bergamot that nods to its Vosne-Romanée vinification as much to the idioms of Savigny. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, ample and velvety, with excellent concentration at the core, powdery and ripe structuring stem tannins and a long, perfumed finish. This is an excellent Savigny AOC.
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Platières (92/100) – Drink date 2022-2045
The 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Platières is brilliant, bursting from the glass with aromas of cassis, wild berries, game bird, woodsmoke and spices, subtly framed by new oak. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, with fabulous concentration, a rich chassis of powdery tannins, succulent acids and a long, resonant finish. This is a very compelling Gevrey form Guyon and is well worth seeking out.
Vosne-Romanée 1er cru Aux Brûlées (93+/100) – Drink date 2023-2045
Guyon’s 2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er cru Aux Brûlées is showing brilliantly from bottle, unwinding in the glass with a complex bouquet of rose petal, dark wild berries, cinnamon and dark chocolate that’s complemented by carnal nuances of grilled game bird and smoked meats. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a sapid core of fruit, bright acids and powdery structuring tannins, capturing the inherently gourmand qualities of Aux Brûlées in a less dramatic register than that occupied by the sunnier 2015 and 2017 vintages chez Guyon.While the real fireworks -aromatic and textural- will come with some bottle age, it’s already very impressive.
Vosne-Romanée Les Charmes de Mazières (91/100) – Drink date 2022-2040
Guyon’s old-vine cuvée, the 2016 Vosne-Romanée Les Charmes de Mazières is also showing well from bottle, opening up in the glass with a classy bouquet of red plums, raspberries, orange rind, cinnamon and exotic spices. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, velvety and vibrant, with a deep, concentrated core, powdery structuring stem tannin and a long, sapid finish. Less fleshy and flamboyant than the 2015 rendition, this is a beautifully complex and precise Vosne that would embarass many a premier cru.
Chorey-les-Beaune Les Bons Ores (91/100) – Drink date 2018-2035
The 2016 Chorey-les-Beaune Les Bons Ores is showing superbly from bottle, and if a better example of this appellation was produced this year, I would love to taste it. Bursting from the glass with aromas of wild berries, rose petal and cinnamon, it’s medium to full-bodied, velvety and expansive, with supple, powdery tannins, succulent acids and an ample core of fruit. While Chorey can tend to rusticity, here it is interpreted through a Vosne-Romanée lens, and the result is fabulous.
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