First impressions of Bourgogne 2017

Early impressions: a bit too low acidity for some whites, better overall from reds

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com

19 November 2017

Based on a tasting of wines – to be sold today at auction at the famous Hospices de Beaune – the 2017 vintage seems to reflect a vintage where whites were more challenging and reds fairly bright and up front. Indeed, Ludivine Griveau, director of winemaking for the Hospices de Beaune domain, explained that some people were tempted to make lots of wine risking a bit of dilution.

Great to taste – as ever at the Hospices – with the great Michael Apstein of Wine Review Online

Her team at the Hospices, by way of some green harvesting among other methods, kept yields low to maintain high concentration. Based on tasting these “prenatal” wines (the reds had not undergone malolactic fermentation, neither the whites except for the Batard Montrachet), the reds are pretty good if a touch uneven. As for the whites, some showed flabby characteristics, reflecting a concern for lower than average acidities. “It was important to harvest earlier, to maintain freshness,” said Griveau in the video, below. But lovely whites came through as well, from a very tasty Pouilly Fuissé to an elegant and bright Meursault Genevrières.

My tasting notes below – as usual if bold, I liked in particular. If red and bold, even more. If underlined, too, potential wine nirvana. It is hard to talk about nirvanas when tasting such young wines, however, so I stress “potential” wine nirvana… 

REDS

  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Monthélie 1er Cru Les Duresses Cuvée Lebelin Jomain Freres – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Monthélie 1er Cru
    Malic acidity comes to the fore, which is normal at this stage. High toned wine, with crisp fruit. 87-90
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Santenay Cuvée Christine Friedberg – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Santenay
    Not having gone through malo, this still shows crisp vibrancy and even elegance. Substance on the mid palate, more so than the Monthelie. 88-91
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Cuvée Rameau-Lamarosse – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru
    Smooth and quite a refined body. 88-91
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Arthur Girard – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru
    Lovely fruit expression, wild strawberry, bright. Maybe not as much body as the Pernand tasted before, but still good. 88-90
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Fouquerand P. Andre – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru
    Deeper than the preceding Savigny, but again a certain wild strawberry aspect, with clean fruit. Crisp and a bit deeper, again, on the finish. 89-91
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Forneret – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru
    More rustic than the two preceding, somewhat harder tannin. Not really thrilling me so much.
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Boillot – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru
    A deep fruit driven nose, but then a bit volatile. The palate seems cumbersome, not really together. Not sure …
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Cyrot-Chaudron – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
    A bit of a diluted aspect. Has fruit, but not as engaging as I would have thought after what was said about yields and how the Hospices made an effort to rein them in …
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Hugues et Louis Bétault – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
    This seems harder initially, the tannins are present, but has more concentration. But the finish is marked by refinement and the wine is just more impressive in terms of depth and concentration compared to the previous wine. 88-91
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Brunet – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
    Lovely nose, with crisp fruit and focus, too. Perhaps not as smooth as the next one however… Fellow taster Michael Apstein found “thorns” here; as compared to the certainly more floral Drouhin, coming up next. 89-91
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Maurice Drouhin – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
    Lovely floral aromatics precede a refined palate with very smooth texture. Great wine in the making? 89-92
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Rousseau Deslandes – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
    This is smooth, too, but not as impressive as the preceding wine, as it comes across just a tad hard. Not rustic, but a bit hard. 87-90
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er Cru Grèves Cuvée Pierre Floquet – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
    This has raw tannins, and comes across angular. Not very promising.
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Clos des Avaux – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
    Dark fruit. Tastes like a “bigger Beaune” as fellow taster Michael Apstein said. A bit short on the finish? For me it was. 88-90
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Dames Hospitalieres – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
    This is “mmmmm” wine – both Michael Apstein and I agree. Tannins are present with fine fruit. Rich. This should turn out very nicely. Quite a bit of structure and aromatic opulence! 90-93
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Volnay 1er Cru Cuvée Général-Muteau – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
    This has a clean nose with aromatic deep. The texture is velvety, but residual sugar makes it seem sweet. Note reserved.
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Volnay 1er Cru Cuvée Blondeau – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
    Quite a lovely nose, if somewhat foreboding tannin. This has weight and and loads of concentration. It may turn out great, but let us be cautious. 89-91
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Volnay 1er Cru Santenots Cuvée Gauvain – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
    The best wine so far? It has such clean fruit and a smooth texture, unimpeded smoothness, with depth and juiciness. Excellent! 91-93
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Volnay 1er Cru Santenots Cuvée Jéhan de Massol – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
    Rather sumptuous and rich on the palate, but there is structure that bodes well for the future. Perhaps not as nuanced as the preceding wine, but a winner. 90-92

Going under the hammer today.

  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Pommard Cuvée Billardet – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard
    Kind of stiff at this prenatal stage. A bit more strict compared to the Volnays but this is Pommard – as a Pommard should taste, Micheal Apstein remarked.
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Pommard Cuvée Suzanne Chaudron – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard
    Like the preceding Pommard, quite a bit of stolid aspects and even harder. Note reserved.
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Pommard Cuvée Raymond Cyrot – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard
    Now we’re talking! This has a bigger feel and comes across as more suave than the preceding Pommards. Lovely! 90-92
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Pommard Cuvée Dames de la Charité – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard
    A very good showing here! Smooth and deep. 90-92
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Pommard 1er Cru Les Épenots Cuvée Dom Goblet – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard 1er Cru
    This has the most verve of the Pommards. The most substance and the most depth. 91-93
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Corton-Cuvée Charlotte Dumay – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
    The first of a top trio of Cortons: this turned out to be the best trio we had all day… This first one was Deep with bright fruit and underlying firmness. 91-94
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Corton-Cuvée Docteur Peste – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
    This is really voluptuous. Richness and body galore! 91-94
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Corton-Clos du Roi Baronne du Bay – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
    Velvet like and deep. Very long. Great wine in the making. 92-94
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Echezeaux Jean-Luc Bissey – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Echezeaux Grand Cru
    Deep violet floral aspects. The palate is also very clean and smooth – if perhaps “linear” at this stage where the tannic edge dominates. Once in bottle, it should be terrific. 92-94+
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Clos de la Roche Cuvée Cyrot-Chaudron – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru
    Reductive nose, but lots of sap and mid palate concentration. I really like this. Should be stellar down the road. 92-95
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Cuvée Madeleine Collignon – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru
    A bit closed in. Big, even imposing on one level, but not showing itself fully, as it comes across monolithic and impenetrable. Hard to gauge so I’ll try a safe range: 90-94

WHITES 

  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Pouilly-Fuissé Cuvee Francoise Poisard – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé
    Peachy and fleshy and smells like it! Bravo! 89-91
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune St. Romain – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, St. Romain
    This is a bit sweet, of course an odd period to taste, still cloudy. No Malo yet.
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet – France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
    This has agreeable acidity and fine length as well. Bravo! 90-92
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Suzanne et Raymond – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
    Lovely nose, tastes like a white Beaune, albeit a little clunky as Michael Apstein remarked.
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Puligny-Montrachet – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet
    A bit too flabby for a Puligny. “More fruity more than mineral,” Michael Apstein said.
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Meursault Cuvée Loppin – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
    A bit low in acidity but it provides pleasure. Rich, but not heavy. Not a 2014 to be sure; could be more vibrant. 89-91
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Meursault Cuvée Goureau – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
    While I liked the Loppin, this has almost too sweet an aspect. A bit flabby.
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Meursault 1er Cru Les Poruzots Cuvée Jéhan Humblot – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
    This is also is a tad sweet but has more energy, and makes the cut. 89-91
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières Cuvée Baudot – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
    Great job! Has bright tension and richness. Lovely! 91-93
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières Cuvée Philippe le Bon – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
    Hard to judge, too much residual sugar…
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Meursault 1er Cru Charmes Cuvée Bahèzre de Lanlay – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
    This has a promising start, but ends a bit too flabby.
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Meursault 1er Cru Charmes Cuvée Albert Grivault – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
    This has more energy on the palate, even a bit of reduction. More focus. Not as good at Baudot, in the last flight, but nice focus. 88-90
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Corton Blanc – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
    This has verve and spice, but a bit short. Like it but don’t love it. 88-90
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Corton-Vergennes Paul Chanson – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
    Perhaps a bit flabbier and not as much verve as the preceding wine, but it has acidity and verve, too. More similar to the above than different.
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Corton-Charlemagne Roi Soleil – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
    Lots of stuff going on, nuanced and rich but with evident acidity: Best one of the three white Cortons. 91-93
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Corton-Charlemagne Cuvée François de Salins – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
    Smooth and elegant, not flabby, very drinkable and enjoyable! 91-93
  • 2017 Hospices de Beaune Bâtard-Montrachet Cuvée Dames de Flandres – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
    Even though it did the malolactic fermentation (the only white of the tasting to have done so), it disappoints. Not as much verve. Even a tad flabby. Hmmm.

Cheers from Bourgogne! 

Panos

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