In my Blog of 12 January, I wrote that I have been stocking up on 2015 Burgundy and Rhone wines which have turned out to be even greater than the 2005s. I have been tasting some of these purchases and have written the following notes.
Beaujolais - Many of the vignerons in Beaujolais claim that 2015 is their greatest vintage since 1947. Those 1947 wines were made by their grandfathers! On the basis of my tastings of 2015 Beaujolais, this is absolutely believable. The 2015s are the most concentrated, finely fruited and complex Beaujolais I have ever tasted, and my experience spans over 50 years.
2015 Georges Duboeuf "La Madone" Fleurie ($19.99 - wine.com) - Deep ruby colored, this possesses seductive aromas of cranberry, blueberry and currants, with scents of roses, sweet pea flowers and violets. The flavors are alluring, with saturated fruits that pick up licorice, cocoa, French roast and granitic minerals. On the back the wine turns silky, yet vigorous with a long sweetish tannin finish. "Transports you to France," says Lynn. 18.5+/20 points.
2015 Domaine de Rosiers Moulin à Vent ($24.95 - wine express.com) - This shows a deep ruby color and an intoxicating nose of raspberries, cherries and currants, with scents of crushed roses, bayberry and violets. The flavors are simultaneously full bodied and velvety, with notes of red licorice, cocoa, roasted coffee beans and granitic minerals. The back picks up pressed berries, framboise and cassis liqueurs, followed by a lingering sweet-dry finish that expresses the essence of the Gamay grape. Bottled by Georges Duboeuf. 19/20 points.
2015 Chateau des Jacques Morgon, Côte du Py ($31.99 - wine.com) - This full bodied Beaujolais presents a deep ruby color and a heady nose of wild fruits - fraises de bois, blueberries, black currants - with scents of crushed roses, sweet tobacco, sweet pea flowers, violets and oriental incense. On the palate, the flavors are deep and penetrating, marked by black licorice, dark cocoa, French roast and stony minerals. The saturation continues on the back with pressed berries, roasted nuts, fraise and cassis liqueurs and graphite. The smooth tannin finish is strikingly sweet for a Burgundy, yet dry and endless. From a property owned by Maison Louis Jadot. 19+/20 points.
2015 Chateau des Jacques Moulin à Vent, Clos de Rochgrès ($39.99 - wine.com) - This is even more concentrated than the Domaine's Morgon. Semi opaque purplish colored, it emits intense aromas of blackberry, black cherries and black currants with scents of black roses, bayberry, sweet tobacco, and sweet incense. The flavors are deep cored, showing old vine character, with layers of dark fruits that are intermixed with black licorice, dark chocolate, extra dark roast coffee beans and minerals. The penetration continues on the back with macerated berries, grilled nut meats. kirsch, creme de cassis and graphite, all leading seamlessly into a long, long firm yet smooth tannin finish. Expensive for a Beaujolais, but well worth the price. 19.5/20 points.
Côte Chalonnaise - Decanter magazine has stated that "the reds and whites of the Côte Chalonnaise are a great success." The Côte Chalonnaise is situated between Burgundy's Côte d'Or and the Maconnais. The whites are Chardonnay and the reds Pinot Noir. These two are fine 2015s, both from Domaine Faiveley which has choice vineyard holdings in the Chalonnaise.
2015 Domaine Faiveley "Champ Lalot" Givry ($29.99 - wine.com) - Brilliant gold colored, this white possesses wonderfully pure aromas of apple, peach, citrus, apple blossoms, wildflowers and fennel. The flavors show fine Chardonnay purity, with well delineated fruits that are intermixed with peach stone, grape skin and Sâone riverbed minerals. On the back, the wine picks up grape and citrus extracts that add texture, leading, again into a vivid, again, varietally pure finish. The wine's vibrance gives it a plus. 18.5+/20 points.
2015 Domaine Faiveley Mercurey, Premier Cru, Clos de Myglands ($44.99 - wine.com) - This shows a deep brick red color and a rich, pure Pinot Noir nose off raspberries, cherries, plums and black currants, with scents of rosebuds, orange peel and violets. The flavors are svelte yet well structured, with layers of fine red fruits that are endowed with cocoa, medium roast coffee and minerals. The pleasure continues on the back with sensations of pressed berries, roasted nuts, toast and graphite, followed by a lengthy, satisfying soft tannin finish. 19/20 points.
Côte d'Or - The 2015 vintage in both the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuts turned out superb wines, many of which will age beautifully for ten years or more. I have laid in a lot of Premier and Grand Crus which I will be saving for later. Here, though, is one lovely wine from the Côte de Beaune.
2015 Domaine Faiveley Blagny Premier Cru, La Pièce sous le Bois ($47.99 - wine.com) - Blagny is situated between Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, below the Bois de Blagny. The whites, Chardonnay, are called Meursault Blagny and the reds, Pinot Noir, are called Blagny. Deep brick red colored, this possesses a lovely nose of fraises de bois, cherries, red currants, wild roses, forest carpet, violets and whiffs of incense. The medium bodied flavors, as well, are alluring, with wonderful Pinot purity, marked by notes of cocoa powder, medium roast coffee and granitic minerals. The back reveals sensations of fraise and cassis liqueurs, grape skin extracts and a dusting of finely ground charcoal, followed by a lingering, silky tannin finish that is lifted by fine fruit acids. 19/20 points.
Côtes du Rhone - The Rhone Valley, as well, saw great success in 2015. A warm, dry harvest resulted in beautifully ripened grapes that resulted in richly fruited full flavored wines. The South Rhone, in particular, excelled, especially in Gigondas and Châteauneuf du Pape. See below for some of these wines. The 2015s of the North Rhone (Côte Rotie, Hermigage, St. Joseph) will be released later.
2015 Domaine de Grand Montmirial "Les Deux Juliette" Gigondas, Selection des Vieilles Vignes ($23.99 - wine.com) - This is a fine value in a Grenache dominated South Rhone. It shows a deep ruby color and a rich, spicy nose of wild fruits - blackberries, raspberries and black currants - with scents of bayberry, mulberry and incense. The flavors are robust, yet plush, with loads of dark, direct fruits that are intermixed with licorice, cocoa, French roast and minerals. The back picks up macerated berries, framboise and creme de cassis, followed by a satisfying spiced ripe tannin finish. 18.5/20 points.
2015 Domaine de Cristia Châteauneuf du Pape ($38.99 - wine.com) - Composed of 70% Grenache, and 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, this shows a deep ruby color and seductive aromas of raspberries, cherries and black currants, with scents of crushed roses, pipe tobacco, garrigue (lavender and herbs) and spiced incense. The flavors mirror the aromatics with full, penetrating red and black fruits that are infused with licorice, cocoa, French roast and granitic minerals. The saturation continues on the back with sensations of macerated fruits, grilled nut meats, framboise and cassis liqueurs and charcoal, followed by a lingering ripe tannin finish. 19/20 points.
2015 Domaine Grand Veneur "Le Miocène" Châteauneuf du Pape ($56.99 - Esquin) - This Cuvée from Alain Jaume boasts a deep ruby color and intoxicating aromas of wild fruits - raspberries, pomegranates, black currants - with scents of crushed roses, tobacco, garrigue and violets. The dark fruit flavors are deep and penetrating, yet velvety, infused with licorice, dark cocoa, French roast and distinct mas minerals. The concentration continues on the back with superb structure along with notes of macerated berries, roasted nuts, pomegranate seeds, kirsch, creme de cassis and pulverized charcoal, followed a long herb and spice dusted sweet-dry tannin finish. 19+/20 points.