Hudelot-Noellat 2010 Bottle Problems

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Hudelot-Noellat 2010 Bottle Problems

#1 Post by Ian Fitzsimmons » December 12th, 2014, 3:31 pm

I've heard from two sources that there are problems with domed capsules and seepage from Hudelot-Noellat's 2010s imported to the US, across cuvées. One source ships directly from the Domaine; one posted this note (excerpted) on the web:

"[...] Numerous bottles (from different importers and retailers) showed up with seepage issues -- at a minimum puffy capsules and in some cases there had been actual seepage and some early oxidation. I've been in touch with another H-N enthusiast who had the same issues and has discussed the prospect of the wines being "over-gassed" with various retailers. [...]"

I've also read a glowing note on one of these wines.

Anyway, I'm waiting for delivery of a small order of Murgers, and wonder if anyone on WB has run into the kind of problem described here.

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#2 Post by EricG » December 12th, 2014, 3:47 pm

My 3 btls of Murgers were all seeping to different extents. Have finished 2 off already, with plans to drink the 3rd in the next year. Disappointing.
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#3 Post by SteveBrown » December 12th, 2014, 3:50 pm

EricG wrote:My 3 btls of Murgers were all seeping to different extents. Have finished 2 off already, with plans to drink the 3rd in the next year. Disappointing.
I've opened one '10 H-N CM and taken the foil off another (from different retail sources) - both showed seepage.
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#4 Post by Howard Cooper » December 12th, 2014, 3:55 pm

This is really a shame. When I tasted HN's 2010s at the Paulee two years ago, they are fabulous. Too bad that a bottling issue may have ruined this.
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#5 Post by jflegler » December 12th, 2014, 4:16 pm

Wow. Recently received 6 Murgers from PC. Took capsules off just now and 4 of 6 have varying degrees of seepage.
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#6 Post by A. So » December 12th, 2014, 4:17 pm

Wow, it hurts to look at that picture...
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#7 Post by jflegler » December 12th, 2014, 4:20 pm

Good news is I paid $35ea on pre arrival blowout. Get what you pay for I guess.
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#8 Post by Jon Burdick » December 12th, 2014, 4:23 pm

There was a mention of this in the Premier Cru thread. PC contacted me in advance of shipping the wines with their analysis of the situation, and that it appears other importers are similarly impacted, and are letting customers chose to get a refund, or take delivery (in which case they'll still refund unopened bottles that are redelivered to them). Murgers, Chambolle, and Petit Vougeot.......I'm interested in hearing others opinions, but decided to take delivery for now.

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#9 Post by Robert Pavlovich » December 12th, 2014, 4:25 pm

Opened a Murgers recently and thought I had a bad bottle upon opening, there was wine stained pretty much all the way through the cork. Anyway, the wine turned out to show well but maybe not quite as well as the glowing notes before mine.

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#10 Post by jflegler » December 12th, 2014, 4:26 pm

PC didn't contact me
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#11 Post by Rick Dalia » December 12th, 2014, 4:49 pm

My bottles are the same though it's not clear to me that heat exposure is the issue. I've not popped a Murgers but the 5 or 6 Chambolle I've opened have tasted fine. My Suchots are resting in the cellar too. I'm just burying my head in the sand for these to turn out well in 20 yrs. PC did offer me a refund, by the way, without any pushback.

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#12 Post by Eric Lundblad » December 12th, 2014, 6:21 pm

I got some of the Chambolle Musigny village and the Murgers from PC. Some of my bottles where much more affected than yours were Rick...PC let me take the bottles I was comfortable with and get a refund on the others, which was reasonable/nice of them. I got my bottles during the sale as well, so I don't have an issue with keeping most of them given the great price. Apparently, bottles up and down the line, including Grand Crus are (can be) affected.

The ullage on the worst bottles (that I saw) is ~3/4'' below the relatively unaffected bottles. On the worst bottles, the corks were stained/soaked all the way up, and the tops and outside neck of the bottle were wet with wine...similar to the pictures above.

As for cause, excess heat is the only cause that I see possible.

Trapped CO2 from prior ML fermentation wouldn't cause this. An active fermentation in the bottle could cause this, but that's not the case here. So the only remaining culprit, I believe, is excess heat. Appears that this happened somewhere close to the Domain in the supply chain, or at the domain (wines via multiple importers affected, etc).

I agree the bottles that Rick Dalia opened a couple of months ago (and since, but I wasn't there) didn't seem affected. But young structured wines with a good amount of SO2 in them can handle heat much better than older wines (or less structured, low SO2 wines). I'd expect bottles that were more affected to show more palate impact. I kept one bottle of badly affected Murgers (I wanted to pull the foil off of a badly affected bottle to see what's what...so had to buy that, of course) so I'll open that bottle up sometime soonish and will report back. If you'd like to join me Rick, let me know!

I hope only a small portion of their wines are affected...would be a shame if it was more widespread given how good HNs wines are. Oh, looking at CT notes, that must be the case.
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#13 Post by jflegler » December 12th, 2014, 6:35 pm

Question, why no return if capsules are removed? Not like they are going to sell them to someone else (I hope).
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#14 Post by Rick Dalia » December 12th, 2014, 6:45 pm

Eric, definitely let me know when you plan to open that low ullage Murgers. Perhaps I can join you with one of my better looking bottles and we can do the side by side comparison.
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#15 Post by Rick Dalia » December 12th, 2014, 6:47 pm

jflegler wrote:Question, why no return if capsules are removed? Not like they are going to sell them to someone else (I hope).
I think there was an issue of the merchant getting a refund back from the distributor, or whoever is next up in the supply chain.

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#16 Post by Todd A. Christensen » December 12th, 2014, 6:49 pm

I think the excerpt in Ian's OP is from a posting I made on Bill Nanson's site a while back. I've had nothing but problems with '10 H-N 1ers, unfortunately (the few villages that I've opened have been fine, naturally........). The Malconsorts have been particularly problematic, and its an across-the-board issue, regardless of retailer and importer on both US coasts.......

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#17 Post by jflegler » December 12th, 2014, 7:11 pm

Gonna check in on one here in a minute. Only have $35 in each so wtf.
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#18 Post by Craig G » December 12th, 2014, 7:30 pm

Picking up at PC tomorrow. They told me about the conditions when I asked to pick up.
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#19 Post by jflegler » December 12th, 2014, 8:02 pm

Ok check in on 10 H-N NSG Murgers. Popped the worst looking cork of my 4 affected. Nose is classic vosne spice married with Nuits iron. Everything I love about the NSG climats near Vosne border. No sign of anything amiss. Palate is wonderful as well. Some tannin but very approachable and delicious.

Whatever the cause (heat or other issue) this is a great wine at this stage. I once had a winemaker in Napa tell me heat damage generally makes little difference in the short term and this case would support this opinion. He said to drink them up though and I gladly will.
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#20 Post by Andy B » December 12th, 2014, 9:01 pm

jflegler wrote:Question, why no return if capsules are removed? Not like they are going to sell them to someone else (I hope).
Thanks for the info and popping a bottle, John. I bought 3 bottles (the only three available in stock) from PC in July at $59.99. I was unaware of the seepage issue until reading this thread. No comments pre or post purchase from PC. It's entirely possible they had extras that did not sell on pre-arrival basis. Also possible that someone cancelled an order and the bottles then listed for sale.
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#21 Post by maureen nelson » December 12th, 2014, 9:27 pm

Fwiw, i have 02 Suchots bought upon release from woodland hills and perfectly stored that has a puffy capsule.

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#22 Post by Adam Noble » December 12th, 2014, 9:30 pm

Bummer of a thread. Hope they all turn out ok.

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#23 Post by john stimson » December 12th, 2014, 10:24 pm

Some of my 2008's have seepage. Came thru envoyer. All of these bottle have a very high fill level, and it could be that there are analogies with Leroy, which I understand is notorious for high fill levels and some seepage.

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#24 Post by Lewis Dawson » December 12th, 2014, 11:21 pm

I bought Clos Vougeot and Vosne Beaux Monts from Zachys, and took delivery over 1.5 years ago. Had serious seepage in 2 of the 3 btls of Clos Vougeot and also in 1 of the 3 btls of Beaux Monts. Zachys offered to refund, but we decided to open the leakers last Christmas with family. The wines showed beautifully, especially the Clos Vougeot, a great wine.

Over the years, I've seen many leakers from this domaine. Most of the wines have been fine, but my '02 Murgers was cooked.
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#25 Post by c fu » December 12th, 2014, 11:25 pm

john stimson wrote:Some of my 2008's have seepage. Came thru envoyer. All of these bottle have a very high fill level, and it could be that there are analogies with Leroy, which I understand is notorious for high fill levels and some seepage.
With leroy tho it's not a majority of the bottles having seepage, from everyone's reports it seems like more bottles have seepage than those that don't with HN.
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#26 Post by Ian Fitzsimmons » December 13th, 2014, 6:31 am

Todd A. Christensen wrote:I think the excerpt in Ian's OP is from a posting I made on Bill Nanson's site a while back. I've had nothing but problems with '10 H-N 1ers, unfortunately (the few villages that I've opened have been fine, naturally........). The Malconsorts have been particularly problematic, and its an across-the-board issue, regardless of retailer and importer on both US coasts.......
Yes, I excerpted from a post on BR - it was up under a pseudonym, though, so I was unsure about attributing it, beyond mentioning the web. Thanks for chiming in.

The other source was PC, who apprised me of the situation when I called to schedule delivery of my bottles. I find they are being straightforward. They may not have been aware of the problem when their early H-N shipments went out, and, if these wines indeed cannot be returned up the distribution network, stand to take a substantial hit, I imagine - what would insurance cover, in a situation like this?

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#27 Post by paul clark » December 13th, 2014, 6:59 am

FWIW I have his CV, NSG Murgers, NSG Villages from 2010 and they have all had the problems described above. I have consumed 1 CV, 1 Murgers and 2 NSG Villages and none have shown any signs of heat / oxidisation / etc. These were all purchased here in Switzerland and they all came directly from the domaine to the point where I purchased them.

I freaked out when I saw them on arrival and I did a lot of reading to figure out "what" could cause this (they were shipped to Switzerland in Nov so heat was immediately ruled out). I did find somewhere out there in cyberspace that HN soaks his corks before inserting them...I have NO IDEA if this is accurate. But it helped me sleep better at night...

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#28 Post by Craig G » December 13th, 2014, 7:13 am

This sounds a lot like the old problems with 1989 Beaucastel, which I thought were attributed to the corks themselves. I have bottles with no significant ullage and others with several inches. The worst have substantial leakage and usually puffed capsules. There was never any sign of heat damage.
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#29 Post by Keith Levenberg » December 13th, 2014, 7:44 am

I had no idea of this issue until recently - I opened one of the 7 bottles of $35 Murgers I got from PC and it was fantastic. It did have some CO2 in it as so many Burgundies do these days. No seepage or raised corks noticeable on any of them. If other people are noticing these problems in bottles from all sorts of different sources, I have to suspect this is the CO2 popping the corks out, not heat damage. It's hard to believe the bottles would have gotten cooked at the domaine. And there wasn't even a hint of heat damage in my bottle, which came from the same place as everyone else's.

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#30 Post by PaulJ » December 13th, 2014, 7:47 am

Todd A. Christensen wrote:I think the excerpt in Ian's OP is from a posting I made on Bill Nanson's site a while back. I've had nothing but problems with '10 H-N 1ers, unfortunately (the few villages that I've opened have been fine, naturally........). The Malconsorts have been particularly problematic, and its an across-the-board issue, regardless of retailer and importer on both US coasts.......
Yes 2 of my 3 2010 Malconsorts had seepage on the outside of the bottle. Didn't open the capsule on the 3rd. I was offered a refund from Chelsea Wine Market on all of them but chose to keep the bottle. I opened a CM with obvious on bottle seepage and it was really tasty juice...and that's what convinced me to take a leap of faith on the rest of the wines.
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#31 Post by Alan C h a n » December 13th, 2014, 7:53 am

anyone know if this was solved for subsequent vintages? or are we going to start hearing about those too?
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#32 Post by Eric Lundblad » December 13th, 2014, 9:06 am

Ian Fitzsimmons wrote: The other source was PC, who apprised me of the situation when I called to schedule delivery of my bottles. I find they are being straightforward. They may not have been aware of the problem when their early H-N shipments went out, and, if these wines indeed cannot be returned up the distribution network, stand to take a substantial hit, I imagine - what would insurance cover, in a situation like this?
PC was unaware of the problem early on in their H-N shipments. I pointed the problem out to them, which they were unaware of, when I picked up my bottles. They immediately offered to take back bottles that I didn't want. They also checked their reefer transport reports, and the temp was in the expected range during the entire shipment from Europe.

I find it very hard to believe that CO2, not from an active fermentation, could cause this without the wine heating up.
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#33 Post by C 0 R E Y M. » December 13th, 2014, 9:14 am

If people are reporting the same problem on bottles in Switzerland, it can't be a shipping/import issue.

Has seepage been a problem for any of the other producers who bottle with some CO2, like Fourrier?
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#34 Post by Scot H. » December 13th, 2014, 3:58 pm

Bought 2010 Murgers from a reliable source and all bottles had seepage. I also have some 2010 Petits Vougeot (bought from PC) and those seem fine. Those are the only 2010s HN that I have.
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#35 Post by Craig G » December 13th, 2014, 8:23 pm

I picked up my bottles today. I haven't pulled any capsules but there are no external signs of seepage. One bottle had a slightly puffed capsule. Fill is almost at the cork on all the CMs and less than 1/4" below the cork on the Vougeots. I wouldn't have suspected anything from the way they look.
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#36 Post by davidho » December 14th, 2014, 5:46 am

Do they use Reefers now for wine transport to the US?
I knew they did not in the past.

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#37 Post by Eric Lundblad » December 14th, 2014, 11:11 am

davidho wrote:Do they use Reefers now for wine transport to the US?
I knew they did not in the past.
Are you asking about Premier Cru here (multiple importing paths have been discussed here)? Anyways, PC uses reefers (with built in temp monitoring/reporting) and has for a long time.
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#38 Post by Todd A. Christensen » December 14th, 2014, 5:05 pm

PaulJ wrote:
Todd A. Christensen wrote:I think the excerpt in Ian's OP is from a posting I made on Bill Nanson's site a while back. I've had nothing but problems with '10 H-N 1ers, unfortunately (the few villages that I've opened have been fine, naturally........). The Malconsorts have been particularly problematic, and its an across-the-board issue, regardless of retailer and importer on both US coasts.......
Yes 2 of my 3 2010 Malconsorts had seepage on the outside of the bottle. Didn't open the capsule on the 3rd. I was offered a refund from Chelsea Wine Market on all of them but chose to keep the bottle. I opened a CM with obvious on bottle seepage and it was really tasty juice...and that's what convinced me to take a leap of faith on the rest of the wines.
Yep -- same here -- both on the wine's showing, and on keeping the rest of the bottles. Not that I'm thrilled about it.

Side note -- I agree with the various posters that this doesn't seem like a heat issue to me. Corks or CO2 the more likely culprits -- something on the production line.

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#39 Post by Todd A. Christensen » December 14th, 2014, 5:08 pm

Alan C h a n wrote:anyone know if this was solved for subsequent vintages? or are we going to start hearing about those too?
Perhaps I'm a slow learner, so I picked up some '11s about a year ago (after the experience with the '10s); they seem fine -- no signs of seepage whatsoever.

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#40 Post by Ian Fitzsimmons » December 14th, 2014, 7:08 pm

I wondered about high fill, when very modest variations in temperature can cause seepage.

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#41 Post by PaulM » December 14th, 2014, 8:03 pm

jflegler wrote:PC didn't contact me
Nor me. GCs too?
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#42 Post by Craig G » December 14th, 2014, 10:26 pm

Paul Marquardt wrote:
jflegler wrote:PC didn't contact me
Nor me. GCs too?
They didn't say anything to me until I asked to pick up the wines. Do you already have yours?
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#43 Post by Claus Jeppesen » December 15th, 2014, 1:44 am

Opened a 2010 Chambolle Village last night. inspired by this thread.
Foil was dry but smelled a bit of old wine, Cork was half soaked.
The wine showed well in the glas. A beautifull balanced village. Absolutely no taints. Better than 2008 and 2009
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#44 Post by Stephen Williams » December 15th, 2014, 3:59 am

Some of my 12s have arrived. Extremely high fills, with no more a pea-sized volume of air in some. No seepage though, and the capsules spin freely
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#45 Post by Scot H. » December 15th, 2014, 7:24 am

Opened one of the 2010 Murgers last night. Was young, but quite delicious. No sign of heat damage. I did think it was slightly spritzy, however. Here is a shot of the cork.

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#46 Post by Keith Levenberg » December 15th, 2014, 7:46 am

Screw the Hudelot, I want to try one of those Bouchards.

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#47 Post by Ian Fitzsimmons » December 15th, 2014, 9:13 am

Scott: how was the fill on the seeping bottle, compared with the other HN bottles?

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#48 Post by Alan Rath » December 15th, 2014, 10:04 am

What this sounds like to me is something wrong with the corks. How can so many bottles, from so many sources, on two continents, all be leakers? without signs of heat damage, or pushed corks (all I've seen or heard about so far are puffed capsules, but no pushed corks). Is it possible their cork source is a problem?
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#49 Post by EricG » December 15th, 2014, 10:16 am

Mine looked very much like Scot's and the fills were still plenty high.
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Hudelot-Noellat 2010 Bottle Problems

#50 Post by Eric Lundblad » December 15th, 2014, 11:32 am

Alan Rath wrote:What this sounds like to me is something wrong with the corks. How can so many bottles, from so many sources, on two continents, all be leakers? without signs of heat damage, or pushed corks (all I've seen or heard about so far are puffed capsules, but no pushed corks). Is it possible their cork source is a problem?
I've pulled corks from these and there weren't any issues. None of the corks were pushed up. The seal was tight and required the expected amount of resistance to insert the cork screw and pull the cork.

In a semi-related note, I've noticed that with my 'older' Fevre Chablis (02-05), many of them have had very soft and spongy corks. This makes me wonder if, in the case of Fevre, poor cork quality/consistency has contributed to their poor premox record.
Ladd Cellars
Winemaker & Owner

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