I used this occasion as an excuse to check in on this 1999. Generally, I feel that 1999s need more time. This wine confirmed that impression, while at the same time providing increasing enjoyment and insight over the three hours that I consumed it.
Plenty of red fruit here and some gaminess. The wine is medium-weight and not dilute (no showing of the very high yields in general in 1999). The fruit is red, perhaps redder than in a classic year. At first, the wine is interesting for the fruit, and then it turns to developing some gaminess, which is interesting but doesn’t necessarily add to the overall quality of the wine. By the end of the bottle, the elements are beginning to come together for a more harmonious whole. Bottom line: you can drink and enjoy this wine now, especially if you decant it an hour or two before drinking, but for maximum enjoyment/appreciation, wait another 5-12 year. It is top premier cru quality, at any rate.
Chevillon seems to exist at the tipping point of brettanomyces tolerance for me. At least of the beloved Burgundy addresses. I’m curious for palate calibration. This is an oft-revered estate I regard with amiabilty rather than reverence.
Very limited experience with Gentaz-Dervieux. I like Rostaing.
Thanks for the notes. Big (make that huge) fan of Chevillon and Gentaz myself. A shame more folks haven’t had a Gentaz wine back when they were produced and now largely forgotten. Claude, thanks for the memories/reminder. I have a sole '88 left for which I have high hopes.
I’ve tried lots of Rostaing (Chapoutier in the same camp) and have yet to find anything I’ve wanted to buy (vintages '90-'03) or be excited about. Jim’s Chevillon is my Rostaing. Appreciate what’s there but no synergy between bottle and man.
I’d never have put Chevillon among the brettier burgundy addresses. In NSG Gouges wines can sometimes give this impression in the same way as they seem very high in VA. I think this really is only an impression though, when mature there don’t seem to be problems.
Claude, have you noticed seeming manifestations of high yields in 99s at other addresses?
I agree that most 1999ers have plenty of life ( positive evolution ) ahead of themselves . But a recent 1999 NSG aux Boudots from JJ Confuron out of a magnum … was fully ready and very delicious .
I find the wines from Jean-Jacques Confuron a bit underestimated … the house style is elegant and en finesse . And this can even be found in his Nuits.St.Georges wine …while the wines from Chevillon ( wines I follow every year ) are more NSG in character( robust …) Would you agree , Claude ?
FWIW, because of a thread on another board , I found and opened a 1999 Morey villages from Hubert/Romain Lignier yesterday. When I first opened it is was really shut down, though the aromatics hinted lots was in reserve. (Usually when I open a wine of that age, it shows well for half to an hour and then clamps down, so…I was a little puzzled.) I put the wine into an open decanter for the day (10am-7 pm, checking around 5) and it unraveled into a wonderful wonderful wine; hard to imagine a straight villages wine being more impressive, in fact. Elegant, juicy with lots of reddish fruits and some black…and a nose that continues to haunt this morning before coffee. Like Claude, I am concerned about the effects of the very high yields in 1999, and am a bit skeptical about the vintage’s overall greatness as a result (two winemakers expressed that concern to me in 2001). But, like the Pruliers (which I own a few of), this wine will, in 5-7 years really rock. Aeration is a great tool when used well…which isn’t always a given.
Judging from how closed the '99s I’ve opened have been recently…and how much aeration they seem to need to show their stuff, I’d hardly say this vintage is nearing “ready for business/pleasure”. My conclusion is that it needs a fair amount of time to get there naturally: at least 5-6, from my experience.
Luckily for me, I was aware of his impending retirement and the fact that like Verset at Cornas, once he was gone, there would never be anything like it again in the appellation, so I stocked up on 1991s and still have quite a bit left, as well as several 1988s and maybe a bottle or so of 1990 and 1989 left. (Wish I had some 1985, though.)
Not really, Tom, although what I drink is rather self-selected to producers I consider worth following, and I’m sure there are other producers where the high yields, or methods taken to counter the high yields such as saigner or reverse osmosis, will start to be showing, now. I remember Rousseau did an experiment with reverse osmosis that year on a small part of his Clos-de-Bèze. I tasted it with Charles Rousseau and it was truly awful (and have confirmation through other sources in Burgundy that he really hated the result). I presume he sold that barrel off; I wonder who got it and I feel sorry for any consumers that have that wine.
I think it depends on the vineyard and terroir, Herwig. I agree that there is plenty of elegance in his Boudots, but his Nuits-Chaboeufs, which is from the central part of Nuits, is a sturdier wine, exactly as it should be. The village and premier cru Chambolle show finesse within the range of the Confuron wines, but if you put them among Chambolles from producers in Chambolle, I think you could pick out that they from a slightly different way of looking at the wine there. The same way that the Clos de la Maréchale under Mugnier, which incidentally is right across the street from JJ Confuron, shows somewhat of a Chambolle conception.
I don’t say this in any way to criticize either Confuron’s Chambolles or Mugnier’s Clos de la Maréchale, as I really like them. But I think that producers tend to have a conception of wine built into the village in which they are located. I discussed this once with Etienne Grivot, and he thought about it and agreed, pointing to how his Nuits Pruliers is from the same orignal source as Gouges (it came to him when a member of the Gouges family married into his family), yet the expressions of the two wines are very different, reflecting the respective Nuits and Vosne perspectives of the two producers. I see this time and time again in my visits. Another example of that principle would be when Etienne de Montille acquired Côte de Nuits properties. I think it took a vintage or so for him to adjust to the fact that these were not the same as Côte de Beaune.
Though there were many many outstanding wines in 1999, IMO, careful buying was more necessary than in 2002 and, certainly, more than in 2005. When I visited the region in 2001 with two wine friends, they were finding quite a few wines that concerned them in that regard. As my buying has, for the most part, been the from the same producers and same group of wines from those producers for many vintages…I was more focused and less concerned than they were, but…there were some wines I was concerned with, even at the domaines I have great confidence in. How they really turned out…we’ll see…but I didn’t buy those anyway.
Welcome, John. I mostly drink wines older than 1999, too, and if you search, you’ll see that I posted a note earlier this week on 1988, 1989, 1990 red Burgundies that I had recently. However, most of my wine is offsite and I haven’t been to the lockers in a while, so my choice was limited by what is at home for the moment. Although I am admirer of the 1988 vintage, I am happy that most vintages aren’t as stubborn as 1988 (1995 may prove to be, though).
Jim – I count myself as a fan of Chevillon, but the last two bottle opened had some brett. I tend to be very tolerant of brett, but the '01 NSG was almost undrinkable. Now you’ve got me worried because I just picked up another case of the '06 – hope the brett doesn’t kill them.
2006 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits St. Georges- France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges (2/14/2010)
First bottle from a recent case purchase. Rusty red color with watery rim. When first opened the smell of Brett is prominent, but this has faded now after a few hours to allow aromas of earthy cherry/raspberry to emerge. On the palate this has good structure and drying tannin from start to finish. Flavors of red fruit and barnyard. Acidity builds towards the finish which is excellent with red fruit lingering nicely. Needs, say, 3-5 years in the cellar and should be a great village Burg if the Brett stays in check. (91 pts.)
I recently had the 99 JJ Confuron Boudots and thought it was still youthful but I wasn’t too impressed. Based on this bottle I wouldn’t describe JJ Confuron as elegant and en finesse but rather extracted and almost bruising. Perhaps it just needs more bottle time, but as mentioned I was a bit underwhelmed.
Josh – The style has been slowly evolving, but it sounds as though you may have had an off bottle or a shutdown wine. I have several bottles of Confuron’s 1999 Boudots, but haven’t fished any out to drink, and really wasn’t planning to for another 3-4 years. Knowing Herwig’s palate a little, you and he may be starting from different parts of the spectrum, and so elegant and fine for one may not be the same for another.