Burgundy Report 2023

Tasted in their new shop in Chablis with Céline & Frédéric Gueguen, 17 January 2023.

Fred on 2022:
We’re really happy and they already taste well but we will need another vintage like that to get back in good shape. I’m already starting to make some early first bottlings as we are short of wine – but most of the cuvées need more elevage.“$

Fred on 2021:
Here it wasn’t as bad as the 2016 vintage when we had hail as well as the frost – but we still lost 2/3rds though even if it wasn’t the worst – but at least we could do a decent job of the pruning for 2022. Our Irancy was just 8 hl/ha. But for the wines, the nuance between the crus in the hierarchy is very obvious – which is how we like it.

The wines…

Always enjoyable wines at this domaine and at all levels. Look out for their beautiful 21 Aligoté!

From 2018 the wines are DIAM sealed, not just the entry ones – some screw-cap also remain:

2021 Saint-Bris Curiosité de Bourgogne
In 2022 they didn’t do the malo to keep the freshness but this did 100% of the malo. Less than 20 hl/ha
A faint smoke accents the modestly mentholated aromas. Round, plenty of sweetness, easy, comfortable wine with a modest richness and with a very faint chalky texture.

2021 Bourgogne Aligoté Vieilles-Vignes
Vines from 1965, planted by Céline’s grandfather – like the St.Bris with a north, north-east exposure.
Ripeness but also with energy – rounder, more golden fruit. Extra width and incisiveness – that’s beautiful and juicy – that’s a great Aligoté – A slight sweetness but so good!

2021 Bourgogne Chardonnay Côtes Salines
Vines south of Préhy, a little from around St.Bris too – but the latter is only about 20% of the mix
Extra freshness – a more vertical nose. More depth and concentration – more mineral too, growing in intensity. The finish narrows quickly and then holds well. A delicious Bourgogne – Yum!

2021 Chablis
From Préhy and Chichée – 6.5 hectares worth. With the Bourgogne the largest cuvée of the domaine.
Hmm – a little sherbet style to this energetic nose. Round, supple – quite generous for a Chablis but with very lovely citrus intensity – the minerality having a hint of rigour today – but a couple more years and all will be fine – this finishes very well.

2021 Chablis ‘La Vigne de 1975
‘We wanted to do a different cuvée but everyone does ‘old vines’, they are not the oldest vines that we have, but they are the same vintage as me and Céline!’ Vines in Préhy.
Hmm – this is a slightly savoury nose, spiced and smoked even. Extra mineral width here – growing in intensity – that’s a purist’s Chablis – give it two years – it’s very good!

All the following were bottled in July:

2021 Chablis 1er Vosgros
A small fumé that I see in most wines – almost tobacco – but here is a fine mineral depth too. Round, a hint of generosity and silky textured. The finish is slightly creamy – there was no barrel used here so that’s certainly from the malic to lactic conversion… Excellent.

2021 Chablis 1er Vaillons
A long-term contract here.
Again a faint fumé but also some width of more floral aromas. A little gas. But fluid, mobile flavour – the acidity so juicy – I would wait 6-months-plus – but what a lovely thing – it’s very expressive.

2021 Chablis 1er Vaucoupin
Older vines in one single parcel, planted in 1975.
Much broader, more obviously ripe citrus fruit. In the mouth too – this is generous and supple – a fruit that’s more exotic. Melting and mouth-watering. Overall, I’d like a bit more energy – but the finish has all that you could wish for.

2021 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Like the Vaillons a long-term contract, these vines in the Côte de Fontenay
A broad, more golden style to this citrus fruit. Extra energy – it’s a mouth-filler. More direct but never hard – also a wine for a little patience but it’s a super wine.

2021 Chablis Bougros
From ‘Clos de Roy’ in Bougros following the road opposite the plantations of cereal and the Petit Chablis
There’s a weight of aroma here – more mineral but tighter in the higher-tones. Whilst there’s still some incisive acidity through the middle of this, there’s a rounder style to this but never heavy – the flavour remaining mobile and interesting. Impressive finishing weight and persistence. Another lovely wine!