Patrick Essa recalls the season: “We have just 23hl/ha as we had hail in all plots. The wines have great concentration and for the vines which suffered hail, the fermentation was very slow taking place over 8 months with the MLF and maybe 10 for some premier cru.” “The pneumatic press worked well with the small grapes. We work slowly at not above 1.8 bar. Not much juice. Many flavins on the skin of the white and for this reason lots of texture, like tannins.” “In 2014 I worked with the lees; after debourbage we have just the fine lees and the juice is quite clean…it settles for 24 to 48 hours. I like to take my time. It was essential for me to observe the quality of the lees.
I work with 3 parts when I put into the barrels…all have a third first etc, so each barrel has the same lees. I want no reduction in any barrel.” I think the selection in the vineyards is essential for the expression of these wines. When we have no botrytis and the level of sugar at 13 degrees with great concentration it was possible to make wine with high quality. This is in the pursuit of a wine which is very pure and clean. No pumping only moving by gravity.” No pesticides in the vineyards for 20 years and no chemical treatments since 1996.
The samples are a blend of all casks with 20% of new oak for all wines and no new oak for the two barrels of Corton-Charlemagne. “I like real minerality, not reduction, mineral like iodine in the mid palate and salt on the end.” “You must take you time with this wine. Drink your 2011 or your 2007 first.” “It is a mix of the concentration of 2010, but without the botrytis.
2014 is a unique vintage for me. The hail and the quality of the harvest and the harvest..perhaps 1966 and 1955, but more like 1966.” Patrick’s wines have incredible level of concentration in this vintage. They are rich. It is not really typical of the vintage, which is ripe, but not this level of ‘super’ concentration. He clearly had very low yields. The thick skins give a kind of tannin; the wines have a lot of texture which emphasises the richness, and the minerality in his terroir gives the balance and freshness to the end of the palate. These are wines which will need quite some time in bottle.
*Meursault, Vieilles Vignes 6 different vineyards for a ‘round cuvée’ from the village. This is rounded; rich and incredibly concentrated. Full and succulent with a firm line of minerality coming under this enormously concentrated fruit supporting the palate to the finish. From 2019
*Meursault, Les Tessons 1/3 of a hectare in the southern part of the vineyards, “rockier soil with red soil,” says Patrick, The vines are 50 years old. 23 hl/ha and uses only used barrels from Burgundy forest, oak seasoned for 4 years and coopered in Hermitage. Elegant wine. Wonderfully supple and satin rich, very textured; the fruit is white peach and white flowers. The minerality here is smooth stone. It flows onto the finish. Once again this has a high level of concentration, combined here excellent typicity. Score 17. From 2019
Meursault, Les Cras “¼ hectare in front of their Volnay Santenots. Lots of small white stone and a sunny exposure. 6-8 barrels, just one this year. This is tight and stony on the palate; you sense the cold soil. A savoury mineral and tannic bite to the palate; a grip and a tension. The rich texture is all wine and lees, no new oak; two year old oaks. It is both warm and rich and cold. Sappy, minerals on the finish. Score 18. From 2020
Chassagne-Montrachet, La Romanée (negoce) High toned aroma..white flowers. On the palate this is very pure. It is lifted and high toned and very elegant. The upper part is fresher and a percentage of clay in the middle part so you get the richness and the acidity. Lovely long and mineral finish. Score 18. From 2019
*Meursault, Charmes Upper part, just under Perrières. Twenty year old vineyards..these are his vines now as he purchased this year. It is concentrated, but not so much as the first two wine, or the next two. This glides onto the palate. It is not so extravagant. it is more understated. There is a silky refinement. There is saltiness under the palate and on the finish. Score 18.35. From 2014
“This is the expression I love for my wines. You smell the spring water. Not so exuberant, but perfect.”
Meursault, Les Bouches-Chères Here the vines are 72 years old. This is spicy and perfumed. At first the palate is delicate, with light spice, but it grows full and rich, concentrated and rounded. It is rich and full; it is not picked first, but last and at 13.4. It has plenty aromatics on the finish. 2 of the 10 barrels. 14 hl/ha. “I didn’t think we would make any this year.
“If Boucheres is a gymnast Gouttes d’Or is a rugby player.”
*Meursault, La Goutte d’Or This is coiled and concentrated on the aroma. Rich strike. Dense and tight and compact. Tiny production. This has muscle and tannin and tension. This is rich and there is acidity coming through. Bunched and with amazing concentration here. Good typicite for this should be a rich and burly wine. Score 18.45. From 2020
Corton-Charlemagne Le Charlemagne. 82 year old vineyards (Negoce) This is pure and tight and straight and channelled. It is a sunny exposure…and has a sweetness to the fruit. It was harvested before the Meursault. This is high toned and very pure, very elegant and it has firm minerality and excellent tension. Lovely long finish. Score 19.25. From 2022/25