Allen Meadows apprécie nos vins depuis le millésime 2004. Pour la neuvième fois il a donc évalué nos vins avec une rigueur et un sens de la probité qui l'honore. En moyenne - et pour tous les domaines - il reste prudent sur la qualité ultime de ce millésime qu'il juge très concentré et un peu fermé et qui selon lui réclame du temps. Je partage son point de vue et vous invite à lire les éléments qu'il a retenu de notre " vision de ce millésime 2012 " lors de l'après midi qu'il a passé chez nous au début de Février 2014.
Les vins étaient alors en bouteilles depuis deux semaines.
This 5.5 ha domaine, of which 25% of its production is in red, is directed by 4th generation Michel Buisson, his daughter Catherine and son-in-law Patrick Essa. Essa told me that the 2012 “growing season started early and initially we thought that we might have another 2007 or 2011 on our hands as there were incipient leaves on the vines by the first week of April. The reflex of a vigneron is always to be making harvest calculations, and based on these first leaves we could have started picking by the first of September. Besides I would sign up immediately at the prospect of making another 2011! April though was essentially a period of successive rain storms and cool winds which served to retard the development of the vegetation. It was as though in a very short period we had gone from the style of a precocious vintage to one that was late developing. What further complicated matters was the intense mildew pressure which was the strongest we had seen in some years. And when the vineyards were as wet as they were it’s difficult to treat as the tractors slip in the wet soil and you risk killing vines or worse injuring the operators. One can of course always treat manually with tanks carried on the back but this is very tough work not to mention slow. There was frost in certain sectors but our vineyards were spared as the worst of it hit primarily the lower parts of Chassagne and Santenay. We saw the first flowers in the chardonnay vines around the first of June and a week later for the pinot. Using the traditional 100 day rule meant that we would probably begin picking somewhere between the 11th and 20th of September. Still I couldn’t help but wonder if more surprises were in store because during all of this time the weather still hadn’t settled into a pattern and that always makes me nervous. The weather hadn’t cooperated during the flowering either which meant that there was plenty of shatter. It was worse for the pinot than the chardonnay because the latter had begun the flowering a week earlier but it would be fair to say that both varieties were perturbed and yields were necessarily going to be negatively affected as a result. My instincts about the unstable weather bringing more surprises proved prescient as we had the first of two major hail storms on the 30th of June that left all of us in a state of shock and obviously further reduced yields. It was a vicious storm with hail stones that varied in size from quail eggs to small golf balls that shredded the leaves and nicked many of the tiny berries that would never mature afterwards. To this point in the cycle it was the worst weather the Côte de Beaune had seen since at least 1998. Then the oidium arrived and the mildew was still with us so there was no letup in terms of being constantly in the vineyards. The worst hit were Monthelie, Pommard, Volnay and the northern side of Meursault so some of our vines were hard hit. Despite the fact that the hail was early and thus there would be ample time for the vines to recover in order to adequately ripen the remaining fruit, what remained in the back of our minds was just how much sorting was going to be required at the harvest! Then on the first of August there was another serious hail storm that hit the white wine vineyards hardest. Finally we began a relatively calm period of warm temperatures and stable weather that allowed what little fruit remained to arrive at very good maturity levels. But rain was forecast for the 22nd of September and we had to make a hard decision as to whether to pick fruit that was not entirely ripe under good conditions or harvest ripe fruit under poor conditions? I was guided by the old adage that it’s better to harvest ripe fruit under poor conditions than the reverse. The fruit was very clean as there was no botrytis [rot] at all and the yields for the 1ers were between 15 and 25 hl/ha while the villages wines were in the 28 to 37 hl/ha range, which considering everything that happened during the growing season really isn’t all that bad. The only exception to all of this was the Volnay Santenots which we harvested on the 17th of September as the tiny yields allowed the fruit to ripen before the other vineyards. Unfortunately we made only 750 bottles rather than our usual 1800. While there wasn’t a lot of fruit it was both ripe and clean and ultimately I am very happy with the quality of the 2012s. They are dense and powerful and remind me quite a bit of the 2005s.” (Vintner Select, www.vintnerselect.com, Cincinnati, OH, Milton Road Trading Corp, LLC, www.miltonroadtrading.com, Napa CA, Scott Paul Wines, www.scottpaul.com, Portland, OR, Martine’s Wines, www.martineswines.com, Novato, CA, Import Wines, Middleton, WI, Old World Importing, Inc., www.oldworldimporting.com, Eagle, CO; Flint Wines, www.flintwines.com, Latimer Vintners, www.latimervintners.com, and Roberson Wine, www.roberson.co.uk, Anthony Sarjeant, all UK).
2012 Bourgogne-Aligoté: An exceptionally fresh and spicy nose of mostly pear and citrus scents leads to energetic and well- detailed middle weight flavors that terminate in a saline-inflected, clean, dry and utterly delicious finish. It’s relatively rare to find Aligoté at this quality level and this is definitely recommended if your taste runs to this variety. 87/2016+
2012 Bourgogne – Hautes Coutures: A subtle touch of wood sets off the ripe and equally fresh aromas of pear, white peach and apple. There is good verve and reasonably good detail to the medium weight flavors that possess good flesh and volume on the agreeably dry and balanced finish. While pretty, this doesn’t quite have the overall sense of vibrancy and refreshing quality of the Aligoté. 86/2016+
2012 Meursault Vieilles Vignes: Here the nose is actually similar to that of the Bourgogne though in this case there is enough yellow orchard fruit character present to remark upon. There is excellent volume and mid-palate concentration to the extract-rich, lush, indeed even opulent medium-bodied flavors that possess an unctuous mouth feel, all wrapped in a balanced and lingering finish. This is a big Meursault villages that manages to keep everything in proportion and as such should drink well young if desired. 88/2017+
2012 Meursault “Tessons”: (from vines planted in 1964 and aged in 20% new wood). A background note of pain grillé frames notably ripe and well-layered aromas of essence of dried yellow orchard fruit that evidences hints of lemon and mandarin orange peel. This is also impressively dense and overtly powerful with muscular medium weight flavors that possess an opulent mouth feel before concluding in a palate coating finish. Like the old vines cuvée this will be approachable young but should also reward 4 to 6 years of cellaring too. 89/2017+
2012 Chassagne-Montrachet “En Remilly”: There is a trace of exoticism to the white peach, nectarine and dried apricot aromas. There is excellent volume to the big-bodied, concentrated and well-muscled flavors that brim with dry extract that imparts a seductive mouth feel to the lightly mineral-inflected finale. This is a study in contrasts as there is a natural sweetness to the mid-palate yet the backend is every so mildly austere though I doubt that this will persist for more than a year or so as this is notably ripe. 90/2017+
2012 Meursault “Les Cras”: (from yields of only 15 hl/ha). This is quite closed and inexpressive and only aggressive swirling liberates ripe and fresh aromas of yellow orchard fruit that flirt with an exotic character. There is outstanding richness and concentration to the full-bodied and overtly powerful medium-bodied flavors that possess an abundance of dry extract that imparts a lush mouth feel to the thick and opulent finale that is ever-so-slightly sweet. Some will like this for its sheer decadence but some may find it atypical. 90/2017+
2012 Meursault “Charmes”: This is aromatically more elegant than the Les Cras with its layered and perfumed mélange of white and yellow orchard fruit, acacia blossom and soft anise nuances. There is the same excellent richness but consistent with the refinement suggested by the nose, there is more elegance to the mouth feel as well, all wrapped in a silky, clean, pure and faultlessly well-balanced finish. Lovely and very Charmes in style. 92/2018+
2012 Meursault “Bouches Chères”: (note that the domaine uses the old spelling for Bouchères). This is quite discreet with only barely perceptible cool and ultra-elegant wisps of almost delicate pear, peach and apricot aromas presently visible. There is plenty of verve to the detailed and softly mineral-inflected flavors that terminate in a balanced if less complex finish. I prefer this stylistically to both the Les Cras and Charmes but it doesn’t quite have the sheer depth of the latter. 91/2018+
2012 Meursault “Goutte d’Or”: As is usually the case this is less aromatically refined but more complex and more expressive with its full-on nose of dried peach, apricot, pear, floral and spice hints. There is fine concentration to the intense and powerful medium-bodied flavors that brim with dry extract before concluding in palate coating, clean, dry and beautifully balanced finish. This is a big but harmonious effort that should amply reward extended cellaring. 93/2019+
2012 Chablis – Vaudésir: A ripe and attractively fresh nose offers up notes of iodine, sea breeze and algae on the white and yellow fruit dominated nose. I very much like the pronounced sense of energy to the broad-shouldered, saline and mineral- inflected flavors that display moderate austerity on the impressively persistent finish. This is a big wine but there is plenty of acid support to maintain the proper balance. Lovely and very Vaudésir in character. 92/2018+
Je suis très heureux d'observer que nos cuvées de Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet et Chablis grand cru, signées Buisson-Charles, obtiennent certains des meilleurs scores du millésime 2012 chez Allen Meadows de Burghound.com