revue de presse
Domaine Buisson-Charles, Meursault
I met with Patrick Essa who makes the wine these days. Michel, his father-in-law, who ran the domaine for so many years clearly still plays an active part in the process. He moved though the cuverie as we tasted reporting on what was happening in the vineyard and offering his opinion of the wines.
“A singular vintage with some reminiscence of 2005 for the whites. Great concentration and acidity,” comments Patrick.
“It was not an easy vintage,” he continues. “We had a problem with hail and maladies - oidium and some problems with flowering. We produced a half harvest. But I prefer a half harvest with quality than too much of lesser quality.” They harvested here between the 23rd and the 29th September which was before rain for part of the production and then after the rain (on the 25th and 26th ) September for the rest. It was a small production just 25hl/ha because of the hail at the end of June.
The analysis: Good tartaric acid for all the wines 3-3.5 and at malic 2.5-3; so a good balance. pH between 3.15 and 3.22. Degrees of alcohol at 12.5 for Aligote and 13.5 for the cru. No sugar added or yeast and no enzymes. “It was a clean harvest.” Patrick and Michel harvested late and Patrick selected out the botrytis.
The wines were slow to ferment. 3 months for alcoholic and 3-5 months for the MLF. “Slow as we have high acidity…5.7 to 6 total TA in juice. I prefer slow fermentation but with no stopping.” After MLF 3.30 and 3.4…reds 3.55 “Good acidity but not hard. Reduction was not a problem this year. Good concentration.”
After pressing the juice usually has 24 hours of sedimentation, but in 2012 they waited 48 hours.In 2012 they used plenty of lees, fine lees. Patrick filters the big lees to get turbidity between 100-150 “which is a good level before the elevage, but fine lees only. I have to balance things as I want no reduction but I want lots of lees. After I pump my juice into the barrel and mix the lees.” In 2012 he used just a little bâtonage for two cuvée….to help the yeast. “I think bâtonage is better the second winter not the first when you have movement any way. After racking we use bâtonage for the autolysis of the yeast, but cuvee by cuvee. It is not systematic.”
“I compare 2012 with 2005.” He also compares them with 2010s. “It is possibly a great vintage although it is difficult to say now. Great concentration, purity and acidity and in some premier cru, it is the best vintage I have vinify. The problem is small production.”
“I conserve middle price with no augmentation in 2012 as clients are not responsible with the weather. I prefer to sell the wine at a good price as I want to make wines for drinking not speculation.”
Patrick would like to see at least 5 years ageing for this vintage. As for wines in the cellar, more time for 2005 and so drink 2007s and 2011s. He has refined a few things to make them his wine a little easier to drink young than Michel’s wine, which needed quite a while to come round.
Stony vineyard below the main road in Meursault with clay soils. 70 year old vines. For the firstyear since Patrick made this wine, it is in wood. “I had not much production and I had emptyoak, but it is in one to three year old barrels.” He has a new plot, which he has planted with16,000 vines per hectare…there are 5-6 bunches on this higher density planting. “If I have 1m between the rows the workers can still work easily.” Appealing light lemony aroma with a rounded palate which is juicy and has a refreshing note of lime. It is fresh and bright on the finish. A light and accessible Aligote. Pleasant.
In 2011 half was in barrel and half in stainless steel, while in 2012 all is in barrel with 20% new oak. “I like this wine. It is a democratic wine,” says Patrick, who is keen to have an affordable wine in the portfolio. “I have younger clients.” It is a nice example of Bourgogne. Fresh and appley. Nice and breezy with the trademark purity of this domaine. It finishes very well for Bourgogne and makes an excellent introduction to the range. From late 2013/14
Meursault, Vieilles Vignes
6 different vineyards. The idea is to have a ‘round cuvée’ from the village. Some of the vines are very old, for example the 100 year old vines in Les Pellans. He has one hectare here (which is on the boarder with Puligny) which he considers gives it a bit more Puligny-like expression. No new oak in the sample, but there will be some on the final wine. Perfumed citrusy aroma. Notes of lemon balm. This is blossomy, lightly rounded and elegant. Quite well defined and nicely intense. The end of the palate is keen and mineral. “I like to produce wine which is more discreet to begin with and then after a few years becomes more expressive,” Patrick remarks. Good++. Score 15.25. From late 2014/2015
*Chassagne-Montrachet, En Remilly
Quite reserved aroma and attack. Streamlined and elegant. A straight and pure palate. Goodenergy and crisp, tight edges. Lithe wine. Particularly good. Score 17. From 2015/16
*Meursault, Les Tessons
Two different plots 45 and 60 ears old. “We consider this wine a premier cru. Red soil with stony mix.”Lovely texture, sleek and spicy, but not rich. It glides on the palate. It is supple and silky textured. The salinity comes though on the finish. Nicely balanced acidity. A puff of savoury chalk at the end. Particularly good. Score 17. from 2016
Meursault, Les Cras
18 hl/ha. Just two barrels, usually 5. This is more assertive on the aroma. Smokey note. Full bodied and generous. It certainly has a rounded, full and broad palate with ripe lemon fruit. Somewhat more robust. There is savoury mineral bite on the finish. It does not have the elegance of the Tessons, but has a forthright honesty. Score 17. from 2016/17
Upper part, just under Perrières. Lightish and elegant. Quite racy. Pure and threaded with plenty of minerality. It’s a lighter Charmes, (a little light on substance maybe) and not as glossy, intense and textural as one might expect. Particularly good+. 17.25 From 2016
*Meursault, Les Gouttes d’Or
There is a richness and density to the aroma. This is powerful and full. Plenty of intensity. There is marked depth to the palate. Long and powerful on the finish for Gouttes d’Or. It is certainly very compact. Quite a level up. Fine. Score 18. From 2017
*Meursault, Les Bouchères
Spicy aroma with rather exotic floral notes. Very expressive and generous on the attack. It is golden, seductive and supple in the middle. The acidity is fresh and bright. What I like about it is the lively, lifted finish. No new oak. This is delicious. Fine. Score 18 From 2018
Patrick received this in juice. It comes from a friend in Chablis. Patrick was a teacher in Chablis and there seems to have been some sort of pact, that when he reached 50, his friend would release a barrel of this to mark the occasion. It was handed over after one day of sedimentation,and hence received in the barrel. Patrick will probably finish the elevage in steel and there is no new oak in this wine. Hand harvested. 12.5 degrees and no sugar. The friend has two parcels with some vines in the amphitheatre, while another part gives freshness.Intense and lifted aroma with white flowers. Ripe fruit at the front of the palate. (Worked with many lees in this.) There is certainly a richness while the acidity underpins the wine. It has breadth and elegance. The finish is fine and pure with florality and minerality on the finish. Fine+. Score 18.5. from 2018
The MLf has not finished for the red and nothing has sulphur.
“The whites are more technical to make, while the red it is more like cooking,” muses Patrick.
“You can interpret the vintage and be more sensual. The white is more difficult as you must have extreme precision.”
In 3 year old barrels. 22 hl/ha in 2 plots including Les Magny. 45-60 year old vines. He treats it like a village wine and selects the grapes in the vineyard. 30% whole grapes are used. “With whole cluster you have more sweetness.” Sweet, dark and concentrated; juicy and ripe. Soft tannins with a touch of liquorish and bite of dark chocolate and black cherry on the finish. What a good Bourgogne.
28 ares. On the slope with north east exposure. “Good soil, but a fresh climate, so we harvest it late after everything else. No whole cluster. It’s not a massale selection. It’s clone 114 and 115. We have little grapes, but the vines are 30 years old now.” He has clearly worked hard to get 6-8 bunches per vine (23 hl/ha in 2012) and remarks that any more production and the wine will taste more like an Hautes-Cotes de Beaue. He achieved 12.3 degrees and no added sugar. Fresh red nose with floral notes and a hint of violets. (He does not like any toast in the barrel).Appealing silky texture; it is charming for a Pommard and flows elegantly across the palate. It is pure and has plenty of ripe cherry characters. Good+. Score 15.75. From 2015
Only two barrels. 34 ares. 17 hl/ha. 60 year old vines. Massale selection. Floral aromas. Dark fruit with a straight line. It is not quite as seductive and intense as it might be and there is a slightly hard note at the moment, as well as the more attractive hint of asphalt. I’d like to try it again.
Savigny, premier cru
This is from the Hospice de Beaune “Cuvèe Arthur Girard.” Quite a ripe aroma. Very sweet with lots of concentration and soft, ripe tannins. It is certainly a crowd pleaser. As Patrick did not make this, it is not in the same style as the domaine wines, but is an expressive and generous and accessible wine. Particularly good. Score 17. From 2016
Meursault, Les Tessons
One parcel of Tessons in two different plantings. 35 ares. In the southern part of Tessons with red soils. “The elegance of Chevalières and the power of Goutte d’Or,” remarks Patrick. It was purchased in 1976 by Michel. The climat of Tessons totals 5 hectares and all 7 growers have vineyards exposed East. In the Southern part there is less influence from the wind. Patrick thinks there is more tension in the North, more of Chevalières character, while the Southern part produces more summery and fruity wine. But of course the date of harvest will affect this.
Meursault, Les Tessons 2011
Fragrant, breezy and discreet. There is a fresh water feel to the aroma. Juicy and citrus. It is delicate and refined on the palate. Lovely balance of acidity and fruit. Slight salinity on the finish. Long finish. 17.5. It is lovely now, quite accessible, but equally you could and perhaps should wait another 2 or 3 years.
*Meursault, Les Tessons 2010
This is richer on the aroma than the 2011. Riper, crystallized lemon fruit. Quite unctuous on the attack. Energetic, but with more richness to the fruit; more density. It powers home on the finish. It is certainly ripe and energetic and very expressive. No lack of acidity here either. I do like this. It is precise. 17.8. From 2017
Meursault, Les Tessons 2009
Riper still. Touch of nutty aroma coming though. I thought it might be a bit heavy in comparison, but its not. It’s ripe but elegant. While it is marked by the sunny vintage character, but the balance of acidity keeps it fresh. 17.7. Keep for another 3 or 4 years.
*Meursault, Les Tessons 2008
Patrick made this together with Michel. A long 22 months of elevage. This is showing some evolution in flavour, but really it needs time still. There is an intense, crystallized lemon character. He did not de-select the botrytis. Unctuous, powerful, straight and dense. Lots of acidity and intense fruit combine. Very straight. concentrated, but still really quite severe. Shows great potential for ageing further. Score 17.8
Meursault, Les Tessons 2007
Salty and breezy, more akin to the 2011. More ozone character. Light and elegant and pure. This races elegantly across the palate to a saline finish. Lovely. So pretty and drinking so well now. I do not see any benefit in keeping this. Score 17.25
Meursault, Les Tessons 2006
Ripe and toffee note. It is both fatter and flatter. On the upside it has generosity and nuttybiscuit characters. Honeyed and full. Drink now; slightly oxidative. So it is ready now. Score 16
Meursault, Les Tessons 2005
Wonderful aroma. It is Patrick’s favourite vintage since ’89. The palate is impressive, full and rich and biscuity. This is powerful on the finish. While it is clearly a very good wine, I prefer a little more restraint. It is positive baroque on the finish, but still very fresh and it certainly has plenty of energy. So 17.4 this needs more time maybe.
Meursault, Les Tessons 2001
This was harvested in October on the 2nd October. Patrick vinified this alone as his father-in-law was unwell. No new oak. Only barrels from 3, 4 and 5 years. 8 barrels so a good production. He finds the same expression as 2008 and here too there was a long, long fermentation and some reduction in barrel. The 2001 might have same acidity, as 2008 thinks Patrick… This has plenty of age now. Rich and biscuit, but uplifted. Delicious complexity with notes of coffee and grilled nuts Nicely defined acidity. Very fresh and bright with a pure note on the end of the palate. Score 17.45. Drink now.
Meursault, Les Tessons 2000
Smooth texture onto the palate; very rounded and generous, glossy and full. It’s a contented wine. Sunny and yet fresh on the finish. Patrick says it has always been like this. It will probably continue like this for 20 years. Score 17.5. Drink now but will probably continue like this for a while.
UK: Richards Walford. Robertson; Flint
USA: Scott Paul. Vintner Select.
Le Guide Vert 2014 de la revue des vins de France est sorti aujourd'hui - 14 Aout - avec les évaluations de nos 2011.
Les notes sont toujours subjectives mais comme nous sommes dans un millésime que la revue trouve "moyen" dans l'ensemble de la région, elles représentent de beaux succès.
Assez surpris des appréciations sur le Bourgogne Chardonnay car c'est analytiquement le plus acide de nos vins! Pour le Remilly, deux fûts de un et trois ans ayant eu des Goutte d'Or avant...le moins boisé de mes crus donc!
Mais l'ensemble de l'analyse reste cohérent - même si Bouches-Chères est supérieur à Goutte d'Or cette année - et je suis particulièrement heureux de la note de dégustation de l'Aligoté car c'est la première cuvée vinifiée partiellement sous bois de trois à cinq ans.
J'aurais dû mettre le Charlemagne car c'est un délice en ce moment-))
Allen Meadows’ 3rd Quarter, 2013 Issue 51
B U R G H O U N D . C O M® The Ultimate Burgundy Reference
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 it was “already clear by the month of May that the harvest was going to be an exceptionally early one. What was perhaps just as remarkable however was that we also knew quite early on that we would have a high degree of phenolic ripeness accompanied by relatively low potential alcohols. This is unusual, not only because we could predict it early on rather than only a few days before the harvest but also that we had this conjunction of high phenolic ripeness levels with low alcohols. This just doesn’t happen all that often. The chardonnay started to turn golden around the 15th of August and the best parcels had potential alcohols in the 10.5 to 11% range. Then we had a lot of rainfall between the 18th and 20th which caused the fruit to swell and diluted the potential alcohols. It took the vines a week to 10 days to concentrate the sugars and we began picking on the 31st of August bringing in relatively clean fruit that required a bit of sorting but nothing really serious. Potential alcohols averaged between 12 and 12.5%. From the standpoint of the handling of the fruit and the fermentations, the whites required great care and precision. You had to press softly and slowly as well as do a thorough lees settling. In the case of the former, you didn’t want to extract anything that wasn’t ripe and/or pure. And in the case of the latter, you wanted to again be absolutely certain that you didn’t have anything in your musts that shouldn’t be there. Then it was necessary to add sulfur only at the precise times and in the minimum amounts necessary. The good news is that if you did these things it was possible to make excellent wines that are going to surprise many people. I don’t mean to say that 2011 produced truly great wines but they are much better than simply good.” Essa also noted that the domaine has moved to stamping its corks with all of the relevant information. I have noted this before but the quality coming out of this domaine in recent years is nothing short of spectacular and if you enjoy classically styled age-worthy whites then these will definitely appeal to you. The whites were bottled without fining or filtration in December, 2012 and January 2013. Note that the two Chassagne 1ers are négociant wines. I would agree with Essa’s general take on the vintage and the domaine in my view clearly outperformed the general quality of the vintage. (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; Richards Walford, www.r-w.co.uk, HS Liquid Assets, www.hsliquid.com and Roberson Wine, www.roberson.co.uk, all UK).
2011 Bourgogne-Aligoté: An exuberantly spicy nose of very fresh citrus and orchard fruit scents leads to energetic and noticeably saline-infused flavors that culminate in a clean, very dry and crisp finish. This is a fine example of the genre and one that should drink well almost immediately. 86/2014+
2011 Bourgogne: There is a very mild hint of the exotic to the otherwise fresh and cool floral and citrus aromas. There is good concentration and fine volume to the delicious, round and vibrant middle weight flavors that possess notably better depth and length than the average example. Lovely and recommended plus this will age if desired. 87/2015+
2011 Meursault Vieilles Vignes: A ripe but cool nose features notes of pear, white peach, citrus and hazelnut. There is good cut and vibrancy to the delicious and solidly well-concentrated middle weight flavors that terminate in a very crisp, dry, detailed and lingering finish. The old vines are very much in evidence and this is one to definitely consider. 89/2017+
2011 Chassagne-Montrachet “En Remilly”: A completely different aromatic profile is present here with hints of resin, citrus peel, exotic tea and floral scents. There is a fine sense of underlying tension to the delicious, intense and well-detailed flavors that really fan out on the mouth coating, balanced and attractively mineral-inflected finish. 90/2016+
2011 Chassagne-Montrachet “La Romanée”: There is a discreet but still visible touch of wood influence to the ripe, spicy and exotic nose that displays fine complexity on the dried yellow fruit scents. There is fine mid-palate concentration to the round, supple and opulent medium-bodied flavors that deliver equally fine depth on the balanced and persistent finish. This is really quite stylish. 92/2017+
2011 Meursault “Tessons”: (from vines planted in 1964 and aged in 20% new wood). A hint of mineral reduction adds breadth to the fresh, ripe and cool aromas of just sliced orchard fruit and hazelnut. There is really lovely purity to the saline- infused medium weight flavors that exude a fine minerality on the precise, harmonious and impeccably well-balanced finish. This is a terrific villages and recommended. 90/2017+
2011 Meursault “Les Cras”: This is slightly riper than the Tessons yet the nose remains cool and fresh with well-layered aromas of apple, pear and white flowers. There is excellent volume to the solidly concentrated and mineral-inflected medium weight flavors that possess fine energy on the ever-so-mildly austere and persistent finish. There is a firm acid spine and this should reward 6 to 8 years of cellar time. 91/2017+
2011 Meursault “Charmes”: This is one of the more interesting wines in the range with its nose of mandarin orange, pickled ginger and exotic yellow fruit aromas. Here too there is fine volume and mid-palate density to the middle weight flavors that coat the mouth before culminating in a delicious, clean, dry and saline-infused finish. The dry and crisp finish is in marked contrast to the naturally sweet mid-palate. While not exactly classic in style, this is lovely all the same. 92/2018+
2011 Meursault “Bouches-Chères”: (note that the domaine uses the old spelling for Bouchères). A strikingly elegant, pure and restrained nose displays essence of citrus, stone and green apple aromas. There is superb detail to the intense and broad-shouldered flavors that coat the palate with dry extract, all wrapped in a delicious yet serious lemon-infused finish. This highly understated and impeccably well-balanced effort is both stylish and classy. 93/2018+
2011 Meursault “Goutte d’Or”: There is enough reduction present to knock down the nose but it clearly appears to be ripe. There is more volume and power to the medium weight plus flavors that enjoy impressive mid-palate concentration as well as plenty of palate coating extract. The lingering and balanced finish is quite firm as the supporting acidity and subtle minerality shape the backend yet the mouth feel is distinctly different from that of the Bouches-Chères. A qualitative choice but both are terrific in their own ways. 93/2018+
2011 Corton-Charlemagne: (from Aloxe). A deft application of wood sets off cool, admirably pure and restrained aromas of green apple, white peach and mineral reduction. There is excellent richness to the overtly powerful and muscular flavors that are concentrated to the point of being unctuous yet the firm supporting acidity maintains a fine sense of balance on the palate staining finish. I very much like the depth and this could surprise to the upside. 93/2019+
I have noted this before but the quality coming out of this domaine in recent years is nothing short of spectacular and if you enjoy classically styled age-worthy whites then these will definitely appeal to you. I would agree with Essa’s general take on the vintage and the domaine in my view clearly outperformed the general quality of the vintage.
This 5.5 hadomaine, 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. Among other things Essa noted that all wines will now have branded corks with the appellation, vintage and producer information. I will have more detailed vintage information in Issue 51 but for the reds I was told that the Bourgogne and Pommard were completely destemmed but 70% of the stems were retained for the Santenots. The domaine is quite rightly known for the quality of its excellent whites but don’t ignore the reds, in particular the Bourgogneand the Santenots as both are almost always unfailingly good. The 2011s were bottled without fining or filtration in December 2012. (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; Richards Walford, www.r-w.co.uk, HS Liquid Assets, www.hsliquid.com and Roberson Wine, www.roberson.co.uk, all UK).
2011 Bourgogne: An exuberant nose of picture perfect pinot fruit is cut with plenty of earth that is also reflected by the delicious, intense and vibrant middle weight flavors that possess excellent complexity for the appellation, all wrapped in a mildly rustic, long and balanced finish. This delivers fine quality and is worth your consideration if you’re looking for a Bourgogne that will repay some cellaring. 87/2016+
2011 Pommard “En Chiveau”: (En Chiveau sits at considerable altitude high above the village). There is a hint of crushed leaf to the otherwise very fresh red currant and dark berry fruit aromas that exhibit a hint of violets. There is a lilting and energetic quality to the lightly mineral-driven flavors that exhibit a touch of wood on the moderately austere and mildly rustic finish. This will require a few years of cellar time to round off the slightly edgy finish. 88/2017+
2011 Volnay “Santenots”: (from vines situated in the upper part of the vineyard that is distinctly rockier and actually more like a Caillerets than a classically rich and generous Santenots). A deft touch of wood sets off the ripe, pure and elegant aromas of spice and pepper inflected dried flowers and dark pinot fruit. There is excellent delineation and energy to the tension-filled, rich and complex medium-bodied flavors that possess a refined mouth feel before culminating in a balanced, understated and impressive persistent finish. Good stuff here. 91/2018+
En préparant le guide des meilleurs vins de France 2013, Olivier Poussier a eu un double coup de coeur pour deux cuvées du domaine Buisson-Charles : Goutte d'Or et Bouches Chères.
C'est un coup de cœur pour deux premiers crus qui ne sont pas les plus médiatiques de l’appellation Meursault. Les cuvées Goutte d'Or et Bouches Chères sont d’une définition remarquable. Il y a
un potentiel de vieille vigne important qui leur donne cette dimension, ce fond, ce caractère.
Goutte d’Or 2010
Vendu 40 euros, c'est un excellent rapport qualité-prix.
C’est peut-être le plus beau des Goutte d’Or que j’aie jamais goûté.
Il a une dimension proche d’un grand cru, en terme de définition, de potentiel, de matière. Son opulence est bien gérée par beaucoup de finesse et d'élégance. Avec toujours cette touche équilibrée.
Ce que j’aime sur ce domaine, c’est la façon dont les bois sont gérés. Ils ne sont aucunement fardés. Ce sont des vins qui font totalement abstraction de l’élevage.
Il a une capacité de vieillissement d’une trentaine d’années sans aucun problème.
Bouches Chères 2010
Cette cuvée est un peu plus dans l’archétype de ce que Meursault peut représenter. Ce vin est finement beurré, crémeux, sans tomber dans la mollesse.
Un vin d'une grande élégance et d'une grande finesse. Derrière le gras et la générosité il y a le support acide qui permet à ces 2010 d’avoir du peps et du potentiel.
Voir la Video d'Olivier Poussier:
Domaine Buisson-Charles, Meursault
I was met by the affable Patrick Essa. His father-in-law Michel Buisson is now 76. Patrick hasbeen running the domaine with his wife Catherine for the past twelve years.They have six hectares. One third of which in red in Volnay and Pommard. There are 4 hectaresof whites, only in Meursault. 2.5 of village vines and 1.5 premier cru. In the 2011 vintage therewill be some Chassagne next years. Patrick married into a wine family, but soon became hookedby his father-in-law. He explains that “it was really important for me to understand whiteBurgundy with a cultural vision. I do not produce wine for me, but for the appellation. Thedomaine name is not as important as the terroir.” The new label reflects this, as, unusually, thedomaine name is relegated to a position bottom left.
For Patrick one of the most important things is selection. “We select in the vines. I want nobotrytis and no green grapes.” He likes no more alcohol than 13 or 13.5 at the maximum. “Weadd nothing, no yeast, no enzymes.” He adds, “It is a vision centered on the culture of the vines– good grapes; grapes with good balance.”“We do not have a high production 40-45 h/ha white and 35 to 40hl/ha maximum for the reds.
However the 2010 was much lower and it’s not something I like either, as it is difficult to meet the demand of my importers. In 2010 they a very low 22hl/ha in the Aligoté for example. Theywere down to half yields on white in general and not much more for reds – 25hl/ha. (Compare2009’s 46hl/ha white and 42hl/ha for reds.) “We would select out any botrytis if there was any,
but the problem was due to the poor flowering. It seems they did not set. “We harvested withthe sun.” He recalls no problem with the storm. He harvested on the 18
th September – theprovisional date was 24th, but they brought it forward for the red and the 20th for the whites.(Pommard was later as they are younger vineyards).“I think it is the best vintage for white since 1999,” remarks Patrick. He liked 2009 for sweetness,but considers, “2010 has great concentration with acidity and perfect fruit and intense flavour. For me the slow alcoholic fermentation is a very good sign.” This finished in December.
For most the MLF is still going. Only about 30% are through MLF. “For me it is important as wework with a lot of lees. The lees are selected for aging for 18 months. I like a slow MLF; slow autolysis of the lees and I like the use of the natural CO2 to protect the wines, rather thanadding SO2.” He uses as little SO2 as he can get away with.He does not often use bâtonage generally. “I used some in 2008, but it’s not something I especially like. We have natural glycerol in the wine, we do not need bâtonage. I like purity and density and good balance with the acidity.”
Pressing: he likes a little foulage. He prefers to crush a little so he can use a lower bar (1.6 to amaximum of 2) of pressure and no turning. He does not like whole cluster in white for he feels he would have to use higher pressure. No sulphur is used in the first two hours. He sections off the juice, filling up each barrel by degrees, so he gets equal proportions of the lees in each barrel. It is all done by gravity to barrels in the cellar beneath the winery. It is all vinified in cask with 25% new oak then remainder in 1 to 4 year old casks. Only Aligoté is in stainless steel. “It is a very old vineyard, (70 years) which reaches naturally over 13 degrees, so in oak it would be too fat.”
A little sulphur before the fermentation. As mentioned he doesn’t like it, “but I can not make white without any protection.” “We produce wines for ageing; they are not that exuberant in the first part of life. The wines need five years, if it is possible.”
The samples were representative of the finished cuvees with 25% new oak, 25% 1 year old, 2 year and 3. So it is the expression of the cuveés. He uses just Vosges forest, only Damy and medium toast.
A very good flight of wines. Meticulous.
*Bourgogne Aligoté 2010
Stony vineyard below the main road in Meursault with clay soils. 70 year old vines. 40% MLF. 12.8 degrees natural. pH 3.08. After fermentation TA 5.6. 10ouvres. 6.5 barrels. “Lovely harvest with small grapes in 2010. We have the same concentration as 2008, 2002 and 1999 which were very good years for Aligoté,” remarks Patrick. It is very important for me to have nose like spring water with no reduction in whites. Like the smell of a river. I like Aligoté to have green apple aroma. You should have this for a varietal expression
after the MLF. Fresh and crisp and airy on the nose. Lovely ripeness on the palate. Firm acidity encased in fruit. It is energetic. Top notch. It will need a little time in bottle. Very zesty and concentrated for Aligoté.
This was the first wine I had tasted from this domaine and I had no pre-conceptions. I had selected them randomly to visit. Things suddenly looked rather interesting. I was keen to taste more.
Bourgogne Aligote 2009
Whafting aroma with fragrant, light aroma of lychee. A delicate note with white flesh. Pure and light and intense. It lovely. Ripe and very floaty. Delicious.
*Meursault, Vieilles Vignes 2010
6 different vineyards. He wanted a ‘round cuvée’ from the village. “If you have good soil withgood quality, but with no singular quality, it is better to blend to get complexity in the blend. It is an historic vision; the vision of our ancestors and our choice. 20 barrels. It will get 15 months in barrel with one racking. No fining. Many of Patrick’s wine in 2010 have no filtration. Breezy stone fruit on the aroma. Smooth expression. Lovely concentration and juiciness. There is good intensity here. A little grip and good, coating palate coverage. It shows complexity for a village wine. The finish is long and very pure. Really a lovely Meursault. From 2012/13
*Meursault, Les Tessons 2010
1/3 of a hectare in the southern part of the vineyards, “rockier soil with red soil,” says Patrick, “So it makes an expressive wine in the first part of its life.” The vines are 50 years old. 50% MLF.Tiny production. Aromatic with hints of white peach. This is taut, pure and intense. Compact on the palate and the cool minerality comes though on the finish. Wonderful tension. Very mineral on the finish. There is a silkiness to the minerality. Particularly good. From 2013/14
Meursault, Les Tessons 2009
Touch of pain epice on the nose. Very intense. Bright and lively on the palate. Smooth, straight and finely honed with satin texture. Lovely long finish. Just delicious. Score 17/20. From 2012/13
Meursault, Les Cras 2010
“¼ hectare in front of their Volnay Santenots. Lots of small white stone and a sunny exposure.When you have pear, it is an indication of the ripeness of the vintage. This 13.5 – it is always high in alcohol and we always harvested this first.” Not a low pH here at pH3.4 and acidity 5.6 A more graphite minerality and savory aroma. The palate is rich, firm and taut. Slightly reserved. A full palate with ripe, but white, peach, but white peach and a sappy, austere note at the end. It has grip and intensity. Particularly good to fine. From 2014
Meursault, Les Cras 2009
Spice and orange flowers. Ripe and rounded and sleek; very seductive. It’s full, generous withnotes of smooth stone. Breadth to the palate. An austerity with savoury character underpins it as it does the 2010, so it’s both rich and savory. Score 18. From 2015
*Meursault, Charmes 2010
Upper part, just under Perrières. Twenty year old vineyards. Tiny production. No millerandage,but very small grapes. 2 barrels only Intense aroma. Certainly ripe, but quite reserved. Very elegant. It is svelte and smooth. Lovely intensity and a whisperingly seductive finish. Very fine knit; silky, woven with glimmering acidity and threads of silky minerality. Quite secretive. I like its poise. Fine+. From 2014
Meursault, Les Gouttes d’Or 2010
TA5.6, pH3.2 and 13 degrees. 1/3 MLF. “Probably the best Gouttes d’Or me since 1979,” says Patrick. 4 barrels and 1/3 hectare. You can smell the MLF going though, but what is most evident is the compact palate, (he says it show typical menthol character). It certainly has palpable vigour and muscularity. A very athletic wine with darker, graphite minerality. Plenty of power on the finish. An impressive Goutes D’Or. Firmly fine. From 2015/6
Meursault, Les Bouchères 2010
Patrick sees this as likes neighboring Genevrières dessus – “the same style and soil and in the C19th it may have been sold as Genevrières.” Here the vines are 70 years old. It is a specialty of the domaine. pH 3.3 TA 5.6 13.5. It was the last vineyard they harvested in 2010.The MLF has not started. Haunting fragrant, aromatic nose. This is peachy, generously floral and spicy. It has a fragrance on the palate too floating above the juicy fruit. It has a looser woven texture. A supple, soft, lacy character. It doesn’t have the muscle of the Gouttes d'Or or the stony reserve of the Cras. It is subtle. Fine. From 2013
UK: Richards Walford. Robertson; Flint
USA: Scott Paul. Vintner Select.
"Je croyais déguster un Chablis premier cru...non boisé, fin et d'une rare élégance à la fois au nez et en bouche, ce vin blanc d'un cépage jugé secondaire est le meilleur Aligoté que j'aie jamais dégusté et le meilleur rapport qualité-prix des dix septs vins dégustés ce jour là."
Ces mots de Jacques Benoit journaliste à "La Presse" de Montréal concerne le Bourgogne Aligoté du domaine BC dans le millésime 2009. Bien entendu ils font plaisir à lire car sans même parler des louanges adressées ils restituent de manière simple et juste les réalités de ce vin. Oui c'est un cépage considéré comme secondaire, oui il n'a jamais vu le bois et enfin oui il a la concentration et la richesse d'un cru sur le plan analytique...comme quoi on peut être journaliste, ne pas se perdre dans les arcanes d'une évaluation/jugement péremptoire et déceler avec acuité ce qu'il y a d'avéré dans un vin.
Revenons maintenant sur l'ellaboration de cette bouteille dans le millésime 2009. Les plants de celui-ci sont situés sur le finage de Meursault dans un lieu-dit qualitatif pour l'aligoté qui se nomme "sous le chemin". Les ceps ont environ 60 ans de moyenne d'âge sur une parcelle qui mesure un quart d'hectare et sont pour plus d'un tiers taillés en Cordon de Royat - le reste est en Guyot simple - de manière à aérer les grappes qui sont naturellement plus volumineuses que sur les chardonnays fins. Ces plants issus d'une ancienne sélection massale produisent encore aisément 50 hl par hectare dans une année "normale" et dans ce millésime nous nous situiions sur cette valeur car l'année a été assez productive. Sur une vigne qui est plantée à 11.000 pieds par hectare, chaque cep porte environ 8 grappes, parfois 10, souvent 6.
Le raisin récolté à la main a été trié sur une table dans la parcelle pour éliminer raisins secs, botrytis et raisins verts issus de grappes trop volumineuses mais aussi terre, feuilles, coccinelles et escargots de passage. Rentrés en caisse de 30 kg, pressé durant trois heures "pneumatiquement", le vin titrait naturellement 12°4 et n'a donc pas été chaptalisé(pas plus qu'enzymé et levuré). Un objectif qui me paraît essentiel et qui necessitait une coupe assez tardive dans la saison. Il y a puisé un fruit prononcé sans se départir d'une acidité constitutive excellente pour l'année: 5.7 d'acidité totale et 3.23 de ph en môuts. Du bonheur.
Elevé 17 mois en cuve verrée - pas d'inox pour l'aligoté, pitié! - il a été élevé avec la quasi totalité de ses lies tant celles-ci se révèlèrent fines après décantations. Les fermentations alcooliques ont duré deux mois, et les fermentations malo-lactiques ne se sont enclenchées qu'au début du mois de Mars 2010. Terminées dans le courant de Mai le vin a été sulfité sans soutirage et mis en bouteille le 23 Décembre sans collage. Son aspect doré vient de ce non interventionnisme, car le "non collage" laisse les couleurs d'origine aux vins là où le collage blanchit et ...dépouille.
Sulfité une semaine avant mise, contrôlé le jour même sur le plan analytique par notre oenologue disposant d'un "Foss" mobile: SO2 libre et total, CO2 valeurs acides. Puis contrôle du taux d'oxygène dissous par un labo indépendant et enfin mise par gravité sans filtration aucune cette année là...car celà était possible.
Voilà le déroulement de l'histoire jusquà ce "happy end" canadien. -))
Catherine and Patrick Essa’s new reception, crush, and storage facilities are now completed and they have expanded through control of significant additional acreage in Les Boucheres and Gouttes d’Or. Patrick Essa's approach (like that of his father-in-law Michel Buisson) seemed ideal for restraining any over-the-top tendencies of vintage 2006, but the 2007s here are also very successful, if slightly less obviously imposing. Readers are encouraged to consult my report in issue 180 for further details on the approach taken at this under-rated estate that produces consistently age-worthy Meursault.
The Buisson-Charles 2007 Meursault Vieilles Vignes – which received the same 14 months of elevage (close to 13 of them in barrel) as the estate’s single vineyard bottlings – now represents an assemblage from diverse and complimentary sites, most notably (from south to north) Pellans (adjacent to Charmes); Millerandes (a considerable distance below Poruzots); and Meix Chavaux and Vereuils (high up, in the direction of Auxey). The estate still sells their non-cru Meursault from younger vines to negociants. Linden flower, honeysuckle, fresh lime, and white peach inform a nose that could almost be that of a Riesling, and the delicacy and refinement of this wine on the palate is consistent with that impression. A subtle suggestion of creaminess, along with notes of lightly-toasted hazelnut, alkalinity, and wet stone – all of which emerge as the wine takes on air – pulls toward the classic Meursault axis. Persistent floral notes and a hint of bitter-sweet orange zest add to the allure of a refreshing and buoyant, if understated finish. To the extent that 15% new wood is evident – and I find a mere trace of resin and lanolin here – Essa’s opinion is that this should always disappear into the fabric of the wine within 2-3 years or else he has misjudged his regimen. (For the record, he rather unorthodoxly favors lightly-toasted Vosges oak barriques.) Expect this to perform well for at least 5-7 years. 90
Picked, as it happens, on the same day as that of his friend Jean-Philippe Fichet, Essa’s 2007 Meursault Les Tessons reflects pungent, bitter-sweet, and in the context of white Burgundy downright exotic floral and citrus aromas and flavors. Orange blossom, candied apricot, and orange zest seem to be typical for this site, and may be traceable to the high incidence of individual vines whose tiny shot berries taste Muscat-like, a phenomenon familiar in California from the traditional Wente selection of Chardonnay. Luscious pineapple, tinged with toasted hazelnut and fruit pit bitterness further inform this wine’s creamy yet vivaciously citric and almost delicate palate, and the reprise of orange blossom along with liquid honeysuckle perfume reinforces the impression of lift in a long finish. I would have no fear of holding this for more than half a dozen years. 91
The Essas' 2007 Meursault Cras – representing five barrels of fruit from old vines first repatriated from a negociant in the 2006 vintage – smells of candied lime zest, linden flower, mint, and salt spray; unites richness of texture with buoyancy in the manner illustrated by his Tesson; and finishes with peaches, liquid herbal and floral high-tones, and persistently saline, chalky notes. That mineral dimension – along with the wine’s overall cool, understated manner – seems to reflect its Corton-Charlemagne-like white chalk and (south-facing) high elevation, along the Monthelie and Volnay communal lines. This will doubtless strike some tasters as too restrained for its own good, while others (including this one) will point to refinement, refreshment, and subtlety that ideally suit it to savoring leisurely and with a wide range of cuisine. I am confident it will reward those with patience in pulling corks, too, and probably perform well for 8-10 years. 91
The Buisson-Charles 2007 Meursault Charmes smells oily, fusil, and chalky in the way locals describe the odor engendered by breaking rocks. Toasted, malted grain, hazelnut, and white peach add familiar themes on a palate of mouth-coating richness and subtle but alluring creaminess, without sacrificing the estate’s trademark clarity to flavor nuances, and preservation of refreshment that leave me salivating uncontrollably. Hints of resin and spice from barrel are well-integrated and wood does not detract from this wine’s salient features: textural finesse, nuance, and refreshment. (It represents nearly 50 year old vines that touch Genevrieres, and if Michel Buisson were to have had his way, he volunteers, only one rather than two of the five barrels would have been new!) Expect this to perform well for a decade or more. 92
Production of Buisson-Charles 2007 Meursault Gouttes d’Or represents (at six barrels) twice that of previous years. Peach; winter pear; pungent, buckwheat-like milled grain; citrus oils; and briny, alkaline notes mark the nose. A vibratory interchange of mineral, fruit, and nut and grain notes on the bright yet creamily-textured palate leads to a long, savory, saline, chalky, subtly cyanic finish that preserves an abundance of energy. This is a classic example of the house style here at its best, with a caressing textural sense paradoxically allied to an invigorating dynamic, and with enveloping creaminess not precluding refreshment. Count on it for at least a dozen years of intriguing pleasure. 93
The Buisson-Charles 2007 Meursault Les Bouches-Cheres – whose seven barrels represent nearly a doubling of production – displays honeyed richness to accompany its creaminess of texture. Lightly toasted wheat, hazelnut and almond; fresh peach; and elusive floral essences and mineral shadings combine for a ravishing aromatic display, caressing palate, and refined, nuanced, and hauntingly long finish. This plays more to the soothing, seductive side of Meursault, and less in the direction of dynamics one finds in the Gouttes d’Or. I expect it, too, to be well worth following for a dozen or more years. 93
2007 Bourgogne-Aligoté: A spicy, expressive and very fresh nose that is classic Aligoté in character leads to energetic,precise and racy flavors that possess plenty of personality and punch. If you enjoy the grape, this is a fine example. 85/2010+
2007 Meursault – Vieilles Vignes: A ripe and very Meursault nose features notes of honeysuckle, hazelnut and fresh citrusthat continues onto the rich and relatively full-bodied flavors that retain a fine sense of underlying detail and solid acid support, all wrapped in a balanced, energetic and perfumed finish. Lovely. 88/2012+
2007 Meursault “Tessons”: (from vines planted in 1964 and aged in 20% new wood). This is also quite ripe in the context ofthe vintage with a pure, refined and airy nose of dried rose petal, lemon zest and pear hints that can also be found on the precise, racy and intensely mineral flavors that possess excellent underlying material and outstanding length for a villages level wine. Recommended. 90/2012+
2007 Meursault “Les Cras”: Here the nose is riper still (which is typical for this vineyard as the site collects heat) with fresh notes of apricot, peach and pear nuanced by citrus hints that transfer over to the textured, precise and stony flavors that areunderpinned by a lovely sense of tension on the focused, persistent and sappy finish. 90/2012+
2007 Meursault “Charmes”: As it usually is at this address, the Charmes is noticeably more complex if not necessarily moreelegant than the Les Cras with a layered, ripe and pure nose of orchard fruit and citrus blossom that complements the round and relatively opulent medium-bodied flavors that do not lose focus or precision on the sappy and mouth coating finish that displays admirably fine length. Lovely stuff and I like the hint of backend minerality. 91/2013+
2007 Meursault “Goutte d’Or”: This is slightly riper but more elegant with a subtle touch of spice adding depth to the citrus, apricot and fresh peach aromas that leads to detailed, lemony and more obviously mineral suffused flavors that possessexcellent complexity on the driving finish. There is absolutely no sense of heaviness present, which Goutte d’Or can sometimes display, with perfect balance. This is at another level. 92/2013+
2007 Meursault “Bouchères”: An expressive nose of high-toned white peach, citrus and pear aromas are nuanced by subtle notes of hazelnut and orange blossom that give way to rich, full, textured and mouth coating flavors that evidence a silky mouth feel and culminate in a focused, linear, vibrant and solidly mineral finish. This is impeccably well balanced and really drenches the palate in extract. 92/2013+
2007 Bourgogne : A fresh, serious and earthy red berry fruit nose leads to rich, full and moderately structured flavors that are rustic but complex, all wrapped in a delicious and lively finish. Good quality for its level. 85/2011+
2007 Pommard “En Chiveau”: (En Chiveau sits at considerable altitude high above the village). A very subtle touch of wood frames equally fresh though more complex and spicier red berry fruit aromas that are nuanaced by hints of minerality and earth that continue onto the rich and relatively robust flavors that carry a trace of rusticity but not much and finish with plenty of Pommard character. Again, fine quality in the context of its level. 88/2013+
2007 Volnay “Santenots”: (from vines situated in the upper part of the vineyard that is distinctly rockier and actually more like Caillerets than a classically rich and generous Santenots). A distinctly floral nose displays a touch of wood on the complex, spicy and notably ripe cassis and red berry fruit mélange that introduces fresh, pure, precise and stony middle weight flavors that possess an attractive texture on the dusty, persistent and stylish finish. This is lovely and worth a look. 90/2014+
Wine Advocate N° 180
The estate of Michel Buisson – whose son-in-law Patrick Essa now takes the lead – crafts white Burgundies for the Riesling or Chenin-lover, offering clarity, refreshment, and minerality yet not stinting on richness or structure, and wines whose track record in the cellar is among the best of any Chardonnay-based wines in the world. Slow, vertical pressing, unhurried fermentation, largely non-new barrels passive lees contact (i.e. no stirring), and late (unfined, and usually lightly-filtered) bottling figure in the Buisson regimen. Although production is very small, some additional acreage will come on line (along with a completely renovated cellar) beginning in 2008. Predictably – and even though picking did not commence until September 22 – the 2006s here did not sacrifice clarity, refreshment, or mineral dimensions to the vintage’s ripeness or botrytis, and arrived at 13-13.25% alcohol. A portion of village Meursault tinged by rot and at 14% potential alcohol was sold off
Wine Advocate # 180
|David Schildknecht||87||Drink: 2008 - 2009||$18 (18)|
Vinified in tank, the Buisson-Charles 2006 Bourgogne Aligote diplays pear distillate, lemon zest and mint on the nose; a surprising degree of creaminess in the mouth; and a
clear, juicy finish. Simple but delicious, this will be more than serviceable through 2009.
Wine Advocate # 180
|David Schildknecht||(90-91)||Drink: 2008 - 2015||$70 (70)|
The old vines that inform Buisson-Charles’ 2006 Meursault Les Tessons (of which there are but five barrels, one new) behave very much like the classic Wente selection of
Northern California, possessing a lot of tiny, “shot” berries (or “hens and chicks”), and with certain vines yielding distinctly Muscat-like fruit. The result is a consistently concentrated
and often rather exotic wine. (Tesson was long treated as a cru.) Tangerine, orange, and brown spice aromas lead the way to a luscious, juicy, palate with striking clarity and length,
though the corresponding Meursault Vieilles Vignes is in fact more complex, at least in its youth. This will probably be at its best at 5-7 years of age.
Wine Advocate # 180
|David Schildknecht||91||Drink: 2018||$45 (45)|
Orange and lemon zest, brown spices, honeysuckle, and iris mark the nose of Essa’s 2006 Meursault Vieilles Vignes, assembled from two complimentary sites. There is a pithy,
piquant intensity on the palate here (contributed by a parcel bordering Puligny) with faint bitterness nicely woven into a cream-texture and persistently juicy, bright lemon and peach. This
is rich, yet animated Meursault, possessing palpable density, but also with lift. In keeping with an extended track record at this address, I have no compunction recommending that one
cellar this for up to a decade.
Wine Advocate # 180
|David Schildknecht||(92-93)||Drink: 2008 - 2023||$79 (79)|
There are four barrels’ worth (one new) of Buisson-Charles 2006 Meursault Les Boucheres (although, thanks to contracts, that quantity will soon double). White peach,
toasted grain and almond usher in a palate of formidable density and overall concentration, subtle creaminess, yet also elegance, dynamic, and refinement. There is a Chablis-like meat broth
aspect here, and a long, piquantly nutty, brightly citric finish. I would not hesitate to hold this for 12-15 years.
Wine Advocate # 180
|David Schildknecht||(92-93)||Drink: N/A||$79 (79)|
Essa’s 2006 Meursault Cras represents four barrels (one of them new this year) that in earlier vintages had been sold to a negociant but have thankfully been repatriated.
This south-facing site near the communal boundaries with Monthelie and Volnay features nearly 50 year old vines planted in Corton-Charlemagne-like white chalk soil. Pineapple and coconut,
peppermint, cinnamon, flowers, cherry and apricot distillate, and quince in the nose lead the way to an oily-textured, quite viscous palate, with vanilla and chalk inflections to its almost
exotically ripe fruit. Stylistically, this is something of an alter ego to the Gouttes d’Or. It lacks quite the penetration of its premier cru stable mates here today, but what richness of
fruit and texture!
Wine Advocate # 180
|David Schildknecht||(93-94)||Drink: 2008 - 2023||$79 (79)|
A mere three barrels of Buisson-Charles 2006 Meursault Goutte d’Or insures that few wine lovers will have a chance to experience it, but this bottling – from the center of
that small cru, with Jobard, Lafon, and Leroy as neighbors – is one of the unsung, consistent classics of white Burgundy. In 2007, the addition of some contract fruit will increase the
volume. Citrus and stones always characterize the best of Gouttes d’Or. In this instance, yellow plum, lemon, iris, licorice, vanilla, and chalk dust inform a penetrating, vibrant aroma and
palate, with a silken smoothness of texture and striking clarity. Incidentally, it took eleven months for this to finish its malolactic conversion. This should keep well for 15 or more
years. (The 1986 and 1979 are both ravishing today.)
Wine Advocate # 180
|David Schildknecht||(93-94)||Drink: N/A||$79 (79)|
The Buisson-Charles 2006 Meursault Charmes of which there is scarcely more than of the Les Bouchere, from 45 year old vines in a parcel adjacent to Genevrieres smells of
lemon, orange, and white peach. Pithy in its toasted nut and chalk and stone character, this finishes with formidable density and uncommon clarity, refinement and vibrancy, dominated by
lemon, peach and chalk. Its outstanding performance should be judged in light of its having – like the other Buisson-Charles 2006s – slightly reduced when I tasted it just before bottling,
a condition Essa chooses to promote, in order to guard freshness and longevity. This should mature fascinatingly for 15 or more years.