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We are proud to offer a second shipment of wines of Domaine Chantal Lescure, an important organic estate based in Nuits-Saint-Georges, proprietors of 18 hectares from Meursault in the Côte de Beaune to Chambolle-Musigny in the Côte de Nuits. Founded in 1975 by Chantal Lescure and Xavier Machard de Gramont, this family domain is now owned by their two sons Aymeric and Thibault and directed by François Chaveriat. Upon Chaveriat's arrival in 1996 the use of herbicides was stopped and the estate has been practicing fully organic methods since 2000. The estate has a very high percentage of old vines in a superb collection of parcels including .42 hectares in Vosne-Romanée "Les Suchots" and 30 ares in the lieu-dit "Montiotes" in the upper part of the Clos de Vougeot.
"For us 2017 is a very classic vintage" says M. Chaveriat "less hot than 2018 and 2019, with perfect balance, harmony and energy in the wines. They have sweet tannins and are quite fresh, they will have nice drinkability young and will age for 5 to 15 years or more depending on the terroir." We tasted the 2017s at the estate in January 2019, and were extremely impressed with the elegant texture, purity of fruit and beautiful minerality expressed in the wines. Fifteen-plus years of organic farming of course contributes to this as do the estate's slow fermentations with wild yeasts, minimal pigeage and bottling without fining or filtration. Another factor in the subtle fruit and terroir expression in these wines is the careful use of sulfur-dioxide, with the reds averaging around 30 mg/L of total SO2 which is very low for Burgundy. (We have just tasted the 2018s and 2019s at the estate - they are gorgeous wines in a quite different style with more ripeness and black fruits in the aromas and flavors, while retaining the elegance and terroir expression always present in the Chantal Lescure wines.)
Allocations for the 2017s range from 12 bottles of the Clos de Vougeot to 60 bottles for the Côte de Beaunes and Bourgogne Rouge - some of the wines are drinking beautifully in their youth, others will benefit from medium to long-term cellaring - we hope you will try them, and we offer our congratulations to François Chaveriat for his great work at this estate. David Lillie
(All wines are in our importer's warehouse and will arrive at the store on March 2nd)
The lieu-dit "Les Mombies" is situated downslope by the road with limestone clay soils. The 2017 Les Mombies is aromatically reticent on opening with notes of black tea, hedge fruits, and soil. With air it becomes more expressive with blackberry, Italian plum, and game. The mid-weight palate offers dark fruit flavors and good concentration over a fine mineral core and tannins that are more crushed velvet than silken, and this has fine fresh acidity and nice lift on the finale. There are plenty of layers here even if full expressiveness is implied at this point. This is a lovely Chambolle "villages" and ought to shine with 3-5 years in the cellar and beyond. John McIlwain
From the village portion of Les Damodes on the Vosne side of Nuits St. Georges, long-time organic farming, minimal use of SO2. The 2017 "Les Damodes" shows a bright red/black color with very floral aromas of black cherry and strawberry liqueur, with hints of mint, licorice and brown spice. There is deep black cherry, strawberry and red currant fruit on the palate which is chalky, round and ripe and is nicely balanced by bright acidity, a bit of tannin and a hint of oak. This opens up with aeration becoming more complex, with pretty red fruits lingering in the finish. Quite delicious now, this will show best in 5 to 8 years when the tannins and oak have integrated. David Lillie
A new 1er for me. Apparently Les Vallerots is a near monopoly of Chantal Lescure per Jasper Morris. Dark ruby robe. The nose is a bit inscrutable on opening; with air, notes of black raspberry, plum, cherry pit emerge with a faint whiff on anise. The mid-weight palate is also a bit reserved, though it blossoms to reveal flavors of ripe raspberry, blood orange zest, mustard seed and pomegranate. There’s a fine sense of brisk acidity and stoniness—Les Vallerots is on top of the slope above the center of the village—lending energy to the wine through the mid-palate and on to the finish. There’s great flair here if you allow this to open up. The intersection of fruit and earth is compelling and satisfying; high altitude Nuits-Saint-Georges in character. If drinking now, decant for a few hours or better yet, cellar for 3-5 years. John McIlwain
2017 Les Suchots. A bit backwards on opening, mostly showing forest floor and tart berries. But with air, the nose unfurls to offer effusive aromas of wild raspberry, blackberry liqueur, and crushed rose petals. The palate is generous and coltish with ripe flavors of Bing cherry, turned earth, and exotic spices, with good density and a fine core of minerality. Not quite as nervy as the 2016, but this has fine balance, ripe tannins, and sneaky persistence. Delicious with guinea hen in a red wine sauce with mushrooms over grits. But I can see enjoying this with gamier fare. This shows plush fruit and savory soil notes and should gain in complexity with a few years in the cellar. John McIlwain
From 50+ year-old vines in the upper part of the Clos (Lieu-dit "Montiotes"). Terroir pebbly clay/limestone. 12 btls available.
The Chantal Lescure Bourgogne Rouge "Les Verduns" is from vines high on the slope adjacent to Pommard "Les Vignots." Vinification is with whole-clusters giving a firm structure to this very classy Bourgogne Rouge. The wine shows elegant high-toned quite floral aromas of earthy Morello cherry and strawberry with hints of spice, mint and rose petal. The palate is earthy and mineral with saline acidity underlying spicy wild strawberry and black raspberry fruit. The finish is long and sappy, dominated by mineral flavors that linger on the palate. This is not a fruit bomb, but is a very satisfying red Burgundy that will benefit from many hours of aeration or cellaring for 3 to 5 years. David Lillie
From vines high on the slope in Beaune just above the 1er Cru L'Ecu, facing east, in a terroir of clay and pebbles over limestone. Harvested by hand into small crates, slow fermentation (4 to 8 months) with wild yeasts, 15 month élevage in barrel, 10% new. The 2017 Clos de Topes Bizot is an elegant white Burgundy, reminding me of a good Pernand-Vergelesses, showing lime-flower, pear, herbal, almond and high-toned citrus aromas with a hint of oak. The palate is dense and very mineral with wet stone, white fruit, herbal and citrus flavors with crystalline purity and terrific length. This is a a real Burgundy of terroir at a very reasonable price! David Lillie
From vines planted in 1960, high on the slope in Beaune just above the 1er Cru L'Ecu, facing east, in a terroir of clay and pebbles over limestone. The grapes from this high elevation vineyard are harvested late and undergo a short pre-fermentation maceration, aging is in two and three year-old barrels. The 2017 shows high-toned aromas of ripe black cherry fruit with rose, black pepper, earth and citrus, quite elegant. The palate is dense and earthy with sappy black cherry - intensely mineral with firm acidity, earth and black fruits that linger in the long finish. This is a quite elegant and "mineral" Burgundy at a very reasonable price, that will benefit from a few hours open or three to five years of cellaring. David Lillie
From a 1.5 hectare parcel of 50+ year-old massale selection vines on clay/limestone soils rich in iron, in this excellent 1er cru vineyard at the foot of the slope in Beaune. The 2017 Chouacheux shows very floral aromas of ripe black cherry and plum, with hints of brown spice, citrus zest and earth. There is nicely sappy, chalky fruit on the palate - black cherry, plum, red currant - backed by firm acidity and the ever-present core of minerality found in the Chantal Lescure wines. Decant or open well in advance if drinking now, this beautiful Chouacheux should be best 2024 - 2034. David Lillie
The Chantal Lescure Volnay is from 50+ year-old vines on sandy clay soils over limestone. Fermentation is with wild yeasts in cuve inox followed by 18 months in barrel, approximately 30% new, bottled without fining or filtration.The wine shows a deep red/garnet color with black cherry, blackberry and red currant aromas, quite floral and elegant with complex hints of earth, brown spice and tea. With aeration, the palate shows a velvety, chalky texture backed by firm acidity with complex black fruits, mint, bitter chocolate and earth that continue in the long, sappy finish. This is a lovely "village" Volnay that is delicious, if a bit intense in its youth - decant if drinking now, this will really sing in three to five years and until 2030+. David Lillie
From south-facing vines situated on the right hill of Pommard, on the Beaune side, in a terroir of clay-marl. These 35 year-old vines grow in high elevation, about 330 meters above sea-level. The grapes are hand harvested and undergo a long fermentation in stainless steel tanks, punched-down and vatted for 18-25 days. The wine ages in a cold cellar on lees in barrels, 30% of which are new. The 2017 shows a deep red/garnet color and complex aromas of ripe strawberry, and black raspberry with earth and spice notes. The palate is round, earthy and nicely textured with deep black raspberry, plum and black cherry liqueur, ripe and round and balanced with earthy minerality. The finish is long and sappy, with firm acidity. This is soft enough to drink well young but will come together nicely with a few years in the cellar. Lovely wine! David Lillie
From organically farmed vines in Les Bertins in the southern part of Pommard, close to Volnay. Les Bertins has a greater amount of limestone than other Pommard premier crus, and the wines are sometimes a bit lighter and more "Volnay-like" in character. This shows the classic boldness of Pommard and the balanced ripeness of the 2017 vintage with aromas of wild rose, forest air, cherry liqueur and spice. The medium weight palate is dense with cooling minerality and mouth coating, silky tannins framed with sour red cherry and macerated raspberry, finishing with long, delicate notes of spice, rose hips, and black tea leaf. After about two hours open the nose has developed quite a bit: the fruit is lifted and elegant, but complemented by a savory, almost meaty, earthiness and delicate notes of spice. I think that this is a pleasure to drink now and to observe its evolution over a long evening, but it should truly shine in 7 years or more. Ben Fletcher