Ferdinando Principiano from Piedmont

French-Swedish online wine dealer Caviste also sells wines from one Italian producer, Ferdinando Principiano in Piemonte. Last year, Caviste released his first box from Principiano, and this year there’s a new with similar wines. As I noted then, the style of this producer belongs within the pattern represented by the French part of Caviste’s range.

caviste-principiano-20161005

2015 Dolcetto d’Alba Sant’ Anna
Grape variety: Dolcetto. 10 months in steel tanks.

A serious nose of dark plums, rather dark berries, and some liquorice. Palate with cherries, some plums, good concentration of fruit, definitely good acidity, some tannic bite, and an aftertaste with sour cherries. A wine with good concentration of fruit and some bite, and is drinkable now, 86 p.

Compared to how I remember the 2013 vintage from last year, this wine gives a somewhat more ripe impression with a bit darker berry notes. Last time I likened the style to a modern Beaujolais, and that seems like a fair comparison this year as well.

2014 Barbera d’Alba Laura
Grape variety: Barbera. 10 months in steel tanks.

Nose with cherries, good berry notes, slightly flowery notes and a light spicy note that reminds me of oak (despite the vinification in steel tank). Palate with cherries, good acidity, some mineral, some tannic bite, and an aftertaste with sour cherries and some green apples. Could benefit from some cellaring, 84(+) p.

The nose gives a slightly warm vintage impression, but the palate is cooler. It is more structured and tougher on the palate compared to the Dolcetto (just as last year), with less of a direct berry note. I heard other tasters who liked it better than the Dolcetto, so the preference is probably a matter of taste rather than of quality. I must admit not to be a Barbera aficionado, although I do have a few bottles in the cellar.

2012 Barolo Serralunga
Grape variety: Nebbiolo, from young vines. Raised 24 months in big oak barrels (botti) of 2000-4000 liters.

Elegant nose with red berries, some dried berries, some roses as well as other flowery and lightly perfumed notes. The nose gives a cool impression. Palate with ripe red berries, cranberries and cherries, good berry concentration, a bitterness of berries that is foody, mineral, decent tannic bite, high acidity, and an aftertaste with cranberries and tannins. Young, should preferably be given some years in the cellar, 88+/89(+) p.

We also got to taste a vineyard Barolo that is likely to be offered by Caviste next year.

Barolo Boscareto 2010
Grape variety: Nebbiolo, from old vines. Vinified without destemming, raised 24 months in big oak barrels (botti) of 3000 liter. Tasted from a magnum.

A big, elegant and flowery nose with red berries, mineral, and well integrated oak notes. Palate with good concentration, blackberries, cranberries, liquorice, quite good acidity, noticeable tannic bite, and a firm aftertaste. Definitely young now and should be cellared, 91+/92+ p.

Compared to the regular 2012 Barolo Serralunga, this is a wine with a bigger nose, darker berry notes and a tougher palate, and it is likely to need more extended cellaring.

Swedish version here.

Posted in Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Piedmont | 2 Comments

2014 Beaujolais wines from Georges Descombes

French-Swedish wine dealer Caviste once again showed a fresh batch of wines from Georges Descombes in Beaujolais, this time 2014s. I’ve missed out on most of Caviste’s release tastings in the first half of 2016, so it was good to be back at one of his tastings. Even more so since I’ve covered the three previous Descombes releases in a row:

This time, Caviste’s mixed box consisted only of the “Vieilles Vignes” version of the respective wine, which is produced using older vines and is stylistically more suited for cellaring. Conversely, the regular version tends to be more suited for early drinking. The different versions have different labels, which can be recognised by the “young vine” version having the cru name in red letters, while the Vieilles Vignes version uses black letters.

Summary impressions of the 2014 vintage

Based on the four 2014s tasted (one of which was also included last year), my impression is that the 2014 Beaujolais vintage is definitely a quite good vintage with good acidity, freshness and minerality. It is also a vintage which – at least in the case of Descombes – will benefit from some time in the cellar. Martin of Caviste considered the 2014 vintage to be similar to the excellent 2010 vintage. At this stage, I’m not quite sure it reaches that high level, but it definitely is good!

2014 comes across as a little cooler, a little lighter, and more in need of cellaring than 2013. This makes it more similar to 2012, but with some more substance and generally better than the 2012s.

cav0059-descombes-2016-09-14

Impression of the individual wines

2014 Brouilly Vieilles Vignes
The nose gives a cool impression with red berries, a hint of liquorice, mineral, and slightly flowery notes. Medium-bodied, palate with red berries, some cherries, good acidity, mineral, some tannic bite, and a fresh aftertaste with acidity, apple, and mineral. A young wine, needs cellaring, 87+ p.

2014 Régnie Vieilles Vignes
Nose with mixed berries including cherries and various red berries, some liquorice, hints of dried fruit and flowery notes. Medium-bodied, berry-dominated palate somewhere between red and dark berries, noticeable minerality, high acidity, and an aftertaste with good minerality. This one definitely shows good mineral notes and the aftertaste is a winner. Reasonably approachable now but should ideally be cellared, 88(+) – 89 p.

The Régnie VV is more approachable than the Brouilly VV, at least at this point in time.

2014 Morgon Vieilles Vignes
Nose with red and mixed berries, more red berry notes than the Régnié VV, hints of animal notes and some mineral. The palate is medium bodied(+) with noticeable mineral notes, berries including red berries and some other mixed berries, good acidity, some tannins, and a firm aftertaste with mineral. Should be cellared, 88+/89+ p.

This one has the most tannin of the three, but the Morgon VV is usually the most powerful of the Descombes lineup, and it is a wine for the cellar also in vintages where most wines are accessible as young.

As reference, we also tasted two wines from previous releases, no longer available for purchase.

2014 Brouilly
Sold in 2015; this is the non-Vieilles Vignes version.

Nose with red berries and some cherries, some animal and developed notes, slightly flowery. The palate is medium-bodied and berry-dominated with cherries, good acidity, well embedded tannins, and an aftertaste which first is berry-dominated and then finishes a bit more firm and apply. 87 p. This wine is distinctly different from the Brouilly VV launched this year.

Last year I scored this wine “85 p?” and commented “So young that it is a bit difficult to evaluate next to the other wines”. I note that I probably underestimated the 2014 vintage at this first encounter (last year), which probably can be related to this being a vintage that would benefit from cellaring.

2012 Morgon Vieilles Vignes
Sold in 2014

Nose with red berries, hints of liquorice, mineral, hints of animal notes and discrete flowery notes. The palate is medium-bodied with berries, good acidity bordering on high, mineral, and a firm and mineral-dominated aftertaste. Not at all very developed and therefore in need of more time, 87+/88(+) p.

In general, this wine comes across as rather similar to those of the 2014 vintage, despite the two additional years it has spent getting ready. It does however seem a bit lighter than the 2014 Morgon VV, with slightly leaner fruit, which has contributed to my assessment that 2014 is a somewhat better vintage than 2012.

Two years ago I scored this wine “87+ p?” and opined “Comes across as young, could develop, somewhat difficult to assess right now”. Well, the impression is still much the same, but Morgon VV is supposed to be the one for the cellar…

Some final words on 2014

The other French 2014s that I have been able to taste rather widely are those from Bordeaux, in particular at a local primeur tasting last year. While 2014 Bordeaux show a somewhat unusual combination of hot and cool tendencies – ripe notes and alcohol as well as high acidity – I consider these 2014 Beaujolais wines to be more of a typical cool(ish) vintage without any unusual features. So 2014 could be a vintage where the style is not exactly the same in all French wine regions.

Swedish version here

Posted in 2014, Beaujolais, Gamay | Leave a comment

Champagne village profile: Arsonval in the Bar-sur-Aubois

Diagram Arsonval 201608Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Bar / Bar-sur-Aubois
Vineyards and grape varieties: 25.6 hectares (63.3 acres), of which 71% Pinot Noir, 27% Chardonnay, and 2% Pinot Meunier.
Classification: ”Autre cru” (80%)

Maps

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Bar-sur-Aubois highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if it exists.

Neighbouring villages within the Champagne appellation

East and southeast: Montier-en-l’Isle
South: Jaucourt
Southwest: Argançon
West: Dolancourt
Comment: the remaining link will be added when the profile of that villages has been posted.

The church in Arsonval, Église Saint-Martin. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Gérard Janot, 2010).

The village

Arsonval is located close to the Aube river, on its right bank.

The Arsonval commune covers 758 hectares and has 335 inhabitants (as of 2013), referred to as Arsonvallois and Arsonvalloises.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Arsonval are located in different parts of the commune, and are of different orientation, including a decent proportion of south-facing slopes. Pinot Noir is the most common grape variety.

The current vineyard surface in the Arsonval commune is 25.6 hectares (63.3 acres). There are 18.1 ha Pinot Noir (70.7%), 7.0 ha Chardonnay (27.3%), and 0.5 ha Pinot Meunier (2.0%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. There are 10 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Champagne producers

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name.

  • La Fée d’Arlette (RM)
  • Nicolo & Paradis (RM, Facebook page), has 17 ha of vineyards in Colombé-le-Sec. The range includes a vintage Champagne composed of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2010 vintage). Excellence is composed of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Blanc Vrai (= Pinot Blanc) and has old-fashioned string closure.

Comment: the list may be incomplete.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2016

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Champagne village profile: Jaucourt in the Bar-sur-Aubois

Diagram Jaucourt 201608Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Bar / Bar-sur-Aubois
Vineyards and grape varieties: 21.5 hectares (53.1 acres), of which 70% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Meunier.
Classification: ”Autre cru” (80%)

Maps

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Bar-sur-Aubois highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if it exists.

Neighbouring villages within the Champagne appellation

North and northwest: Arsonval
Northeast: Montier-en-l’Isle
Southeast: Proverville
South: Fravaux
Westsouthwest: Argançon
Westnorthwest: Dolancourt (via a narrow strip of Arsonval)
Comment: the remaining links will be added when the profiles of those villages have been posted.

The church in Jaucourt, Église Saint-Martin. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Gérard Janot, 2010).

The village

The town hall (mairie) of Jaucourt. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo GFreihalter, 2015).

Jaucourt is located near the Aube river, on its left bank.

In Jaucourt in the Medieval era, there was a fortified castle named Château de Jaucourt (see the sketch below).

The Jaucourt commune covers 661 hectares and has 164 inhabitants (as of 2013) referred to as Jaucourtois and Jaucourtoises.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Jaucourt are divided into three blocks in different parts of the commune, separated by forest. Pinot Noir is the most common grape variety.

The current vineyard surface in the Fravaux commune is 21.5 hectares (53.1 acres). There are 15.1 ha Pinot Noir (70.2%), 4.2 ha Chardonnay (19.5%), 2.1 ha Pinot Meunier (9.8%), and 0.1 ha others (0.5%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. There are 3 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Champagne producers

I have not found any Champagne producers which have their seat in Jaucourt.

Sketch from 1713 of Jaucourt and the buildings in the village. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2016, last update 2016-09-16

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Champagne village profile: Dolancourt in the Bar-sur-Aubois

Diagram Dolancourt 201608Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Bar / Bar-sur-Aubois
Vineyards and grape varieties: 28.8 hectares (71.2 acres), of which 86% Pinot Noir and 14% Chardonnay.
Classification: ”Autre cru” (80%)
Noted for: the amusement park Nigloland.

Maps

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Bar-sur-Aubois highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if it exists.

Neighbouring villages within the Champagne appellation

East: Arsonval
Eastsoutheast: Jaucourt (via a narrow strip of Arsonval)
Southwest: Argançon

The village

The church in Dolancourt, Église Saint-Léger. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Gérard Janot, 2010).

Dolancourt is located at the Le Landion river, which empties into the Aube river in the northern part of the commune. Le Landion is the main river in the western part of the Bar-sur-Aube area.

Dolancourt is mostly known for Nigloland, an amusement park that opened in 1987 and which is the third largest in French, in terms of numbers of visitors.

The Dolancourt commune covers 488 hectares and has 140 inhabitants (as of 2013), referred to as Dolancourtois and Dolancourtoises.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Dolancourt are located to the west of the village, and are mostly made up of east- to southeast-facing slopes. Pinot Noir is the dominating grape variety.

The current vineyard surface in the Dolancourt commune is 28.8 hectares (72.2 acres). There are 24.7 ha Pinot Noir (85.8%), 4.0 ha Chardonnay (13.9%), and 0.1 ha others (0.3%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. There are 4 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Champagne producers

I have not found any Champagne producers which have their seat in Dolancourt.

The entrance of the amusement park Nigloland in Dolancourt. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Superjuju10, 2009).

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2016, last update 2016-09-16

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Champagne village profile: Argançon in the Bar-sur-Aubois

Diagram Argançon 201608Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Bar / Bar-sur-Aubois
Vineyards and grape varieties: 43.8 hectares (108.2 acres), of which 92.9% Pinot Noir, 4.3% Pinot Meunier, and 2.7% Chardonnay.
Classification: ”Autre cru” (80%)

Maps

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Bar-sur-Aubois highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if it exists.

Neighbouring villages within the Champagne appellation

Northeast: Dolancourt
Eastnortheast: Arsonval (a narrow strip of that commune)
East: Jaucourt
Southeast: Fravaux
Southwest: Spoy

The church in Argançon, Église Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Gérard Janot, 2010).

The village

Argançon is located at Le Landion, which is the main river in the western part of the Bar-sur-Aube area.

The Argançon commune covers 820 hectares and has 99 inhabitants (as of 2013).

Vineyards

The vineyards in Argançon are located around the village, on the left bank of Le Landion. The direction of the slopes varies, and includes a decent proportion of south-facing slopes. Pinot Noir is the dominating grape variety, by a wide margin.

The current vineyard surface in the Argançon commune is 43.8 hectares (108.2 acres). There are 40.7 ha Pinot Noir (92.9%), 1.9 ha Pinot Meunier (4.3%), and 1.2 ha Chardonnay (2.7%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 37 ha. There are 9 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

A part of the amusement park Nigloland (Hotel des Pirates) in the neighbouring commune, Dolancourt. The buildings and vineyards in the upper right hand of the picture are situated in the northern part of Argançon. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Superjuju10, 2009).

Champagne producers

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name.

  • Claude Farfelan (RC, Facebook page), has 7.2 ha of vineyards, all in Argançon, and mostly steeply sloping vineyards. The range includes two vintage Champagnes, the regular one and Prestige.

Comment: the list may be incomplete.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2016, last updated 2016-09-16

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Champagne village profile: Fravaux in the Bar-sur-Aubois

Diagram Fravaux 201608Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Bar / Bar-sur-Aubois
Vineyards and grape varieties: 15.7 hectares (38.8 acres), of which 93.6% Pinot Noir, 4.5% Pinot Meunier, 1.3% Chardonnay, and 0.6% others.
Classification: ”Autre cru” (80%)

Maps

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Bar-sur-Aubois highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if it exists.

Neighbouring villages within the Champagne appellation

North: Jaucourt
East: Proverville
Southwest: Spoy
Northwest: Argançon
Comment: the remaining links will be added when the profiles of those villages have been posted.

The church in Fravaux, Église Saint-Laurent. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Gérard Janot, 2009).

The village

Fravaux is located at the stream Le Larget, which empties into Le Landion in the neighbouring commune Spoy.

The Fravaux commune covers 372 hectares and has 57 inhabitants (as of 2013).

Vineyards

The vineyards in Fravaux are located south and west of the village. Pinot Noir is by a wide margin the dominant grape variety.

The current vineyard surface in the Fravaux commune is 15.7 hectares (38.8 acres). There are 14.7 ha Pinot Noir (93.6%), 0.7 ha Pinot Meunier (4.5%), 0.2 ha Chardonnay (1.3%), and 0.1 ha others (0.6%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 13 ha. There are 4 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Single vineyard sites

Single vineyard sites in Fravaux include among others:

  • Le Clos, a south-facing site west of the village west of the village and immediately north of Le Larget.

Champagne producers

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name.

  • Sébastien Forte

Comment: the list may be incomplete.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2016, last update 2016-09-16

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