Martin of French-Swedish niche importer Caviste invited to a tasting of wines from a new producer from Côte de Beaune in Burgundy. And that’s new as in new in Martin’s range as well as in newly established. The producer is Le Grappin, run by an Australian by the name Andrew Nielsen. His ambition is to seek out good but under-appreciated vineyard plots, and to produce wine from them. His first vintage was 2011, when he produced two wines, one white and one red, both from Savigny-lès-Beaune. In the 2012 vintage, he produced three wines, and added a red Beaune Premier Cru to the range.
2011 Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc
Chardonnay from vineyards located high up, 9 months in oak of which 12% new oak (1 of 8 barrels).
Nose with ripe yellow apple, pear, some peach, hints of honey, a faint buttery note, and well-integrated oak. Palate with prominent citrus, pear, apple, high acidity, mineral, and mint. Definitely citrus-dominated, a pure and fresh style, young but approachable now, 88(+) p.
2012 Savigny-lès-Beaune Rouge
Pinot Noir from the village-level vineyard site Aux Fourneaux, 12 months in oak of which 14% new oak (1 of 7 barrels).
Nose with ripe cherries, some flowery notes and discrete liquorice. I like the nose, which I find rather typical for red 2012s and it indicates rather good ripeness. Medium body, palate with cherries, cranberries, some red apple, high acidity that gives a slightly “tart” impression, and medium tannins. Gives a much cooler impression on the palate than in the nose. Young palate, could probably benefit from some cellaring, and already a year in the cellar could probably do some difference here. 87+ p.
2012 Beaune Premier Cru Les Boucherottes
Pinot Noir, 12 months in oak of which 14% new oak (1 of 7 barrels).
Nose with ripe strawberries, cherries, spice, balanced oak notes, and just a touch of “traditional Pinot notes” (animal notes etcetera). The palate is medium bodied(+) with fine concentration of fruit, ripe strawberries, good acidity, mineral, spice, medium tannins of polished character, and a fresh aftertaste. More generous and somewhat “friendlier” fruit than the previous wine, as well as a bit more polish, but also here a rather cool impression, and balance. Rather young, 89+ p.
I must say that the two 2012s give a cool impression for the vintage, which generally shows more ripe character than the red 2011s. This means that Caviste (i.e., Martin) again has made a stylistically consistent choice of a producer that goes in the elegant and slightly firm direction. Possibly, I was a bit ungenerous in my scoring. Those that like their Burgundies pure and firm can probably directly add +1 point to the score.
This is a phenomenal effort by Andrew Nielsen since we are talking about the first or second vintage of the different wines! It will be interesting to follow his wines in upcoming vintages, and I would be intrigued what he could do with even better grape material.