In March, Swedish-French online merchant Caviste showed a new batch of wines from Domaine Goisot, a producer in the Grand Auxerrois, an area around Chablis, which puts us in the northwestern part of Burgundy. Goisot is an organic and biodynamical producer, with a Demeter certification. I previously wrote about the corresponding Goisot releases from Caviste in 2015, 2013 and 2013. Goisot produces quite good wines at a reasonable price, thanks to the less well-known appellations in the vineyards are located.
Talking about Goisot there are two things that might be mentioned. One is that I visited them in the village of Saint-Bris last summer, which was very pleasant and something I should blog about, just as there are so many other blog posts I’ve never gotten around to… The other is that the release included some 2016s. This was a vintage plaged by all sorts of problems (frost and hail – but at least no locusts as far as I know) and therefore gave quite small yields in Burgundy in general. Apparently, problems were even greater in the Auxerrois area (where Chablis is also located) compared to Burgundy in general. Goisot’s production was something like 10% of the usual. This meant that no vineyard-designated Chardonnays were produced in the 2016 vintage, only the mid-level wine Corps de Garde. Caviste also needed to spread out their allocation over four wines rater than three to get the numbers together. As a customer, I frankly didn’t mind two 2015 Chardonnays being part of the release.
While the 2016 vintage may be small, there’s definitely nothing wrong with them. (The same can be said for the rest of Burgundy, as a general rule.) Those I tasted here showed a prominent acidity and purity of fruit, but are somewhat leaner than 2015 (which isn’t surprising) and 2014. As white wines go, 2015 is a ripe/hot vintage with fine concentration and an early drinking window. In appellations producing powerful wine in a regular vintage, this may mean a too ripe style, but in this case (Goisot is close to Chablis) and in my opinion, we have just moved stylistically closer to the Burgundy heartland that is usual for Côtes d’Auxerre. I definitely liked them.
2016 Bourgogne Aligoté
Grape variety: Aligoté. 11 months in steel tank.
Rather fruity nose with apple, pear, some green notes, hints of smoke, and some minerality. Dry on the palate with a good minerality, rather high acidity, apple, some green notes, and an aftertaste with green apple and mineral. 85-86 p.
This was a more Saint-Bris-like Aligoté than what I’ve encountered before, i.e., it shows some Sauvignon Blanc notes. The nose also reminded me somewhat of a Muscadet. The minerality is quite good. I noticed that there were those who rather this wine (even) higher than I did, and considered it the most interesting of the four.
2016 Saint-Bris Exogyra Virgula
Grape variety: Sauvignon Blanc. 11 months in steel tank.
Noticeably fruity nose with gooseberry, ripe apple, hints of peach, and flowery notes. Dry palate with minerality, green apple, some pear, rather high acidity, and a mineral-dominated aftertaste where we also find green apple. Could benefit from a shorter period of cellaring, 87(+)-88(+) p.
This wine shows good ripeness in the nose but a cooler palate, which is why I think it could respond positively to some cellaring. In this vintage, this wine came across as less Riesling-like than usual.
2015 Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre Corps de Garde
Grape variety: Chardonnay. 16 months in oak barrels, of which 10% new.
Nose with ripe yellow fruit, yellow plum, citrus, pear, well integrated oak notes, and some minerality. A classical white Burgundy nose. Palate with a good concentration, yellow apple, yellow plum, mineral, some spices, rather high acidity, and a fruity aftertaste with mineral. Rather young, but approachable now, 89(+) p.
In this vintage, the style is even a bit more “general white Burgundy” and less “slightly oaked Chablis” than usual. This is a wine with good weight, and it is more accessible than the Gueules de Loup.
The Corps de Garde range represents the non-vineyard designated terroir wines from Goisot, named after a watch tower at the domaine. They are the “mid level” of the Goisot range.
2015 Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre Gueules de Loup
Grape variety: Chardonnay. 16 months in oak barrels, of which 20% new.
Nose with ripe yellow fruit, mineral, light smokiness, well integrated oak notes, and flowery notes. Palate with good concentration, yellow plum, ripe apple, rather high acidity, and perfume notes. Young, should preferably be cellared, 89+/90(+) p.
More Côte de Beaune-style than the previous wine, and Gueules de Loup shows more smoke and mineral, but is also more discrete at present. To me, this indicates that it should be cellared.
Gueules de Loup is one of three vineyard-designated Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre in Goisot’s range of Chardonnay wines. The other two are Biaumont and Gondonne.