Domaine Chandon de Briailles, Bourgogne Gelée Royale 2016

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This historic estate was established in 1834. Claude de Nicolay took over from her mother as winemaker in 1988 and crafts traditionally styled wines from one of the Cote d’Or’s great terroirs, the hill of Corton and its surrounding villages. The vineyard management has been fully biodynamic since 2005 and organic since 1998. The winemaking incorporates a large percentage of whole cluster fermentation, resulting in true “vin de garde”, and yields are limited to draw out the individual character of the specific site. Premier Cru Iles-des-Vergelesses is considered by many to be the Grand Cru of the Premier Crus in Pernand-Vergelesses, and Chandon de Briailles is the only grower of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in this excellent site. The Pernand Vergelesses Iles des Vergelesses red is full of minerality and complex flavors, the white, in good years, can compete with Corton Charlemagne for complexity and finesse. In his review of Chandon’s wines from the 2006 vintage, John Gilman (View From the Cellar) wrote: “This domaine is quickly becoming one of the very finest to be found anywhere in the Côte D’Or…these are great, classically styled, terroir-driven red and white Burgundies that age brilliantly, and are among the treasures to be found in the Côte de Beaune for those adventurous enough to try a few bottles.”

2012 Vintage: François de Nicolay described 2012 as an “excellent vintage that unfortunately did not produce very much volume. For ourvines the worst culprit was the poor flowering as we really weren’t affected by the hail in 2012 though we got more than our fairshare in 2013. We were also hit by a ferocious attack of mildew followed by an attack of oidium though we managed both ofthose reasonably well, even though we were constantly on the go in order to do so. To give you an idea, we normally treataround 10 times a growing season but in 2012 we passed through our vines fully 20 times! We began picking the whites onthe 21st of September and then harvested the reds from the 24th to the 30th. There wasn’t much sorting required as the fruitwas both ripe and clean with good phenolic maturities so I used from 50 to 70% whole clusters for the vinifications. As to thewines they remind me of slightly more concentrated versions of our 2010s. The individual terroirs are clearly delineated and Ithink that they should age extremely well as they have everything that they need to do so.” Save for the Corton-Bressandesall of the 2012s were bottled between October 2013 and January 2014. - Allen Meadows, Burhound #54 April-June 2014

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