Tasting Report: 2016 Burgundy, Part 2

As promised, today we take another look at the 2016 Burgundy vintage, which is now on the cusp of general release. This tasting considers the 2016 wines of Bouchard Pere & Fils and William Fevre (which produces only Chablis), with a couple of older bottlings thrown in for comparison’s sake.

As with our prior Wildman coverage, again we see the appearance of some gems, despite some tough growing conditions that William Fevre winemaker Didier Seguier says led to grape yields running just one third of normal.

Thoughts follow.

Bouchard Pere & Fils reds

2014 Bouchard Pere & Fils Cote de Beaune-Villages – fresh and lively, engaging. A-
2015 Bouchard Pere & Fils Fleurie
 – meathy, anise notes are overwhelming. B
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Santenay – heavy, a little undercooked. B-
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Savigny-les-Beaune – some oxidized notes, a bit green. B
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Pommard
– a licorice kick here, quite dry. B+
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Nuits-Saint-Georges
– quite volatile; fruit is dialed back, a little gamy. B
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Vosne-Romanee
– heavy with earth, very pastoral. B+
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Chambolle-Musigny
– underdeveloped. B
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin – complex, almost silky; showing well-integrated earth. A
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Les Lavieres Premier Cru
– hints of menthol, but some flab on the muddy body. B
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune Clos de la Mousse Premier Cru
– a bright berry note, slight chocolate influence. A
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Volnay Les Caillerets Premier Cru
– peppery, nice bite; lengthy fruit. A
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Pommard Premier Cru
– a little green; bold acidity. B+
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus Premier Cru
– licorice notes, dark chocolate, cassis; very Jesusy. B+
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Volnay Taille Pieds Premier Cru
– very jam heavy, almost over extracted. B+
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Le Corton Grand Cru
– soulful, after an initial rush of fruit fades, it resolves into lush chocolate and baking spice notes; epic finish. A
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Cailles Premier Cru
– a boldly spicy character pops on the palate, mint, big strawberry on the chew finish. A+
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru
 – peppery and racy, spices linger with some bbq smoke; complex and rich. A

Bouchard Pere & Fils whites

1990 Bouchard Pere & Fils Montrachet – showing some oxidation and age, notes of lemon curd and spice, a racy finish; still lively. A-
2015 Bouchard Pere & Fils Pouilly-Fuisse – lemony, some fig and spice notes. A-
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Meursault Les Clous – bright and briny, with big acid. B+
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Puligny-Montrachet – a touch of meatiness, solid fruit core. A
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 
– bright and fresh, lively. A-
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune Clos Saint-Landry Premier Cru 
– restrained, a little quiet. B+
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Meursault Genevrieres Premier Cru 
– bright melon, spice notes. A-
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Meursault Perrieres Premier Cru 
– similar, but with some white pepper and lemon rind notes. A-
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 
– bold and almost pushy, gentle meat and nut notes; chewy figs. A-
2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 
– lovely but restrained, with melon rind, and some chewy, almost gamy, meaty notes. B+

William Fevre whites

2016 William Fevre Chablis Montmains Premier Cru – green, grassy. B+
2016 William Fevre Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru – bolder, with some chewier, meaty notes. B+
2016 William Fevre Chablis Montee de Tonnerre Premier Cru – bold, expressive; has a chewiness to it. B+
2016 William Fevre Chablis Fourchaume Premier Cru – a distinct tropical note here; brilliant fruit. A-
2016 William Fevre Chablis Bougros Grand Cru – some restraint here; a bit of bacon. B+
2016 William Fevre Chablis Bougros “Cote Bouguerots” Grand Cru – surprisingly different; a taste of brine and mineral, some spice. A
2016 William Fevre Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru
 – bold body, some meatiness; briny finish. B+
2016 William Fevre Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru
 – classic grand cru Chablis, bold fruit with a lemon kick. A

Review: 2015 Stony Hill Chardonnay Spring Mountain District

This atypical Napa chardonnay is dialed back on the nose (it’s aged only in neutral oak, limiting the wood influence), some savory notes finding a companion in light melon and gentle floral tones. The palate sees a significant acidity (again, unusual for Napa chardonnay) before settling into a fruit-forward character, its melon, lemon, and quince notes slightly tinged with vanilla. The finish is moderate and drying, a brisk squeeze of lemon rind ringing out as the conclusion fades away. All told, it’s a beautiful wine with impressive balance.

A- / $48 / stonyhillvineyard.com

Review: Proud Pour 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and 2014 Pinot Noir

Over time, one becomes naturally skeptical when booze brands say they are doing something good for humanity. Whether it is saving tigers or supporting veterans, you get positively exhausted by all the positive things alcohol purveyors are doing for society.

Well, let’s not hold that against Proud Pour, another charity-focused wine producer whose two wines going toward very different initiatives. A sauvignon blanc supports the ocean, restoring oyster beds in various U.S. estuaries. The pinot noir plants wildflowers to support bee habitats. In case you forget the messaging, all the good you’re doing by drinking the wine is made crystal clear on the label.

These wines are vegan and either organic (the sauvignon blanc) or sustainably grown (the pinot noir). Thoughts on both wines follow.

2016 Proud Pour Sauvignon Blanc Mendocino County – Lightly tropical but amply acidic, this is a perfectly workable sauvignon blanc, crisp with citrus but tempered by a slight herbal, lemongrass-like character. The finish is short but cleansing, with grapefruit notes lingering for a few extra seconds. B+ / $18

2014 Proud Pour Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – The wine is light in body, but slightly peppery, with notes of blackberry, tea leaf, and baking spice all leading to a moderately acidic finish that hints, intriguingly, at chocolate. More complicated than it seems at first blush; give it some time in glass to reveal its charms. B+ / $20


Review: 2015 Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose

I promise there are no typos in the headline to this review. “Kaapse Vonkel” is the name given to all of Simonsig’s sparkling wines, though I remain unclear as to what specifically the phrase refers. Made from 63% Pinot Noir, 35% Pinotage, and 2% Pinot Meunier, this is a lightly pink rose that’s exceedingly dry on the tongue. Notes of rhubarb and orange peel provide a lightly fruity element, but the finish is drying and slightly green, with hints of a bacony note. Though ultimately crisp and refreshing, it may lack enough body to excite some drinkers.

B+ / $17 / simonsig.co.za

Review: NV Gustave Lorentz Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose

Cremant d’Alsace is a perennially underrated sparkling wine, and Gustave Lorentz’s rose bottling is a clear indicator of why you should be drinking more of it. Creamier than Prosecco and drier than Cava, it’s a very fruit-forward wine that’s almost overwhelming with notes of strawberry and raspberry. Some cinnamon-driven notes give it a certain spiciness, while the finish, lightly sweet with a lychee character on the very end. The fruit is fab, but it’s that creaminess that makes Cremant always more fun than perhaps it ought to be.

A- / $24 / gustavelorentz.com

Review: NV Pata Negra Cava Organic

J. Garcia Carrion is the producer of Pata Negra, a typical expression of 100% macabeo grapes that happen to be organic. Crisp apple and pear, plus a touch of cinnamon, are clear signposts en route to a creamy finish that offers hints of banana. Nothing fancy here — this is a sub-ten-dollar wine, after all — but in simplicity, Pata Negra does at least manage to find some strong footing.

B / $15 / garciacarrion.com

Review: 2016 Luca Bosio Moscato d’Asti DOCG

A typical expression of moscato, lightly frizzante, with heavy notes of apricots, peaches, and some sweet apple candy. A significant honey influence gives the wine a little more to work with in the body department, and the finish is surprisingly clean and fragrant. I never drink moscato, but this is something I could gravitate to.

B+ / $14 / quintessentialwines.com