10 Jan 2014
Chanson, Hauts-Marconnets Premier Cru 2012 Savigny-lès-Beaune
From HK$2,352, £192, €234 per case of 12 bottles in bond
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Today's wine is a reminder that here in London this week and next we are deep in burgundy 2012 tastings, following on from Jancis's intensive week visiting producers just before Christmas. This is an example that shows some of the lovely qualities of this small but very good vintage that had a difficult birth, as Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti recounted.
The first wine of any tasting is often particularly appealing, so I try to go back and taste that wine again, just to make sure my original judgement was not misplaced enthusiasm derived from great expectations and the sheer pleasure of starting a tasting. But this wine left a lasting impression on both occasions.
Savigny-lès-Beaune is a sizeable appellation in Burgundy's Côte de Beaune, with over 350 ha of vines, of which more than 150 ha are designated as premier cru, including Les Marconnets in the south of the commune, extending either side of the A6 Paris-Lyon motorway (see map).
In typical Burgundian fashion, Les Marconnets premier cru (8.33 ha) is divided into Les Haut-Marconnets (5.34 ha, the upper part of the slope) and Les Bas Maconnets (2.99 ha, the lower part of the slope). Chanson, founded in 1750, own 2.18 ha in the Haut-Marconnets.
White wines are relatively rare in Savigny but this one is a fine exception. The marl, chalk and limestone soils encouraged Chanson to plant Chardonnay here on this south-east facing slope. In this low-yielding year, the vines have produced a wine with a complex aroma combining lime, a very slight grassiness and an attractive smoky (lightly reductive) quality as well as intensity, freshness and a very long finish. Fermentation and 13 months' ageing in Limousin and Vosges medium-toast barrels (just 20% new oak) have given it a gentle creamy layer but it is the purity of the fruit that shines out.
For availability in the UK, contact Chanson's importers Mentzendorff: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 840 3600. The wine will definitely be available from Handford Wines in London, but most likely from other merchants in due course.
In the US the agent is Terlato, who can be contacted on email@example.com or +1 (0)847 604 8900.
Wine-searcher also lists Millésima's many operations around the world for those who wish to buy online.
Please note that the prices given above are in bond per case of 12, which means they do not include taxes such as duty and VAT. As with all wines bought en primeur, there is a delay between ordering and paying for the wines and delivery around October or November later this year. Some merchants may well offer cases of six.
We will be publishing our tasting notes on hundreds and hundreds of 2012 burgundies on Purple Pages from next week, adding as we go. Wines will initially be listed in declining score order.
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