Aloxe Corton 1er Cru Les Fournieres, Domaine Tollot Beaut
Burghound 92/100; A surprisingly high-toned but notably more densely fruited nose displays notes of Maraschino cherry, violets and plum though there are some earth and game influences present. The rich, concentrated and serious medium weight plus flavors possess an attractively textured if overtly muscular mouth feel, all wrapped in a palate coating, complex and wonderfully persistent finale. I very much like this though note that it’s a classic Aloxe of robust power and the structure to go with it. Drink 2022+
Nathalie Tollot described 2014 as “a vintage that quite frankly surprised me almost from start to finish. We had a great spring so we were optimistic after the ultra-difficult growing seasons of 2012 and 2013. Unfortunately our luck didn’t hold as there was hail in many of our parcels in late June and then July and half of August were largely forgettable. The hail was actually more widespread in terms of our vineyards than in 2013 but it was much less violent so that was a small plus. We were also fortunate in that we, for reasons that we don’t completely understand, had no difficulties with the Suzukii flies even though we had neighbors that did and particularly so on the Hill of Corton where we have extensive holdings. We did a very careful sorting and after 2012 and 2013 we chose to buy an optical sorter and the precision these machines can bring is genuinely remarkable. They have to be carefully set and regulated but it’s remarkable just how good they are. We believe that this is the future as it is blatantly obvious that to make the best wine one has to at least start with the best raw materials. As to why I have been so surprised is that I didn’t think that September would be so good as to save the harvest but it did. And then once the wines were vinified I found them uninteresting at first. However as each month during the élevage passed the wines began to take on more personality and now that they’re in bottle, I absolutely love the style. The wines are refreshing, transparent and delicious with good concentration and bright acidities yet not too much. I think people are going to really like the 2014s as there’s nothing to dislike.” Note that the Tollot wines are deliberately bottled with slightly higher levels of CO2 so decanting the wines is always a good idea.
Ch d'Aussières Rouge, Corbières, Domaine Barons de Rothschild
TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING)
Dark red colour with purplish glints. Deep, elegant nose with notes of eucalyptus and pine sap. Superb attack on the palate, with cherry flavours and a hint of cocoa. Lingering, well-balanced, elegant finish. This vintage can be appreciated both very young and after a few years in the bottle. Best time to drink: 2016-2020
56% Syrah 17% Grenache 16% Carignan 11% Mourvèdre
The Languedoc underwent marked disparities in terms of climate, particularly regarding rainfall, which impacted each production zone differently. The northern and southernmost parts of the region tended to receive an excess of rain, while the central area suffered from a shortage.
Even within Aussières’ vineyard, this year’s weather resulted in unevenness between the various terroirs and grape varieties. Despite very different conditions from the previous vintage, 2014 presents some similarities in terms of the balance of the wines, with a good level of extraction, lovely aromatic finesse and plenty of freshness.
Acquired in 1999 by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), the 550 hectare estate has undergone a vast rehabilitation programme. 167 hectares of vines have been replanted with carefully selected traditional Languedoc grape varieties: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Carignan, complemented by Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay. The estate buildings were restored at the same time and a new winery installed in the old cellars, in the heart of the vineyard.
Château d’Aussières is the “cuvée d’excellence”, the product of a strict selection from the best plots in the vineyard, produced in limited quantity. 40% is aged in oak barrels for 12 to 16 months. The wines express all the richness and elegance of the late-ripening, cool terroir.