Today, I was at Maison Champy in the town of Beaune for a tour of their cellar and a brief dégustation. Maison Champy started out as a tonnellerie in the 19th century, then moving to the purchasing of grapes or grape must for vinification and bottling in their role as négociants, and eventually growing their own vines, too. They are one of the oldest wineries in the region and still have all of their production within the city of Beaune.
Today, controlled fermentation takes place in steel tanks to keep much of the expression of each terroir. For maturation, Maison Champy uses Burgundian pièces with only a medium toast. More new oak for the bigger wines.
I didn’t take notes during the tasting, so these are just some quick thoughts on the wines as I remember them.
2021 Meursault: Already at village level quite dense on the nose. Lots of minerality and fresh citrus fruits with a long finish. Indicative points high 80s to low 90s. I’d give this just a little more time in the bottle to let the acidity settle in. Try again from 2024, possibly 2025. Should keep until 2030.
2021 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru: Very complex though probably far too young. Stony minerality, floral notes and a tad reductive (in the form of matches) with wood spice in the back. Potential for points in the mid to high 90s, but I’d lay this down until 2028 or so.
2012 Pommard 1er Cru Hospices de Beaune Cuvée Dames de la Charité: Wow, very elegant nose. Pinot fruit, hints of truffles, soft but dry tannins, and an inviting freshness. Lovely transparent colour in the glass. Instantly my favourite wine of the tasting. It’s open and in a good spot to enjoy today. Indicative points 95-97. Potential beyond 2030.
2017 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru “Ile des Vergelesses”: 2017 is a good Burgundy vintage not just for whites but also for reds. By comparison this suffered a little after the outstanding 2012 Pommard, which is probably unfair given that this was a really good wine, too. A little less complex but similar in style to the previous pinot. Open, fresh berry fruits, good acidity, well-balanced. Indicative points high 80s to low 90s. Beginning to drink well now and should keep getting better in the next few years.
2019 Corton Grand Cru “Le Rognet”: Noticeably a step up again from the previous wine. Boasting with complexity, but it felt restrained in the glass. Despite 2019 having been a hot vintage pretty much all over Europe, the Corton feels in no way hot or muddled. You can sense the potential that is there. Lovely mix of stones and floral notes (which with more age might well turn into sous-bois) alongside red fruits waiting to be uncovered. Persistent finish. Easily mid 90s, just don’t touch it before 2030.