Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron
Villages Red barrel
Tasted: Jan 15, 2018
Outstanding Top value
Note: 50% of the blend is normally from Les Condemennes and 25% each is from Pas de Chat and Derrière le Four but in 2016 it includes the 1ers of Chatelots and Feusselottes
Producer note: Both Alain Meunier, who is married to Sophie Confuron, are now both supported by their son Louis as he has joined the domaine on a full-time basis. The senior Meunier noted that 2016 was “anything but easy as the frost and mildew were genuinely terrible. While the yields in Vosne were correct we were off fully 75% elsewhere. For example there is almost no Bourgogne as we made 2 frac14; barrels rather than 18 and the Les Vignottes produced 8 frac14; rather than 27! We chose to begin picking on the 26th of September and brought in beautifully clean and ripe fruit if just not very much of it. Potential alcohols were excellent at around 13% and in fact there was no chaptalization at all. Louis convinced me to use around 25% whole clusters for the grands and premiers crus, which we didn’t in either 2015 or 2017 as I want to see how I like the wines once they’re in bottle. We also chose to reduce the amount of new wood by 50% as the quantities of wine were so low that it would have been easy to mark them.” There will be no Chambolle 1er in 2016 as it was declassified into the Chambolle villages. As to the wines, I very much like the quality of what I found here save for a possible concern with two wines. With that said, fans of the Confuron wines should understand that the use of whole clusters, while a modest percentage, was still sufficient to change the style somewhat. As such, if you are not generally a fan of domaines that use whole cluster but routinely collect the Confuron wines you might wish to try a few examples first. I was also favorably impressed by several of the 2015s that I reviewed from bottle below so they’re worth considering too. Note that the 2015s were bottled between December 2016 and February 2017. (Caveau Selections, www.caveauselections.com, OR, USA; Fortnum & Mason, www.fortnumandmason.com, UK).
Tasting note: A pretty, ripe and fresh nose combines notes of plum, violet, spice and a soft hint of wood. There is outstanding volume to the concentrated and sappy flavors that coat the mouth with dry extract while the powerful and mineral-driven finish offers excellent length. This is a big and very impressive villages as the contribution of the two 1ers clearly makes a difference.