2013 Hubert Lamy Bourgogne Blanc Les Chataigniers
Starting with the 2012 vintage, Lamy has managed to double his acreage in Les Chataigners. And yet, with his vines yielding a microscopic 20 hl/ha, allocations remain low as always. It’s a wine that underlines Lamy’s credentials as the winemaker’s winemaker par excellence. Tucked up at the far end of the village, the sheltered Les Chataigners is Lamy’s highest vineyard, and his coolest—the Bourgogne vines from this cool site were his last to be harvested in 2013. Planted in in 1990 and 2008, this is the business. More open and flattering than usual, it’s a beautifully citrussy, pulpy and chalky/cool Bourgogne that will drink wonderfully from the outset.
“A super fresh nose features notes of petrol, green apple and soft citrus nuances. The punchy and well-delineated flavors possess a hint of minerality on the satisfying and inviting finish that exhibits the same citrusy nuances as the nose. Lovely at this level.” 86 points, Allen Meadows, Burghound, Issue 59
Olivier Lamy is revered by the latest generation of Burgundy growers and is today making whites that compete with the region’s great names. Because he is in St Aubin his prices remain well below what you would pay for a Coche or a Roulot, but we have no hesitation in putting his whites in this category – they are that good. And his vineyard work is second to none. Just ask any grower in Burgundy and you will have this confirmed. Whether it’s his vine density that reaches heights of 30,000 vines per hectare, or his pruning via the ancient Poussard method, Lamy is a leader in every respect and is inspiring countless growers of his generation to push the boundaries.
There is no such thing as a simple white Burgundy vintage these days and 2013 stuck to the theme. It was a very slow ripening vintage as there was cold weather and lots of rain late in the season. It is in such complicated Burgundy vintages that a great grower like Lamy shines. Because of his intense work ethic in the vines, because he does not use fertiliser and because of his very low yields per vine, Lamy was able to harvest his Saint-Aubin vineyards a full two weeks before the next grower. While most of Saint-Aubin’s growers were still waiting for their fruit to ripen fully, their acidities fading by the day, Olivier Lamy’s whites were beginning to ferment away. He told us, “I love the style of the vintage”, and so do we. In short, Lamy’s ‘13s carry his Domaine’s signature juicy freshness, verve and precision. They are high-voltage Lamy.
There is a new white to offer this year, with a stunning Santenay blanc from Les Gravières, a lieu-dit at the northern end of Santenay, close to the Chassagne border. Lamy’s wine from this site comes from the Clos where the vines tunnel into pure-limestone, quite a rare soil profile in Santenay.
This is also the finest set of red wines we have shipped from Lamy, certainly the most seductive. Pure, smooth and vibrant – these are some of the prettiest and most elegant examples Lamy has produced. The old adage that there are great value reds to be found in the cellars of Burgundy’s finest white producers holds true here. We have bought every bottle we could.
In terms of élevage, those intimate with the wines will know that Lamy has now moved away from the traditional Burgundian pièce in favour of larger 500-600 litre tonneaux. He has been also moving away from new oak and has lowered his sulphur levels significantly. In 2013, he chose to work with 5-10% new oak for the whites and only 20% for the reds (30% for the 1er Cru Clos des Gravières). All the wines are fermented with their natural yeasts and there was no sulphur added until after malo and, with certain cuvees, none until bottling.