Eye on Irancy: Maison de la Chapelle
Irancy is one of THE most beautiful appellations in France, with a postcard perfect town snuggled into the bottom of the appellation’s bird nest shape. So, it isn’t too curious that the appellation sells about 80% of its wine from the cellar doors! It’s a popular day and weekend trip from Paris.
Don’t go searching for Delphine and Grégory Viennois’ front door there, however. Though they make only Irancy, they make it next door to their home in La Chapelle Vaupelteigne, just north of Chablis.
Both natives of Burgundy, Delphine has stayed close to home during her career in wine while Grégory impressively has worked in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, Bordeaux and the Rhône. It’s rare to see a French winemaker with such diverse experience in his own country!
Knowing Grégory’s Chablis wines from Domaine Laroche and having a soft spot for Irancy, I was eager to taste the wines he and Delphine make together from purchased Pinot Noir. I got to taste their second vintage last summer.
NOTES FROM JULY 2017
Dark in color with a deeply fruited core, this bottling smells of black plums and black cherries. The palate dashes some savory spice box (possibly due to the use of 80% whole cluster) onto fleshy, peak season fig flavors. There’s a moreish, soft fruit core with good acidic nerve and a harmonious finish. Made in ten to 30 hectoliter barrels, there’s no evident oak tone here, just good fruit.
Irancy Les Bâtardes 2015
Whoa! This wine screams out of the glass with roasted black plum skin, black currant and licorice. It is a notably ripe Irancy, but given the warmth of the 2015 vintage, that’s not surprising. Irancy wines are often made with an eye to age – that’s to say that many producers don’t touch them until 5-plus years post harvest, but the Viennois’ wines seem to be a bit like the couple themselves – very approachable from the start. (It is so typical to see winemakers’ personalities in their wines!) The overt succulence coupled with supporting acidity gives this wine a crowd-pleasing element.
Irancy Les Beaux Monts 2015
Grégory told me that he and Delphine chose to harvest their 2015s “a bit al dente”. Tasting this wine’s profoundly velvety fruit with sweet, rounded tannins, I wouldn’t have guessed that. But, then races in an almost crackling freshness on the finish that speaks to that wise picking choice. This pure, fruit-driven bottling tastes of elderberries, sloe jam and cassis. Time in bottle should elicit even more dynamic flavors.