Maison de la Chapelle 2017
Winemakers travel so much these days - especially Grégory Viennois of Maison de la Chapelle and Domaine Laroche, both located in northern Burgundy's Yonne region - that it is not infrequent to taste without them, even when I'm on their home turf. I am grateful, however, that Gregory left the Maison de la Chapelle wines for me to taste when I was visiting in July. This gave me the chance to taste them over the course of several evenings. All of these wines open up nicely with air and time, which is not something that I would have witnessed tasting them in one go with Grégory. So while Grégory was missed, the wines had even more of a chance to strut their stuff!
It served me well to go back and read what I previously wrote on these wines. Grégory told me that he and his wife and Maison de la Chapelle partner, Delphine, chose to harvest their 2015s “a bit al dente”. That phrase also seemed a perfect introduction to this fresh and vigorous style of Irancy, especially for the cooler vintage of 2017. I find these 2017s even more bracing than the wines I've previously tasted, but these will settle down and resolve some of their elegant rusticity with a bit more time.
2017 Irancy Les Beaux Monts
This is a bold and focused wine with better kilter than its siblings. It's still a classy “modern-rustic” style overall, but this one has a solemn wholesomeness. It's charming at the first pour, but a few hours of oxygen really allows it to open up. So, decant with conviction! As it unfolds, its Pinot-y notes chime in cheerfully. Succulent blueberries and sweet black cherries saturate the dense mid-palate as the wine blooms. There is plenty of muscular - yet gentle - fruit to support the bristly acidity and dusty tannins. As with all top, young Irancy bottlings, there should be no rush to pop this cork.
2017 Irancy Les Bâtardes
Head-turning with a come-hither pungency of scintillating, feistily crunchy blackcurrants, this pure and deeply colored Irancy tastes like a red wine, but not so clearly of Pinot Noir. Its tannins are full-on rugged and reinforced by the crisp acidity that helps pull the wine into a solid, forest berry-flavored finish free of any noticeable new oak. Ample and artfully sculpted on the palate, the wine shies from being demanding, but it is definitely rambunctious. It is a classically boxy, solidly-built Irancy. A food wine for sure, and one that should relax and flesh out in time. NB: My bottle had lots of tartrate crystals. Don't worry if you find them; they don't change a wine's flavor and aren’t harmful if imbibed!
This is a four-square and crunchy Irancy with a gruff structure formed by firm tannins and emphasized by piquant acidity. The solid chunks of black cherries and convivial spurts of blackcurrants convince me that could this should appeal to those loving youthful Beaujolais but don't yet know Irancy. This needs time to settle into its bottle. Even as the "entry" offering, there's time to enjoy this wine down the road. Whenever you try it, know that it's a food wine, given its knees and elbows.