Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tasting at Domaine Jean Michel Guillon in Gevrey-Chambertin with Jean Michel Guillon – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Picture: Jean Michel Gillon Explaining

Jancis Robinson MW, November 2015: Comparing the prices with my scores, I would identify the best-value 2013 Clos de Vougeot as that of Jean-Michel Guillon.

We visited Domaine Jean-Michel Guillon on the Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015). It was our last tasting.

Pictures: Domaine Jean-Michel Guillon

Jean-Michel Guillon was born in Paris and a pilot with the French army. Nobody in his family was ever involved in wine. He always loved Burgundy wines and in 1980 he boarded a train to Burgundy, got off and stayed. He had no training or any qualifications in winemaking. He studied what the experienced masters in the region did and built up relationships that have led to acquisitions of vineyards.

Pictures: Welcome

Domaine Jean Michel Gillon

Domaine Jean Michel Gillon is in Gevrey-Chambertin, right on the Route National. Jean Michel founded the estate in 1980; it is one of the few new estates in Gevrey-Chambertin. Jean Micchel started with 2 appelations; today his portfolio comprises 20 appelations, among them parcels in the 2 Grand Cru sites: Clos de Vougeot and Mazis-Chambertin. In 2005 his son joined to work in the winery. Since 1990 the prominent French wine magazine Guide Hachette regularly selects the Guillon wines as top wines. 94 percent of the production is red wine and 6 percent white wine. Total production is 7000 cases, of which 55 percent is exported, including to the US and Canada. 40 percent is sold at the estate directly to consumers.

Pictures: Domaine Jean Michel Guillon - In the Cellar

Albany Vintners (UK): A new exciting find for us, Jean Michel Guillon is a passionate winemaker who takes Rousseau, Dugat-Py and Denis Bachelet as his inspiration to make rich, impressive Burgundies; these are highly accomplished, succulent Burgundies which, to quote Allen Meadows "retain a clear sense of style and grace and remain identifiably pinot noir". Attention to detail in the vineyard and vinification is scrupulous with yields kept low to produce the best fruit, and 100% of the finest new oak (notably this approach is carried across the range starting even with the Marsannay).

Jeam-Michel has also introduced meticulous practices such as whole cluster fermentation to emphasise the purity of the fruit.

Pictures: Domaine Jean Michel Guillon - In the Cellar

The Wines Jean-Michel Guillon Poured

Albany Vintners (UK): This Domaine has attracted worldwide attention since the 2002 vintage but the 2013s are well rated by Allen Meadows and are, according to Monsieur Guillon, better than his 2012s. These are fleshy, supple, robust wines that offer serious value for money and will provide much drinking pleasure - we couldn't recommend these highly enough and recommend stocking up on these great value Burgundies, which are nigh on impossible to find with any age.

In the Washington DC area, Chain-Bridge Cellars in Mc Lean carries a large selection of the Domaine Jean-Michel Gillon wines.

Picture: Annette Schiller, Doug House (Owner of Chain-Bridge Cellars) and Christian Schiller at Chain-Bridge Cellars

2013 Domaine Jean-Michel Guillon Bourgogne Chardonnay

Chain-Bridge Cellars: Fruit for this wine comes from vineyards in the village of Gevrey-Chambertin – sites where the amount of limestone and chalk are a better fit for rich Chardonnay than powerhouse Pinot Noir. Yields are always low here, but (as in 2012) were even lower than usual in the difficult 2013 harvest. The short crop and cool fall allowed Jean-Michel and his son, Alexis, to harvest perfectly ripe fruit with loads of flavor complexity and acidity at modest (12.5%) alcohols. A cool fermentation and 10 or so months in (35% new) French oak was just right to extract flavor and texture and add subtle complexity without obscuring the lovely fruit.

Pictures: Annette Schiller, Christian Schiller and Jean Michel Guillon

In 2013, it’s a generous Bourgogne Chardonnay that delivers luxurious aromas of golden fruit, toasted hazelnut, lemon tart, fresh butter and just a hint of crushed mint. Rich flavors of ripe pear, apple and peach fruit and notes of warm nuts, fresh butter, and salty caramel coat your palate. The weight and texture are similar to 2012, with a pure intensity and silky richness that’s hard to believe – and almost never found in a “just” Bourgogne. Everything is just one notch more precise, defined, and clean in 2013, though, with a finish of wet stones, lemon custard, warm hazelnut, nutmeg and tangy butter sail on and on and on. Outstanding value for any Chardonnay fan.

2013 Domaine Jean-Michel Guillon Santenay Blanc Les Bras

2013 Domaine Jean-Michel Guillon Marsannay Clos des Portes Monopole

Chain-Bridge Cellars: A stunning bottle of handcrafted red Burgundy that will delight fans of ripe Russian River or warm vintage Willamette Valley Pinot today and satisfy the most demanding Burgundy fan for years to come. Jean Michel Guillon purchased this small vineyard about 9 years ago and his hard work has transformed its 30-40 year-old vines into something very special indeed. He harvests less than 30 hectoliters per hectare of perfectly ripe fruit here – much lower yields than are allowed in Grand Cru vineyards! And, he treats it like “Grand Cru” wine, too, aging it for 16 months in all new Bertomieu French oak barrels.

Right now it serves up luscious aromas of red currant, cranberry, coffee and. Beautiful sweet cherry, currant, and red berry fruit take center stage on the palate, with accents of smoke, coffee, and fresh flowers. The fruit is so sweet and texture of the wine so silky smooth that you might miss the minerality and fine tannins that bode so well for future improvement. A pretty cranberry note wells up on the velvety finish – and what could be better with Thanksgiving dinner than a touch of cranberry! A beautiful wine to drink right now and sure to be better and better over the next decade.

Pictures: Domaine Jean Michel Guillon - Tasting

"Moderate wood influence frames the fresh and ripe aromas of cassis, plum, earth and a hint of animale. The earth character continues onto the textured medium-bodied flavors that also display a touch of minerality on the solidly complex and persistent finish where the wood telegraphed by the nose reappears. This mildly oaky effort should also drink well young if desired."Allen Meadows 88-90 points

2013 Domaine Jean-Michel Guillon Côte de Nuits Villages Rouge

2013 Domaine Jean-Michel Guillon Gevrey Chambertin Pere Galland

Chain-Bridge Cellars: Jean Michel makes several different Gevrey village cuvees, but this one – named for the man who helped Jean Michel learn to make wine – really shines in 2013. It’s more plush and fruit-driven than in some vintages with a richness to the texture and finish that will delight right now with food. Still, lacking nothing in terms of potential for cellaring.

"Outstanding Top Value! Soft but not invisible wood and menthol nuances intertwine with the very ripe essence of black currant, cassis and warm earth nuances. Consistent with the nose, the succulent and seductively textured flavors are notably ripe and blessed with an impressive amount of dry extract that push the moderately firm tannic spine to the background on the ever-so-mildly rustic finish. This is really more Vosne than Gevrey in style but it does deliver very fine quality." Allen Meadows 89-91 points

2013 Domaine Jean-Michel Guillon Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Les Champonnents

Chain-Bridge Cellars: Hoo boy! As Burghound notes, this will need another 6 or 7 years to “arrive at its full potential,” but it’s nearly impossible to resist right now. A big "wow" wine that delivers a silky, plush, nose of spice, rich fruit, fresh earth and cocoa. Then a mouthful of dark fruit, unctuous cocoa butter, spice and cigar tobacco with superb length, plenty of power, but absolutely no excess weight. This is arguably the wine that most clearly exemplifies Jean Michel’s style and talent and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

"Outstanding. This is one of the ripest wines in the range as the mocha-scented nose displays notes of cassis and black raspberry liqueur notes along with spice, earth and floral wisps. There is good minerality and plenty of earth and sauvage characters on the intense and punch medium-bodied flavors that culminate in a clean and dry (in the best sense) finale that is notably austere at present. I like the depth and balance though note that this muscular effort will definitely require extended cellaring to arrive at its full potential."Allen Meadows 90-93 points

Postings on the Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France (Posted and Forthcoming)

Preview: Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015 and 2016)

Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

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The Wines of Tonnerre, France – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Domaine Séguinot-Bordet in Maligny, Chablis: Tour and Tasting with Owner and Winemaker Jean-François Bordet – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Domaine Brocard in Chablis: Lunch, Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Odile Van Der Moere, Responsable de Cave – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Dinner at Hostellerie Chateau de la Barge in Creches-sur-Saone - Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Domaine Ferret in Fuissé, Poully-Fuissé, Mâconnais: Vineyard Walk, Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Cyril Laumain, Chef de Cave – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Visit of the Abbey of Cluny and Lunch at Hostellerie d'Heloise in Cluny – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Domaine Theulot Juillot in Mercurey, Côte Chalonnaise: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Nathalie and Jean-Claude Theulot – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Olivier Leflaive: Vineyard Walk and Cellar Tour, with Patrick Leflaive – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Lunch and Winetasting at La Table de Olivier in Pouligny Montrachet – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

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Visit: Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils in Beaune - Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015, France

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Beaune, Bourgogne, France

Visit: Hospices de Beaune with Karoline Knoth – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Domaine A.-F. Gros in Beaune: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Owner and Winemaker Mathias Parent – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Visit and Tasting: Maison Joseph Drouhin in Beaune – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Domaine Faiveley in Nuits-Saint-George: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Mathilde Nicolas (Brand Ambassador) – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

"Open Air" Tasting at Domaine du Château de Prémeaux, Nuits Saint Georges – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion in Vosne-Romanée: Wine Tasting in the Cellar with Bernard Rion and Alice Rion – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Domaine Guillon & Fils in Gevrey Chambertin: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Jean-Michel Guillon

Visit: Château du Clos de Vougeot

Announcement: 5 Exciting ombiasy WineTours in 2016 - BURGUNDY BORDEAUX GERMANY  

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