Day three was an eye-opener. Gerald Talmard introduces us to his friends and neighbors in Chardonnay, we gorge on wine soaked meat with the Jambon family @ Domaine Thulon, and finish up at Louis Picamelot’s brand new winery to taste what have to be the finest set of non-Champagne bubbles in France.
Our visit to Talmard is always quick, as this is an efficient father/son operation with only two wines produced. There is not much to talk about really as Gerald makes the best QPR Macon Chardonnay on the market and we beg for as much as he will give us. Talmard typifies 2018 as “2015, but more acidity”. He is right.
Talmard 18 Macon Chardonnay, fresh, good acidity, citrus, easy to drink.
Talmard 18 Macon-Uchizy, similar in style, more closed at this point.
He is playing with a new fermentation process that allows for lower use of SO2, and maybe that was where that extra paintbrush of Chardonnay goodness came from…We’ve rarely tasted wine this good at Talmard. Overachievement. 50,000 bottles available, 10,000 more than with the 2017! Let’s have some fun!
Cadoles de Chardonnay
All of you have such an appetite for Gerald Talmard’s bombastic values in Macon Chardonnay and Macon Uchizy that he simply cannot supply all of your demand! For this reason Gerald introduced us to his friends and neighbors at Cadoles de Chardonnay. This father/son operation is located several minutes from Gerald’s Domaine, and smack dab in the aptly named village of Chardonnay. Until several years ago the Domaine was selling all of their production to the local cooperative in Lugny, but they now make and sell wines themselves as their quality is just too good to be lost in a village blend. Here we have a family with deep/long ties to the land, and believe it or not they farm 10% of the total acreage in Chardonnay, all planted to Chardonnay of course! Everything is fermented in stainless steel, and most everything is aged in stainless steel save a dozen experimental barrels.
Cadoles de Chardonnay 18 Macon Chardonnay, lemon color, soft, fine, more complex and concentrated than Talmard. Priced a bit higher than Talmard but seems justified.
Domaine Thulon is located on the old estate of Château de Thulon (this castle towers over the Domaine), and was purchased by Annie and René Jambon in 1987 after they were “métayers” for 20 years on the same site (if the “métayer” thing, ie French sharecropping, is interesting to you have a look at this article by Andrew Jefford) Their children Carine and Laurent are now running the estate, and a passion for experimentation sets them apart from peers in the region. These are some of the best values in French wine we’ve come across in the last decade.
Domaine de Thulon 18 Beaujolais Villages Blanc, full fat, low acidityDomaine de Thulon 18 Beaujolais Villages Rosé, firmer. fresh, goodDomaine de Thulon 18 Beaujolais Villages, fresh, fruitDomaine de Thulon 17 Chiroubles, some reduction, dark, quite fullDomaine de Thulon 17 Regnié. firm, fresh, fruit, good acidityDomaine de Thulon 17 Morgon concentration, more depthDomaine de Thulon 17 Regnié VV, some wood aging, tightDomaine de Thulon 16 Regnié VV, open, niceDomaine de Thulon 18 Regnié, dark, full, roundDomaine de Thulon 18 Chiroubles, tight, a little dryDomaine de Thulon 18 Morgon, full, aromatic, concentrationDomaine de Thulon 18 Regnié VV, intenseDomaine de Thulon 17 Beaujolais Villages Blanc “Montagnier,” wood aged, a little funky, why throw wood at such a good thing?Domaine de Thulon 17 Viognier, nice acidity, probably not useful for us thoughDomaine de Thulon 17 “Cerise,” funky, we had divided opinions on it with Frank a big no and Jeff a “hell yes”
Phillippe Chautard is the newest generation in the Picamelot family tree to operate this venerable sparkling wine house in Rully. We are safe to say these are the finest sparkling wines made in France outside of Champagne, and some of the top bottlings will beat plenty of Champagne when tasted blind. Mr. Chautard just finished the construction of a breathtaking new winery which is cut into the side of a hill. Have a look at our newly posted 360 photos on Google Street View.
Louis Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs Heritage 1926, PBL/CH/UGNI, non AOP, Traditional Method, pretty tasty if lacking some focus
Louis Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne 15 Pinot Noir Rosé, well made,. fresh, right color
Louis Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne 16 Terroirs, PN/CH/ALI, fresh, quite complex
Louis Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne 15 Terroirs, more mature, good
Louis Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne 15 “Chazot,” PN from St. Aubin, full-bodied, big wine
Louis Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne 14 “Jeanne Thomas,” CH 85- ALI 15, big, complex
Louis Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne 14 “Reipes” 2014, 100 Chardonnay from St. Aubin, bigger, fine, complex
Louis Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne 13 “Jean Baptiste” 80% Chardonnay, 20% Aligote, older, mixed opinions here, you probably won’t see this from us other than via presell.