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Heresztyn-Mazzini Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2016

Heresztyn-Mazzini Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2016

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"From the lieu-dit of Champ Franc, the 2016 Bourgogne Rouge is more successful than its white counterpart this year. It has a slightly "chunky" yet appealing bouquet of blackberry and raspberry fruit, leafy in style. The palate is medium-bodied with light tannin, straightforward tobacco-tinged black fruit with a short but fresh finish. Drink over the next 2 or 3 years. Drink: 2018-2021. 84-85 points

It has been a pleasure witnessing the success of Heresztyn-Mazzini over the last four or five years. Sure, I still misspell the name. But without doubt, in tandem with the nearby Domaine Duroché, the wines have been virtually reinvented into captivating expressions of what you might call “classic Burgundy.” Such is the pace of change at this address that every time I visit I expect to discover a new innovation courtesy of Florence Heresztyn and Simon Mazzini. This year it was the cooperage. Florence told me that they are currently aligning optimal cooperage with each cuvée, so for example, the wood used to raise their Gevrey Clos Village comes from Fontainebleu and so forth. Apparently they will remain faithful if the wine is successful and that is important, lest the barrel ageing becomes the governing factor in the wine rather than the terroir.

Of course, they were impacted by the frost during the 2016 growing season. “We lost 60% of the total production,” Florence explained, “and we lost 80% of the production of the Bourgogne Rouge. Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey Villages were also hit.” Despite this they have not forsaken their commitment to the conversion to biodynamics in the vineyard and used silica in spring and summer to protect the vines. They even used it just before harvest so that when they were treating their vines, bemused neighbors were just finishing their picking! Florence could not quite remember the exact date that they commenced the harvest but knows they finished on 8 October, conducting the picking in three stages. “We started with the Chambolle Vieilles Vignes because there were less bunches and ripening came quickly, also in the Morey les Millandes. We then waited for the other vineyards to reach ripeness. I remember that we decided to pick the Goulots one week afterward, delayed as we had sprayed the vineyard with silica. In any case, the weather was good so we could wait.”

This was another fine portfolio of barrel samples from the domaine, even if I felt that the challenges of the growing season did slightly impact the entry-level wines and village crus. The quality of the superb Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru La Perrière put that in sharp relief, showing the village crus a clean set of heels. Likewise the Gevrey-Chambertin les Champonnets reveled in its terroir, exhibiting vivid fruit and superb mineralité. Generally, the wines all showed commendable use of whole-bunch fruit that underpins nearly all their cuvées, thereby accentuating the freshness and classicism of their wines. These are not powerful, fruit-forward expressions of Pinot Noir. They have a pleasant, subtle greenness that I suspect will see them age with style. And certainly their crown jewel of Clos Saint-Denis is a stupendous grand cru that ranks alongside many better-known names. I look forward to tasting their 2017s next year...but you can bet you bottom dollar that I still will not be able to spell the name correctly." 

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (234)