As I previously mentioned, a good part of the tasting on this year’s trip to France with my friend David Raccah was done in the hotel and the VAST majority was blind. In fact, there was really only one exception to tasting blind and that was the 2021 Jean-Phillipe Marchand releases produced by Taieb. This was due to the fact that we specifically wanted to maintain a tasting order with many of these wines.
Taieb is really the most experienced of the kosher producers making Burgundies – all of the D’Ardhuy (2010-2015) and Lescure (2014-2017) releases were Taieb. So, they were there doing higher-end Burgundy well before 2020 when Royal started or even IDS in 2018. Taeib started working with JP Marchand in the 2017 vintage, produced again in 2019, and now again in 2021. [Very recently I participated in a tasting over two nights of many of the recent Burgundy releases from the various producers, including some of the previous JP Marchand releases – and I will hopefully get to that soon after I finish these articles on France.] Now as I have mentioned over and over again – 2021 was NOT an easy vintage for reds in France and for kosher Burgundies in particular, due to the various climate issues and when the harvest in Burgundy fell out in relation to the chagim. Having said that, overall there are no bad wines here. They are all good to excellent. They likely all could have been better if this was a different year, but such is life. Here are the wines in the order in which we tasted them:
2021 Jean-Philippe Marchand, Meursault – 13% abv – on the nose we have incredible funk, with hay, smoke, and toasted oak. This wine tastes full in the mouth, with notes of apple, grass, saline, honey, lemon, melon, hay, and some flint. This is a beautiful wine. It is a just a touch better than the 2019 vintage of this wine, though It not quite as good as the Aegerter 2020 Meursault – it’s a different style – but it is really excellent. 93.5
2021 Jean-Philippe Marchand, Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, Le Parc de Faye – 12.5% abv – Funk, cherry, floral and a bit of herbs on the nose. In the mouth, you basically have a ton of floral notes and then cherry, a bit of smoke, and earth. Soft tannin, nice acidity. The finish is again mostly floral with some eucalyptus. The wine is a bit simple but nice for what it is. 88
2021 Jean-Philippe Marchand, Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune – 12.5% abv – The nose here is far better than the Côtes de Nuits – with mushroom, umami, earth, and some red fruit. In the mouth, you have some nice salinity and bracing acidity, with excellent tart cherry, raspberry, and mushroom. The tannin is medium. The finish is long and herbal with more red fruit and earth. Huge step up. Really nice. 91.5
2021 Jean-Philippe Marchand, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Aux Herbues – 13% abv – On the nose, we have candied cranberry and pomegranate with earth and some smoke, followed by some nice red fruit and some floral notes. In the mouth, more floral notes but darker than before, with pomegranate, cherry, some bramble, and a little heat. The complexity is there, as is the acidity, but that heat and the candied nature of the red fruit detract from the whole. 88.5
2021 Jean-Philippe Marchand, Volnay, Sous Luret – 13% abv – Of the reds, this is the nicest nose so far, with excellent mushroom, dark cherry, and floral notes (which seems to be a theme with these wines). In the mouth, you have bracing acidity and medium tannin – with dark cherry, some herbs, and more of those floral notes. Overall – it’s OK, though nothing to write home about. I can’t point to any one thing that was wrong here. I guess I just had higher hopes. 89
2021 Jean-Philippe Marchand, Aloxe-Corton, Sous Chaillots – 13% abv – The nose here is again mushroom with a ton of floral notes, red fruit, and some herbs. In the mouth, we run a bit darker than previous wines – with dark red cherry, cranberry, and a ton of floral notes. The acidity is again nice with medium tannin. There is a theme here throughout these wines with the floral notes really taking center stage. This could work in small doses – though not as these are presented. The finish is long and near sweet with sweet almost candied red fruit and some herbs. So here the floral thing really crystalized as being over the top for me. I am sure there are going to be people who disagree with these scores. The wine just seems a bit out of balance for me. But again, it’s a good wine overall. 89
2021 Jean-Philippe Marchand, Pommard, Le Dome – 13% abv – The nose here seems a bit more classically Pinot – with some nice cedar, mushroom, ripe red fruit, earth, and some herbs. In the mouth, we again get those floral notes that overtake the wine. Yes it has nice fruit and it is not as candied as the previous wine, but really, it’s not what I’m looking for in my PN. The acidity and tannin are on point – I wish the flavor profile was just a little more refined. 90
2021 Jean-Philippe Marchand, Gevrey-Chambertin – 13% abv – Finally, something a bit different. The nose on this wine opens with focused tart red fruit, cola, and herb. The mouth here is dark and red with cherry, some bramble, nice saline, eucalyptus mushroom, and a little bit of smoke. WOW! The acid here is incredible and the tannin is more assertive. The finish is long and expressive too with more cherry, toasted herbs, and a bit of cedar. Far and away the best wine from this year’s batch of JP Marchand Burgundies. 92+
My thanks to Yoni Taieb, who sent these wines along with many others from his portfolio, which were part of the massive blind tasting that we did to be covered in my next post. I do hope we get to visit in person next trip as it is a truly enjoyable experience.
Next up – The Blind Tastings