We are delighted to offer an (almost) full spread of 2018 Domaine Tawse, swiftly on the back of the 2019s, which have sold out.
Domaine Tawse revolves around the Burgophile Canadian, Pascal Marchand, who spent 15 years at top Pommard domaine, Comte Armand, making great wines throughout the 1990s, before a period of time in charge at the quality driven, Boisset-owned, Domaine de la Vougeraie in Premeaux, just south of Nuits. 10 years ago he went into business with wealthy, fellow Canadian, Moray Tawse, who backed him financially to set up a negotiant operation, and so Marchand Tawse was born.
But, that clearly wasn’t enough to satiate the ambitions of these two highly motivated individuals; just two years later they bought the lacklustre domaine of Bernand Maume, where they installed English-Born winemaker, Mark Fincham. Marchand and Tawse thus acquired some wonderful vineyards in Gevrey-Chambertin, including top village and 1er Cru sites, as well as a smattering of Grand Crus. Since then, they have bought more vineyards, primarily in the Cote de Beaune, and now have a fantastic and diverse range of appellations.
Under the new team the domaine moved to working biodynamically out of its winery in Nuits-St-Georges. Mark is a hugely talented winemaker and seems to run a gentle but focused hand over proceedings. He is not afraid of whole bunch but is very adaptive in his approach, allowing his vineyards to guide him as to what is the optimum amount.
It is a real treat for us that were able to start working with Pascal and Mark as a result of the DD acquisition, and it somehow feels that we have arrived just at the right time, as the operation hits a purple patch. The key to the success of these 2018s was picking dates. Mark chose to pick early. For example, the Beaunes were picked in the first week of September and the Gevrey crus around 8 September and the Gevrey Lavaux on the 9 September. The grapes showed beautiful phenolic ripeness but by picking the fruit fractionally early they kept very good acidity. Picking was completed by September 11h. The resulting wines are red-fruited, elegant and refined, amongst the most vibrant of the vintage. Wonderful reds but don’t overlook the two whites, as these are also very impressive. You’ll see in the offer that these 2018s, much like the 2019s, receive critical acclaim.
The 2018 Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Lavières 1er Cru includes 30% whole bunch and 20% new oak. It has an intense blueberry and blackberry bouquet that needs a little more minerality and terroir expression. The medium-bodied palate displays good balance, delivering crisp tannins and a fine bead of acidity; here the terroir is expressed more clearly. This comes to an attractive peppery finish. Fine.
Drink 2023-2035. 89-91, Neal Martin
The 2018 Beaune Clos du Roi 1er Cru is matured with 30% whole bunch and 50% new oak. It has a very attractive bouquet of brambly red fruit, rose petals and light undergrowth aromas. The medium-bodied palate offers a dash of white pepper on the opening. Well balanced, with quite a structured and serious finish. Excellent.
Drink 2023-2040. 91-93, Neal Martin
The 2018 Beaune Teurons 1er Cru comes from the Le Bas de Teurons lieu-dit, which tends to have a cooler microclimate. The ripe red cherry and wild strawberry bouquet is well defined and focused. The medium-bodied palate delivers supple tannin, fine acidity and a very elegant and quite weighty finish. Excellent.
Drink 2023-2038. 91-93, Neal Martin
The 2018 Volnay Les Fremiets 1er Cru includes 30% whole-bunch fruit. It has an opulent bouquet of kirsch and raspberry preserve, pressed flowers emerging with time. The medium-bodied palate offers firm tannins but is so succulent and fleshy in the mouth that you cannot really feel that backbone. I would like to see more complexity and breeding on the finish. Give it three or four years in bottle.
Drink 2023-2040. 90-92, Neal Martin
The 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Village comes from various parcels around the appellation, though not on the Brochon side. It features smudged raspberry and wild strawberry fruit on the nose, mixed with sous-bois and light tobacco notes. The medium-bodied palate offers fine-grained tannins and the 20% new oak is nicely integrated. The finish is sweet and lightly spiced. Fine.
Drink 2022-2034. 89-91, Neal Martin
The 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Etelois is completely de-stemmed. It has a floral bouquet that bursts from the glass, revealing rose and iris petals and even a touch of lavender. The medium-bodied palate offers fleshy ripe tannins, fine acidity and a touch of allspice and clove toward the finish. There is still a touch of new oak to be subsumed, but this will be a very fine Aux Etelois.
Drink 2023-2042. 91-93, Neal Martin
The 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Champeaux 1er Cru seems to be fulfilling the promise it showed from barrel. Elegant and very pure on the nose, it unfurls with those same brambly red berry fruit scents, tinged with potpourri and wilted rose petal. The palate conveys that sense of transparency, filigreed tannins framing pretty red fruit, and shows decent grip on the finish. I can see this maturing with style.
Drink 2024-2042. 93, Neal Martin
The 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux Saint-Jacques has a lovely bouquet featuring plenty of ferrous-tinged red berry fruit plus hints of rose petal and antique furniture. This is much more open than other 2018s tasted. Wonderful balance on the palate, fine acidity and mulberry and light earthy notes toward the finish. Excellent.
Drink 2024-2042. 93, Neal Martin
The 2018 Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru has an intense bouquet, perhaps with some of that broodiness I noted out of barrel, yet still exquisitely defined, featuring earthy dark berry fruit laced with black truffle and bay leaf. The palate is medium-bodied but delivers good grip and conspicuous density. This is a Mazis-Chambertin that means business. It wants to impress, but on its own terms. Have a cellar handy, as well as plenty of patience.
Drink 2024-2042. 95, Neal Martin
The 2018 Musigny Grand Cru is de-stemmed by hand and matured in a new, custom-made barrel that was this year approximately 380 liters. It has a fragrant bouquet of vibrant red cherries, crushed strawberry, cedar and allspice; a strong oyster shell influence comes through with aeration. The harmonious, medium-bodied palate offers supple tannins and a fine bead of acidity, and the sensual, silky-smooth finish lingers for over a minute in the mouth. Although this will age long-term, it will be broachable young. Divine.
Drink 2023-2055. 97-99, Neal Martin
The 2018 Savigny-lès-Beaune Vergelesses Blanc 1er Cru was one of the first picked by Tawse (on September 2) and matured in 15% new oak. It has an attractive bouquet of yellow flowers and lime aromas that is not overly complex, but pure. The palate is light and saline on the entry, showing modest weight in the mouth. Lime and touches of ginger appear toward the finish. Fine.
Drink 2021-2027. 86-88, Neal Martin
The 2018 Chassagne-Montrachet Abbaye de Morgeot 1er Cru has a very attractive bouquet of fresh mango and apricot blossom aromas that are neatly entwined with the oak. The well-defined palate offers a touch of orange peel and quince, a fine bead of acidity and the weight you seek in a Chassagne.
Drink 2022-2032. 90-92, Neal Martin