Morey Foray: Taupenot-Merme 2017s

Many of you will have had the pleasure of meeting Virginie Taupenot when she visited Australia for CellarHand’s 20th Anniversary celebrations in February. She’s a warm and cheerful presence, and as president of Femmes et Vins de Bourgogne, she’s the best ambassador imaginable for her region and the estate.
Loveable as she and brother Romain are, they’ve also established themselves in the first rank of Côte de Nuits producers. “This is a domaine that I have followed since before writing about wine. Over the years I have witnessed immense improvement in quality under Romain Taupenot,” wrote Neal Martin of Vinous Media in his report of their ‘17s/ “Theirs is a classic style of Burgundy, lighter perhaps than some of their peers in Morey-Saint-Denis, consistently fresh and tensile with ever-increasing terroir expression.”
Romain Taupenot viewed ’17 as a lovely surprise. The team started harvest on 6th September 6 and finished around 17th September . Yields were generous as the vines that were frost-damaged in 2016 were particularly productive, and the fruit was clean and healthy with excellent potential alcohols. The ferments went through without a hitch and once the wines were through malolactic conversion they emerged with notable freshness and vibrancy, plus added density. “I can honestly say that I really like the style of the ’17s as there is this highly appealing freshness and energy plus the terroir definition is outstanding,” Romain reported to Allen Meadows of Burghound.
“There are a clutch of wonderful wines from Taupenot-Merme, and not just at the top of the hierarchy,” reported Neal Martin. “The Chambolle-Musigny la Combe d’Orveau approaches grand cru in terms of quality, whilst few village crus from any domaine can match Taupenot’s Gevrey-Chambertin.”
Once again, we are delighted to offer another superb suite of burgundies from this wonderful Morey family.


2017 Taupenot-Merme Bourgogne Aligoté RRP $43
Pretty perfume shows light floral notes, whiffs of pear and small red berries, touch of honey. Palate is soft and sumptuous but held fresh (when cold) with bright acidity under the oily flow of pear, ginger and cinnamon spice and sundry light honeyed notes. Opulent sort of wine but with vitality on its side. 91 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front April 2019

2017 Taupenot-Merme Bourgogne Passetoutgrain RRP $43
A very fresh, peppery and earthy nose of various red berries precedes the nicely detailed and vibrant flavors that are not only delicious but they reflect only a trace of rusticity on the pliant finish. A wine to enjoy now for its fruit. 86 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound June 2019

2017 Taupenot-Merme Bourgogne Rouge RRP $69
The 2017 Bourgogne Rouge has a perfumed, quite floral bouquet, gourmand in style. The palate is medium-bodied with light tannin, simple brambly red fruit and a short finish. Drink over the next three years. 84-86 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media November 2018

A rustic nose features notes of dark currant, forest floor and a whiff of the sauvage. The supple and again nicely vibrant flavors possess caressing mouthfeel and while there is a bit more evident rusticity, there is notably better complexity and length on the gently firm finish. 86-88 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound January 2019

Vines in Chambolle (20 years old on gravel) and in Morey-St-Denis (planted 1948). Mid cherry red. Dark-red fruit and lots of spice, a sense of intensity and an inviting dark dustiness. Almost tarry in that dark fruit. Chewy tannins filled out in the middle by the fruit. Lots to dig into. 16/20 Julia Harding MW, November 2018

2017 Taupenot-Merme Chambolle-Musigny RRP $182
The 2017 Chambolle-Musigny Village has a transparent bouquet of lifted dark cherries and crushed strawberry, along with a touch of fish oil in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with gently grippy tannin and nicely balance, though it probably needs a little more substance toward the finish. Gentle and unassuming. 88-90 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media November 2018

Firm reduction presently renders the nose largely unreadable though the underlying fruit seems ripe. Otherwise there is a much, much finer mouthfeel to the delicious and attractively vibrant middle weight flavors that possess good mid-palate density as well as a subtle minerality that adds a bit of lift to the focused, complex and balanced finish. This is a lovely Chambolle villages and worth checking out. 89-91 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound January 2019 

At first it smells oaky but it is just a touch reduced. Mid cherry and a bit lighter than the Auxey-Duresses. More smoky and spicy (from the Les Bussières parcel nearer Morey). And on the palate the same smoky spice. The fruit is still quite dark but the tannins are much more silky than in the Auxey-Duresses. Opens up to more charming red fruit on the palate. Super-fine texture and fruity length. 16.5/20 Julia Harding MW, November 2018

2017 Taupenot-Merme Gevrey-Chambertin RRP $182
The 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Village has the prettiest bouquet among Romain Taupenot’s Village Crus, offering precocious red cherry, crushed strawberry and orange pith aromas. The detailed palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity and a poised finish. Just superb. 90-92 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media November 2018

A discreet application of wood sets off the overtly sauvage-inflected aromas of dark currant and forest floor. The supple, round and delicious lighter weight flavors flash lovely detail on the refreshing, focused and youthfully austere finale that exhibits fine length. 87-90 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound

Mid crimson. Darker and a little more peppery than the Morey village wine. Gorgeous dark elegance. So silky. Very fine texture, slides across the palate. Succulent. Surprisingly accessible. 16.5/20 Julia Harding MW, November 2018

2017 Taupenot-Merme Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru La Riotte RRP $272
The 2017 Morey-Saint-Denis La Riotte 1er Cru has a slightly more confit-like bouquet than Taupenot-Merme’s other 2017s, a little showier, but still very pure, revealing hints of kirsch and blood orange. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit, a fine bead of acidity and just a little chewiness toward the finish, which delivers firm grip. Excellent. 91-93 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media November 2018

Once again there is just enough reduction present to push the fruit to the background. On the palate there is both good freshness and verve to the firm and relatively serious medium-bodied flavors that are a bit less refined but noticeably more powerful, all wrapped in a dusty and slightly longer and more structured finale. 90-92 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound January 2019

In the middle of the premiers crus of Morey. Below Clos St-Denis. Same soils as Mazoyères, ie 80 cm of clay on top of limestone fossils (crinoidal limestone). Never suffers from hydric stress. Vines 60 years old. Mid cherry red. Dark-red fruit. This has a dry, chalky texture that strikes more than the fruit on the palate, but the fruit is there to re-emerge with time. At the moment it seems dry and a little severe on the palate. Hard work just now, rather muscular. Needs more time but it’s long. 16.5++/20 Julia Harding MW, November 2018

2017 Taupenot-Merme Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Combe d’Orveau RRP $322
The 2017 Chambolle-Musigny La Combe d’Orveau 1er Cru comes from a parcel of 72-year-old vines. It has a precise, pure bouquet of raspberry preserve, wild strawberry and rose petal aromas, the oak nicely integrated. The precise, detailed palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a crisp line of acidity and good tension and mineralité toward the finish. This is a classy, cerebral wine. 91-93 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media November 2018

An elegant, pure and airy nose offers up pretty red and dark raspberry aromas that are cut with hints of spice, rose petal and wood. The vibrant and wonderfully refined medium-bodied flavors exude an evident minerality on the chiseled, focused and lingering finish. There is a mild suggestion of backend dryness but I suspect that it will age out with a few years of cellaring. 89-92 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound January 2019

Vines 70 years old, in the extension of Musigny. Mid crimson. So pretty on the nose, floral, fine red fruits. Delicate and refined. Super-pretty but with a depth of smooth, generous fruit. Already so silky but there’s breadth of fruit too, giving a roundness on the palate. Long and delicate. 17/20 Julia Harding MW, November 2018

2017 Taupenot-Merme Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Bel Air RRP $305
The 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Bel Air 1er Cru was showing a little reduction on the day of my visit, making it difficult to read. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, quite tensile and linear, and perhaps lacking just a bit of substance toward the sour cherry tinged finish. 89-91 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media November 2018

 Reduction dominates the nose today. There is good intensity to the round, supple and generously proportioned flavors that also possess a caressing mouthfeel that contrasts somewhat with the stony, grippy and dusty finish that flashes sneaky good length on the balanced finale. 90-92 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound January 2019

Mid crimson. Peppery dark-red fruit. Really peppery and much more open-hearted than the Morey La Riotte. Cherry-fruited purity. Succulent, moreish and beautifully fresh. Has both generous fruit and refinement in the texture. Tender tannins. Mouth-watering with black fruits on the finish. 17/20 Julia Harding MW, November 2018

 2017 Taupenot-Merme Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru RRP $578
The 2017 Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru clearly has more richness and fruit concentration compared to the Charmes-Chambertin, presenting copious kirsch-infused wild strawberry that turns quite confit-like in style. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin and quite minerally. The potent, saline finish lingers long in the mouth. Very impressive, with long-term potential. 93-95 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media November 2018

 Firm reduction. The intense and muscular big-bodied flavors brim with minerality and sappy dry extract, both of which can also be found on the powerful, rustic and focused bitter cherry pit-inflected finish that is very clearly built-to-age. This is a very serious wine that would be largely pointless to open young. 91-94 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound January 2019

Darker and more peppery than the Charmes-Chambertin with just a hint of dark chocolate. Dark on the palate, peppery spice yet even in this darker character it has a slight floral note. Darkly refined in its fruit profile. There a slight charry smokiness, a little closed in on itself. Super-fine texture, like layers of paper. Long and refined. 18/20 Julia Harding MW, November 2018