Our first arrival for the year is one we have been looking forward to ever since tasting in his cellar in Saint Romain one year ago, our yearly shipment from the masterful Frederic Cossard.
Fred is a larger than life character. He is a man with an infectious joie de vivre, a real passion for life and a love of wine that runs deep. Not born into a family of vignerons, he started his Domaine de Chassorney in 1996, working organically from the outset and over the last few decades has garnered a reputation for producing Burgundy of rare liveliness, purity and detail.
The 2016 vintage was a difficult one that seemed to have it all. It began with terrible frosts that devastated much of Burgundy in April, followed by a bitterly cold and wet spring, a lengthy drought, a little rain just in the nick of time and finally, a very welcome Indian summer. It rewarded those as fastidious as the Cossards, who worked as small teams to harvest over the course of almost a month. It was not a year without loss however and they suffered terribly in terms of yields, particularly in the Côte de Beaune.
The lack of grapes called for creativity and this year we get to taste Fred’s first efforts in one of his favourite wine regions, the Jura, alongside some fascinating experiments with maceration. All in all this is a wonderful collection of wines which reflect the vintage – lithe, fragrant and wonderfully complex. We have just received the following wines.
Frederic Cossard, Vin Du Jura Chardonnay 2016
A new project for Fred after his good friend Jean-Francois Ganevat found him some beautiful vineyards not far from Rotalier. This is a classic Jurassic Chardonnay, linear, saline and direct.
Frederic Cossard, Vin Du Jura Savagnin 2016
Savagnin vinified in the Burgundian or ‘ouillé ‘ style, it is a wine of great freshness, with the hallmark citrus and spice we’ve come to expect from the best examples made in this way.
Frederic Cossard, Vin Du Jura Pinot Noir 2016
A reminder for us at least that beyond Trousseau and Poulsard, you can find some wonderful Pinot in the Jura. Light, bright and nimble, we can’t see this hanging around for long.
Frederic Cossard, 2016 Skin-Contact Zizifrédo
A wine inspired by the large amount of bottles Fred consumes of his good friend Gabrio Bini’s Zibibbo. A blend Bourboulenc, Grenache Gris & Muscat d’Alexandrie that spends nine months on skins, it’s on point. Full of tropical fruit, herbs and citrus, with fine little tannins to boot.
Frederic Cossard, Bourgogne Blanc Bigotes 2016
Chardonnay from 40 year old vines near the village of Puligny. A wine that is quickly becoming one of our all time favourites. It’s a little leaner and fresher than last year but none the worse for it and we have a handful of magnums this year too.
Frederic Cossard Beaune Les Bressandes 2016
A vineyard better known for it’s premier cru red wines, the terroir is a combination of sand and clay, producing a classically Burgundian Chardonnay combining power and finesse.
Frederic Cossard, Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières 2016
Only three barrels were produced of this wine which shows just how wonderful Chardonnay from the best vineyards in this storied village can be. A true masterpiece from Fred which tasted so good from barrel last year we ordered a few magnums too.
Frederic Cossard, Bourgogne Rouge Bedeau 2016
From a number of plots of old vines in and around Volnay, this is lighter, brighter and more floral than it’s predecessor. Pure, vibrant Pinot Noir, a handful of magnums are available if you are quick.
Domaine de Chassorney, Saint Romain Sous Roche 2016
From fifty year old vines planted in one of the steepest, shallowest parts of Saint Romain. True to site and vintage, this is a lively, lean and vertical wine that really blossoms in the glass.
Frederic Cossard, Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes 2016
This comes from a lieu dit right on the border on the border with Vosne-Romanée, which might explain the remarkable elegance and tightrope balance on display here. It is drinking wonderfully now, but has a long life ahead of it. A couple of magnums are available if you are looking to lay it down for the long haul.
Frederic Cossard, Chambolle Musigny Les Herbues 2016
This could only be Chambolle. From a tiny parcel in this delicate vintage Fred has crafted a wine of gorgeous perfume and real finesse.
Frederic Cossard, Vosne-Romanée Les Champs Perdrix 2016
From a parcel that sits above La Tâche, this is a wine of remarkable presence and poise. Compact, elegant and full of little red fruits, every detail seems to be in place.
Frederic Cossard, Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Monts Luisants 2016
From a tiny parcel of old vines planted with the rare Pinot Fin at the top of the village which borders Clos de la Roche. This is a hauntingly complex, beautiful wine that will reward drinkers for a long, long time.