Château du Moulin-à-Vent

Burgundy, France

Champ de Cour, Moulin-à-Vent – 2017

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Champ de Cour is located on a plateau between the hills of the windmill and of Fleurie, with an eastern exposure. The granite surface rocks force the roots to dig down deeply to seek their nutrients. Its clay-rich soil contains five minerals, giving the wine its unique character. The powerful winds blowing on the appellation have a decisive impact on the maturation and concentration of the berries, and depth that give the wine its instantly recognizable intensity.

    • Vineyards: ‘Champ de Cour’ stands at the bottom of the hill below the windmill. The top soil is made of alluvium and clearer colored clay. Deep and heavier than in the rest of the appellation, it retains more water which scarcely stops the ripening process.
    • Viticulture: Lutte raisonnée (“reasoned protection”): natural soil amendments, manual weed control and integrated pest management; thanks to the exceptionally clement weather, only five biological treatments of the vines were used this year.
    • Size: 3.3 hectares (8.1 acres)
    • Vine Age: 35-year old vines
    • Soil: Deep granitic soils, rich with clay
    • Density: 10,000 vines/hectare (4,047 vines/acre)
  • Vintage Report

    • 2017 was a difficult vintage. An optimal start to the growing season was disrupted by untimely hail in July. This resulted in a lower than usual yield (15 hl/ha). The wines are concentrated, dense, spicy and powerful.

    • Harvest Date(s): Manual harvest from September 6–13, in small 30-liter containers; one sorting table positioned before the destemmer.
    • Yields: 15 hectoliters per hectare. Less than 1 ton per acre. (Normal yields in the region are 45 - 50 hl/ha, while the maximum authorized is 52 hl/ha.)
  • Vinification

    • 20% destemmed; pumping-over during cold prefermentation soak and at the end of fermentation to increase roundness and finesse. Punching the cap at the beginning of fermentation; 21 days extraction to bring out the full potential of the terroirs.

    • Aging: 12 months, 100% French oak barrels then 4 months in stainless steel tank before bottling, medium toast; oak chosen from the Allier forests; excellent sourcing of oak from the top coopers, Taransaud and François Frères, to bring out the wine’s signature aromas and tannins. The origin, grain and toast intensity are chosen according to the characteristics of the vintage.
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Gamay Noir
    • Alcohol: 13.0%
    • Optimum Drinking: 9+ years, with gradual development over the years. Younger wines should be poured into a carafe one hour before serving.
  • Tasting Notes

    • The deep red color of the wine offers the first hint of its massive concentration. The nose is an explosion of red fruit, with roasted and spicy (pepper and saffron) notes. A full-bodied wine of considerable elegance, lively tannins and superb length, with a mineral finish.

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Reviews

  • Château du Moulin-à-Vent, Moulin-à-Vent – 2017 – Wine Enthusiast – 90 Points

    This wine is a blend across the estate, producing rich tannins and juicy black fruits. Good acidity balances the structure of the wine, giving potential as well as present fruitiness. Drink ideally from 2021.

  • Château du Moulin-à-Vent Champ de Cour, Moulin-à-Vent – 2017 – Wine Enthusiast – 93 Points

    A small harvest because of hail has produced this richly concentrated wine. Dense tannins and impressive black fruits are layered with acidity and a tensely structured character. The wine should be aged further to reveal its full panoply of flavors. Drink from 2022.

  • Château du Moulin-à-Vent Champ de Cour, Moulin-à-Vent – 2017 – Jancis Robinson – 16.5+ Points

    Mid crimson. Bottled. This was the only cuvée they were able to make in 2017 because of the hail. Red fruit but a little darker than the château blend. A little more spicy. Concentrated fruit on the mid palate, very good depth and intensity and the oak spice just hinted at. Really long and with freshness to the finish. Needs time.

  • Château du Moulin-à-Vent Champ de Cour, Moulin-à-Vent – 2017 – The Wine Advocate – 91 Points

    There are some 2,000 bottles of the 2017 Moulin-à-Vent Champ de Cour, one of the lieux-dits that was least impacted by the year's hail storms. Revealing aromas of cherries, dark berry fruit, candied peel and vanilla pod, it's full-bodied, layered and chewy, with firm tannins and an oak-inflected finish. There's clearly serious raw material here and thoughtful vilification, too, but I can't help feeling that the wine's fruit is somewhat surpassed on the palate by the supplemental oak phenolics. In short, the question is whether this Moulin-à-Vent will ever become truly charming? My score gives

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