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Joseph Colin | YOUNG GUN BREAKING FREE

Joseph Colin | YOUNG GUN BREAKING FREE

EXCEPTIONAL WHITE BURGUNDY FROM A NEW, YET EXCITINGLY FAMILIAR, PRODUCER

It is a blessing when a talented person alike Joseph Colin decide to break free from the family tradition to pursue his own destiny. It means that Joseph isn't restrained to a family order anymore and his talent can blossom naturally and without borders.

In the space of two vintages, we can already see what Joseph has accomplished so well in the vineyard and at the winery. He is already making some of the best wines of the area. You'll quickly notice below that Joseph owns incredibly well located vineyards:

About Joseph Colin By Allen Meadows - Burghound

"Yet another new domaine has been formed out of 6.3 ha extracted from Domaine Marc Colin. Joseph Colin chose to split from his brother Damien and his sister Caroline who will continue to run Domaine Marc Colin. A third brother, Pierre-Yves Colin (of Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey), had already taken a portion of the vines when he departed in 2005.

Joseph made a few wines in 2016 that sell under his eponymous label but 2017 is really the inaugural vintage where fully 19 appellations will be produced and marketed. While most of the wines come from owned vines, the two grands crus come from purchases of must.

With respect to his viticultural and wine making philosophies, Colin told me that “the viticulture is essentially the same as we were doing at my father’s domaine. However, there are significant differences with respect to the winemaking that include a different pressing regimen with no added sulfur at the crush, in fact there is no sulfur added until about 1 and 1⁄2 months before the bottling. I am also using almost exclusively 350 liter barrels rather than the traditional 228 liter of which only 10 to 15% of it is new. I do zero lees stirring and do everything I can to have as much CO2 in the wines to preserve them in the absence of SO2. I generally bottle between 14 and 15 months after the harvest and shoot for no more than 25 ppm of free SO2 along with close to 1,200 ppm of CO2.

As such my wines should be decanted and particularly so since I am bottling the whites under the Diam brand composite cork though the reds are bottled with natural corks that have been individually checked against TCA. The idea is to produce wines as naturally as possible but without some of the deviations that plague natural and/or low sulfur wines.”

I was largely impressed with what I found [...] given that 2017 was Colin’s first vintage and he is still refining his organisation and equipment, I would expect there to be gradual improvement over the next few years. In summary, it’s a promising debut and it’s good to have another source of high quality wines!"

  • Chassagne Montrachet Rouge
  • Bourgogne Aligoté
  • Bourgogne Chardonnay "La Combe"
  • Saint Aubin "Compendium"
  • Chassagne Montrachet Blanc
  • Puligny Montrachert "Le Trezin" 
  • Saint Aubin 1er Cru "Clos du Meix"
  • Saint-Aubin 1er Cru "Sur le Sentier du Clou"
  • Saint Aubin 1er Cru "Les Frionnes"
  • Saint Aubin 1er Cru "Les Combes"
  • Saint Aubin 1er Cru "En Remilly"
  • Saint Aubin 1er Cru "La Chatenière"
  • Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru "Vide Bourse"
  • Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru "En Cailleret"
  • Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru "La Garenne"
  • Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
  • Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru

The yields are kept low in order to create wines of substance, yet Joseph picks on the early side to retain an unmistakable purity and freshness in his wines. Purity is a word that Joseph particularly associates with his wines, since he doesn't like heavy handed/reductive and oaky wines, but rather lets the different terroirs shine quickly in the glass. The wines display a tense and vibrant profile, championing minerality and finesse, yet there is a comforting richness on the mid-palate.

The wines are handled as lightly as possible to avoid trituration. Therefore there is no bâttonage, no filtration and no fining since these different processes take away tremendous characters from the wine. 

Joseph recommends decanting his whites to have a great experience if consuming soon after release.

REVIEW AND TASTING NOTES BY JASPER MORRIS

Already in his second full vintage Joseph Colin is making 21 cuvées spread over 6ha, with two more St-Aubin 1ers Crus coming on stream next year. The wines are made in a fresh style, with 15% new oak the absolute maximum and even then mostly in 500 litre barrels. Joseph falls into the ‘mineral’ rather than ‘full-bodied’ school of white wine producers.

The 2018 harvest took 4 weeks in all, beginning with Caillerets and Vide-Bouse on 28th August and finishing with the coolest corner for St-Aubin and the Aligoté on 20th September. The wines were made without sulphur until the following August and either had been bottled or were just about to be when I visited.

  • BOURGOGNE ALIGOTE "LES JARDINS DE LA COTE - 2018 

From one cool plot near La Rochepot, which is picked late. Lemon colour, light tangy, scarcely ripe at 12 degrees. Grape and green apple with lemon zest. (85pts)

  • BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY "LA COMBE" - 2018

Below Puligny. No new wood. Light lemon colour with a gentle bouquet, this is in the leaner style, even a little bit of confection, in the style of bons bons anglais. (86pts)

  • ST-AUBIN "COMPENDIUM" - 2018

Picked across 10 days from 10th to 19th September, depending on how far up the valley the plots are – there is a bend which makes all the difference according to Joseph. Bas de Jorcul and Tope de Bataille are much cooler than Le Banc and Champ Tirant. Fuller lemon, the nose is a touch more evolved, probably just after the bottling. Slightly mixed up now because there are fresh vigorous even youthfully bitter notes as well. I am sure it will all come together. (87pts)

  • ST-AUBIN 1ER CRU "CLOS DU MEIX" - 2018

Pale lemon and lime, with some attractive floral qualities. Loads of energy here, lovely ripe apple fruit, good energy throughout and very nicely balanced. Tasted: November 2019 (89-92pts)

  • ST-AUBIN 1ER CRU "SUR LE SENTIER DU CLOU" - 2018

From the subsection called Travers de Marinot. More lemon than lime in colour, with quite a delicate nose, but the fruit explodes very nicely on the palate, soft and charming. It dances on the palate, offering excellent balance with a fresh tingling finish. (90-92pts)

  • ST-AUBIN 1ER CRU "LES FRIONNES" - 2018 

From the bottom of the slope which here is notably cooler. Lemon and lime. A greener note to the bouquet, more phenolic, yet with depth and punch behind. Lime notes too. (88-91pts)

  • ST-AUBIN 1ER CRU "EN REMILLY" - 2018

Three quarters on the plateau and the rest is below in the Les Cortons subdivision. Fine pale colour, light yellow fruit ,sunny but fresh and lively, offering a valuable bit of tension. Sunshine and minerality together says Joseph. Certainly the fruit is agreeably ripe at the finish, without losing this tension. (91-93pts)

  • ST-AUBIN 1ER CRU "LES COMBES" - 2018

From Pitangeret. Fullish yellow the nose showing some depth of soft fruit. Nicely balanced on the palate, mix of yellow and white fruit, good tension. How much follow through? (88-91pts)

  • ST-AUBIN 1ER CRU "LA CHATENIERE" - 2018

The larger plot is lower down and is picked later the rest on the steep slope higher up. I love the finish here, beautifully chiselled, clean cut white fruit all the way through and very persistent. (91-93pts)

  • CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET BLANC - 2018

From Meix Goudard, Blanchots Dessous, Jours Noblot. All early to pick, on the same day, but are still vinified apart. Fine mid lemon with a certain sunny style to the nose, this starts well and then suddenly kicks on, and when it might seem too soft offers a kick of tension too. (89-91pts)

  • PULIGNY-MONTRACHET "LE TREZIN" - 2018

Pale lemon. Quite light bouquet but more floral than appley or citrus. Grows nicely across the palate, finishing on a saline touch after fresh apple. This is a very clean, clear-cut wine, though without enormous middle. (88-90pts)

  • CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1ER CRU "EN CAILLERET" - 2018

The Colin family has three quarters of En Cailleret apparently, this being the southern end of the whole Caillerets vineyard. The young vines are 40 years old, the old ones around 100! 2018 is the first year to achieve a full crop, 57 hl/ha. Light but full lemon. The bouquet suggests a mix of pyrazines and scorched pebbles which may indicate hydric stress. 12.8% alcohol here. This is intriguing because despite the earlier comments there is plenty of complexity behind though, with waves of flavour. I will need to try this again with time in bottle to work it out. (91-94pts)

  • CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1ER CRU "LES VIDE BOURSES" - 2018 

The fermentation had just finished so the wine had only just been racked. Pale lemon colour, the nose is a bit out of kilter, with evolved notes and pyrazines together. However these reflect the current stage of its evolution. Otherwise, it is tightly wound, plenty of complexity, lovely white fruit, this is clearly excellent on the palate. Very long. I am betting in its favour! (92-96pts)

  • PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 1ER CRU "LA GARENNE" - 2018

Next to Trézin but needs longer to ripen, otherwise it can be vegetal with unripe pips. I love these insights from the growers! 13.2% alcohol whereas the others came in under 13%. Full lemon colour with surprising flesh to the nose. Clean white fruit on the palate, Excellent intensity and purity, worth the extra few days ripening. (91-95pts)

  • BATARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU - 2018
A purchase from the Puligny side (just) of the vineyard. Still in barrel, unracked. One barrel only and will be bottled directly. Primrose colour with a pleasing weight of fruit and a little cashmere covering of oak. Lovely graceful weight, this is very nicely balanced. I have known Bâtards more profound but this will work very well and has excellent length. (94-96pts)
  • CHEVALIER-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU - 2018

Still in its barrel. Pale colour, less on the nose, but very elegant in bouquet nonetheless, then a deeper dense fruit with some fully ripe nearly tropical fruit and some length. This should prove to be a very good Chevalier-Montrachet though I think Joseph Colin’s 2018 Bâtard-Montrachet has the edge. (92-96pts)

  • CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET "VIEILLES VIGNES" ROUGE - 2018

From Poirier du Clos and Pierres, planted around 1968-1970. Vinfied gently over 12 days without sulphur. Dense rather sombre purple. Balanced at 12.5% alcohol with good acidity. The bouquet is quite tight with cherry stone notes. Not the most elegant but the quality of the fruit is right. (86-88pts)

EXCLUSIVELY IMPORTED BY CLOS CACHET

    We are so very proud to introduce these wines into Australia for the first time, and I can bet you from now that Joseph Colin is soon to join the Burgundy's elite.