2015 Gabin et Felix Richoux, Irancy “Veaupessiot” Red Burgundy, France.
The impressively dark colored and wonderfully deep 2015 Veaupessiot Irancy from Richoux is a beautiful red Burgundy with a rich array of ripe flavors and depth of complexity making for a wine that keeps your attention and is a stunning value. This vintage is really performing well with a heady floral perfume, a mix of black and red fruits, a touch of smoky mineral and a lovely textural mouth feel, while having plenty of fresh acidity and a solid structural core that should allow this Pinot Noir to age gracefully for another decade at least. The Richoux family, legendary in this northern most red region of Burgundy, have been growing grapes in the picturesque village of Irancy since 1610. Tenth generation Thierry and his kids farm about 20 hectares of kimmeridgian-centric vines that create a patchwork across the appellation. His reputation as a devoted and gifted vigneron is articulated by the fact that he farms all of Dauvissat’s Irancy vines. Now transitioning to the next generation with Gabin and Felix taking the helm here and getting their names on this bottling with the grapes, all organically farmed, coming from this old picturesque place, sitting in a valley surrounded by relatively steep vineyards which form a dramatic amphitheater around the main village. It should be noted that Irancy represents a small island of red grapes, surrounded by huge plantings of white grapes, and it is mainly Pinot Noir, but intriguingly and uncommon for Burgundy they also have an ancient varietal called César, thought to be related to Barbera and up to 10% can be added to these wines, though Richoux themselves only bottle pure Pinot Noir. Richoux believes in a long élévage for his wines, so they spend their first year in tank, and then a full second year in large foudres or in used smaller barriques, allowing a more mature character when they are released
Richoux’s Veaupessiot, comes from a single parcel and is the highly regarded, with an elegant frame and is notably aromatic, maybe more heighten in all areas than the other lieux-dits or the regular AOC wine. I found this 2015 incredibly enjoyable from the start and even more striking after it opened up, it delivered way more than expected with layers of black cherry, forrest berries, plum and currant fruits, a chalky stoniness, crushed flowers, bramble and subtle earthiness. The Irancy region is one of the most exciting area’s of Burgundy, very close to Chablis, it was once maligned, but now is the source of some amazing wines, like this Richoux Veaupessiot, plus, as I have noted here, Domaine de Beru’s version, one of my other favorites here, these are wines of sublime delicacy, rustic charm and laser sharp detail. Located just southwest of the fan shell of Chablis, Irancy, also known for it’s cherry trees, is set on the ancient Kimmeridgian marls, along with some clay, loose gravel and brown limestone that gives its Pinot Noir its singular nature. It is also close by Saint-Bris, which has Burgundy’s only Sauvignon Blanc zone. The Richoux’s Irancy is as mentioned 100% Pinot Noir and their vineyards are mainly southwest facing and allows for exceptional ripe fruit and refined tannin, as this Veaupessiot shows. This wine delivers all that is promised with the transparency and precision you’d expect from a higher end Burgundy, with superb minerallity and inner energy, though wonderfully satiny and plush when given time in the glass, lingering with a touch of violets and ever echoing fruit. Fermented with natural yeasts in a combination of cement and steel and using mainly de-stemmed grapes the Irancy wines are fabulously terroir expressive and a clear focus. You’ll be well rewarded by searching this wine out and it is without question a bargain for what you get, I highly advise Burgundy lovers chase this vintage down while you can, though I’m sure any Richoux you find will bring smiles. Please note, you’ll see either Thierry or Gabin and Felix listed, but it is the same wine.
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive