M.Chapoutier 2017 Sélections Parcellaires
Yesterday at the TATE Modern in London, Michel Chapoutier presented his 2017 Sélections Parcellaires wines from across the Rhône Valley, Roussillon, Alsace and Australia.
The M.Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires are rare wines that represent the highest expression of each appellation, an unofficial “grand cru” range. The winegrower lets the soil express itself, without intervention, to offer the best snapshot of the terroir. Here biodynamic farming is meaningful. With only 100 to 700 cases produced annually, these rare wines grown on ancient vines with tiny yields are among the greatest red and white wines produced in the world.
Certain years bring major climate surprises… and 2017 was certainly one of those. In the Rhône Valley, after an uneventful winter, the spring brought early flowering and a lot of rain, combined with some worrying frost snaps on certain vineyards. The summer came with so little rain that there severe uncertainly about the harvest ahead. June temperatures were extreme… and still the rain didn’t come… until July 22! The vines recovered their green hue and balance, and the August heat brought the important balance combining maturity, tension and minerality.