Brunello 2013 is a classic vintage of precision, elegance and wonderful balance. Our recommended growers are as follows:
Giuseppe Sesti of Castello di Argiano| Andrea Costanti of Conti Costanti |Francesco, Marco, and Simonetta Ripaccioli of Canalicchio di Sopra
First released commercially in 1964, this 12 hectare winery at an average altitude of 440 metres just outside of the walls of Montalcino, produces one of the longest lived of all of the Brunellos. Costanti’s wines are powerful, intense and profound, they age for decades, and are amongst the most rewarding when mature. The 2013 is exceptional and worth seeking out.
The first certified organic estate in Montalcino. Don’t be fooled by its recent emergence to the Brunello scene in 1994. Situated on the south eastern slopes, Salicutti has benefited from considerable investment from the new owners and has witnessed a meteoric rise in quality. The 2013 Brunello can be enjoyed upon release but has the potential to age for over 15 years. Salicutti is in the top tier of Montalcino growers and one to buy while prices are still sane.
Canalicchlio di Sopra
Located in the cooler northern zone of Montalcino, Canalicchlio di Sopra’s style is traditional and the Brunello exudes purity and elegance with a fine underlying structure. Francesco Ripaccioli is one the most talented young growers and has been making the wine since 2007. Di Sopra is a very exciting addition to our selection of growers.
The Salvioni family | Francesco Leanza of Salicutti | Signor Franceschi of Il Poggione
Surrounded by illustrious neighbours, Soldera and Angelo Gaja’s Pieve Santa Restituta, there’s little doubt that this enclave of central Montalcino has the pedigree to produce outstanding Brunello. Caprili is a wonderful new find for us. The style embraces both the cool freshness of the north and the richer more concentrated south. There’s wonderful perfume and vibrant lift to the 2013. This is very much an ‘under the radar’ Brunello that is justifiably receiving huge plaudits from the press, and its attractive price will ensure that is it one of the top buys of the vintage.
Producing 200 000 bottles per year, this is one of the largest producers in Montalcino. Il Poggione’s beautiful state of the art winery, located in Sant’Angelo on Montalcino’s south eastern slopes produces a style of Brunello that exudes concentration, richness and intensity and the ability to age over 10 years. This is one of the best value Brunellos that you’ll find on the market, very highly regarded, and one of the most rewarding buys of the vintage.
A firm favourite of the team at Goedhuis, Sesti’s attractive and approachable style of Brunello reflects the warmth and generosity of this charming family. Their wines have won them many friends and a strong allegiance over the years. Consistent and appealing to a broad audience their Brunello is a fine example of traditional Brunello winemaking on Montalcino’s warm southern slopes. A wine that you can enjoy almost immediately.
Distinguished, natural and incredibly detailed, this tiny artisan winery situated in the centre of the town is the epitome of the finest available on the market. When one refers to the greats of Montalcino, Salvioni sits proudly in the company of Biondi Santi and Soldera as arguably the most regal addresses for Brunello di Montalcino. (V.limited)
As is customary we will also receive later allocations from Poggio di Sotto and Biondi Santi. Both will be very limited so please contact us for further info.
2013 has produced some stunning Brunello di Montalcino. This week we will start to offer the new releases.
Here’s a preview of what to expect and why the 2013s are such compelling buys in our opinion.
Summary of 2013
– A classic style vintage of precision, elegance and wonderful balance. This is undoubtedly a very good year for producers of Brunello di Montalcino.
– The quality level of the top growers is outstanding. Many wines will drink relatively early but the most successful ones will cellar perfectly for 10-15 years.
– As the benchmark expression and the pinnacle of what Sangiovese can achieve in Tuscany, the prices for Brunello di Montalcino, in comparison to the likes of Bordeaux, are moderate and this region represents outstanding value for money.
– There will be little to no Brunello di Montalcino released next year. The 2014 vintage was wet and cool and isn’t deemed of sufficient quality for Brunello production. The vast majority of the growers will therefore declassify their Brunellos into early drinking Rosso di Montalcino.
The 2013 vintage
In contrast to the extreme warmth and heat spikes experienced in 2011 and 2012, 2013 saw a return to cooler, more moderate and even conditions. The vintage was marked by cool temperatures from start to finish yet the sun shone throughout. Very little rain fell after the early part of the summer but due to the cooler temperatures, this was destined to be a much later harvest. Many growers began picking 20 days later than normal to ensure their grapes had reached optimum ripeness.
The style of the wines
The overriding impression of 2013 is that this is a vintage of wonderful balance and elegance; the best wines display great energy and precision. The alcohol levels are lower than in 2012 and 2011 and the finest examples are classic and balanced and bear many similarities to the successful vintages of the late eighties. There is a delightful vibrancy and fine tannic structure that will allow the 2013s to age for 10-15 years at the upper end. Last week the sales team at Goedhuis blind tasted 20 samples across an array of growers. What is particularly apparent this year is that the success of the vintage was down the individual winemaker making crucial decisions at right times and in no small measure, the location of the vineyard sites. The best growers who have the luxury of several vineyards from which to choose, have exploited the cooler conditions and made an outstanding 2013 Brunello.
Hosted by David Roberts MW & Catherine Petrie MW
The Dining Room, Goedhuis & Co, 156-170 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ 7.00 for 7.15pm, Tuesday 20th March 2018
Tickets cost £140 per person
As part of London Burgundy Week 2018 we are delighted to invite you to this unique event, pitting our two Masters of Wine against each other. Each will be championing an appellation, one from the Côte de Nuits and one from the Côte de Beaune. David will put his 20+ year’s Burgundy buying experience into action to expound the excellence of Gevrey Chambertin. Catherine will be advocating Pommard’s delights, her already extensive knowledge deepened by spending the past two harvests making wine at one of the top domaines in the village.
During the course of the evening these two heavy-weight appellations will be revealed in all their glory. Four pairs of wines from Village to Grand Cru level from eight superb domaines will be tasted alongside a delicious Burgundian dinner created to match the wines.
I very much hope you can join us. Tickets cost £140 per person, and we have just 20 places available, so do let know as soon as possible if you would like to attend.
Pommard Les Vaumuriens Domaine de Courcel 2015
Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Christian Sérafin 2015
The “Two Years On” tasting of Bordeaux, commonly known as the Southwold Tasting, owes its origins to the journalist Clive Coates MW and the former chairman of Adnams Brewery, Simon Loftus. Simon hosted the first event at his home in Southwold in 1982. The concept was simple: review the Bordeaux vintage that was bottled two years previously and three years after their primeur release. The wines would be tasted blind in flights. The inaugural tasting was a modest affair, with just 30 wines, amongst them all the first growths plus some other highly sought-after estates from the right and left banks. Today it has grown to encompass some 20 professionals, consisting of leading UK journalists and importers. We rely on the help of two négociant friends from Bordeaux, Bill Blatch and Hamish Wakes Walker, who collect the 250 samples kindly donated by the Châteaux for us to taste blind over the course of two days. It is a unique event and the only one of its kind around the world.
This year it was 2014’s turn to be sniffed, swilled, dissected, and complimented or not, as the case may be. In my report at primeur time, my comments were that whilst some of the best wines tended to come from the later ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, it was more importantly a vintage where terroir and location were crucial, and showed itself to be a vintage where the origins of the great Bordeaux hierarchy was clearly on display.
It is almost three years since we tasted the wines en primeur and, on re-tasting, we discovered that our initial thoughts in terms of style, quality, value and favourite wines were fully endorsed. In reality, at such an early stage in a wine’s development, the charm of the primeur puppy fat having gone, but before the wine has reached its pomp of maturity, this is never the easiest of blind tastings. It was clear though that for the best wines this was Bordeaux’s strongest vintage since the great 2010. Slightly less easy on the palate than 2012, but with a greater poise, brightness and direction. Some tasters were tempted to compare it to the vibrant 1996 vintage, which is showing so very well today. It did also highlight that this was not a vintage to purchase across the board. The less well positioned vineyards seemed to struggle to achieve optimum ripeness as a result of the cooler summer conditions. In the Médoc I was delighted that estates such as La Lagune and Lanessan showed a natural poise; in a similar way to Denis Durantou’s little properties of La Chenade and Les Cruzelles in Lalande-de-Pomerol which both showed lovely promise at affordable prices.
On the right bank, whilst it was slightly less obvious at primeur time, over the course of the two days, our impression was that St Emilion had outperformed Pomerol. Only time will tell if this remains the case. Two favourites of ours during the primeurs showed real distinction again: Ch Canon and Ch Figeac. But as I mentioned at release time, I felt some tasters might underestimate Vieux Château Certan’s sheer class due to its elegance and refinement, and again, I felt this was the case during the Southwold blind tasting. For me it was an absolute joy and a must-keep wine in any cellar.
Whilst the famed appellations and estates of the Médoc made up the core of the list in the top 20 based on our combined scores, it shouldn’t be ignored that wines 3 – 9 came from Pessac-Léognan (La Mission in 3rd place, and Haut Brion); Pomerol (Petrus and Le Pin); and St Emilion (Angelus, Ausone and Cheval Blanc). The two stand-out wines were Mouton-Rothschild (1st place) followed by Latour (not released en primeur).
Following this distinct band of great names Ch Léoville Barton in St Julien came in 10th place. Léoville Barton has always been a favourite of ours at Goedhuis. Today this estate is run by three generations of Bartons: Anthony, his daughter Lilian, and grandchildren Damien and Mélanie. They got everything right in 2014. It is a truly joyous wine that will give pleasure at dinner tables round the world for many years to come.
In short, the best Cabernet vineyards did extremely well. In St Estèphe I loved Montrose, which was deep and intense whilst maintaining finesse. Calon was also excellent as was Phélan Ségur, always a star performer at this tasting.
Pauillac had many highlights but the must mention wines are Pichon Lalande, and Xavier Borie’s superb Grand Puy Lacoste and fine value Haut Batailley. However the outright winner was Lynch Bages – a superlative wine this year.
St Julien showed what a remarkably consistent appellation it is. Léoville Las Cases a wine that I scored equal to the Barton and showed enormous potential and breeding. The Ducru- Beaucaillou was exquisite, polished and beautifully giving.
Finally, on the left bank, the wines of Margaux. These can be a little overlooked at this tasting. This year the top four were Palmer, Rauzan Ségla, Brane Cantenac and Issan, which absolutely shone, sitting well alongside the very best of the vintage. (Sadly, the Ch Margaux was corked).
South of Bordeaux city in Pessac-Léognan, I found the red wines more interesting than the whites. I particularly loved Domaine de Chevalier and Haut Bailly, whilst not forgetting the bolder but classy nature of both Smith Haut Lafitte and Pape Clément. Heading south still further we arrive at the Sauternes. The Château owners rate their 2014s very highly, but my impressions of two years ago that this “was a vintage not necessarily of complexity but one which will give huge pleasure to lovers of sweet late-picked wines” remain the same. Whether due to palate fatigue at the end of two long days, or their style, again the 2014 sweet wines appeared no more than that: they are lovely wines but greatness does not await them.
To conclude, this was a fascinating tasting. The 2014 vintage was released at a time when exchange rates were favourable for the UK and Châteaux owners had priced their wines very favourably after three weaker primeur campaigns. For those who bought en primeur, today they look excellent buys. Even today prices still look sensible and will offer some fine drinking not many years henceforth.
Vieux Château Certan Pomerol Charming aromas of plums and damsons, with a hint of herbaceous Cabernet Franc. This is a wine with harmony and gentle charm. The natural generosity of fruit is balanced with lovely elegance. Very long and very refined.
Ch Haut Batailley 5ème Cru Pauillac Radiant purple colour. This has a very exuberant nose of wild bramble fruits with a touch of vanilla pod. In the palate it has a superb degree of intensity. Vibrant and fresh, with a structured Pauillac tannic core. A wine punching considerably above its classification.
Ch Pichon Lalande 2ème Cru Pauillac A real show stopper, with striking plum pudding aromas. A wine which balances the natural grace of Pichon Lalande with the inherent power of Pauillac. Full and mouthcoating, this will need time in bottle, but is a truly superb wine.
Ch Ducru Beaucaillou 2ème Cru St Julien A glorious example of St Julien and the benefits of its warmer vineyards that sit alongside the Gironde Estuary. Beautifully scented, with hints of violets and summer pudding fruits. In the palate this is generous, with rich fruit and a fine silky tannic structure. A beautifully textured wine, with subtle freshness and great length. A real joy.
Ch La Lagune 3ème Cru Haut-Médoc A very composed wine, not a powerhouse. It shows classy Cabernet Sauvignon drive, with freshness and restraint. A wine which will be approachable relatively early, and will be very rewarding.
Ch Lanessan Cru Bourgeois Haut-Médoc A wine which showed the benefit of its location close to St Julien. It has an appealing fresh herbal red fruit aroma. It offers everything that Ch Lanessan does so well: true Médoc character, with a drive of fresh Cabernet energy. The tannins provide substance and length, aided by a gentle sweetness of fruit on the finish.
Ch Montrose 2ème Cru St Estèphe A very polished wine, with hints of cedarwood, coffee bean and spice on the nose. In the palate the initial attack is one of power and intensity, and then the richness of the fruit takes hold to reveal a wine of subtlety underneath. Beautifully integrated and very long.
Ch Mouton Rothschild 1er Cru Pauillac Blackcurrants and cassis on the nose. This wine shows what separates a first growth from the rest. It is so layered with hints of spice, dark berry fruits and truffles. A generous wine that retains poise and restraint. It has both power and grace. I wanted to keep on tasting this wine and can’t wait to drink it properly when fully mature! Deservedly the top wine of the 2 days.
We were delighted to act as hosts again for Sarah Marsh MW’s second “Time to Mature Tasting” at our offices on Bermondsey Street last week. In June last year Sarah had arranged a wonderful selection of mature white Burgundies to taste with a select number of wine journalist friends, sommeliers and wine merchants. This time it was Pinot Noir’s turn. With the support of a number of Sarah’s vigneron friends she amassed a stunning selection of wines from the now fully mature 2001 and 2000 vintages. All the samples came from the growers’ personal cellars and therefore provenance was 100% guaranteed and, although a touch biased, I think our new tasting facilities on Bermondsey Street provided the perfect environment to taste these wines in the very best of conditions!
Personally, this was a unique opportunity to remind myself of the individual characteristics of the two vintages. I had tasted both en primeur in cask at the turn of the century, but to taste such a flight 18 years later was a rare treat indeed. My memory of the two vintages was that 2000 has always been a somewhat overlooked vintage for the red wines. At the time of their release their attraction was their balance, they were never big wines but had a beautiful Pinot purity, relatively delicate tannic structure and a subtle acidity. I have always enjoyed their charm and whilst they are not big wines, it has been a vintage which has always given pleasure and it is a sadness that it never received the recognition it deserved. The 2001 vintage in contrast was released with a little more hype. From cask they were bolder in style, appeared to have a greater degree of substance, with a firmer tannic core, whilst the best had a fine bright freshness giving the impression that this was the vintage with greater potential for longer ageing. So how do they compare today?
Suffice to say, I still love the 2000s, I always have done and always will. The very best were quite simply gorgeous… But they are not the vintage I am going to write about, I will leave that to my buying colleague Catherine Petrie MW to comment on in her blog. I am going to focus on the 2001 vintage and highlight some of my favourites.
2001 was not the easiest of years in the vineyard. It was remembered as a wet, cool and slightly cloudy year. Flowering was late and due to the humidity at the time, there was a certain amount of mildew in some vineyards, more predominantly in the Côte de Beaune. It was a year where green harvesting was important to minimise an excess of bunches and allow the limited amount of sunshine to maximise its potential in ripening the berries. In addition, at the time, it appeared to favour the later pickers at the end of the month of September benefitting from a longer hang time and the drying winds which concentrated the fruit and reduced the yields. Seventeen years on, perhaps the division is not quite so clear cut.
In our tasting of 22 wines, whilst we didn’t have harvest dates to hand for the individual growers in the tasting, some wines (which I suspect were at the latter end of the spectrum), appeared to lack some flesh and the dried berry tannins were beginning to monopolise making the wines rather hard and possibly past their best. In contrast there were some exquisite wines that still balanced sufficient concentration with bright mature gamey aged sweet Pinot flavours and subtle freshness. There were few wines that I would suggest will develop further in bottle and therefore the majority I recommend for immediate consumption. With only 3 wines from the Côte de Beaune it is difficult to say whether it was a Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits vintage. The accepted wisdom is that the northern appellations did better and I suspect the limited showing of wines from the south to a certain extent supports this. My abiding memory is that the best have what Pinot Noir does so well: they focused on sweet, subtle, gamey red fruits flavours with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. They are old in colour and style, but have a degree of refinement and are a testament to the most dedicated vignerons can do in years when the climatic conditions are not the easiest.
We tasted 21 different wines and whilst not listing them all, the highlights were as below.
2001 Pommard, 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux Comte Armand
A favourite estate of ours, made by former winemaker Benjamin Leroux. Brilliant shining Victorian red brick colour. Attractive gamey aromas with hints of autumnal scent and hints of fresh truffles. This is a broad and full style, but maintains a lovely natural sweetness of fruit, with a tight tannic core underneath. Very long and absolutely in its pomp of drinking.
2001 Vosne Romanée, Clos du Château, Domaine Comte Ligier Belair
Louis-Michel’s second vintage and the consensus is that domaine has evolved considerably since the early days, but I thought this wine from the walled vineyards around the family Château in the middle of the village was absolutely sensational. Totally opposite in style to the Comte Armand wine, this has a delicate orange and garnet hue. This is all about delicacy and grace, with its gentle flavours of cherries. The tannins are incredibly fine and despite its extraordinary subtlety the flavours linger forever (By chance I was lucky enough to enjoy the 2007 from the same vineyard this week and it was equally rewarding. The delicacy and femininity are obviously key characteristics of this monopole).
2001 Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier
Expectations are always high when one tastes this famed vineyard that snuggles closely alongside Grand Cru Musigny and as a result opinions were divided, but I loved it! Brilliant shining brick red colour, with hints of fresh cherries and sweet raspberries on the nose. A more delicate style than some had anticipated, but I felt this was to its favour. Extraordinarily pure, focusing totally on natural Pinot fruits, the wine is beautifully layered, with a natural intensity. Nothing is forced, it relies totally on the quality of its terroir and its 60 year old vines. This wine exudes class. What a treat.
2001 Clos St Denis Domaine Dujac
A total showstopper and an indication of its absolute class that in such an esteemed group of wines, it was the absolute winner amongst the 21 wines for this vintage. Shining young purple colour, it looks and smells so youthful, with its striking sweet wild strawberry aromas. In the palate it has harmony and balance, with refined sweet wild hedgerow fruits. It is elegant and yet fleshy, with incredible intensity, but there is nothing to excess. The flavours just go on and on, which I am so grateful for as you just don’t want the experience to finish. I will be hard pushed to taste a better wine again in 2018! Perfection!
2001 Mazoyeres Chambertin Domaine Perrot-Minot
Mazoyeres is within Charmes Chambertin and many domaines sell under the more recognised name as it is a little easier to pronounce! Not a domaine I know well, but the sweet vibrant cocoa and coffee been aromas instantly caught the eye. This has a real “sauvage” character, with its wild hedgerow fruits, a wine with power and structure, incredibly vigorous, with a vibrant energetic freshness on the finish. Very classy .
2001 Bonnes Mares Domaine Roumier
Domaine Roumier needs little introduction as one of the Côte de Nuits’ great estates. I was really looking forward to tasting this wine, but in essence it is still an absolute baby. This for me was one of the hardest wines to taste, its deep rooted powerful intensity seemed to take control of the fruit and I suspect we were tasting 10 years to early. This was the only wine in the flight I would recommend you sit tight and let it evolve before it reaches its time of greatness. Watch this space.
2001 Chambertin Domaine Rossignol-Trapet
As former England captain Michael Vaughan would say, “form is temporary, class is permanent”. This domaine has a fine reputation but for some people it occasionally underperformed. This superb wine shows the greatness of its origins and is everything that the famed Grand Cru of Chambertin should be. Shining purple colour, it is still remarkably youthful. Striking aromas of sweet preserved fruits, in the palate it is beautifully layered. With a feeling of composure the initial sweetness of fruit is balanced by an intense tannic core. It is very long and will be the perfect accompaniment to well-hung game. A wine exemplifying the regal class of Le Chambertin.
To conclude this tasting was an absolute joy and very special thanks must go to all the domaines who supported the event and in particular Sarah Marsh who made this tasting happened. Roll on the next one…
Take advantage of their Spring landing charge and rent amnesty to consolidate your fine wines in the perfect secure environment
When several merchants went into receivership in the mid-1980s taking their customers’ wines with them, Johnny and Laura Goedhuis addressed the issue head on by founding an independent wine storage company. In light of recent upheavals in the wine trade this decision seems as relevant as ever.
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To celebrate their 30th anniversary, Private Reserves are offering an unrivalled opportunity to consolidate your fine wines with no landing fees and a rent-free period from now until 1st April 2018.
Managing Director Laura Goedhuis comments, “Clients are usually very loyal to their wine merchants and wine storage providers, the only real spur for moving wines between bonded warehouses is either to consolidate a cellar for ease of practical management, or for greater peace of mind. For example, we have recently seen a number of former Loeb clients move their cellars into Private Reserves.”
She adds, “Buying from more than one wine merchant can result in wine stored in various different bonds around the country, which can make keeping track of wines an administrative nightmare. This is the perfect occasion to bring your cellar together in a single secure location.”
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Storage rates for 2018/2019 are £11.25 (£13.50 inc VAT) for a case of 12 bottles and £5.62 (£6.75 inc VAT) for a case of 6 bottles per annum. Private Reserves’ storage year runs from April 1st to March 31st but wines received during the year are charged pro-rata for the number of months remaining. For example, a wine received at the beginning of October will be charged at 50% of the annual rate. This price also includes insurance.
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Last Wednesday we kicked any lingering January blues into the long grass with a magnificent tasting in the Goedhuis tasting room organised by Sarah Marsh MW. A full report of the day’s wines will be available on Sarah’s blog: http://theburgundybriefing.com/burgundy-tastings/ where she will detail her own thoughts and collate those of the other tasters.
Sarah had sourced wines from across the Côte d’Or, showing 22 wines from the 2001 vintage and 15 from the 2000 vintage. All the wines had been kindly donated by the growers, coming directly from their cellars in Burgundy. Many thanks to all who took part, it was a unique and fascinating event.
David Roberts MW will discuss the 2001 wines in more detail in a separate blog, and so it falls to me to address the 2000 vintage.
Having not tasted the 2001 or 2000 vintages in their youth I came to this tasting as a relative novice. Sarah is particularly interested in seeing how these great Burgundies age, and this was the second event she has arranged around this theme (the first was a tasting of 2008 White Burgundies, further details here: http://theburgundybriefing.com/2008whitetimetomature/). As professionals we happily have regular opportunities to taste many great wines from Burgundy in their youth, often from barrel. And whilst we might be lucky enough to taste mature bottles on occasion, it is a rare luxury to taste such a range of appellations and producers from the same vintage, peer against peer.
Sarah had invited a group of sommeliers, wine journalists and wine buyers to the event. What became clear in discussions over the lunch that followed was how varied our impressions were, how diverse our preferences. Indeed, there was little consensus over whether the 2000s or the 2001s had shown better. Rather feebly, I concede I couldn’t make my mind up. Both flights had their highs and lows. My top two were one from each: 2000 Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche and 2001 Dujac Clos St Denis.
Below, I have picked 8 wines from the 2000 flight that I particularly enjoyed.
Domaine Tollot-Beaut Aloxe Corton 2000 Given that this followed a crescendo of 2001 grands crus, this little village wine showed commendable pluck, more than holding its own in a tasting of, on paper, much more senior wines.
Pale brick red. Dried black tea and gun smoke nose, with berry fruits in the background. Grainy tannins supplying admirable structure to the crunchy red fruits. This was a very pleasant surprise.
Domaine Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux 2000 Well what can I say, I am probably a little biased. Both the 2000 and 2001 were included, and on balance I think I marginally preferred the 2001, however this 2000 was also very good, and my top pick of the Côte de Beaune 2000s.
[Decanted before tasting] Something faintly Cabernet-esque on the nose: brambles and smoke. The tannins are grippier than the 2001, lending Pommard’s recognised structure to what I consider one of the most nuanced and elegant wines of the appellation. Showing evident development of flavour, the wine retains tension across the palate.
Domaine Chandon de Briailles Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses 2000 Goedhuis & Co have a long history with this wonderful domaine in Savigny lès Beaune. It is one of the most beautiful properties in the region, matched by the superb quality of their vineyards. The wines often show best after some ageing, so it was a pleasure to taste this 2000.
Pale garnet. Spice on the nose. The palate has retained its tannic integrity over the years and the finish is long and savoury.
Domaine Michel Gros Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Aux Brulées 2000 My first encounter with this domaine. Four of their wines were in the tasting (sadly one of the 2001s was corked). They showed well, with this being my marginal favourite.
Pale garnet/brick. Vosne’s delicate, sweet red fruit still alive on the nose. The palate has the silky flow of juicy autumn raspberries. Altogether charming.
Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses A fabled vineyard in this producer’s hand. What struck me most was the delicacy of the Mugnier wines.
A lightly spiced nose with whispers of smoky charcoal. The palate had a gliding smoothness, and there was poise in the tender fruit that flowed across the palate. Not the most powerful style, but one of the most light-footed.
Domaine Jean Tardy Clos de Vougeot Grand Maupertuis Grand Cru 2000 Another new domaine for me, I was rather taken by this handsome wine. The 2000 would have been one of the final vintages Jean vinified before handing over the reins to son Guillaume in 2003. The Clos de Vougeot parcel has since ceded back to Méo-Camuzet, with whom the Tardy family had a share cropping agreement.
Medium garnet, with a touch more colour than some others in the flight. The healthy dose of new oak during its élevage has yielded a sweetly spiced perfume with time in bottle. The palate has tones of macerated wild strawberries and supple tannins. [Note to self: needs food!]
Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de La Roche Grand Cru 2000 This domaine needs no introduction, and the Clos de la Roche, positioned towards the end of the line-up, promised potential as a high point of the day’s tasting. Not all my fellow tasters will agree, but for me, this really did live up to my expectations.
A brilliant garnet lustre, the aromas showed such purity and poise. Fabulously complex and simultaneously utterly harmonious: all elements perfectly pitched, and integrated as one. The quality of the tannins was unsurpassed by any others in the flight.
Domaine Pierre Damoy Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2000 Yet another new estate for me. I learned they have many admirers now, but their fame has been more recently won than some others here. With four wines in the tasting it was an opportunity to see the dimensions of this domaine back in the early 2000s, and whilst not all the cuvées won me over, this was highly impressive.
Pale garnet. Intense nose of mature Pinot – sous bois, strawberries, leather and spice. The palate had a pleasingly chewy volume combined with gliding elegance of excellent quality fruit. Delicious.