Burgundy Grand Cru Horizontal 2017
The largest bracket with nine wines and also one of the most thrilling with most of them really showing their terroir and also the high toned and heady aromatics of the vintage. It was really a wonderful set of wines that showed Gevrey in all its wild and rugged glory.
A few of the things that deserved honourable mentions were the Leroy Latricieres who in most peoples hands would be considered a ‘B grade’ GC but in the hands of the Lalou transcended its climat and was the highest scored wine of the day.
The Bruno Clair Clos de Beze was a real surprise and it is great to see this venerable estate back on form, twice now we have used their wines in large blind tastings against some super star wines and seen them come up trumps.
Denis Mortet Chambertin, the communes most important GC and in the hands of an estate whose reputation is built on powerful wines that also show a beguiling elegance and sophistication, on the day it did all of those things and looked every inch the top flight GC it is.
Rousseau Ruchottes, from a B grade GC but in the hands of one of the Cotes most beloved producers and it was beautiful. Interesting to see that those most familiar with the domaine managed to guess who it was.
Domaine Leroy Latricieres (95.76)
Equal 2nd Bruno Clair Clos des Beze and Denis Mortet Chambertin (95.64)
Morey-Saint-Denis & Chambolle-Musigny
Here we really got a feeling for the transition in communes and it was noted by a lot of the group that the wines from these two were more heady, giving, generous and well rounded. The attractive aromatics and plush, pliable and sultry aspect to the wines won some fans. Like the Gevrey bracket this couldn’t have been mistaken as anything but Chambolle and Morey.
Domaine Newman Bonnes Mares (95.05)
Ponsot Clos de la Roche (95)
Benjamin Leroux Clos st Denis (94.76)
Vougeot and Echezeaux
An interesting bracket and again it was noted that we could see the power and plushness in the wines, an indication we were approaching Vosne. Here there was a bracket of muscular and rich wines of density and structure. The average score here was higher than the previous brackets.
Chateau de la Tour Clos Vougeot VV (95.88)
Dujac Echezeaux (95.58)
While the range of scores here was quite large, as a general rule, the overall quality of the bracket was very high. As was mentioned 2013 is not a particularly strong vintage for whites however the quality of the producers was evident here and in particular the Bonneau, Bernard Moreau and all of the Boillot wines were excellent. A point in case for the adage ‘producer, producer, producer’.
While the richness of 13 was evident the best of the bracket had loads of extract from the vintages small yields and small berries as well as firm acidity. The Montrachet was textbook and Michael’s comment about it looking like ‘there was layer upon layer of flavor that feels like it has all been compressed’ really resonated with me. You could feel the sheer size of the wine and while it was cut through by a nice backbone of acidity and buffered by incredible amounts of dry extract it gave the impression of being a tightly wound spring, just waiting to explode.
Henri Boillot Montrachet (96.29)
Equal 2nd Bernard Moreau Batard and Bonneau Du Martray Corton Charlemagne (95.58)
The least of the brackets if the scores are anything to go by, but this was to be expected. Corton is the only red Grand Cru in the Cotes de Beaune and while the wines looked true to type the muscle and phenolics seemed to be a bit too intrusive for the group.
Meo Camuzet Corton Clos Rognet (93.82)
It is a little difficult to sum up a bracket like this, but I will try. It was obvious by the high scores that most of the group loved this set, as we hoped. Vosne is the patriarch of the cote (Chambolle is its queen) and the wines showed their aristocratic and noble side on Saturday. Here we found six wines that were impeccably well crafted and obviously from exceptional climats. There was the richness and palate staining minerality one expects from Vosne as well as the enticing and heady aromatics and thick, plush and powerful fruit.
I think the comment of the day was from Mark Welsh who explained that the wine moved past simple aromatics and worked its way in to your brain (he used some big words that I think a few of us may not have heard before). For me it was an emotional set of wines and the La Tache in particular tugged at the part of me that keeps me working in this industry, it evoked a sense that this was not just wine but something more than that, something unique, special and even profound and I could see on the faces of those tasting the wine that the sentiment was shared.
Domaine de la Romanee Conti La Tache (98)
Hudelot Noellat Romanee st Vivant (97)
Grivot Richebourg (96.82)
Lamarche La Grande Rue (96.76)
Comtes du Liger Belair La Romanee (96.70)
Domaine de la Romanee Conti Romanee Conti (96.35)