Red Burgfest 2014

The red wines of 2014 have been eclipsed in the world’s eye by the exceptional success of the vintage for white burgundy. It has been a while since attention was focused this way round. Yet conditions were such that we could expect a fine vintage for red burgundy with delicious fruit-forward wines suited to medium-term drinking, though allowance should be made for hail in the Côte de Beaune and possibly some drosophile damage in the Côte de Nuits.

There was nothing in the Côte de Beaune wines which could be considered a goût de grêle, the sort of mustiness which comes from damaged berries which have then dried and imparted off flavours to the wine, but it is true that the hail has impacted a little bit on the gracefulness of the wines from the affected area, as well as significantly on the volumes. Similarly there was little or no evidence of anything acetic from the drosophile, but occasional wines tasted as if they had been picked before optimal ripeness.

So much for the potential problems. The good news is that there are many delicious wines in 2014, albeit relatively few that will be considered truly great over the decades. The style of the successful 2014s is to be accessible and delicious, with an abundance of red fruit, no holes in the middle, no aggressive tannins, and in most instances correct acidity. I see them becoming good to drink at premier cru level within 10 years

Whole-bunch vinification met with mixed success in 2014. There were some quite delicious wines (the 1er cru Morey St Denis from Dujac comes to mind), but others showed an aggressive character where the fruit was not quite ripe enough.

A few wines showed some evolved notes. This needs keeping an eye on, but the likeliest explanation at this stage is that the wines remain unsettled in their adolescence. Some famous wines did not impress the tasters, being clearly awkward at the moment, but a few calming years in bottle should restore them to balance.

Where wines have been bottled under DIAM – much rarer for the reds than the whites – this has been noted. 8 bottles (3.2%) were clearly corked or otherwise deviant.

Particular plaudits go to Domaines Robert Chevillon and Taupenot-Merme for consistent excellence across the samples submitted.

Beaune

Two flights of Beaune wines showed the effects of the hail – no off flavours, but nonetheless a slight coarsening of the fruit in some wines and a lack of the harmonious flow of fruit across the palate which would typify the finest vintages. But these are mostly good wines which will be ready to drink in the medium term.

Flight 1: mixed Beaune 1er Cru

Beaune Vignes Franches, Dominique Lafon          87

Fine full mid-red, a wealth of attractive fresh red berry fruit, beautifully poised. A little bit of tannic structure to resolve over the next five years but a fine, effortless Beaune. DIAM 30.

Beaune Clos du Roi, Domaine Tollot Beaut          86

Good depth of colour, fairly concentrated fruit, a little less suave than some. Full ripe sensual, balanced. Plenty of oak but enough fruit to manage. Good length. DIAM 10.

Beaune Clos des Marconnets, Domaine Chanson          85

Bright medium deep red. Full, moderately sensual fruit. Some weight to this, with darker fruit notes, drier but a bit rough at the back. Some liquorice.

Beaune Clos du Roi, Domaine Camus Bruchon          85

Bright. Translucent red, easy going light fruit on the nose, attractive. Then geraniums. Could be some whole-bunch, but showing rather artificially.

Beaune Aigrots, Sébastien Magnien          85

Medium colour with somewhat faded rim. Attractive middleweight fruit, dry rather than sensual. Attractive primary red fruit, though somewhat angular in style. Few tannins, just enough acidity.

Beaune Perrières, Domaine de Montille           84

This wine sent rather mixed signals. Bright mid red, elegant nose, what one wants from Beaune, However this is lacking a little bit of energy behind, quite high in acidity, pleasing but short of fine. Oak emerges somewhat at the back. The acidity is rather high. DIAM 30.

Flight 2: Beaune Grèves

Beaune Grèves, Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus, Bouchard Père & Fils          90

Medium bright colour, a little muddied at the edges, some lively notes again. Floral notes, then an unexpected weight of fruit on the palate with significantly more to offer at the back. The Beaune with the most to offer for the future in this tasting.

Beaune Grèves, Château de Meursault          88

Medium deep bright red with some lively fruit and a little oak. Powerful fresh red fruit, just ripe, well integrated oak. Fair muscle to this, which suits the vineyard.

Beaune Grèves, Joseph Drouhin          87

Brisk deepish red, flamboyant fruit with a whole bunch feel, lively and exciting. On the edge of something reductive but the energy of the fruit wins.

Beaune Grèves, Domaine des Croix          87

Darkish medium deep red, quite sombre, slight vegetal notes at first. A little light raspberry, actually quite elegant. Good length and distinction. Freshens up nicely

Beaune Grèves, Domaine Tollot Beaut          85

Good depth of colour, full darkish fruit allied to considerable oak. Even more oak on the palate, which dominates the wine, a little more than was the case with their Clos du Roi.

Beaune Grèves, Domaine de Bellene          85

Robust full dark red, the nose is closed at first but suggests weight and quality. Which the palate then delivers. Dark raspberry fruit, quite high acidity, some tannins but not too much – maybe a bit forced. Perhaps just too backward to be singing at the moment?

Beaune Grèves, Domaine Chanson          Corked

Volnay

After the slight anonymity of the Beaune wines, it was pleasing to discover Volnay typicity in the bouquets, even if the hoped-for class did not necessarily follow through in the complete wine. There was more fruit weight in the second flight (Taillepieds, Clos des Chênes, Caillerets) but it was the final short flight of five Santenots wines which provided the greatest interest – wines with definite weight which needed time to assess. There were several very good wines from this vineyard, in contrasting styles.

Flight One

Volnay Champans, Domaine François Buffet          90

Fine bright colour, lively fruit, racy, maintains the necessary elegance, this has the mid-palate depth which many others are lacking. Very classy wine, long and fine.

Volnay Champans, Domaine des Comtes Lafon           90

Medium deep colour with some weight to the nose, good energy of fruit on the palate, slightly on the sturdy side, with fine, fresh acidity following through. This has got an extra dimension compared to most of its neighbours, good acidity and quite a long follow through.

Volnay Les Angles, Louis Boillot          87

Bright attractive fruit, a little bit of vegetal along with fresh raspberries and a touch of spice. This intriguing mix continues on the palate and the length is there. This may be a little bit dry for a while, but should evolve into an ethereal wine of light to medium body with time.

Volnay Les Lurets, Dominique Lafon          86

Firm dense dark fruit, a touch of white pepper and strawberry, but lively and interesting. Firm oak, and the dry character will probably prevail. Slightly more oak than fruit at the finish. DIAM 30.

Volnay Clos du Château des Ducs, Domaine Michel Lafarge          86

Light- to medium-deep colour, elegant fruit, quite accessible. There is a thread of something quite firm through the middle, slightly at odds with Volnay. Oak emerges but perhaps not too much.

Volnay Clos de la Rougeotte, Domaine François Buffet          85

One of the paler colours with a lively, fresh strawberry nose that evolves a bit towards tinned fruit. Medium-bodied, agreeable in the short to medium term, rather than fine.

Volnay Les Pitures Dessus, Benjamin Leroux          85

Fine bright medium-deep red, with a classy and moderately intense nose. Good flesh on the palate, very slightly dry behind, but this will resolve. Somewhat sombre at the moment though.

Volnay Mitans, Domaine Rebourgeon Mure          corked

Exuberant soft fruit damaged by TCA.

Flight Two: Clos des Chênes, Taillepieds, Caillerets

Volnay Clos des Chênes, Domaine Michel Lafarge          90

Bright colour, quite dense, as yet ungiving bouquet. There is a huge amount in this wine; it builds substantially to the back. For a difficult vintage, this displays an amazing wealth of muscular fruit – definitely a wine for the long term.

Volnay Taillepieds, Domaine François Buffet          89

Fine bright colour of medium density. An elegant, quintessentially Volnay nose, middleweight at most but stylish. Full of fruit with good acidity beneath, a lot of oak, perhaps a tiny bit too plump for the highest class. But no, this comes back to balance nicely.

Volnay Taillepieds, Domaine de Montille          88

Medium-deep red, some green notes to the bouquet. Whole bunches. Develops more florally. There is real concentration here, an impressive intensity that will deliver something impressive in the long run – but only to those prepared to tolerate a measure of under-ripeness. DIAM 30.

Volnay Clos des Chênes, Domaine des Comtes Lafon          87

Good depth of colour, and some lively fruit, but perhaps an acetic tinge. Something a bit hot too. This is ungainly, disjointed at the moment. Just backward, for the parts do come together much better subsequently. DIAM 30.

Volnay Clos des Chênes, Château de Meursault          87

Fine full deep red with a significant volume of fruit on the nose. This has weight and density, though it could use a hint more elegance I think. Perhaps the oak is currently too prominent.

Volnay Caillerets, Ancienne Cuvée Carnot, Bouchard Père & Fils          85

Full colour, dense, rather tarry nose, quite oaky and quite extracted. The tarry side to the barrel affects the palate as well.

Volnay Caillerets, Clos des 60 Ouvrées, Domaine de la Pousse d’Or          85

Rich deep colour, plump fruit but agreeably accessible. Relatively rich fruit, stops just short of prunes, a hint of something medicinal behind, but very long and substantial.

Flight Three: Santenots

Volnay Les Santenots, Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay          90

Dark red purple with a concentrated bouquet. Complete, full, delicious, balanced, middleweight but with a great deal of charm, though the finish has been slightly dried by the oak. Intense and long.

Volnay Les Santenots, Domaine Henri Boillot          89

Plump dark colour with a rich nose, balancing fruit and oak. The oak is indeed quite present but there is probably enough concentration of fruit to match it. A little touch of acidity, tannins not evident. On the cusp with the oak and the fruit but I like this.

Volnay Les Santenots du Milieu, Domaine Arnaud Ente          89

Medium depth of colour, with a lighter, muddier rim. Lovely whole-bunch bouquet, though with some evolution. Very sensual, liquorice notes, dark cherries, a bit of pepper, very good length. I don’t associate whole bunches with Santenots but this is long and lovely

Volnay Santenots, Domaine Rebourgeon Mure          87

Vibrant fruit, long and lively, is there a hint of something stewed on the palate. Good weight but I would have liked a mite more freshness.

Volnay Santenots du Milieu, Domaine des Comtes Lafon          87

Bright dense colour with a full, concentrated bouquet. Very solid, just a suggestion of green somewhere in there, but this may add to the complexity. But the oak dominates strongly. Backward; a wine to revisit later on. DIAM 30.

Pommard

After Volnay, we came to a deeply depressing first flight of Pommards, and even Rugiens did not reach the quality levels it can attain. There were of course one or two good wines, but overall the conditions obtaining in 2014 have meant that the grapes were not quite ripe enough for Pommard to achieve what we would have hoped for. In particular whole-bunch fermentation in Pommard in 2014 seems ill-advised.

Flight One

Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Domaine du Comte Armand          89

Clear, bright, quite deep colour with an orthodox nose in an otherwise somewhat weird flight. Some richness behind, Pommard orthodoxy, good weight and length.

Pommard Clos des Epenots, Château de Meursault          88

Bright, medium-deep colour, some reduction which blows off, quite good linear intensity, tight, powerful. This should have a good future.

Pommard Les Fremiers, Louis Boillot          87

Firm, concentrated colour and typically ungiving Pommard bouquet. Rather attractive on the palate with a good balance between fruit, oak and acidity. Not a blockbuster but quite well balanced.

Pommard Le Clos Blanc, Launay Horiot          86

Rich deep colour, a little bit muddied, intense and luxuriously floral nose. Bizarre. The green and the opulence do not marry well. DIAM 10.

Pommard Clos du Verger, Pascal Clement          85

One of the less-deep colours, though bright, with rich floral notes to the bouquet. Attar of roses, then a trace of green behind. Almost Turkish delight. Hard to tell really where this will go.

Pommard Grand Clos des Epenots, Domaine de Courcel          83

Quite dark colour but then an unexpected fresh, green apple nose. Box and cats pee. Very hard to judge in its youth though (often the case with de Courcel).

Pommard Les Pézérolles, Domaine AF Gros          80

Medium deep colour, a touch sombre. Sweet and a bit tarry on the nose.

Flight Two: Les Rugiens

Pommard Les Rugiens-bas, Domaine Launay Horiot          90

Bright dense and moderately weighty nose. Delicious fruit, very easy to appreciate, with enough weight behind to justify its Rugiens status. DIAM 10.

Pommard Les Rugiens, Domaine François Buffet          89

Paler colour, fresh aromatics, whole bunches. The fruit is ripe enough to manage this approach though the finish remains notably fresh. Some pepperiness, very good length and the fruit is as classy as one would hope.

Pommard Les Rugiens, Bernard & Thierry Glantenay          89

Fine bright colour, good concentration of fruit, some richness, very sound. Develops a meaty complexity. Quite an envelope of vibrant red fruit around a firm core with both tannins and acidity. A wine which needs time but should deliver.

Pommard Les Rugiens, Domaine du Pavillon, Bichot          88

Bright colour, slightly indistinct nose at first. This remains earthily backwards though with good intensity. A little hard to judge at this stage but it may very well deliver more.

Pommard Les Rugiens, Joseph Faiveley          87+?

Fine medium deep red, stylish fruit with moderate intensity but evidence of some class. There may be a faint edge of TCA explaining the dry streak through the middle. Certainly good intensity though. Would look better if clean. NB Faiveley samples were coravined to check for problems before they were collected in early July. Could this have caused the slight impurity?

 

Pommard Les Rugiens, Domaine de Courcel          87

Lively fresh purple, lively fruit too, whole bunches, floral, fresh fruit, not green. There is a luxuriant coating of fresh fruit at the front which then gives way to a drier second half. Needs time.

Corton

In 2014 the hill of Corton mostly escaped the hail, which helps explain a much higher average score for this appellation in the tasting, with several very promising wines. The lighter terroirs which produce relatively suave wines seem to have done as well as the grander vineyards which offer greater muscularity. Indeed the top scores are nicely spread among the three flights.

Flight One: lighter terroirs

Corton La Vigne au Saint, Domaine des Croix          92

Good bright colour, whole bunch floral notes, but the fruit is ripe. This is really lovely, sensual suave, ripe enough and absolutely lovely. Gorgeous long finish.

 

Corton, Domaine Follin Arbelet          90

Middle depth of colour but bright and clear. Light fruit on the nose but attractive. Succulent, just ripe, enough fruit through the middle, really nicely made with good length.

Corton Clos des Maréchaudes, Domaine du Pavillon, Bichot          90

Clear bright colour, attractive fruit of only moderate intensity, though it delivers quite a lot more on the palate. Plenty of oak, but enough fruit to manage. A little bit of torrefaction at the moment.

Corton, Domaine Tollot Beaut          89

Fine bright colour, plenty of oak, ripe red fruit, really quite promising as the first Corton after those Pommards. A good juicy approach, plenty of bright red fruit on the palate, nicely integrated oak, good acidity. Low key but nicely done.

Corton Clos de la Vigne au Saint, Louis Latour          89

Medium density of colour, not the brightest. Rather a dour nose. Solid, workman like, good body behind, could be a mite fresher but this is decent wine.

Corton, Château de Meursault          87

Bright medium depth, easy going accessible fruit, pretty red notes. Only just ripe. Respectable length.

Corton Grancey, Louis Latour          87

Lighter colour with a muddied edge and a little bit green. May be whole bunch. The green interferes a touch, not bad but this lacks some energy through the middle.

Flight Two: sturdier soils

Corton Rognets, Domaine Taupenot Merme          91

Attractive bright colour, quite floral, delicious attack, balanced and fairly concentrated through the middle, lively behind with excellent length. Really a delicious wine that isn’t trying to be what it cannot be. DIAM 10.

Corton Renardes, Thibault Liger Belair          91

Moderate intensity of colour, lively nose with peppered raspberry, good weight behind. In fact I really like the intensity of this wine on the palate, very lifted finish.

Corton Les Grèves, Domaine des Croix          89

Medium depth of colour, accessible dark fruit. Yet the palate shows rather less ripeness than expected. Firm tannins behind. Good weight and finishes well but will take time to come round.

Corton Pougets, Les Héritiers Louis Jadot          88

Medium deep colour, some concentration of fruit, The oak dominates more on the palate in a slightly intrusive way, at this early stage.

Corton Perrières, Louis Latour          88

Sound, solid, if slightly sombre red, with a powerful weight of fruit. Chunky rather than noble, but this reflects a style of Corton. Good weight behind.

Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley, Domaine Faiveley          88

Richer darker colour than others in this flight with a greater concentration of fruit on the nose, attractive weight behind, then some firm tannins. Muscular, backward, and perhaps deserving more later on.

Flight Three: Bressandes & Clos du Roi

Corton Clos du Roi, Domaine de Montille          92

Light bright and vibrant, plenty of energy on the nose. Tense, dense and concentrated. Plenty of muscle to this, and oak, and tannins but I think it will fight through. DIAM 30.

Corton Bressandes, Domaine Tollot Beaut          89

Medium deep red colour with an exuberant, quite oak laden nose. Lively raspberry and strawberry fruit, quite a lot of oak, very easy-going.

Corton Clos du Roi, Domaine de la Vougeraie          89

Slightly evolved colour with a typical whole bunch nose. This needs a touch more liveliness but the fruit does stretch out well across the palate to a lingering finish.

Corton Clos du Roi, Camille Giroud          89

Darkish if slightly sombre colour, a touch muddied, but there is a weight of fruit behind that takes this through. Plenty of fruit to finish on, showing promise for a potential upside.

Corton Bressandes, Domaine Follin Arbelet          88

Medium depth of colour, quite elegant fruit on the nose, medium density. Fattens out but in doing so loses identity There is good weight and a sweetness of fruit, then a slightly rough finish which currently inhibits the fruit from caressing the palate.

Nuits-St-Georges

A very consistent first flight, from the Premeaux part of the appellation, augured well, and as expected more weight and depth emerged from the best vineyards of the central section. Perhaps we were a little less enthused than in some vintages by the wines which border Vosne-Romanée. A good result for Nuits overall, but we have sometimes had more excitement.

Flight One: Premeaux

Nuits-St-Georges Clos St Marc, Domaine Michèle & Patrice Rion          90

Fine bright dark red with a velvety richness of fruit retaining freshness. More intensity here than otherwise in this flight, juicy dark raspberry fruit through the middle and a classy balance of fruit; acidity and tannins to finish. Good persistence.

Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Argillières, Domaine Michèle & Patrice Rion          89

Medium deep red, elegance and some intensity evident, unforced however. Stylish, medium length, enjoyable, a very attractive sense of precision

Nuits-St-Georges Clos de la Maréchale, Domaine JF Mugnier          89

Good clean vibrant red with abundant deep red fruit showing, this makes a very satisfying mouthful with attractive concentration. Perhaps a little more tannin here than some.

Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Grandes Vignes, Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair          88

Full deep red with concentrated bouquet, a somewhat meaty approach. There is plenty of concentration here, some good acidity behind, lively. Toasty oak is a touch present for now.

Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Forêts St Georges, Domaine de l’Arlot          87

Fine bright colour of medium intensity. Some sandalwood in with the bright red fruit that is just a hair under-ripe. Medium intensity and good length.

Nuits-St-Georges, Clos de l’Arlot, Domaine de l’Arlot          87

Fine bright palish colour, very elegant bouquet. This is pure, fine, quite lively, a gently graceful Nuits with plenty of oak but not overpowering. Could perhaps be longer.

Flights Two & Three: central Nuits

Nuits-St-Georges Vaucrains, Domaine Robert Chevillon          93

Attractive red purple with a lighter rim. The bouquet hovers between raspberry and strawberry, perhaps a touch of evolution in the background. Racy and stimulating, but the final impression is of a really stylish, fine, classy Nuits-St-Georges.

Nuits-St-Georges Les St Georges, Domaine Robert Chevillon          91

Bright fresh mid purple with a full rich fruit, lively, ripe, good energy. A powerful wine as befits this part of the appellation. Good weight through to the back, with some muscularity. This can live with its oak.

Nuits-St-Georges Les Pruliers, Domaine Taupenot Merme          91

One of the lighter colours but with good clarity. Attractive and accessible red fruit, stylish more than intense. Very well balanced, with a wealth of fruit appearing towards the back. Fresh red fruit style but good persistence. Velvety concentration at the back. DIAM 10.

Nuits-St-Georges Les St Georges, Domaine Henri Gouges          91

Dense dark colour with excellent lifted fruit, concentrated, fresh plums, intense yet still racy. Good acidity and some tannins behind, but a depth of fruit which promises very well for the long term.

Nuits-St-Georges Les Cailles, Domaine Robert Chevillon          90

Bright, with medium intensity. Lively nose, some raspberry and pepper notes. But there is good weight on the palate with some darker notes; the stems impart a little dryness but not too much.

Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Porrets St Georges, Domaine Henri Gouges          89

Clear bright red of moderate intensity, very classical fruit on the nose. Again a slightly lean aspect to this, but the fruit has good concentration and a fresh finish.

Nuits-St-Georges Roncières, Domaine Jean Grivot          89

Lighter colour than some, with medium intensity on the nose, quite lifted. Raspberry and redcurrant notes, only just ripe, but capable of giving pleasure nonetheless. Persistent.

Nuits-St-Georges Les Perrières, Domaine Jean Chauvenet          88

Clear bright dense colour with purple hue. Rich, concentrated nose, some classic plums. Powerful but perhaps a bit brawny, with tannins more evident than acidity. If this knits together it may well surpass this score.

Nuits-St-Georges Vaucrains, Domaine Henri Gouges          88

Bright purple of medium depth, immediate fruit, less ripe than some. Acidity stands out a little on the palate, medium length to the fruit. That acidity is not quite in balance. Others found this richer and riper!

Nuits-St-Georges Les Pruliers, Domaine Henri Gouges          87

Full bright colour, brooding, backward nose. Fruit very much in the red category with both tannins and acidity making up the structure. Needs time to settle down. Picked too early?

Nuits-St-Georges Les St Georges, Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair          87

Medium deep colour, a little evolved, with a concentrated middle, brooding dark fruit. Some unexpected spritz here. A little bit dry at the back. There is certainly concentration but the wine is a bit confused at the moment.

Nuits-St-Georges Vaucrains, Domaine Jean Chauvenet          85

Rich dark colour, thick dark fruit on the nose with signs of oxidation. Plump fruit, noticeable oak, dry finish. Over pumped for me.

Nuits-St-Georges Les Procès, Joseph Drouhin          corked

Pale colour with weaker rim. Musty nose, probably TCA, lactic.

Flight Four: towards Vosne-Romanée

Nuits-St-Georges Aux Cras, Domaine Comte Liger Belair          92

Fine rich purple with an explosive bouquet, rampant fruit married to generous oaking. There is a lot to this wine but does it have the depth of some, or is it a little bit more down to lush winemaking? On re-tasting, the fruit really grows into the oak framework and the class emerges.

Nuits-St-Georges Les Chaignots, Georges Mugneret-Gibourg          92

Rich bright purple with a hugely energetic bouquet, a faint trace of reduction but otherwise vibrant fruit, there is equally a wealth of fruit on the palate. Beautifully balanced between red and black fruit, with medium plus intensity and an excellent finish.

Nuits-St-Georges Les Damodes, Domaine Jean Chauvenet          90

Dense bright colour, medium concentration, class and elegance to the nose. This is fine, precise, balanced, not blockbuster but with concentrated elegance.

Nuits-St-Georges Clos de Thorey, Domaine de la Vougeraie          90

Pale colour with some evolution. Jammy strawberry nose, indicating whole bunches; very pretty though. Lovely length here, middleweight plus, lifted strawberry fruit on the palate too and very persistent. Steadily fresher and less jammy with aeration.

Nuits-St-Georges Aux Argillas, Domaine Jean Tardy          87

Medium deep purple with lighter rim. Slightly muddied fruit on the nose, develops more weight in the glass. Plenty of oak, certainly has intensity, but it is backward at this stage. The wood fractionally dries the finish.

Nuits-St-Georges Les Chaignots, Domaine Henri Gouges          85

Medium intensity red purple colour, with an oaky, somewhat lactic nose. Muscular and brawny, the acidity is slightly too high for the overall balance of the wine. Oak reduction.

Nuits-St-Georges Aux Cras, Domaine Georges Noëllat          85

Deep colour but a somewhat pruny oxidation. Plenty of oak, dry finish.

Nuits-St-Georges Bousselots, Domaine Julien          85

Medium deep red colour. The nose is heavily reduced which continues on the palate. Otherwise potentially very good with plenty of ripe sweet fruit but the reduction costs it points today.

Nuits-St-Georges Aux Chaignots, Domaine Faiveley          

Rich deep colour, a TCA taint to the nose, continuing on the palate. Only faint but enough to damage the wine. NB Faiveley samples were coravined to check for problems before they were collected in early July. Could this have caused the slight impurity?

Vosne-Romanée

Good to very good wines at 1er cru level – indeed not a single wine clearly below par, and some outstanding grands crus. The first flight of premiers crus was based around Suchots, the second began with Malconsorts before moving higher on the slope. Though very much in vogue at the moment, Malconsorts (admittedly only two examples) did not sing to the same degree as a few of the wines from elsewhere.

Flights 1 & 2 (part): mid-slopes

Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots, Domaine Comte Liger Belair          92

Robust colour with some purple, reductive nose. Quite brawny in style, the sort of whole bunches which dry the finish a little. Medium density and a touch of heat. Possible over extraction but still good concentration. Grows on retasting. Now the class shows and the extraction comes into balance.

Vosne-Romanée Malconsorts, Domaine du Clos Frantin, Bichot          92

Medium deep red, not much bouquet at first, then powerful oak on the palate along with intense, linear fruit. Good weight and density but very backward. Excellent backbone of concentrated deep red cherry fruit, long balanced and fine.

Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots, Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot          91

Rich purple, plummy and voluptuous, lots of energy, some whole bunch. Lively, dancing, vibrant, a little bit of chocolate sitting on lush red fruit, then a spicy finish. I like the balance of the component parts though they will take time to knit. Most people don’t agree with me.

Vosne-Romanée Les Malconsorts, Domaine François Lamarche          90

Bright medium deep colour, quite a restrained nose first up. Some density but a little bit dry. Good oak. Ripe fruit begins to emerge behind. Broad-shouldered.

Vosne-Romanée Charmes de Maizieres, Domaine Guyon          90

Medium deep red, just ripe red fruit on nose, then a sweeter riper more gracious deep red fruit emerges, well integrated oak, powerful fruit on the palate and excellent length. Particularly juicy finish. NB This is not a 1er cru but a special selection of old vines from the domaine’s village holdings.

Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots, Domaine de l’Arlot          90

Bright medium deep colour. The bouquet is fine and racy, with some whole bunch notes. Very pleasing elegance. Good weight, the fruit sits nicely on the cusp of sweet and savoury, and with very good length.

Vosne-Romanée Les Chaumes, Domaine Georges Noëllat          89

Palish colour with quite light fruit, but some refinement. The oak is quite powerful, but the liquid red cherry fruit surmounts it. Medium to long finish.

Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots, Domaine de Bellene          89

Dense mid red, a bundle of bright red fruit. This is quite deep in fruit, then some oak tannins slightly dry the finish. The fruit returns though.

Flights 2 (part) & 3: upper slopes

Vosne-Romanée Aux Reignots, Domaine Comte Liger Belair          94

Bright deep red-purple, a little reduction, but powerful fruit behind. Relatively sumptuous, complete through the middle palate, a little freshness behind. Long balanced and lovely. Finishes on huge intensity.

Vosne-Romanée En Orveaux, Domaine Guyot          94

Full purple, lighter rim. Very heady spicy nose with some wonderful dark fruit. Lifted, vibrant fruit, huge energy, an attractive touch of spice alongside the ripe fruit. Very well balanced, and exquisite length. Racy and delicious.

Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts, Domaine Jean Grivot          94

Bright dark purple, a little bit animal reduction. Then on the palate this is fresh pure intense and classy. Maybe still a hint of the reduction firming up the finish, but there is very high-class fruit lingering.

Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts, Maison Roche de Bellene          92

Clear bright mid red. This has an elegant and classy nose, red fruit; It is beautifully poised on the palate – very far from a blockbuster, but all the ingredients are perfectly in place. long and distinguished.

Vosne-Romanée Aux Brûlées, Domaine Meo-Camuzet          92

Rich deep purple, Very little bouquet at first, then quite a lot of oak. Complex on the palate, perhaps some whole-bunch spice and minerals, plenty of fruit but lacks a touch of verve.

Vosne-Romanée Les Petits Monts, Domaine Comte Liger Belair          91+?

Deepish colour but not quite bright. Subdued nose and seems at first to lack freshness. Really intense though and the mineral undercurrent is there along with vibrant red fruit. Hard to judge today!

Vosne-Romanée Les Rouges du Dessus, Cécile Tremblay          91

Rich bright purple red. Rather a heady nose, with some barrel reduction. This toughens up the palate which would otherwise show good concentration. No problems with the density though. Higher score if no reduction.

Vosne-Romanée Aux Brûlées, Domaine d’Eugenie          90

Fine deep bright red. The nose shows a little bit of oak and some reduction. Excellent weight of fruit on the palate, very well integrated oak, impressive length. The back half of this wine shows the class. Currently marked down for slightly too prominent oak, though this should resolve.

Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts, Domaine Georges Noëllat          90

Rich deep purple colour. A hint of oxidation on the nose. Plump ripe fruit, still that slight hint, but the fruit is much stronger than the oak here and finishes this wine off very well.

Vosne-Romanée En Orveaux, Château de Marsannay          88

Dense sombre colour with a rather flat, perhaps evolved, perhaps over extracted nose. The volume is there but I am finding it a touch dour. Have they correctly judged the extraction?

Vosne-Romanée Les Petits Monts, Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet          89

Deep colour, powerful fruit but not as fresh as some. Floral notes behind, only just ripe. Lean structure but quite sumptuous fruit. Lots of discordant symbols for now; wait and see….

Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts, Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat          88

Slightly paler colour with some evolution. Soft sweet fruit, again a touch of evolution. Softly oaky, the fruit is there but not quite pushing through its envelope of oak. Lacks real concentration.

Grands Crus

Flights 1 & 2 Echezeaux & Grands Echezeaux

Grands Echezeaux, Domaine d’Eugenie          95

Clear bright purple. Intense fruit, pure and impressive. Not a blockbuster but with class. The absolute opposite in style to the other example (Gros Frère & Soeur), this is very tightly wound yet with superb class and intensity. A dynamic wine with a long term future.

Echezeaux Les Treux vieilles vignes, Domaine Jean Tardy          94

Bright colour with purple aspect. Good fruit intensity evident, also some subtlety. This is dense, tense and invigorating, very youthful, with excellent intensity.

Grands Echezeaux, Domaine Gros Frère & Soeur          94

Dark colour with some evolution. Quite a lot of oak present but should be enough fruit too match. This is huge on the palate, glamorous, luxurious, some Musigny opulence but with meatier notes. Some bacon-fat. Opulent rather than fine-boned but will please enormously.

Echezeaux du Dessus, Cecile Tremblay          93

Intense deep bright colour. The bouquet is noticeably reduced but with real fruit intensity behind. The reduction remains – but what power behind. Sweet oak and fruit notes at the back, very long; this should become very fine when the reduction fades away.

Echezeaux, Domaine Jean Grivot          93

Dense bright colour; quite concentrated fruit, intense, racy, detailed, extremely classy. The purity is there and some mineral character. Very tight, concentrated and with a huge amount for the future.

Echezeaux, Domaine Gros Frère & Soeur          92

Slightly darker, more sombre colour. The nose has a weight of fruit, albeit showing some evolution. Buttery oak. But with time in the glass the fruit freshens up. Still quite a rich Christmas pudding style though, but with undeniable weight and length. Finishes very well.

Echezeaux, Domaine du Clos Frantin, Bichot          92

Bright red of moderate depth. Immediate fruit on the nose, quite dark in style with a little spice. Oak appears prominently at the back, but the fruit holds on. Dark juicy fruit does a good job here.

Echezeaux, Domaine Comte Liger Belair          91

Medium-deep colour, a little bit meaty on the nose. But the sweet fruit on the palate is not only seductive but also quite high class. Very gracious. The length is very impressive; weight and persistence.

Echezeaux, Domaine François Lamarche          91

Medium-deep colour, lively fruit, perhaps a bit plummy. Backbone of acidity, some tannins, some latent power. Others have more finesse. The cream comes from the oak.

Echezeaux, Domaine d’Eugenie          91

Medium bright colour. An intensity of soft red fruit with at least as much oak as is good for it. The fruit intensity does not quite kick on, but it is poised and balanced nonetheless.

Echezeaux, Domaine Berthaut Gerbet          90

Rich purple colour and quite luxurious fruit, not particularly typical of the appellation. Spicy minerals, good intensity, depth, concentration but not especially joyous at this stage.

Echezeaux, Domaine Confuron Cotetidot          90

Rich dark colour, very good weight of fruit, quite exotic but in balance. Blackberry fruit and plump red notes. Mouthfilling, racy, very good tension, spicy. The whole bunches very slightly dry the back of the palate but this will certainly resolve itself.

Echezeaux, Domaine Julien          85

Quite deep colour with lighter rim. Plump and exotic nose, maybe stems, perhaps just green fruit and chaptal. A bit of evolution here. The wine sags a bit in the middle and finishes on sharper acidity.

Flights 3 & 4: Richebourg & the Romanées

La Romanée, Domaine Comte Liger Belair          98+

Dense red, bright. Excellent weight of fruit, and sheer class on the nose. A certain luxurious headiness begins to develop. Pretty impressive intensity. Raspberry and redcurrant fruit. Oak tannins as well as fruit. Very long indeed. An absolute sense of gracious majesty here.

Richebourg, Domaine Jean Grivot          97

Dense rich colour, with the classiest and richest bouquet of the four Richebourgs. The aromatics grow in the glass. Immense black fruit on the palate; huge weight to this – an immaculate, glorious wine of the highest class.

La Grande Rue, Domaine François Lamarche          94

Bright deep colour, more red than purple. Plenty of weight here but I cannot as yet see the expected distinction. Seamless and stylish, with the fruit sitting further forward in the mouth. Still, this already shows signs of being a pleasure, but more should unfold later.

Romanée St-Vivant, Domaine Follin-Arbelet          94

Deep bright red purple. The nose is discreet but backward. There may be some notes of evolution too, though. Dry and spicy on the palate, does not quite have the fruit intensity. It is long though so the class is probably there. Begins to grow with time.

Richebourg, Domaine Gros Frère & Soeur          94

A touch lighter in colour but with a really fine, fragrant nose, lifted, perfumed, stylish. While the nose is classy the fruit on the palate is a bit sweet, with some bacon fat notes. Medium long. Actually, with aeration, the class of the vineyard seems to be fighting back against the superficial presence of the winemaking.

Richebourg, Domaine Thibault Liger Belair          93

Dense dark colour. Quite powerful, backward nose. Very good weight of fruit with a little spice. Perhaps some reduction, perhaps some oak tightness. The wine does still fill the mouth though and emerges pretty well at the back.

Romanée St-Vivant, Domaine de l’Arlot          92

Lively round bright red. The bouquet is quite lively too, with some fresh briary notes. Rich sweet fruit on top of a complex briary structure. Red fruit not black, lots of oak. Very good but not quite the intensity of the first wine (Follin-Arbelet).

Romanée St Vivant, Les Quatre Journaux, Domaine Louis Latour          92

Excellent fresh mid-red colour. The nose is weighty if a bit sombre with some cinnamon spice. Very significant weight on the palate, all in red fruit, but then it drops away behind a touch.

Richebourg, Domaine AF Gros          OOC

Medium deep colour, flat bouquet with a suggestion of TCA.

Clos de Vougeot

There is never anything sensual about the wines of Clos de Vougeot in their youth. What is necessary is to try to tease out their potential for, say, ten years time. Looked at in this way, there were several very good wines, without gaining the same level of enthusiasm from most tasters as the Chambolle-Musigny 1ers crus which preceded them.

Clos de Vougeot, Joseph Drouhin          94

One of the slightly lighter colours but the bouquet is not short of concentration. The fruit is on the cusp of red and black, relatively fine boned for Clos de Vougeot, long and distinguished.

Clos de Vougeot, Domaine d’Eugenie          93

This displays a clear bright red purple colour. The bouquet offers an intensity of classy fruit coupled to smart use of oak. Sweet intensity of dark fruit, with some black notes, develop consistently across the palate.

Clos de Vougeot, Domaine Guyon          92

Rich deep purple colour with an exotic nose though the chocolate notes suggest a touch of evolution. Some whole bunch character underneath delivers the necessary freshness. Overall this is exotic, long and lovely.

Clos de Vougeot, Domaine Jean Grivot          91

Bright purple red, with excellent density to the fruit. Brawny, muscular, yet with good intensity and the fruit absolutely follows through. Substantial oak which contributes to the tannins but it is the sinewy nature of the fruit which defines this wine.

Clos de Vougeot, Benjamin Leroux          91

Rich purple, but definitely an element of reduction to the nose at first. Happily this blows off. There is a significant amount of concentrated dark fruit, a cheerful opulence, but the wood is a touch aggressive while the wine is young.

Clos de Vougeot, Olivier Bernstein          91

Bright purple, fresh and immediate nose, oak too. Rich generous fruit on the palate, plums more than prunes but certainly fully ripe. Just enough acidity in a vintage where there is often too much.

Clos de Vougeot, Château de Marsannay          90

Full dark colour, weighty, lots of new oak, an intense core of ripe fruit. Solid, with good backbone for the long term. Tannins and just enough acidity, the whole coated with ripe dark fruit as well as oak.

Clos-de Vougeot, Thibault Liger Belair          89

Medium depth of colour. Some fruit but not especially distinct on the nose. Quite firm, especially the tannins, but with good fruit and acidity. A wine to put away for a long time. Then the acid tannin balance may resolve.

Clos de Vougeot, Bouchard Père & Fils (domaine)          89

Bright colour, some whole bunch, nicely aromatic. Zesty, lively not hugely concentrated but this is fine and balanced.

Clos de Vougeot, Domaine Méo Camuzet          89

Bright medium deep red purple, lovely fruit, red and black currant. Medium density, good acidity, correct tannins, and fair length.

Clos de Vougeot, Domaine Castagnier          88

Full deep colour, concentrated fruit, some oak. Blackberry jam, currently covering the essential structure which might lead to an exciting mature wine.

Clos de Vougeot, Domaine François Lamarche          88

Medium deep colour, a little muddied. Oak, some depth of fruit, backward. A fair depth of plummy fruit but I would like a touch more structure, and perhaps freshness.

Clos de Vougeot, Domaine Louis Jadot          88

Fine bright clear colour, more fruit than oak, quite accessible for Clos Vougeot. Same impression on the mouth, currently lacks definition and perhaps the density of the best examples.

Clos de Vougeot, Domaine de la Vougeraie          88

One of the lighter colours but mulberry fruit on the nose indicates possible evolution. There is a much livelier side to the palate but the grand cru density of the wine is a little hidden at the moment.

Clos de Vougeot, Domaine du Clos Frantin, Bichot          86

A little paler in colour, with a heavy lactic nose. Very disassociated at the moment, seeming a little rough and dry behind with too much oak.

Clos de Vougeot, Domaine Hudelot Noëllat          85

Medium deep red ,not quite clear. Some torrefaction to the nose, burnt toast maybe, a character which continues on to the palate.

Chambolle-Musigny

The tasting came alive when we got to Chambolle-Musigny. These wines had a depth of fruit to them which we had not yet seen in other flights, and I should arguably have marked the wines half a point higher. Les Amoureuses shared a flight with Musigny, where we found two of the very best wines of the tasting.

Premiers Crus (except Amoureuses)

Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées, Domaine JF Mugnier          92

Pale colour but very elegant whole bunch nose. Alpine strawberries, rose petals. Very perfumed, on the edge of pommadé. Undeniably pretty though. With air this gains in substance and loses the pot pourrri character. Lovely lingering finish.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod          92

Attractive medium deep colour, floral notes, soft red fruit, quite typically Chambolle. On the verge of green notes, but the acidity is not aggressive. Tight but with potential. Really grows in the glass.

Chambolle-Musigny Sentiers, Domaine Robert Groffier Père & Fils          91

Bright purple, with ripe generous but balanced fruit. The oak emerges a touch forcibly on the palate but the weight of fruit should match it in due course. There is certainly considerable substance here.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras, Domaine Georges Roumier          91

Dense concentrated red purple, with an equally impressive concentration of fruit. Suave and sensual, a little glossy barrel reduction, but this has plenty of charm and is immediately attractive, yet with the density to last for the long haul.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Hauts Doix, Domaine Robert Groffier Père & Fils          91

Good bright colour, racy fresh fruit on the nose, just ripe with more raspberry than redcurrant fruit – perhaps some griottine cherries. Good length, fine balance and finishes extremely well.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées, Patrice & Maxime Rion          90

Slightly lighter colour, with complex but as yet imprecise aromatics. Pure red fruit on the palate with some density. It is quite restrained and I don’t think I have quite understood all that this has to offer.

Chambolle-Musigny Combe d’Orveau, Domaine Taupenot Merme          90

A little paler than some, juicy ripe strawberry, perhaps not evidently Chambolle. There is a good core of fruit here but the tannins are slightly firm, though the fruit returns behind. DIAM 10.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod          90

Full bright colour, with a slight green note to the otherwise red fruit. Brawny on the palate while still being a bit under-ripe. Yet the wine finishes on quite classy fruit and the concentration is there. Zesty, vibrant. Could give more later.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod          90

Rich, full, concentrated, slightly muscular for Chambolle perhaps. Good density but the grapes are possibly not fully ripe. It may grow into itself. Indeed it expands beautifully in the glass but there is an element of evolution in this sample.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes, Domaine Michèle & Patrice Rion          89

Medium deep bright red. Plenty of fresh new oak with a touch of cinnamon, more evident than the fruit but not clumsy. Actually quite classy and gracious, then some wood tannins behind.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Groseilles, Domaine Digioia-Royer          89

Deep concentrated purple, with a high octane but really attractive nose. An explosion of ripe black fruit, some oak, beautifully grained tannins, acidity in balance. Oak does stay fairly prominent but this is a joyous, seductive wine. But marks off for a slightly oxidative character.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes, Domaine Hudelot Noëllat          87

Medium deep colour, weaker rim. A touch of meaty reduction, not quite the necessary fruit concentration though this does build. High acidity plus toasty oak reduction. How will this age?

Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées, Domaine Perrot Minot          86

Dark colour and rather a tough, sombre nose. Muscular, rough tannins, a bit meaty. Not quite what I expect from Chambolle. Sweet and soupy.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Chabiots, Albert Bichot          86

Pale colour, fractionally more evolved, a little oak, then slightly hollow, hot and short with some cherry and raspberry fruit, but not enough.

Bonnes Mares

Bonnes Mares, Domaine Bruno Clair          95

Solid mid red colour, the nose is at first discreet but suggests concentration behind. Oak begins to emerge backing some high-class dark fruit, on the cusp of red and black. Plenty of wine here, with a rich supple mid palate and good length. Racy and refreshing without sacrificing weight.

Bonnes Mares, Domaine Georges Roumier          95

Deep, full, dark red colour, a solid powerful fruit begins to emerge, this has exceptional density and a brilliantly interwoven texture. Not as flamboyant as some, it nonetheless builds beautifully. It is not the most self-consciously concentrated, but very finely constructed.

Bonnes Mares, Domaine de la Vougeraie          94

Medium deep red, with a flamboyant bouquet including raspberry, blackberry and some garrigue notes, along with the white pepper of whole bunches. Very attractive, just a medium bodied Bonnes Mares but beautifully balanced with a graceful sweet fruit finish.

Bonnes Mares, Domaine Robert Groffier Père & Fils          91

Dense dark colour, some notes of evolution here, should be fresher. Quite concentrated, oak comes up behind, but the darkness of the fruit lacks a touch of necessary vivacity. Plenty of it though, but hard to judge in a somewhat broody stage.

Bonnes Mares, Domaine Comtes Georges de Vogüé          OOC

Rich deep red colour with some relatively flamboyant fruit then gives way to something less clean. Which also toughens up the palate. Could be wrong barrel regime, but more likely a doubtful bottle/cork. Not scored.

Musigny & Amoureuses

Musigny, Domaine de la Vougeraie          98

Fine bright purple, a very gorgeous heady nose, pointing to the ethereal. Fresh white pepper from some whole bunches, adds an additional dimension to the exquisitely refined nose. Amazing tensile strength to this fine-boned wine. Very long indeed. This could not be better made, others may make a denser version.

Musigny, Domaine JF Mugnier          97

Fine bright colour, exquisitely refined bouquet with amazing intensity. The aromatics just grow steadily – far from blockbuster but quite exquisite. There are floral notes too as well as fruit, violets and peonies, alongside dense dark cherries. This is very fine indeed, the fruit sweeps gloriously through the middle palate, but not quite the concentrated tension for the highest score.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses, Domaine Robert Groffier Père & Fils          96

Dense dark purple, rich fruit, there is a touch of something tough on the nose. This is very powerful wine, with a heady dense dark red fruit, then some floral notes. The wood returns behind. Surprisingly inaccessible in some ways but potentially very fine. The backwardness of the bouquet disappears with time in the glass.

Musigny, Domaine Comtes Georges de Vogüé          95+

Rich deep purple, there is a fractionally evolved note to the nose but I think this may just be a passage. It makes the fruit seem a bit plummy at first. However there is immense weight on the palate, with firm structure from the barrel. Indeed there is a latent freshness behind, which there wasn’t in their Amoureuses. Potentially the most powerful of the three Musignys, assuming that the bouquet wakes up in due course. The order of merit might change round in 10 to 20 years!

Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses, Domaine Georges Roumier          95

Fine deep colour, a little briar and bramble, probably some whole bunches. Perfumed and long. Of the four, this is the most Amoureuses. A marvellous demonstration of sensual fruit, judiciously used oak and length of flavour.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses, Domaine JF Mugnier          94

The palest colour of the four, and the highest toned fruit, on the edge of volatile. The floral sensuality is delicious but this is living dangerously, though it seems to stabilise in the glass, offering sweet red cherries and peonies. Actually this gets better and better with aeration.

Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuse, Domaine Comtes Georges de Vogüé          89

Full dark colour, quite sombre. A note of evolution. Thick dark fruit, quite high acidity, disjointed today though there is impressive weight, but at the moment it is showing a slight lack of freshness.

Morey-St-Denis

Two small flights yielded the following conclusions: that attractive though these wines may be, it remains very hard to ascribe a particular set of characteristics to Morey St Denis; and the pleasing fruit and graceful structure of the Morey wines in 2014 is exactly what this vintage is about. The grands crus delivered up to expectations and largely remain undervalued by the world wine community (excepting some producers!)

Premiers Crus

Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru, Domaine Dujac          93

Fine rich red purple. Great weight of fruit with spice, dark raspberry, floral strawberry notes. Could not be done better in its style. The stems give some dry aspect to the finish, but there is such a wealth of vibrant red fruit and a brilliant lingering finish.

Morey-St-Denis Aux Cheseaux, Domaine Lignier-Michelot          90

Good bright deep red, a wealth of classy fruit, very promising. This explodes on the palate, very generous, yet balanced. Weight continues through to the back. Long and delicious.

Morey-St-Denis Aux Charmes, Domaine Lignier-Michelot          90

Medium deep colour with paler rim. Some concentration of red fruit, indeed a wealth of it on the palate. Spice, fruit, balanced acidity and integrated tannins leave a very pleasing aftertaste.

Morey-St-Denis La Riotte, Domaine Taupenot Merme          90

Medium depth of colour, some rich strawberry notes, just a little hint of thyme in there, adding an extra note to the high quality fruit. Ripe strawberries, medium plus length. Very good. DIAM 10.

Morey-St-Denis La Riotte, Domaine Perrot Minot          90

Bright colour with paler rim, lifted raspberry and crushed strawberry, quite stylish, a little bit of pepper on the palate along with lingering but not massively concentrated red fruit. Should develop delicious aromatics with age and will be accessible quite quickly.

Morey-St-Denis Clos de la Bussière, Domaine Georges Roumier          89

Dense dark red, the bouquet has a firmly toasted oak as well as fruit, rather backward at this stage. Good energy on the second half of the palate but slightly lactic oak very slightly dries the finish. Quite lush though, more to come.

Morey-St-Denis Les Ruchots, Domaine Arlaud          89

Bright dense red purple with attractive fruit. Excellent concentration to this, nicely balanced, not claiming more than it ought. Vibrant ripe raspberry emerges behind, lingering finish. Very good. Tannins present but not too firm.

Morey-St-Denis, Les Millandes, Domaine Serafin          88

Fine clear purple, ripe fruit, not yet showing detail. A little bit firm on the fruit, some heat, slightly disjointed. The oak is a touch too prominent in its youth.

Morey-St-Denis Clos des Rosiers, Domaine Chantal Remy          87

Pale and slightly evolved colour, the same is true of the bouquet. Some floral notes, a little orange zest too. Attractive but not quite the concentration. Young vines? Yes. This is not a 1er Cru though the domaine is planning to apply for that.

Morey-St-Denis Clos des Ormes, Héritière Louis Remy          85

Medium deep colour, not quite clear, a little bit of crushed strawberry, a slight sense of dilution. Medium depth of red fruit, but the overall effect is a bit smudged.

Grands Crus

Clos de la Roche, Domaine Dujac          95

Rich dense red, tight compact fruit, some whole bunch vibrancy. A really significant mouthful of concentrated fruit with exceptional length. Excellent oak integration. Very lovely wine.

Clos St-Denis, Domaine Castagnier          93

Fine bright medium deep red. Some fruit concentration but made leaner by a touch of reduction. Concentrated dark raspberry fruit with some crushed strawberry too. Quite tightly knit, just ripe, some elegance too and appreciable length. The oak is fairly present but this does not dry the fruit.

Clos des Lambrays, Domaine des Lambrays          93

Good bright red with a healthy, concentrated red fruit nose overlaid by a lick of oak. This is pleasingly concentrated on the palate, deep red fruit rather than black, plenty of oak but judiciously integrated. Balanced and stylish with medium density – what this vintage is all about.

Clos de la Roche, Chantal Remy          93

Full deep red, powerful oaky nose, a touch of evolution but not worryingly so. Mouthfilling deep red fruit with an overlay of oak, but this clearly finishes on the fruit with good depth.

Clos de la Roche, Domaine Arlaud          93

Good bright colour with a slightly lighter rim, dense but backward with savoury notes. The palate shows a slightly lighter touch, with the savoury sinews I associate with Clos de la Roche. Excellent persistence.

Clos de Tart Monopole, Domaine du Clos de Tart          92

Clear deep red, rich fruit with a little pepper and spice, attractively succulent. Firm fruit but with very good depth. Attractive length, well judged oak. Fair intensity to this, but the detail is rather hidden at the moment.

Clos de la Roche, Domaine Castagnier          91

Fine rich deep colour, powerful extraction, firm nose, a little bit of blackcurrant leaf. Very intense with a sweet cassis fruit through the middle, tightly knit, long. Very attractive wine but not quite the typicity of the vineyard.

Clos de la Roche, Albert Bichot          91

Fine bright colour, classical red fruit nose. Middleweight, plenty of oak, perhaps finishes a little more on the oak than the fruit. But no complaints.

Gevrey-Chambertin

On the whole good results her: sound wines from the lesser terroirs, fresh acidity from around the Combe de Lavaux, the expected minerality from Cazetiers. Anecdotally, the dreaded vinegar fly was much more an issue in the lower-lying village vineyards than the 1ers crus. The grands crus turned up one surprise – unanimous adoration of the two Ruchottes-Chambertin wines.

Flights 1 & 2: Premiers Crus

Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Combottes, Domaine Dujac          91

Fine bright mid red, lovely pure fruit to the nose, very elegant. High class fruit continues on the palate with a peppery alpine strawberry note to the fruit, fresh elegant and long. Very good, tightly knit and extremely classy.

Gevrey-Chambertin Champonnet, Louis Boillot          90

Bright clear mid purple colour, notably juicy in fruit. Elegance, a little austerity (pleasing rather than otherwise) firm structure. Only just ripe but this should become an interesting wine. Nice balance between the fruit and the acidity at the finish.

Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St Jacques, Domaine Maume-Tawse          90

Medium to full deep red. The nose has plenty of fruit in a slightly brawny style, quite rich fruit, acidity lurking but in balance, enough fruit to fill out the back, accompanied by its oak.

Gevrey-Chambertin Les Champeaux, Domaine Maume-Tawse          89

Bright clear mid red, an attractive layer of deep red fruit which continues on the palate and leaves a fine aftertaste of ripe raspberry, though without black fruit notes. The oak is perhaps a mite too prominent.

Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaut St Jacques, Camille Giroud          89

Medium deep red with lighter rim. Soft red fruit notes with a little pepperiness behind. Gracious fruit, quite perfumed, very good fruit and acid balance.

Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St Jacques, Domaine Armand Rousseau          89

Medium deep colour with some density. Powerful fruit from the start on the nose, but not over extracted. Delicious dark cherry notes, good acidity behind, still the freshness of the Combe. Excellent finish.

Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaut St Jacques, Domaine Duroché          89

Good bright purple colour with delicious fresh but ripe dark fruit. Fairly high acidity on the palate but the charm of the fruit carries this through. Good intensity at the back.

Gevrey-Chambertin Perrières, Benjamin Leroux          89

Deep mid red, austere fruit on the nose but suggesting depth. Good clean fruit with more depth than most in this flight, but some charred barrel toast is slightly too present, though it may disappear later into the fruit.

Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos Prieur, Domaine Rossignol-Trapet          89

Medium deep colour with lighter rim. A little oak, a little gracious fruit, quite tightly wound on the palate. Good intensity for this area, long balanced finish. Discreet, fine boned, yet pleasing.

Gevrey-Chambertin Belair, Domaine Taupenot Merme          88

Fine bright colour of medium depth. Liqueur raspberry fruit, soft, possibly whole-bunch. Medium intensity and good length, this grows on the palate. DIAM 10.

Gevrey-Chambertin Petite Chapelle, Domaine Rossignol-Trapet          88

Medium deep red robe. The nose shows the classical slightly austere Gevrey red fruit profile. This boasts an attractive layer of pure red fruit, a little coating of well judged oak, nicely balanced without attempting to hit above its weight. Good long finish.

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru, Domaine J & JL Trapet          87

A little lighter in colour. A lactic touch to the nose and more evolved fruit. A bit of whole bunch. Has more zip on the palate but still some slightly lactic notes. Long though.

Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St Jacques, Albert Bichot          87

Clear bright translucent red purple, fresh fruit, quite reticent, perhaps more oak than fruit at first. A little bit lean and high acid, then the oak comes back behind.

Gevrey-Chambertin, Le Fonteny, Domaine Serafin          87

Dense rich purple , oak and luscious fruit together on the nose. A little forced on the palate for my taste with some slight bitterness coming through from the wood tannins. Should resolve with time though.

Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Combottes, Domaine Arlaud          85

Deepish dark red, rather a vegetal nose. Sombre and a bit stewed, dry finish.

Flights 3 & 4: Cazetiers & Clos St-Jacques

Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques, Domaine Armand Rousseau          94

Dense and youthful red purple. The oak is sitting a little firmly on this at the moment, with a slight heat to the fruit. Muscular on the palate, all in a red fruit register; the oak is better integrated than on the first nose, but the wine is a little four-square nonetheless. But give it time. Though tannins are present, this begins to build very well and the finish is significantly finer than the first attack.

Gc Clos St Jacques Vieille Vigne, Domaine Fourrier          93

No great extravagance of colour, but it is all that it should be. The bouquet is sublimely classy, with that lovely balance of delicacy and intensity. Modestly evolved, it is already sending out come hither signals. Deep raspberry, some subtle herbal elements, gracefully nuanced, not overbearing, long and fine with a certain sweetness to the fruit. Could it use just a fraction more precision?

Gevrey-Chambertin Cazetiers, Domaine Bruno Clair          92

Good bright mid red, very high class fruit with excellent purity, leaps out. Very dense, a great deal in reserve, nice balance between fruit weight, barrel and acidity. Good length. Quite forceful personality which perhaps hides the minerals a fraction, but the last taste pushes this up.

Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques, Domaine Sylvie Esmonin          91

Dark colour with purple tints. Quite a rich, juicy, briary note, clearly some whole bunch, but with delicious perfume behind. The winemaking style is evident, as usual, but not too overbearing. I love the interweaving of the purple fruit with the minerality of the stems, and the wine has a lovely, long, perfumed aftertaste.

Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques, Domaine Louis Jadot          91

Medium deep red purple, oak and a touch of oxidation has slightly affected the nose, causing some stewed fruit. It also makes the wine a bit clumsy in the mouth, and there is a lot of oak, but there is also a sign of very high class fruit typical of the vineyard. So this sample is not working today but I suspect a really fine wine underneath.

Gevrey-Chambertin Cazetiers, Domaine Serafin          91

Fine bright deep red, a rich bouquet encompassing plenty of oak along with dense ripe fruit, very much an opulent style. But gorgeously mouth-filling and this does display the mineral edge of the vineyard below the coating of velvet.

Gevrey-Chambertin Cazetiers, Domaine Denis Berthaud           91

Dense bright red purple. Firm fruit on the bouquet, with concentration, but also some muscular oak. Vast concentration of heady purple fruit, almost enough to subdue the barrel toast, very long finish, perfect balancing acidity. This leaves a glow at the back. Would score more but for the barrel.

Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques, Domaine Bruno Clair          90

Pure clean bright and with some class to the nose, but actually quite discreet. Needs coaxing. The tannins are quite firm behind. Fair intensity but it is being a bit sullen today. On the chunky side.

Gevrey-Chambertin Cazetiers, Olivier Bernstein          90

Bright crisp clear colour, immediate fruit; does it lack precision? A little hint of bacon-fat, but apart from that I like the fruit much more on the palate. Does follow through very nicely – a wine in its infancy.

Gevrey-Chambertin Cazetiers, Domaine Faiveley          88

Fine bright medium dense red, the fruit is clearly present but backward. This is at the leaner end of the Cazetiers spectrum, and misses out on the highest class. Nose develops a lean meatiness. But tightly wound. But maybe lots more to come, hard to judge.

Gevrey-Chambertin Cazetiers, Domaine Armand Rousseau          87

Fairly dense dark red, some elegant if evolving fruit, a bit of strawberry. A touch of discordant barrel tar, soft fruit, needs a touch more precision. Sweetly engaging finish though. To retaste.

Grands Crus (–Chambertin)

Ruchottes-Chambertin, Christophe Roumier          97

Youthful dark colour. An impressive nose, a briary element hinting at some stems, but the energy of the fruit prevails. Sublime, beautifully balanced, a graceful coating of velvet dark fruit, over a really fine boned structure. Very long indeed. Magical wine.

Ruchottes-Chambertin, Georges Mugneret-Gibourg          96

Medium deep dark red colour. A little oak, a little soft fruit, suggestions of density behind. This builds beautifully on the palate, without becoming in any way too opulent. Lovely aftertaste. With Roumier, this pairing was a highlight of the tasting. Across our group there was a slight preference for this wine.

Mazoyères-Chambertin, Domaine Taupenot-Merme          94

Medium deep red with a touch of evolution. Quite firm fruit on the nose, which shows up as a firmly structured intensity on the palate, plenty of new oak, and a rich dark strawberries-and-cream fruit profile. Very Charmes, I thought, (though it is actually Mazoyères!) DIAM 10.

Latricières-Chambertin, Domaine Chantal Remy          94

Medium deep red purple. At first there seems to be a slightly weedy aspect to the nose, with a touch of evolution, but this disappeared rapidly in the glass. There is quite a sumptuous weight to the palate. Unknit at the moment but the aftertaste is rich and long, with a really fabulous finish.

Latricières-Chambertin, Domaine Rossignol Trapet          94

Good bright colour, plenty of energy here, not one of the riper wines, tightly wound, a wealth of fruit in the background with some chirpy minerals up front. Some depth, not completely knit yet, but excellent potential.

Charmes-Chambertin, Domaine Duroché          94

Bright fresh purple, discreet nose though with some elegance. This also may have some stems. Very finely balanced, complete wine right across the palate, just the right acidity and exceptionally long.

Chapelle-Chambertin, Domaine Rossignol-Trapet          94

Right medium deep colour, some stems but in a lovely coating of high glass fruit. Poised and stylish, a hint of austerity, very well knit across the palate, super length. Very together wine, not blockbuster, but with a great finish.

Charmes-Chambertin, Les Mazoyères, Domaine de la Vougeraie          94

Bright purple, rich and juicy but also a suggestion of vegetal. Perhaps this is more an aspect of some whole bunches. There is impressive deep dark fruit made livelier by the minerals of the whole bunch approach. This makes for a very complete and very attractive wine.

Mazis-Chambertin, Domaine Maume Tawse          93

Lively bright colour of moderate depth. Fine fresh fruit on the nose, good energy here. Backward and intense, just a whiff of something dry, but that apart this is an excellent concentrated tightly knit wine.

Chapelle-Chambertin, Domaine Damoy          92

Bright medium deep colour, with a rather engaging, accessible nose. Some stems, Actually this is rather lovely. The weight builds very nicely on the palate while retaining a firm backbone. Quite a lot of oak but in support rather than to the detriment. Very good.

Charmes-Chambertin, Domaine Christian Serafin          92

Bright purple colour, a bundle of energy on the nose, classical Charmes. Juicy ripe, balanced, quite oaky, and actually quite forceful at the back. Strong oak influence but it is clean. A blockbuster which will work. Firm wood tannins.

Mazis-Chambertin, Domaine Faiveley          92

Medium deep red- purple. The first nose speaks more of oak than wine. The palate has a robust core of opulent fruit allied to a mineral backbone, still very good oak integration and respectable length. A wine in its infancy but with good potential.

Chapelle-Chambertin, Domaine Louis Jadot          91

Medium bright colour, flamboyant fruit perhaps just short of classical elegance, but there follows a burst of very pleasing energy. Medium to long aftertaste.

Latricières-Chambertin, Domaine Launay Horiot DIAM 30          91

Full deep colour, still mostly purple. A heady, perfumed nose, after which the fruit is much more backward. Quite high acidity, densely coiled fruit, plenty of promise here but living on the limits of volatility.

Charmes-Chambertin Taupenot-Merme DIAM 10          91

Clear bright paler red purple. Stems with a slightly savoury note, drier finish. This could develop into a fine wine but for the moment it is slightly hidden. May have misread this because there does seem to be latent concentration. Actually builds steadily in the glass.

Charmes-Chambertin, Domaine Chanson          91

Palish colour with some evolution. The nose also reflects this – stems but not as fresh as one might like. Then freshens up in the glass and shows really well on the palate. Plenty of the strawberry sherbet aspect, but lovely fruit right through the middle and a very long finish.

Latricières-Chambertin, Domaine J&JL Trapet          89

Medium deep fresh red colour. The first nose shows oak, a barrel char component, also quite lactic. Quality fruit but the barrel char takes away an edge while the wine is young. Quite high acidity. Disjointed today but potentially fine.

Chapelle-Chambertin, Domaine J&JL Trapet          89

Medium deep red colour. The nose has good fruit overlaid with a lactic approach, perhaps from the barrel. Faintly over toasted oak too; this is hard to judge today.

Charmes-Chambertin, Domaine Armand Rousseau          88

Medium deep colour, with noticeably paler rim, a touch of reduction, possibly stems too. Sweet crushed strawberry fruit, a touch of dilution, agreeable and with some length but not threatening the leaders. Finishes on sweet fruit though odd reductive notes remain.

Charmes-Chambertin, Domaine Castagnier          corked

Premiers Crus: Chambertin & Clos de Bèze

Chambertin, Domaine J&JL Trapet          95

Fine bright youthful colour, more red than purple. Fresh briary nose, suggestive of some stems, some tarry notes from the barrel, but only in counterpoint to the fruit. That touch of tar comes through on the palate, though doubtless the undoubted energy of the fruit will sweep it away in due course. Finishes very well. Lots of nuance here, very long.

Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Domaine Duroché          95

Good intense colour without going purple. Heady nose, sensual and charming but not over exotic. Fine depth of flavour here, sumptuous, some plums, still just more red fruit than black, but voluminous and voluptuous. Very smartly made though with real fruit behind.

Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Domaine Damoy          94

A little lighter than some but still a good colour. Moderate intensity of fruit. Some barrel toast which doesn’t interfere, then surprisingly high acidity. Possibly some fractionally under-ripe grapes then treated to a luxury oak regime. But this should come through… Yes it will! Time in the glass was all that was needed.

Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Bouchard Père & Fils          94

Slightly paler colour and a suggestion of stems. Reasonable intensity, indeed the density of the fruit builds beautifully. Sweet red cherries, ripe but discreet. Very fine, very long. Quite a discreet wine. Fine boned, others have more overt intensity.

Chambertin, Domaine du Clos Frantin, Bichot          94

Fine bright youthful purple; fresh vigorous fruit, classy. Excellent energy across the palate, a fresh version of liqueur raspberries, dark cherries too, with intensity and precision. Still backward, not the sex appeal of the two Ruchotte-Chambertins, but very good indeed.

Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Domaine Faiveley          93

Bright mid red/purple. Some concentration of fruit, yet quite discreet. Intensity rather than detail. Fractionally under ripe which does not displease me. Shows more at the back where the finish is a bit rigid. But this does kick on. Perhaps just too reticent in its youth.

Chambertin, Domaine Rossignol Trapet          92

Clear bright colour. A perfumed nose with notes of sandalwood. There is significant intensity here of slightly under-ripe fruit, definitely red fruit, some pepperiness, good length. Still waiting to see how it will all knit together. Perhaps more a question of whole bunches than under-ripeness?

Chambertin, Domaine Armand Rousseau          92

Good bright colour of some intensity. A rich soft bouquet of fruit and oak. A bit easy-going at first, then muscular behind. Plenty of acidity, this needs to knit together. Has it been put together by a winemaker or is it just disjointed today? Does add some volume, but like the other Rousseau wines it is not showing its expected harmony today.

Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Domaine Robert Groffier Père & Fils          91

Rich dense purple black. Oaky and weighty, a full bodied statement. Luscious, some blackberry, with a good and indeed necessary restraining acidity. My preference is for more finesse but this will make many friends. There is currently something a little oily at the finish, and a slight drying effect from the wood, youthful imperfections which cost a point or two today but should disappear.

Chambertin, Louis Latour          91

Medium deep colour, the nose lacks a little freshness. Much better wine on the palate, with all the density one would hope for; a little acidity, some clear tannins, but a fruit profile which returns behind and demonstrates some class. Closer to black fruit than red.

Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Domaine Bruno Clair          89

Medium-deep colour, a little bit sombre both in tint and on the nose. Perhaps some evolution. Or a trace of something not quite clean. Either way the fruit needs to be fresher. The concentration is there, though. Modest score today but perhaps not the best sample? Others much preferred this.

Chambertin, Camille Giroud          89

Clear young purple colour. Fresh bouquet, floral, slightly under ripe currants, much to like in this but does it quite speak the majesty of Chambertin? Attractively lifted fruit at the finish, not submerged by oak. A little blackcurrant thread throughout, but a touch too green for a grand Chambertin.

Chambertin, Domaine Chantal Remy          87

Rich purple colour, with some suggestion of oxidation on the nose. This thickens the palate too and dries the finish. While there is fruit, this wine is not harmonious today. It turns out that we much preferred the Latricières-Chambertin from this estate.

Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Domaine Armand Rousseau          OOC

Full deep colour. Plenty of oak and perhaps a touch of oxidation to the nose. Heavily overdone. Thick, tarry, high acid too, very unsubtle. Evidently a flawed bottle.