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The Domaines

Domaine Ballot Millot

Domaine Follin-Arbelet

Domaine et Maison de Montille

Domaine de la Pousse d’Or

Domaine de la Vougeraie

Domaine Comte Armand

Domaine Henri Gouges

Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret

Domaine Confuron-Contetidot

Rhône – Domaine Delas Freres

The 2019 Vintage

Burghound on the 2019 Cote de Nuit Vintage

If I had to choose just one vintage with which to compare 2019, I would have to go way back in time to 1966 or even 1949. Full disclosure – I was not around to taste either of these vintages when they were young, so I don’t wish to speak outside of my direct experience but in terms of style, refinement and completeness, the 2019s make me think of these two. Those comparisons may unfortunately be useless for those who have never tasted an example, or relatively few, but if I am correct readers will be very happy as 1949 is one of the greats of the 20th century and 1966 is my second favourite vintage of the 1960s after 1962.

Domaine Ballot-Millot ☝︎ Index

Charles Ballot is a passionate, fulfilled and happy man. He is the heir to a very old family estate in Meursault, where he represents the sixteenth generation of operators since 1630. Charles Ballot has enthusiastically taken up the torch of this prestigious wine heritage for twenty years.
He was born at the Domaine, he grew up at the Domaine, he lives for the Domaine. Since his earliest childhood, he has breathed enchantingly the woody smell of barrels, the winey scents, the scents of the undergrowth of the family cellars.

His first steps, he took them in the middle of the imposing vats and aligned barrels, the first words he heard belong to the vocabulary of tasting.
He fondly remembers his hours spent in the cellar with his father, by the light of the portable lamp; together they washed away the thunderbolts, racked up, oozed out. This is where Charles took his first wine-making and tasting lessons…
No wonder he never wondered about his future …

Respectful of his exceptional heritage and concerned about preserving the environment, Charles Ballot, who is certain to switch to organic farming in the near future, combines traditional family methods with modern viticulture and winemaking techniques. The vines are plowed, chemical weeding is prohibited, and treatments are sparse. Do not abuse the soil, do not stress the vines, listen to it, these are its constant precepts. Each new year is a questioning, a permanent adaptation to specific climatic conditions. It is this versatility of nature that sweeps away the routine and makes the profession of winegrower fascinating. It forces the winegrower to draw inspiration from his artistic soul …

The 2019 Vintage at Ballot-Millot

From Burghound

Charles Ballot directs this old line domaine of 11.5 ha, of which 75% of the production is white. Ballot describes the 2019 vintage as having produced “magnificent wines of freshness and real drive despite elevated alcohol levels. We got killed by the frost in Chassagne but everywhere else we obtained pretty good yields, which is to say around 35 hl/ha for the pinot. I began picking on the 13th of September and the fruit was both very clean and very ripe. For the reds I did almost no punching down and kept the fermentation temperatures from rising above 28°C over the 15 to 21-day cuvaison. The reds are powerful and concentrated yet very well balanced and should age for as long as most people would want to keep them.” Ballot noted that the whites were bottled between November 2020 and January 2021. I would add that Ballot is not exaggerating in calling his 2019s magnificent as a number of his whites are knock-out good.

WHITE

2019 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET “Morgeot Tete de Clos” Blanc Premier Cru $222
2019 MEURSAULT $138
2019 MEURSAULT “Les Criots” $149
2019 MEURSAULT “Les Narvaux” $165
2019 MEURSAULT “Charmes” Premier Cru $259
2019 MEURSAULT “Genevrieres” Premier Cru $279
2019 MEURSAULT “Perrieres” Premier Cru $321

RED

 2019 VOLNAY “Santenots” Premier Cru $165
2019 VOLNAY “Taillepieds” Premier Cru $190
2019 POMMARD “Pezerolles” Premier Cru $206


WHITE REVIEWS

Issue 83 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine Ballot-Millot et Fils (Meursault)

 2019 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET “Morgeot Tete de Clos” Blanc:  Here the wood treatment is a bit more obvious with its hints of menthol suffusing the ripe and exotic dried yellow fruit aromas. There is good intensity to the delicious and nicely detailed medium weight flavors that are not super-dense but do offering excellent length on the mildly warm finale. This should repay at least 5 to 8 years of cellaring. 91/2026+


2019 MEURSAULT:  (from Les Pelles, Les Corbins, Peutes Vignes and Chaumes de Narvaux). Notes of poached pear, acacia, hazelnut and a whiff of spice gives way to dense, intense and beautifully textured medium-bodied flavors that possess impressive depth and persistence on the citrus-infused finale. This too is excellent for its level and well-worth checking out. 90/2025+


2019 MEURSAULT “Les Criots”:  A whiff of the exotic is present on the spice aromas of lychee, orange peel and soft wood nuances. Once again there is fine density to the succulent and caressing flavors that conclude in a saliva-inducing finale that is noticeably warm. I would suggest serving this moderately stony effort cooler than normal. 88/2023+


2019 MEURSAULT “Les Narvaux”:  A cooler and more elegant if more restrained nose reflects notes of petrol along with plenty of citrus and floral elements. There is even better volume and intensity to the attractively textured medium-bodied flavors that flash even more minerality on the youthfully austere finale. This relatively powerful effort is clearly in need of at least some patience. Recommended. 90/2026+


2019 MEURSAULT “Charmes”:  (from a parcel in Charmes Dessus that abuts Puligny). A gentle dollop of wood sets off petrolinfused aromas of ripe white and yellow orchard fruit, especially white peach. The sleek and almost painfully intense middle weight flavors display excellent detail and minerality on the beautifully long finale. This isn’t quite as harmonious as the Bouchères though it may ultimately catch it if allowed sufficient time. 92/2029+


2019 MEURSAULT “Genevrieres”:  A spicy and naturally exotic nose freely offers up notes of tea, white flowers and pretty essence of pear wisps. There is again terrific cut and intensity to the even more mineral-driven medium weight flavors that are shaped by bright and firm acidity on the sappy and hugely long finish. This is quite dense and unusually powerful for Genevrières. In a word, wonderful. 94/2029+


2019 MEURSAULT “Perrieres”:  A cool and reserved but beautifully well-layered nose combines notes of mineral reduction and white flowers with those of citrus peel and spiced apple. The racy and again almost painfully intense flavors brim with both minerality and sappy dry extract while delivering superb punch on the compact, serious and built-to-age finale. This attractively classy effort is like rolling small pebbles around in the mouth and is a wine that should age gracefully for a decade or more. 95/2029+


RED REVIEWS


Domaine Follin-Arbelet ☝︎ Index

Located in the heart of the village Aloxe-Corton, Domaine Follin-Arbelet operates and makes wine a great range of titles on the town and its surroundings, composed of three Grands Crus red, a Grand Cru white, red four First Growths, and a designation Village, the wine is representative of the best soils of the hillside of Corton.

Although he came from an old family Aloxe-Corton formerly owned prestigious appellations, Frank Follin Arbelet is the first to focus on viticulture and winemaking.

The cellars and winery are located in the village center of Aloxe-Corton in a beautiful and remarkable setting. The beautiful homestead, built in 1764, is typical Burgundian architecture, housing the first and second floors, shop and winery on the ground floor and cellar in the basement. Cellars, certainly deeper in the village are particularly cold and wet. A well there has also been increased. These conditions, although sometimes a bit sparse for tasting, are particularly beneficial for the development and breeding of fine wines.

The 2019 Vintage at Follin-Arbelet

From Burghound

Franck Follin’s son, Simon, who has joined his father at the domaine, capably handled the tasting. His take on the 2019 vintage was direct and straightforward, noting that “we had very warm harvest conditions, so it was necessary to process the fruit as quickly as possible, the idea being to prevent the fermentations from beginning immediately. We chose to begin picking on the 13th of September and brought in small yields, especially in white, of very ripe fruit that had excellent potential alcohols. Overall I would estimate that our yields, in both red and white, were down 25%. We did our normal vinification and had no problems though the malos, as usual given that our cellars are extremely cool, were extended. As to the wines, 2019 is a really good vintage. The wines are slightly more elegant than their 2018 counterparts and with better balance and harmony in my opinion.”

 

WHITE

 2019 CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE Premier Cru $347

RED

 2019 PERNAND-VERGELESSES “Les Fichots” Premier Cru $118
2019 ALOXE-CORTON Village $133
2019 ALOXE-CORTON “Clos du Chapitre” Premier Cru $162
2019 ALOXE-CORTON “Les Vercots” Premier Cru $162
2019 CORTON Grand Cru $279
2019 CORTON BRESSANDES Grand Cru $279
2019 ROMANEE SAINT VIVANT Grand Cru $1,005


WHITE REVIEWS

Issue 83 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine Ballot-Millot et Fils (Meursault)

 2019 CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE:  (from a .50 ha parcel in Le Charlemagne). A mildly oaky nose features aromas of green apple, citrus blossom and white-fleshed fruit. The sleek, delicious and more concentrated bigger-bodied flavors brim with minerality and particularly so on the muscular, powerful and sneaky long finish. This will need a few years to better integrate the wood treatment but given the density of material, that should be no problem. In sum, this is quite promising. 93/2027+

The 2019 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru is showing nicely, opening in the glass with scents of pear, orange oil, clear honey, blanched almonds and fresh bread. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated and textural, it’s rich and fleshy, with bright acids girdling its enveloping core of fruit. William Kelley 92-94


RED REVIEWS

Issue 82 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine Follin-Arbelet (Aloxe-Corton)

2019 PERNAND-VERGELESSES “Les Fichots”:  Somber and ripe aromas are comprised by notes of plum, violet and plenty of pungent earth character. There is fine richness and volume to the velvet-textured medium weight flavors that possess good depth on the robust and powerful but not overtly rustic finale. (89-91)/2026+

Wafting from the glass with notes of wild berries, cassis, rich soil tones and smoke, the 2019 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Les Fichots is medium-bodied, fine-boned and lively, with bright acids and a pretty core of fruit, concluding with chalky grip on the finish. 88-90 William Kelley


2019 ALOXE-CORTON Village:  (from La Toppe Marteneau and Boulmeau). A brooding if ripe and fresh nose combines notes of red and dark currant, forest floor and suggestion of the sauvage. I very much like the texture of the solidly concentrated medium-bodied flavors that possess a mouthcoating texture while offering fine depth and persistence. This moderately structured effort is built to repay mid-term cellaring and offers very good quality for its level. 89/2026+

Wafting from the glass with notes of sweet red berries, soil tones, rose petals and spices, the 2019 Aloxe-Corton Village is medium to full-bodied, velvety and elegant, with bright acids and a perfumed core of fruit, concluding with a long finish. This is promising. 88-90 William Kelley


2019 ALOXE-CORTON “Clos du Chapitre”:  Here the fresh and overtly floral-suffused nose offers fruit that is derived more from the red side of the spectrum where additional breadth is present in the form of humus and earth. The finer but not denser flavors possess a lovely underlying tension that contrasts somewhat with the rustic, balanced and very firm finale. (89-91)/2029+


2019 ALOXE-CORTON “Les Vercots”:  A more deeply pitched nose reveals notes of roasted plum, spice, newly turned earth and an abundance of sauvage character. There is impressive intensity to the delicious and vibrant if not especially dense middle weight flavors that culminate in a complex, rustic and serious finish that is built to repay extended cellaring. This is worth considering provided you have the intention of allowing it to age at least 7 to 8 years first. (90-93)/2031+

Notes of cassis, plums, dark chocolate and warm spices introduce the 2019 Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Les Vercots, a medium to full-bodied, deep and textural wine that’s rich and concentrated, underpinned by powdery tannins and lively acids. 91-93 William Kelley


2019 CORTON:  (from Le Charlemagne in Pernand). Discreet though perceptible wood sets off markedly spicy aromas of plum, black currant and once again, plenty of earth character. There is more volume and intensity to the larger-scaled flavors that possess very good richness thanks to the plenitude of sappy dry extract that also serves to buffer the firm tannic spine shaping the powerful and youthfully austere finale. Patience will clearly be required. 92/2031+

Derived from lieu-dit Charlemagne, the 2019 Corton Grand Cru reveals aromas of sweet red berries, woodsmoke, raw cocoa and peonies. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and fine-boned, it’s pure and precise, with a more ethereal profile than the richer, more soil-driven Aloxe-Corton premiers crus that preceded it. 92-94 William Kelley


2019 CORTON BRESSANDES:  (from 45 to 50-year old vines). Here too moderate wood influence is present on the mentholated and more elegant aromas of red and dark raspberry, spice and violet. The medium-bodied flavors are not as dense, but they are notably finer before concluding in a dusty, firm, youthfully austere and more structured finale. This possesses excellent upside development potential but it’s clear that most of 20 years is going to be necessary to fully resolve the tannins. (91-94)/2036+

Aromas of cherries, raspberries, warm spices and loamy soil introduce the 2019 Corton-Bressandes Grand Cru, a medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy wine that’s enveloping and gourmand, structured around ripe tannins and succulent acids. Like the Romanée-Saint-Vivant, this is sourced from the Poisot family. 92-94 William Kelley


2019 ROMANEE SAINT VIVANT:  Once again the wood treatment is perceptible though it remains sufficiently subtle to not interfere with the appreciation of the very ripe aromas of roasted plum, cassis, violet and lovely array of exotic spice elements. The surprisingly full-bodied flavors are bigger than what is typical for RSV yet though the extra size and weight does not significantly compromise the refinement of the serious, mouthcoating and lingering finish where the only nit is noticeable warmth. While not quite as structured as the Bressandes, this too is going to need extended cellaring to arrive at its peak. (91-94)/2034

Notes of ripe wild berries, loamy soil, exotic spices, smoked duck and rose petals introduce the 2019 Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, a full-bodied, rich and muscular wine with an ample core of fruit, powdery tannins and lively acids. This is shaping up very well indeed. 93-95 William Kelley


Domaine + Maison de Montille ☝︎ Index

Domaine de Montille is renowned as one of the finest domains in Burgundy. While the origin of the Domaine goes back to 1730 about, the modern history of the domaine started in 1947, when Hubert de Montille started to make the domaine’s wines at the age of 17, due to the death of his father. Four years later he took entire responsibility of the domaine.

As the domaine consisted of only 2.5 hectares at that time, he trained as a lawyer, and continued until his retirement to work both as a lawyer in Dijon and making the wines at the domaine. Hubert’s children, Etienne and Alix (was married to Jean-Marc Roulot) started helping in the domaine at young age, and Etienne had a second job (as an investment banker). But since 1990 Etienne started to take more responsibilities, and in 1995 became a co-manager of the domaine (although he continued working simultaneously in the bank until 2001). Under his lead the domaine’s reputation soared. Over the years by means of careful acquisitions, the domaine acquired more and more prime vineyards across the Côte d’Or, with the highlights being the acquisition of a fine parcel of Puligny Cailleret in 1993, of Corton Charlemange in 2004 and parts of the Thomas-Moillard estate in 2005 – including parcels in Vosne-Romanee Les Malconsorts, Clos de Vougeot and more.

In 2012, Etienne acquired the Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet, adding another 14 ha of prime vineyards (Chevalier Montrachet, Puligny Folatières, Meursault Poruzots, Saint Aubin “en Remilly”, Clos du Chateau de Puligny Montrachet, etc…) Today Domaine de Montille consists of 37 ha of vineyards, with respectively 23 ha under Domaine de Montille and 14 under Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet labels.

In 2003 Etienne started a negociant business with Alix nameds “les Deux Montilles” which specialize in white wines.

The biggest change applied by Etienne in the vineyards was the decision in 1995 to become organic, and in 2005 to entirely switch to biodynamic. While Hubert’s wines were famous to their ability to age gracefully but show austerity when young, Etienne’s approach is to make more accessible wines through a philosophy of better vineyards’ management, reduced yields, elimination of chemical fertilizers, careful attention to phenolic ripeness and picking date, and fine tuned extraction and wine making technics (Hubert was known to make piegeage 6 to eight times per day during fermentation, and consistently used 25-50% whole cluster berries for making the wines – Etienne reduced it to 2 times per day and uses stems between non to 100% depending to the vintage).

What remained unchanged over the years is the restrained use of new oak. The wines remain in barrels for 14-18 months and normally bottled without fining or filtration.

Etienne and Alix fine-tuned this historical great domaine and set it up as one of the finest domains of Burgundy.

The 2019 Vintage at Domaine + Maison de Montille

From Burghound

Etienne de Montille told me that 2019 “presented its fair share of challenges but nothing we haven’t seen before. However, the challenges weren’t without consequence as each of them took a bite out of the potential yields. This was the case even though individually none of them were serious, but when we added them all together, it cost us around 25%. In the end though, the fruit was spotless and ripe with good acidities. The skins were thick, and we used varying proportions of whole clusters while vinifying very softly to avoid extracting too much tannin. As to the style of the reds, they remind of a hypothetical blend of 2016 and 2017 as they combine the density and power of the former with the elegance and terroir transparency of the latter. They should be capable of aging gracefully for years. For the whites, I’m honestly not sure what other vintages they might reasonably resemble but I will say that they are a very pleasant surprise. I would add that we did almost no lees stirring as it seemed relatively clear from the beginning that they would be quite rich.” I’ve noted this before but in case anyone missed it, as of 2017 the wines that used to be bottled under the Château de Puligny-Montrachet label have now been folded into Domaine de Montille, and this includes both reds and whites. Lastly, the wines that are in bottle were put there is December 2020.

WHITE

 2019 MEURSAULT “Saint-Christophe” $201
2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET $190
2019 BEAUNE “Les Aigrots” Premier Cru $146
2019 SAINT AUBIN “Les Remilly” Premier Cru $135
2019 MEURSAULT “Les Porusots” Premier Cru $247
2019 MEURSAULT “Les Perrieres” Premier Cru $384
2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET “Les Chalumeaux” Premier Cru $253
2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET “Les Folatieres” Premier Cru $337
2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET “Le Cailleret” Premier Cru 750ml $393 Magnum $828
2019 CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE Grand Cru 750ml $440 Magnum $937
2019 CHEVALIER-MONTRACHET Grand Cru 750ml $1,336 Magnum $2,727

RED

 2019 MOTHELIE Rouge – Vin Nature $107
2019 BEAUNE “Les Perrieres” Premier Cru $159
2019 BEAUNE “Les Greves” Premier Cru 750ml $228 Magnum $495
2019 VOLNAY “En Champans” Premier Cru 750ml $341 Magnum $725
2019 VOLNAY “Taillepieds” Premier Cru 750ml $356 Magnum $756
2019 POMMARD “Les Pezerolles”Premier Cru $341
2019 POMMARD “Les Rugiens-Bas” Premier Cru $425
2019 NUITS-ST-GEORGES “Aux Thorey” Premier Cru $243
2019 CORTON CLOS du ROI Grand Cru 750ml $425 Magnum $943
2019 CLOS VOUGEOT Grand Cru $530
2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Aux Malconsorts” Premier Cru 750ml $894 Magnum $1,843
2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Aux Malconsorts-Christiane” Premier Cru 750ml $1,439 Magnum $2,935
2019 POMMARD “Pomone” Premier Cru $186


WHITE REVIEWS

Issue 83 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine de Montille (Volnay)

2019 MEURSAULT “Saint-Christophe”:  (from Les Narvaux, Casse Têtes and Petits Charrons). This too is firmly reduced and unreadable today. More interesting are the solidly concentrated, caressing and round flavors that exude a lovely salinity on the lingering, attractively dry and balanced finish. This could use better depth though more should develop if it is allowed a few years of bottle aging. 89/2025+


2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET:  (this is 80% from declassified Les Chalumeaux with the remainder from Les Levrons and Boudrières). A much more floral suffused nose speaks mostly of ripe white orchard fruit, citrus and a gentle dollop of wood. The plump, round and beautifully textured flavors possess good punch that carries over to the complex and persistent if somewhat rustic finale. This isn’t a refined Puligny villages but it’s still attractive in its fashion. 89/2024+


2019 BEAUNE “Les Aigrots”:  There is a suggestion of the exotic to the citrusy aromas of poached pear and acacia blossom. The tender, round and succulent medium weight flavors are equally clean and dry if just a bit less complex. Still, this refreshing effort is delicious and attractive if not truly distinguished. 90/2025+


2019 SAINT AUBIN “Les Remilly”:  (from 60+ year old vines). Here the nose is firmly reduced so be sure to give this some air if you’re going to crack a bottle young. Otherwise there is good freshness and verve to the sleek, intense and overtly mineralsuffused flavors that possess fine delineation on the balanced, clean and attractively dry finale. In a word, lovely. 91/2025+


2019 MEURSAULT “Les Porusots”:  This too is moderately reduced though it’s possible to discern that the underlying fruit is ripe. The bigger, richer and more concentrated medium-bodied flavors flash impressive power on the youthfully austere, serious and compact finale that makes clear that it is built-to-age and in need of at least some patience. Worth a look. 92/2029+


2019 MEURSAULT “Les Perrieres”:  (from a .45 ha parcel). Whiffs of herbal tea, mineral reduction and spice add breadth to the mostly green apple scented nose. Once again there is excellent volume to the intense and overtly mineral-driven flavors that terminate in a strikingly persistent and stylish finish that also makes clear that this beautiful effort needs extended bottle aging. 93/2031+


2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET “Les Chalumeaux”:  Firm reduction dominates the nose. On the palate the middle weight flavors are both sleeker and more voluminous with an almost aggressive salinity on the mildly rustic but impressively persistent finale.This too is quite appealing in its fashion even though it’s not especially refined. 91/2025+


2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET “Les Folatieres”:  Hints of lactic and residual secondary fermentation aromas should clean up once this is prepared for the bottling. On the palate the plump, round and delicious middle weight flavors that flash good minerality on the balanced and palate coating finale. This is awkward but my projected range assumes that it will harmonize once in bottle. (90-93)/2026+


2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET “Le Cailleret”:  (from a .85 ha parcel purchased in late 1992). Here too there is enough reduction to push the underlying fruit to the background. The super-sleek and almost painfully intense flavors brim with both minerality and dry extract that coats the palate on the classy, balanced and powerful finale. Excellent. (91-94)/2029+


2019 CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE:  (from Pougets). Elegant, cool and ripe aromas are comprised by notes of green fruit, apple, acacia and lemongrass. The racy mineral-driven flavors are also sleek and beautifully delineated on the youthfully austere finale that is sneaky long. This tautly muscular effort isn’t especially dense, but it is well-balanced and offers very good \development potential. (91-94)/2029+


2019 CHEVALIER-MONTRACHET:  This too is sufficiently reduced to mask the nuance of the nose. There is fine density to the mineral-driven and muscular larger-scaled flavors that also coat the palate while delivering very good persistence on the youthfully austere and chiseled finale. This will likely be approachable on the early side in the context of what is typical for Chevalier. (92-94)/2029+


RED REVIEWS

Issue 82 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine de Montille (Volnay)

 2019 MOTHELIE Rouge – Vin Nature:  (made with no sulfur additions, hence the name Nature, 66% whole clusters). Mild reduction cannot hide the fact that the underlying fruit is definitely ripe. Otherwise there is an attractive texture to the round and velvety middle weight flavors that conclude in a delicious and relatively easy-going finish that offers enough depth and persistence to be interesting. 88/2023+


2019 BEAUNE “Les Perrieres”:  (from vines that average 60+ years of age but some are almost 90; 40% whole clusters). A more deeply pitched and slightly riper but still quite fresh nose reflects notes of poached plum and plenty of floral nuances. There is excellent intensity and beautiful detail to the more complex and slightly more persistent finish. This beautiful Beaune 1er displays the slightly chalky texture that it is known for. 92/2029+


2019 BEAUNE “Les Greves”:  (50% whole clusters). A brooding and slightly grumpy nose reluctantly offers up an even more deeply pitched nose of cassis, black cherry, warm earth and spicy top notes. There is impressive richness and volume to the sappy and caressing yet powerful medium-bodied flavors that culminate in a beautifully long if ever-so-slightly rustic finish. This is one of those wines that is sufficiently structured to reward extended cellaring yet it’s so rich that it should be accessible after only 5 or so years. 92/2031+


2019 VOLNAY “En Champans”:  (33% whole clusters). Slightly riper aromas exhibit nots of plum, black raspberry, spice and violet. There is excellent density to the more voluminous if slightly less refined medium weight flavors that brim with sappy dry extract that helps to buffer the slightly firmer tannic spine on the lingering and more complex finale. Lovely. (91-94)/2031+


2019 VOLNAY “Taillepieds”:  (from ~80-year old vines; 100% whole clusters). A super-floral nose seems to have every floral element in the book including a perfumed hint of gardenia that adds a touch of elegance to the exotically spicy aromas of red and black raspberry. The pure and almost painfully intense flavors are like rolling tiny stones around in the mouth while delivering outstanding depth and persistence on the overtly austere, serious and compact finale that leaves zero doubt that this beauty is built-to-age. In a word, terrific. (92-95)/2034+

2019 POMMARD “Les Pezerolles”:  (33% whole clusters). Here too there is a whiff of volatile acidity that plays at the edge of perceptibility on the mostly red berry fruit and spice infused nose. There is a lovely sense of refinement to the nicely rich and well-delineated flavors that exude a bracing salinity on the sneaky long, firm and youthfully austere finale. While not technically perfect, this is still really quite good. (90-93)/2031+


2019 POMMARD “Les Rugiens-Bas”:  (100% whole clusters). A strikingly pretty and overtly floral nose is both cool and elegant while discreetly reveals its aromas of spicy dark berries. The powerful and tautly muscular broad-shouldered flavors brim with sappy dry extract while the intensely saline finish is chiseled and hugely long. This is outstanding though note well that it is very much built-to-reward extended patience. (92-95)/2036+


2019 NUITS-ST-GEORGES “Aux Thorey”:  (66% whole clusters). Moderate reduction presently overshadows the fruit. Otherwise there is very good vibrancy to the slightly more refined flavors that culminate in a solidly persistent if somewhat skinny and lean finale. This is almost tender on the mid-palate, yet the moderately austere finish is quite a contrast. It’s possible that this will put on flesh and richness with a decade of cellaring and my projected range offers the benefit of the doubt. (89-92)/2029+


2019 CORTON CLOS du ROI:  (from ~75+ year old vines; 66% whole clusters). An exuberantly spicy nose of black cherry, warm earth and violet betrays only a hint of the sauvage. The super-sleek and impressively intense larger-scaled flavors brim with both minerality and dry extract before terminating in a very firm, austere and serious finale. This built-to-age effort is also going to need time to further flesh out. (91-94)/2036+


2019 CLOS VOUGEOT:  (33% whole clusters). A more obviously floral suffused nose speaks primarily of earthy red berry scents. There is evident power and intensity to the muscular but not rustic larger-bodied flavors that possess fine delineation on the moderately austere, compact and beautifully long finale. This equally built-to-age effort is potentially excellent. (92-94)/2036+


2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Aux Malconsorts”:  (100% whole clusters). Firm reduction flattens the underlying fruit today. More interesting are the almost painfully intense and markedly mineral-driven flavors that flash a taut muscularity that carries over to the powerful and hugely long finale. This too is very tightly wound, and I would recommend not touching this beauty for at least 10 years. (92-95)/2036+


2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Aux Malconsorts-Christiane” :  (100% whole clusters). This is also quite firmly reduced and revealing nothing at present. On the palate though the slightly bigger flavors possess only a bit more volume but notably more power and particularly so on the even longer though not necessarily more complex finale. This is very classy juice with that sense of poise that all great wines seem to have. Very promising. (93-95)/2036+


2019 POMMARD “Pomone”:  Here there is a whiff of volatile acidity that is sufficiently subtle not to significantly detract from the ripe aromas of plum and earth. The mouthfeel of the slightly bigger and richer flavors are also quite suave while offering solid length though the finish is a bit one-dimensional. (87-89)/2024+


Domaine de la Pousse d’Or ☝︎ Index

Since the end of the last century, Patrick Landanger has been the owner of the Domaine. He made significant investments in the vineyards as well as in the winemaking facilities and cellars.

He has been joined by his son, Benoit, who has been helping him with the winemaking as from 2013. Their ambitions on quality are reflected in the deep respect of the terroirs they run. The biodynamic certification will complete this choice.

The 2019 Vintage at Domaine de la Pousse d’Or

From Burghound

Benoît Landanger, who has assumed the direction of this domaine and has converted it to biodynamic farming principles, briefly noted that “2019 is a terrific vintage but it didn’t give us much quantity as our yields were only 20 to 20 hl/ha. We picked from the 11th of September and maturities were actually pretty uniform as potential alcohols bunched between 13.5 to 13.8% with two wines at 14%, which was the highest degree we had. I’m really pretty happy with the results as the transparency is much better than one would expect given how warm the growing season was.” Once again, I had a chance to taste three wines that were vinified exactly the same as the regular cuvées but were raised in amphora; this is to say the En Caillerets, Clos de la Bousse d’Or and the Clos des 60 Ouvrées vineyards. I note these using the term amphore in the reviews, but the actual terminology found on the label reads “Vinifié et Élevé en Amphore”. I would add that I was really impressed with the quality of the 2019 vintage here as the wines seem to have just a bit more of that hard to describe “presence” than usual. Landanger noted that the wines from the Côte de Beaune were bottled in February 2021. 

WHITE

 2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET “Clos le Cailleret” Premier Cru $300
2019 CHEVALIER-MONTRACHET Grand Cru $1,519

RED

 2019 VOLNAY “En Caillerets” Premier Cru $206
2019 VOLNAY “Clos d’Audignac” (Monopole) Premier Cru $238
2019 VOLNAY “Clos de la Bousse d’Or” (Monopole) Premier Cru 750ml $243 Magnum $516
2019 VOLNAY “Clos de la Bousse d’Or – Amphore” (Monopole) Premier Cru $263
2019 VOLNAY “Clos des 60 Ouvrées” (Monopole) Premier Cru 750ml $247 Magnum $528
2019 VOLNAY “Clos des 60 Ouvrées – Amphore” (Monopole) Premier Cru $269
2019 CORTON “Clos du Roi” Grand Cru 750ml $290 Magnum $612
2019 CORTON “Les Bressandes” Grand Cru $279
2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY 375ml $104 750ml $197 
2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY “Les Feusselottes” Premier Cru $325
2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY “Les Grosseilles” Premier Cru 750ml $325 Magnum $684
2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY “Les Charmes” Premier Cru Magnum $902
2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY “Les Amoureuses” Premier Cru $896
2019 BONNES-MARES Grand Cru $896
2019 CLOS DE LA ROCHE Grand Cru $896


WHITE REVIEWS

Issue 83 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine de la Pousse d’Or (Volnay)

2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET “Clos le Cailleret”:  (from a .70 ha parcel; raised in 350-liter barrels). At the time of my tasting the nose was quite firmly reduced so I would recommend a thorough aeration if you’re going to open a bottle upon release. More interesting are the almost painfully intense and beautifully detailed flavors that display evident minerality on the youthfully austere and tightly wound finale. This needs to develop better depth but it should be able to do that with time in bottle. 92/2029+


2019 CHEVALIER-MONTRACHET:  (from a .125 ha parcel). Here too the nose is firmly reduced so again, give this plenty of air if you’re going to try a bottle young. Otherwise there is even better intensity to the solidly dense and muscular big-bodied flavors that brim with an almost pungent minerality on the tightly wound, refined and lingering finale. This is really quite classy and a wine that is also going to require at least moderate patience. 94/2031+


RED REVIEWS

Issue 82 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine de la Pousse d’Or (Volnay)

2019 VOLNAY “En Caillerets”:  A mentholated top note is present on the more deeply pitched nose of poached plum, violet and discreet hints of fennel and cinnamon. There is excellent verve to the utterly delicious flavors that exude a highly attractive inner mouth perfumed before culminating in a chiseled, youthfully austere and bitter cherry pit inflected finale. Lovely. 92/2031+


2019 VOLNAY “Clos d’Audignac” (Monopole):  (a northeast facing vineyard that rarely gets the same degree of sunlight as the other Volnay 1ers in the portfolio and thus it can often be more Pommard than Volnay in character). This isn’t as spicy as the En Caillerets but there is fine complexity to the mix of plum, dark cherry and earth scents. I very much like the texture of the more powerful if less refined medium weight flavors that flash a taut muscularity on the firm, detailed and equally austere finale. This is qualitatively similar but offers a distinctly different expression. 92/2031+


2019 VOLNAY “Clos de la Bousse d’Or” (Monopole):  A slightly fresher and decidedly more elegant nose offers up notes of red currant, dark raspberry, anise and a pretty hint of violet. As one would expect, the middle weight flavors are notably more refined with a caressing but detailed texture on the mineral inflected finish. This needs more depth but should be capable of developing better complexity. 91/2029+


2019 VOLNAY “Clos de la Bousse d’Or – Amphore” (Monopole):  This is a bit fresher than the regular version with its aromas of red and dark currant, lavender and rose petal. The super-sleek, well-detailed and wonderfully intense flavors brim with minerality on the balanced and youthfully austere finale. Also like the regular version, this would benefit from having more depth. 92/2031+


2019 VOLNAY “Clos des 60 Ouvrées” (Monopole):  Very ripe but agreeably fresh aromas include those of backed plum, anise, clove, violet, lavender and an interesting hint of sandalwood. The sleeker and more refined medium-bodied flavors flash more evident minerality though decidedly less power and muscle on the super-saline infused finish. This is classy, harmonious and a wine that should reward a decade plus of cellaring. 93/2031+


2019 VOLNAY “Clos des 60 Ouvrées – Amphore” (Monopole):  Once again, the amphore demonstrates its advantages in very ripe vintages as the nose is appealingly fresh with an even spicier array of plum, violet, anise and cinnamon scents. The delicious middle weight flavors possess a gorgeous texture if perhaps not quite the same complexity on the balanced and overtly stony finish. I suspect that more depth will progressively develop over time. 93/2031+


2019 CORTON “Clos du Roi”:  A slightly fresher nose speaks of ripe dark berries laced with notes of earth, forest floor and pretty floral nuances. The mouthfeel of the medium weight flavors is sleeker though not denser with good minerality on the delineated, balanced and very firm finale. This is a Clos du Roi of class and grace yet one that should also amply repay extended cellaring. 93/2034+


2019 CORTON “Les Bressandes”:  (from a .5 ha parcel). Aromas of roasted plum, black raspberry and an almost pungent earthiness introduce elegant but not especially dense middle weight flavors that are vibrant and delicious while firming up sufficiently to make clear that this is also going to need extended cellaring to arrive at its peak. 92/2034+


2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY:  (from parcels totaling 1.41 ha). Mild reduction pushes the underlying fruit to the background but it’s clearly ripe. Otherwise there is a lovely sense of refinement to the attractively textured middle weight flavors that exude evident minerality on the clean, focused and delicious finish. This is very Chambolle in style. (89-91)/2026+


2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY “Les Feusselottes”:  (from a .42 ha parcel). An elegant, pure and fresh if ripe nose combines notes of both red and blue pinot fruit with those of plum and violet. The slighter sleeker if less seductive medium weight flavors also exude an evident minerality on the youthfully austere and persistent finish. This will need to add depth but the aging curve and underlying material appear up to the task. (90-93)/2029+ 


2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY “Les Grosseilles”:  (from a .52 ha parcel). This is aromatically similar to the Feusselottes if perhaps just a bit spicier. The generously proportioned, round and quite seductively textured flavors possess fine intensity and a sophisticated mouthfeel while exhibiting excellent depth and persistence on the balanced finale. (91-94)/2031+


2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY “Les Charmes”:  (from a .19 ha parcel). This is also reduced and revealing nothing on the nose. More interesting are the more voluminous if not quite as vibrant medium-bodied flavors that possess a suave and very rounded mouthfeel before concluding in a suave, sappy and bitter pit fruit-inflected finale. (90-92)/2029+


2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY “Les Amoureuses”:  (from a .20 ha parcel). Cool, pure and airy aromas are comprised by a plethora of spice and floral elements on the essence of plum, black cherry and exotic tea scents. The texture of the middle weight flavors is finer still and even more sophisticated while exuding notably more minerality on the lacy and impressively long finish. This also needs to add depth but that shouldn’t be an issue if it is allowed sufficient time. (92-94)/2031+


2019 BONNES-MARES:  (from a .17 ha parcel). Subtle but easily perceptible wood sets off ripe aromas of poached plum and exotic red berry fruit scents that are laced with suggestions of warm earth and spice. The round and caressing yet solidly powerful and concentrated medium weight plus flavors flash an appealing vibrancy while coating the palate with sappy dry extract on the linear, youthfully austere and compact finale. This too needs more depth, but this is quite promising. (92-95)/2034


2019 CLOS DE LA ROCHE:  (from a .32 ha parcel). This is quite ripe though not flat with its combination of backed plum, warm earth, spice and whiffs of the sauvage. The rich and relatively full-bodied flavors possess good if not special density as well as focused power on the sappy, austere and highly persistent finish. I suspect that this very firm effort will age slowly and deliberately but should very much be worth the wait. (92-95)/2034+


Domaine de la Vourgeraie ☝︎ Index

The Domaine de la Vougeraie was created by bringing together the Boisset family’s vineyards and other wine estates acquired over the years. The first of these goes back to 1964 with the first plot, Les Evocelles, in the village of Gevrey-Chambertin, which was bought by our father when he started out.

More than 20 years later came a second phase, with the addition of more vineyards including our first foothold on the Côte de Beaune. In 1996, the vineyards which today make up the third of our estate on the Côte de Beaune were acquired. This was followed by the acquisition of Le Clos Blanc, the famous monopole which produces its renowned golden nectar. These vines in our family village were the natural inspiration for the Domaine de la Vougeraie, like a return to our childhood roots.

Nathalie & Jean-Charles Boisset

A patchwork of 74 plots covering 42 hectares make up the estate, two-thirds on the Côte de Nuits, one-third on the Côte de Beaune, together producing 36 appellations. At the heart is the diamond set among rubies, the legendary monopole of Vougeot Premier Cru Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot.

Lovingly tended soils, low yields for concentrated fruit, which is then handled with extreme care throughout growing cycle, followed by hand-stitched vinification and ageing for each plot: All of this contributes to a style that is all about elegance and the continual quest for a precise expression of terroir.

The 2019 Vintage at Domaine de la Vougeraie

From Burghound

Sylvie Poillot, who is the general manager of this now 44 ha domaine of which 70% of the production is in red, conducted this year’s tasting. As reported last year, the amount of vines under production grew recently because they bought Maison Alex Gambal. Gambal’s vines were already being farmed organically and thus there was no recertification necessary. With respect to the 2019 vintage, Poillot told me that “the hot and dry conditions made it imperative to watch maturities very closely as they began to spike as the harvest neared. We chose to begin picking in Volnay on the 9th of September and, in a change from the normal sequence, with our pinot rather than chardonnay. But I was so concerned that sugars would continue to rise rapidly that we hired 110 harvesters and divided them into 3 teams so we could be in more places at once. The fact that the fruit was so clean was definitely a big plus in terms of being able to pick quickly. We also could pick quickly for another reason, which is that yields were down some 40% relative to 2018. Alcohols were actually quite reasonable as the highest came from our vines in Charmes-Chambertin at 13.4%. I chose to use varying amounts of whole clusters that ranged from zero to as high as 100% with very little punching down during a roughly 20-day total cuvaison. As to the wines, they are remarkably fresh given the hot temperatures with excellent energy and transparency. Moreover, they’re quite concentrated and while they may not outlive the 2018s, they still should positively develop over several decades.” Poillot has once again fashioned some really lovely wines, many of which are worth checking out. 

WHITE

 2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET “Champ Gain” Premier Cru $245
2019 VOUGEOT “Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot” (Monopole) Premier Cru $298
2019 CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE “Le Charlemagne” Grand Cru $401
2019 BATARD-MONTRACHET Grand Cru $791
2019 BIENVENUES-BATARD-MONTRACHET Grand Cru $843
2019 CHEVALIER-MONTRACHET Grand Cru 750ml $1,155 Magnum $2,363

RED

2019 BEAUNE “Les Greves” Premier Cru $146
2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY $177
2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN 750ml $135 Magnum $302
2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN “La Justice” $140
2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN “Les Evocelles” 750ml $156 Magnum $345
2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN “Bel Air” Premier Cru 750ml $182 Magnum $397
2019 CORTON “Clos du Roi” Grand Cru $349
2019 CHARMES-CHAMBERTIN “Les Mazoyeres” Grand Cru 750ml $582 Magnum $1,219
2019 CLOS de VOUGEOT Grand Cru 750ml $497 Magnum $1,011
2019 BONNES MARES Grand Cru $791
2019 MUSIGNY Grand Cru 750ml $1,650 Magnum $3,350


WHITE REVIEWS

Issue 83 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine de la Vougeraie (Prémeaux-Prissey)

 2019 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET “Champ Gain”:  Here too a deft application of wood is present on the more elegant aromas of essence of apple, spice and mineral reduction. There is more volume and mid-palate density to the refined medium weight flavors that coat the palate with sappy dry extract that also buffers the markedly firm acid spine shaping the more complex and persistent finale. A quality effort. (90-93)/2027+


2019 VOUGEOT “Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot” (Monopole):  (a monopole of de la Vougeraie). Subtle but easily perceptible wood can be found on the pungent aromas of petrol and matchstick character. The succulent and round but decidedly punchy flavors exude a bracing salinity on the linear, chiseled and solidly persistent finish that is presently somewhat youthfully austere. This is potentially excellent and a wine that will need at least a few years of patience so the finish can further flesh out. (90-93)/2027+


2019 CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE “Le Charlemagne”:  (from parcels of .28 ha in En Charlemagne and .22 ha in Le Charlemagne; note that this could also be declared as Corton-Charlemagne). More obvious wood influence on the green apple, citrus and spice scented nose stops short of being invasive though it’s not subtle. There is fine mid-palate density to the sappy medium-bodied flavors that exude plenty of minerality on the firm citrus-tinged and powerful finish where a touch of wood slowly resurfaces. (91-93)/2029+


2019 BATARD-MONTRACHET:  (from Chassagne fruit). An impressively layered nose is comprised by notes of petrol, white and yellow peach, anise, orange peel and moderate wood influence. The richer and notably more powerful bigger-bodied flavors brim with dry extract that again does a good job of buffering the firm acidity shaping the compact, serious and youthfully austere finale. This well-muscled effort should also repay extended keeping. (91-94)/2031+


2019 BIENVENUES-BATARD-MONTRACHET:  A toasty nose of lemon rind, honeysuckle, passion fruit and just sliced fennel gives way to more refined and delineated if less concentrated and powerful flavors that culminate in a harmonious and graceful finish. I like the texture as it’s almost delicate though this beautiful effort should have no trouble amply rewarding extended cellaring. Classy juice. (91-94)/2031+


2019 CHEVALIER-MONTRACHET:  More restrained and cooler aromas display notes of white flowers, pear, apple, jasmine tea and dried apricot where the wood treatment is more subtle. The larger-scaled flavors possess a gorgeous texture thanks to the abundant dry extract that imparts a seductively sappy quality to the powerful yet refined finish that is even more structured. This bone-dry and lemony effort is clearly built for long-term keeping so at least some patience advised. (92-95)/2034+


RED REVIEWS
 Issue 81 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine de la Vougeraie (Prémeaux-Prissey)

2019 BEAUNE “Les Greves”:  (45% whole clusters). Once again there is an abundance of earth character to the very deeply pitched and layered nose that blends notes of tobacco, humus, game and violet with those of a variety of dark berries. The powerful, serious and palate coating flavors possess very fine size, weight and concentration while exhibiting excellent length on the robust and dusty finish. This is potentially outstanding, but patience will be required. (90-93)/2031+


2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY:  (a blend of Argillières, Veroilles, Condemennes, Derrière le Four and Les Fremiers where ~25% of the blend is from the 1ers Les Baudes and Les Gruenchers; 25% whole clusters). Pungent aromas of wood and reduction overshadow everything but a hint of violet. More interesting are the wonderfully refined medium weight flavors that possess both fine cut and minerality before culminating in a chiseled and sneaky long finish that is firm but not so much so that this couldn’t be approached after a few years of bottle age. Excellent quality here for a villages level wine. (89-92)/2027+


2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN:  (from Craite Paille, La Justice, Murots and the villages portion of Bel-Air). Moderate wood toast can be found on the purple fruit, earth and sauvage-inflected nose. The succulent, round and delicious medium-bodied flavors possess very good vibrancy that carries over the somewhat firmer and youthfully austere finish that isn’t really much more complex, at least not today. This too should benefit from a few years of cellaring. (88-91)/2027+


2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN “La Justice”:  (only the fruit from vines planted on high gravel content soil are kept as this helps to avoid rusticity and heaviness). An earthy yet reasonably elegant nose combines notes of red and dark raspberry with those of gentle spice and underbrush hints. There is again lovely purity and detail to the attractively refined lighter weight flavors that are supported by very fine-grained tannins while concluding in a mildly austere finale. This is certainly pretty but it currently lacks real depth. Even so, I suspect that more will develop with a few years of keeping. (88-91)/2025+


2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN “Les Evocelles”:  (from vines on the Brochon side; 50% whole clusters). An overtly floral-suffused nose reflects notes of spicy and cool red and dark currant with traces of the sauvage and forest floor. The racy, intense and beautifully precise middle weight flavors possess an almost aggressive minerality while displaying unusually good length on the complex, balanced and youthfully austere finish. This really lovely effort is quite tightly wound so at least moderate patience strongly suggested. (90-92)/2029+


2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN “Bel Air”:  (from vines that sit above Clos de Bèze; 40% whole clusters). Reduction presently overshadows the underlying fruit though it does seem ripe. There is very good volume to the plush, round and delicious medium weight flavors that exude a refreshing minerality on the intense, firm and precise finale that also possesses very fine depth and persistence. This is a very good effort that should repay a decade plus of cellaring. (91-93)/2031


2019 CORTON “Clos du Roi”:  (35% whole clusters). This too is firmly reduced though subtle floral nuances can be discerned. There is terrific intensity to the bigger-bodied and more muscular flavors that also possess very good minerality and precision, all wrapped in a lingering and youthfully austere finish that flashes focused power. This is not particularly dense but like several wines in the range, there is very good flavor authority and given how structured this is, I would suspect that more body and richness will develop with time in bottle. (91-94)/2036+


2019 CHARMES-CHAMBERTIN “Les Mazoyeres”:  (100% whole clusters). A pungent nose is composed mostly of wood toast and reduction. Otherwise there is excellent precision to the rich, intense and surprisingly mineral-driven big-bodied flavors that are shaped by firm but ripe tannins and outstanding length on the linear, austere and powerful finish. This beautifully complex and quite firmly structured effort possesses plenty of muscle and very fine development potential. (92-95)/2039+


2019 CLOS de VOUGEOT:  (from an exceptionally well positioned 1 ha parcel situated directly beneath Les Petits Musigny that is combined with another less well located .35 ha parcel close to the main road; 25% whole clusters). Ripe and appealingly fresh aromas are composed by sauvage and earth-inflected notes of mostly red and dark berries. Once again, the mouthfeel is really quite sleek as the rounded yet reasonably precise and energetic flavors possess a seductive texture, all wrapped in a youthfully austere, sappy and impressively persistent finale. This will need to develop better depth to merit the upper end of my projected range, but the potential certainly appears to be present. (91-94)/2036+


2019 BONNES MARES:  (from vines near the Morey border, 50% of which were planted in 1902; 100% whole clusters). Here there is no reductive funk as there is a lovely purity to the super-fresh and quite floral nose of red currants, spice and newly turned earth. There is an almost painful intensity to the highly energetic and tautly muscular broad-shouldered flavors that already offer impressive depth and sneaky good length. Despite having reasonable size and weight, this is not an especially big Bonnes Mares though it is one allied with plenty of power and punch. (93-95)/2036


2019 MUSIGNY:  (from a tiny parcel of .17 ha; 100% whole clusters). This is also quite pure and cool with its restrained if wonderfully broad-ranging nose that includes plum liqueur, black raspberry, rose petal, violet and a whiff of exotic Asian-style tea. Like the Bonnes Mares, this is not a big or especially dense Musigny, but I really like the sophisticated and classy texture of the intense and sleekly muscular flavors that possess excellent focus and drive on the youthfully austere and hugely long finish. Like the Mazoyères, this is very much built for extended cellaring and is a blend of power and finesse. (93-96)/2039+


Domaine Comte Armand ☝︎ Index

Domaine des Epeneaux owes its name to the Clos des Epeneaux, a magnificent parcel of five hectares acquired by Nicolas Marey at the end of the 18th, beginning of the 19th century.

In 1828, the Clos des Epeneaux and related buildings, known as the Fief de Rancy, situated in the centre of the village of Pommard, became part of the heritage of the family of the Count Armand.

The estate remained as such until 1994 when it annexed a vineyard plot situated in the neighbouring village of Volnay, then later parcels from the village of Auxey-Duresses.

Today, Domaine des Epeneaux constitutes a total surface area of 9 hectares, and is more committed than ever to producing wines that are true expressions of their terroir.

In 2014, Benjamin Leroux, after 15 vintages of passionate devotion and pleasure, handed the reins over to Paul Zinetti who had worked with the Domaine since 2010.

The Style

The wines of Pommard have historically been some of the most tannic Pinots on the Côte. Under Benjamin Leroux’s leadership, they soften considerably. Something the current winemaking team has continued.

Zinetti prefers to do long maceration with gentle extraction, including keeping the wines on their skins at 28 to 30 degrees C. for 10 to 14 days after the fermentations have finished. He noted that the color and structure were slow to come in 2016, in part because the warm September weather (the estate started harvesting on September 23) made it difficult to conduct more than a three-day pre-fermentation cold soak. That was in direct contrast to 2015, when it was particularly important to avoid overextraction: he only needed to do a total of four punchdowns followed by only pumpovers for the ‘15s. Incidentally, beginning in 2014, Zinetti has been able to keep more whole berries with a new destemmer. As there is now more intracellular fermentation, he told me, “vinifying with stems is now a bit less important.” In another attempt to make somewhat gentler wines here, Zinetti began using a vertical press in 2015, which he says gives a “natural filtering of the grapes and softer, rounder tannins. We can press strongly but it’s never overdone.” Stephen Tanzer

The 2019 Vintage at Comte Armand

From Burghound

Régisseur Paul Zinetti commented that the 2019 vintage “was challenging in its fashion even though we didn’t have much in the way of disease pressure. By contrast there were issues with frost, a poor flowering and dehydration along with quite a bit of loss from sunburned berries. I chose to begin picking on the 11th of September and then picked the Clos on the 13th and 14th. All of the factors that I mentioned contributed to yields that were only around 25 hl/ha, which is roughly 30% less than what we realized in 2017 and 2018. Sugars were quite strong though not ridiculous at between 13.6 and 14.5%, which is a tenth of a degree higher than 2018. I used between 10 and 20% whole clusters for some wines and overall, there were no problems with the fermentations. As has been the case for several years now, I did vinify very softly because it would have been quite easy to have created excessively tannic wines as the skins were thick and as I noted, yields were low. I used more new oak for the Clos, which is to say 40% versus about 30% in 2018. As to the wines, I am very pleasantly surprised that they are as fresh, dynamic, and well-balanced as they are because after such a hot summer, I honestly did not expect them to be so vibrant and inviting.”r.”

Winemaking, from the Winery

Wines are the very image of the quality of fruit they derive from.

With utmost respect toward the grape, our harvest is 100% de-stemmed, keeping most of the berries whole, not crushed.

The winemaking process then goes through three distinct stages:

Pre-fermentation maceration period of 5-8 days at a temperature of 13-14°C
Spontaneous alcoholic fermentation between 5-10 days
Post-fermentation maceration of 3 to 15 days depending on the vintage
Most years, the total maceration period lasts about 4 weeks, which is relatively long for traditional winemaking in Burgundy.

We believe it is far more beneficial to give the extracted matter sufficient time to structure itself into something more stable and harmonious during vinification.

The moon, largely guiding and presiding over our rhythm of labour, has had a significant influence in both our vineyards and vat house since the 2001 vintage. For example, our 4-week maceration corresponds to a lunar cycle (that determines the fluids of the earth). The wines are produced according to a continuous 28-day period to best preserve the vibrational state of water in the grapes at the moment of the cutting.

If this notion seems far-fetched foremost amateurs, it allows us, notwithstanding the rigorous lunar calendar, to obtain more precise wines with better minerality. Never forget: wine is constituted principally of water.

Depending on the appellation and age of the vines, our wines will age18 to 24 months in barrels, with a percentage of new oak ranging from 0% for the Village appellations to 30% for the old vines of Clos des Epeneaux.

Drinking Comte Armand Wines, from the Winery

Most of our wines are neither fined nor filtered to preserve the utmost quality. However, in spite of microbiological controls throughout the ageing process, we strongly advise that they be kept around a temperature of 12°C.

Don’t hesitate to decant (in a closed decanter) young vintages at cellar temperature.

Generally speaking, we advise patience. Even though by decanting young wines will open up, they will in no way offer the richness one can expect from those that mature a minimum of 10 to 15 years.

WHITE

2019 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY “Condemaine” $78

RED

 2019 AUXEY-DURESSES Rouge $99
2019 AUXEY-DURESSES Rouge Premier Cru $156
2019 VOLNAY “Les Fremiets” Premier Cru $255
2019 POMMARD “Clos Epeneaux” Premier Cru $401


RED REVIEWS

 Issue 82 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine Comte Armand/Clos des Epeneaux (Pommard)

2019 AUXEY-DURESSES Rouge:  (from Largillas). A ripe and fresh combination is composed by notes of both red and dark berries that are cut with earth and spice whiffs. There is fine volume and mid-palate density to the mouthcoating middle weight flavors that terminate in a raspy and mildly grippy finish where a hint of warmth slowly emerges. Some patience advised. (88-90)/2025+


2019 AUXEY-DURESSES Rouge 1er Cru:  (a blend of two 1ers, Les Bréterins and Bas de Duresses – the vines run from 35 to 75 years of age). This is also quite ripe with its aromas of poached plum, black cherry, earth, and a touch of floral character. The salineinflected medium-bodied flavors possess fine very and richness while delivering slightly better length on the moderately grippy and rustic finale. (89-91)/2026+


 2019 VOLNAY “Les Fremiets”:  A perfumed, ripe and airy nose offers up pretty notes of various red berries, rose petal and an interesting hint of spiced tea. The elegant, plump and delicious medium weight flavors flash an attractive minerality and fine delineation that carries over to the mouthcoating finish where the only nit is a touch of warmth. This is lovely and a wine that should also be reasonably approachable young if that’s your preference. (90-93)/2027+


2019 POMMARD “Clos Epeneaux”:  (the 5+ ha Clos is composed of approximately 80% Petits Epenots and 20% Grands Epenots; the vine ages run from 18 to 80+ years of age; 30% new wood from yields of ~25 hl/ha). This too is aromatically moderately reduced and unreadable today. By contrast there is fine freshness and verve to the dense, powerful, and muscular larger-scaled flavors that coat the palate with sappy dry extract before concluding in a dusty, austere, and firm finale. The 2019 Clos is excellent though I underscore that it’s also quite serious, and as is usually the case, is going to require extending cellaring to arrive at its peak. (92-94)/2034+

 


Domaine Henri Gouges ☝︎ Index

Henri Gouges has a long continuous history in Nuits-Saint-Georges. Nuit-Saint-Georges rests on the Southern border of Vosne-Romanée.

The creation of Domaine Henri Gouges was the culmination of four hundred years of family grape farmers. Henri formed the Domaine in 1920, but was soon discouraged with the idea of selling the fruit to négociants. He envisioned a better quality wine from his new Domaine, and by 1933 was producing, bottling and selling directly. It has remained an undivided family property as the transition continued from Henri to his sons Marcel and Michel, to the next generation of Pierre and Christian who have recently turned it over to Gregory and Antoine Gouges.

Located in the heart of the “Cote d’Or” in the village of Nuits Saint Georges, they have grown to thirty-six acres of vineyards and a modern gravity flow winemaking facility where they produce Bourgogne, Village and Premier Cru wines.

Henri’s philosophy from the old maxim, “It is on the vines that great wines are made” has endured through each subsequent generation. Respecting the land, the environment, and the traditions of the region have been at the heart of their winemaking. Great care to nurture the soil and vines has lead to the highest quality fruit while controlling yields for optimum results.

The Style

The wines of Nuits tend not be as masculine as the wine of Gevrey-Chambertin or have the immediate opulence of Vosne.

In the 1990’s Gouges used to make quite chewy reds with whole-bunch and cold soak influence. Over time they have been looking to evolve their style, making finer wines. The videos in the offer show the rebuilt winery, the exceptionally gentle fruit handling, and, berry by berry sorting, with gravity used to move fruit.

 

The 2019 Vintage at Henri Gouges

From Burghound

Grégory Gouges described the 2019 growing season as one that was “hot and even drier than 2018 yet one that produced wines that are less atypical than 2018. Because it was so hot and dry, there really wasn’t much disease pressure other than a bit of mildew in Chaignots that cost us perhaps 5% of the potential yield. We picked from the 14th of September and brought in fruit that was so clean that there really was very little lost to sorting. Yields came in around 30 hl/ha, which is typically what we shoot for. For example, in Les St. Georges, we aim to have yields of between 25 and 30 hl/ha, which we view as reasonable. However, compared to the 9 hl/ha we realized in 2016 and the 20 hl/hl we obtained in 2018, 30 hl/ha all of a sudden seems quite generous! Potential alcohols were mostly between 13.5 and 14.5% and because it was clear that the fruit had a very high level of extractability, we chose to vinify very softly. As to the wines, they are rich, concentrated and built-to-age with surprisingly good transparency to the underlying terroir. I quite like them and believe that they should age extremely well.”

Where are Henri Gouges Vineyards?

RED

2019 BOURGOGNE Rouge $76
2019 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES $149
2019 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES “Les Chaignots” Premier Cru $190
2019 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES “Clos des Porrets St Georges” Premier Cru 750ml $185 Magnum $397
2019 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES “Les Pruliers” Premier Cru 750ml $238 Magnum $501
2019 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES “Les Vaucrains” Premier Cru 750ml $294 Magnum $647

RED REVIEWS

 Issue 81 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine Henri Gouges (Nuits St. Georges)

2019 BOURGOGNE Rouge:  (from vines on the plateau, which give a more elegant wine than vines from the lower sections). A notably ripe nose features notes of various dark berries, earth and game hints. There is excellent richness to the full-bodied, concentrated and relatively powerful medium weight flavors that conclude in a rustic, serious and lingering finish. This isn’t a refined Bourgogne but it’s really quite impressive for its level and recommended. 88/2023+


2019 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES:  (from Les Plateaux, Belle Croix, Les Fleurières and Les Chaillots). A more elegant nose features notes of herbal tea, red and dark currant and plenty of earth influences. There is both more energy and detail if less richness to the sleek, delicious and lingering finale that is refreshing even with a hint of warmth. This too is very good for its level and worth checking out. 89/2026+


2019 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES “Clos des Porrets St Georges”:  (a 3.57 ha monopole with 30+ year old vines). Firm reduction blocks an evaluation of the nose today though the underlying fruit does seem ripe. There is excellent vibrancy to the subtly mineral-driven larger-scaled flavors that possess better depth and persistence on the muscular, serious and youthfully austere finale. This is very Nuits in character without being overly rustic. (89-92)/2031+


2019 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES “Les Pruliers”:  (from a 2-ha parcel with a mix of 80% 75+ year old vines and the remainder of 15 to 20-year-old vines). This is also quite firmly reduced and unreadable at present. Otherwise there is equally good energy and delineation to the slightly more refined though still dense and muscular medium-bodied flavors that possess just a bit more depth on the similar finish that is muscular, serious and youthfully austere if not especially rustic. (90-92)/2031+


2019 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES “Les Vaucrains”:  (from a 1.08 ha mix of younger and older vines that average about 50+ years of age). Discreet wood influence surrounds the notably ripe and fresh aromas of cassis, plum liqueur, earth and evident sauvage wisps. There is excellent richness and volume to the suave, round and seductive mid-palate of the broad-shouldered flavors that contrast markedly with the very firmly structured, youthfully austere and impressively persistent finish. As is usually the case, this is very compact and backward and a wine that will require extended aging to reach its peak. (91-94)/2036+


Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret ☝︎ Index

For more than eight generations, the Mongeard family has been established in Vosne-Romanée since the year 1620, right in the midst of the Côte de Nuits, producing wine with an utmost respect for tradition.

The Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret, renamed since 1945, now operates a large vineyard in the purist of the burgundy tradition. My grand-father was Eugène Mongeard and my grand-mother Edmée Mugneret.

The property accounts today for approximately 30 hectares, spread on 35 different appellations producing white Burgundy issued from the Chardonnay grape, but also essentially red wines issued from the Pinot Noir grape in the best climates of the Côte.

Records show a Mongeard working as vigneron for Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in 1786. In 1945, Jean Mongeard, whose mother was a Mugneret, found himself making wine at the age of 16 in the place of his father who had died years earlier. The entire 1945 crop was purchased by Baron le Roy, Marquis d’Angerville, and Henri Gouges. Gouges instructed the young Mongeard to personally bottle the wines, rather than sell in barrel. In 1975, Vincent Mongeard, Jean’s son, began working alongside his father and became responsible for viticulture and vinification of the domaine’s wines. He persuaded his father to return to the traditional method of bottling, without filtration, filtering only with certain vintages. Jean Mongeard retired in 1995, and Vincent assumed complete leadership of the domaine. Today, Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret covers a total area of more than 75 acres, split among 35 appellations. The varied range of climats in which the Mongeards own vineyards results, naturally, in wines of great diversity.

The 2019 Vintage at Mongeard-Mugneret

From Burghound

Vincent Mongeard succinctly commented that the 2019 growing season “was once again especially hot and dry though other than a bit of hail in Nuits St. Georges, it was relatively easy to manage. We had a moderately poor flowering with plenty of shatter, so yields were not especially good though neither were they really low either. As was the case in 2018, the fruit was so clean that it made for rapid picking as there was little to sort. I again vinified softly and at much cooler temperatures than usual, the idea being to try to avoid accentuating the intrinsic ripeness of the fruit. As to the wines, they have plenty of structure and underlying material, yet they are charming and to my taste, better-balanced than their 2018 equivalents.”

From Willam Kelley, The Wine Advocate

Vincent Mongeard, who has directed this important Vosne-Romanée domaine since 1995, guided me through a selection of what is a rather extensive portfolio—drawing on fully 30 hectares of vines. Mongeard told me that his grands and premiers crus are farmed essentially organically, and that at the communal and regional level treatments are kept to a minimum. Most cuvées are largely destemmed, though some of the higher appellations increasingly see some whole bunches, and macerations long and cool (attaining a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius). Elevage is in barrels made by Tonnellerie Rousseau, produced from wood that’s purchased and seasoned in house, Mongeard favoring—rather unusually—the forests of the Ardenne and Jura over those of the Centre. The result is very classic wines that carry a rather toasty patina of wood in their youth but blossom with bottle age into superb examples of their appellations. And it’s worth adding that, while there are no bargains in mature Vosne-Romanée, I’d venture that the domaine’s older vintages are some of the finest values to be found on the secondary market today, as they reliably perform very well (some notes on the estates 1980s will appear in my forthcoming retrospective report on that underrated vintage).

REDS

2019 BOURGOGNE HAUTES-COTES-DE-NUITS “Les Dames Huguettes” $77
2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE 375ml $105 750ml $197
2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Les Maizieres-Hautes” $205
2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN $201
2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY $201
2019 FIXIN “Vieilles Vigne” $138
2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Les Orveaux” Premier Cru $298
2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Les Suchots” Premier Cru $325
2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Les Petits Monts” Premier Cru $325
2019 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES “Aux Boudots” Premier Cru $325
2019 VOUGEOT “Les Cras” Premier Cru $306
2019 BEAUNE “Les Avaux” Premier Cru $154
2019 ECHEZEAUX Grand Cru 750ml $464 Magnum $1,005
2019 ECHEZEAUX “Les Grand Complication” Grand Cru 750ml $697 Magnum $1,473
2019 GRANDS-ECHEZEAUX Grand Cru 750ml $750 Magnum $1,578 Jeroboam $3,280
2019 CLOS de VOUGEOT Grand Cru $594
2019 RICHEBOURG Grand Cru 750ml $1,702 Magnum $3,481 Jeroboam $7,090

RED REVIEWS

Issue 81 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret (Vosne-Romanée)

2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE:  (from Les Violettes et Porte Feuille). A ripe and very spicy nose combines notes of anise and sandalwood with those of plum, dark cherry and a subtle application of wood. The velvety and rich medium-bodied flavors possess both excellent volume and mid-palate density while exhibiting good power on the solidly tannic finish. This isn’t especially refined but there’s fine underlying material and overall, this should make for a very good, and ageworthy, Vosne villages. (88-91)/2027+

The 2019 Vosne-Romanée Village is showing nicely, mingling notes of wild berries and petals with rich spices, deftly framed by a judicious touch of toasty oak. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and succulent, with velvety tannins and lively acids, it’s a pretty, gourmand example of the vintage. 90/2022-2042, William Kelley


2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Les Orveaux”:  (from a 1.08 ha parcel). Here too there is enough wood to notice on the wonderfully spicy nose of dark currant, plum, violet and jasmine tea. There is better freshness and verve to the delicious and attractively detailed flavors that exude evident minerality on the youthfully austere, focused and lingering finale. This is at once classy and refined while being built to repay mid to even longer-term cellaring. (90-92)/2029+

The 2019 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru En Orveaux is a great success, opening in the glass with aromas of cherries, plums and orange rind, complemented by hints of spices, smoke and toasty new oak. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with lively acids and powdery tannins, it’s elegant and nuanced. Mongeard notes that the vines in this parcel are planted north-south, which isn’t a disadvantage in warm, sunny years like this. 93/2025-2050, William Kelley


2019 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES “Aux Boudots”:  There is enough reduction present to render the nose tough to assess but it seems clear that the underlying fruit is ripe. Otherwise, there is both good volume and power to the solidly concentrated bigger-bodied flavors that brim with plenty of sappy dry extract while delivering fine length on the mildly rustic and austere finale. This caressing but powerful effort is potentially outstanding though patience will be required. (91-93)/2031+


2019 ECHEZEAUX:  (from vines in Les Treux). Mocha, black cherry and floral-infused aromas introduce less concentrated but sleeker middle weight flavors that possess a beguiling textured are shaped by more polished and finergrained tannins on the more complex and persistent finish. This is quite pretty and should also age well. (91-93)/2031+


2019 ECHEZEAUX “Les Grand Complication”:  (from selected vines in a .36 ha parcel of Les Treux that was planted in 1945; the wine, which is intended to replace the prior cuvée known as Echézeaux Vieilles Vignes, comes in a special 3-bottle case that looks very much like a briefcase with snaps containing a brochure that explains the selection. For readers’ edification, in watchmaking a complication is a function that is added to the hour, minute or second hand of a watch. An ultra-complicated watch is one where the movement combines all three complications in one and it is from this usage that the name La Grande Complication derives; made with 100% whole clusters and raised in one 300-liter 100% new barrel, which should equal about 400 bottles). An overtly toasty nose features notably ripe notes of various dark berries laced with a plethora of floral and spice wisps. There is both excellent volume and intensity to the muscular, serious and broad-shouldered flavors that exude a subtle minerality on the palate coating and solidly persistent finish. This is lovely and while it is quite firm, it’s not so backward that it will be unapproachable before full maturity. (91-94)/2034+

Matured in 300-liter barrels made from oak that Mongeard selects and seasons himself, the 2019 Echézeaux Grand Cru La Grande Complication is a special cuvée that derives from vines planted in 1945 with the family’s massal selections, located in the lieu-dit of Les Treux. Unwinding in the glass with notes of orange rind, rose petals, exotic spices, cherries and berries, it’s full-bodied, deep and layered, with a concentrated, tightly wound core that shows considerable promise for long-term cellaring. Fermented 100% whole bunches, it’s one of the more reserved wines in the range. 94+/2030-2060, William Kelley


2019 GRANDS-ECHEZEAUX:  An attractively floral nose exhibits notes of rose petal, violet and lavender along with ripe black pinot fruit, plum, spice wisps and a dollop of wood toast. The very rich, even opulent, large-bodied flavors are at once sleek but plush, all wrapped in a sappy and sneaky long finish that is also clearly intended for extended cellaring. This will need to develop more depth over time but that should be possible given the depth of the underlying material. (91-93)/2034+

The 2019 Grands Echézeaux Grand Cru is showing beautifully, unwinding in the glass with deep-pitched aromas of cherries, plums, orange rind, incense and spices. Full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, it’s elegantly muscular, with a layered core of fruit, powdery tannins and lively acids, concluding with a long, penetrating finish. This is a brilliant wine that represents relative value in the constellation of top Vosne-Romanée/Flagey-Echézeaux grands crus. 95/2030-2060, William Kelley


2019 CLOS de VOUGEOT:  (from a .63 ha holding in Grand Maupertui and Les Chioure). A spicy liqueur-like nose reflects earthy notes of mostly blue and black pinot fruit that are trimmed in just enough wood to merit mentioning. The delicious middle weight flavors possess a rich, velvety and rounded mouthfeel before concluding in a markedly firm and mildly austere finish where a hint of warmth slowly emerges. This suave and mouth coating effort should be approachable on the younger side but have no trouble rewarding up to two decades of cellaring. (91-93)/2034+

From two parcels—one in Grand Maupertui and another in Les Chioures (next to Méo Camuzet’s)—the 2019 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru opens in the glass with notes of cherries, raspberries and spices, complemented by hints of licorice, rose petals and rich soil tones. Full-bodied, layered and velvety, with fine depth at the core, lively acids and fine-grained tannins, it’s a rather suave, elegant rendition of Mongeard-Mugneret’s Clos Vougeot. 94/2025-2055, William Kelley


2019 RICHEBOURG:  (from vines adjacent to those of Domaine de la Romanée Conti in Richebourg proper, totaling .31 ha; 100% new wood). Here too notes of wood toast and menthol are present on the slightly more elegant and notably spicier array of liqueur-like dark currant, sandalwood, Asian-style tea and a lovely range of floral elements. The succulent, suave and highly seductive broad-shouldered flavors possess good volume and solid density on the stony and youthfully austere finish that delivers excellent persistence where the only nit is a perceptible hint of warmth. Patience absolutely necessary. (92-94)/2039+

The 2019 Richebourg Grand Cru has turned out brilliantly, offering up a complex bouquet of cherries, berries and plums mingled with oriental spices, rich soil tones, rose petals and blood orange. Full-bodied, velvety and layered, it’s muscular and concentrated, with huge reserves of fruit that largely conceal its broad-shouldered chassis of ripe, velvety tannins. Long and penetrating, this is the high point of Vincent Mongeard’s portfolio this year. 96/2030-2060, William Kelley


Domaine Confuron-Contetidot ☝︎ Index

When La Revue du Vin de France 2012 edition made this domaine only the 10th domaine in the Côte de Nuits to be felt worthy of the magical three stars, alongside the likes of Roumier, Mugnier and Rousseau, it was black and white recognition of the dramatic progress this domaine had made over the previous five or six years.

Brothers Yves and Jean-Pierre Confuron have carried on the traditions at the historic Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot that would certainly make their ancestors proud; the family continues to lead the way in séléction massale as it has since the 17th century, and even boasts a clone of the noble Pinot Noir in their name.

The domaine remains one of the rare few to produce four village wines among 11 hectares in Burgundy’s prestigious Côte de Nuits (Nuits-St-Georges, Vosne-Romanée, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin), in addition to a number of premier cru and grand cru sites. Today, Yves directs the domaine and Jean-Pierre works in the cellar, while their parents Jacky and Bernadette work the vineyards as carefully as they have for more than fifty years.

The success of the house style has earned the two respected roles as consultants to neighbouring estates as well. Theirs is old-school red Burgundy at its best.

That the land has never seen synthetic herbicides or pesticides distinguishes Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot from the bulk of their peers in Burgundy, where more holistic vineyard practices can be a challenge. While they incorporate organic practices into their farming, they are not interested in being tied down by the strict confines that certifying agencies dictate. Regular ploughing and short pruning (with an occasional green harvest) keep yields low, between 35-45 hl/ha, on what are generally very old vines.

The Style

… the house style is decidedly old school and there’s no point buying these wines without the express intention of aging them over the longer-term.

Allen Meadows

Harvests are always later than most to ensure ripe stems. The grapes are then fermented in whole clusters, undergoing long cuvaisons of 2 to 3 weeks, and extended barrel-aging up to 2 years. New oak levels range from 10-20% in the village wines and up to 50% in the grand crus. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, the wines display incredible aromatic intensity, spicy fruit, and an elegant minerality from their exceptional terroirs.

One of the strengths of Confuron Cotetidot wines is their ability to age and develop, due to the low yields and old vines that are used, causing them to be more approachable in the medium to long term.

In the last few years even in their youth the wines have been wonderfully aromatic and seductive. Wines full of character, terroir, aromatics, accessibility and longevity. Yves’ signature wine if his Vosne 1er Cru Les Suchots, of which he has a very friendly two hectares, divided into two parcels, which border Echezeaux, the other Romanée-Saint-Vivant. This combination of elegance and power, spice and fragrance is a delight. If you like the serious built-to-age old school style, this is one of the very best addresses around.

 

The 2019 Vintage at Confuron-Cotetidot

From Burghound

Yves Confuron (who is also the régisseur at Domaine de Courcel in Pommard), succinctly described 2019 as he did 2018, which is to say as a “hot, dry and ripe vintage though one with more vines suffering hydric stress and as such the tannins are less ripe than they were in 2018. Because of this I felt that it was absolutely necessary to wait to pick and thus we didn’t start until the 22nd of September. The fruit was super-clean and solidly ripe with very little sorting required. As to the wines, I found that those coming from cooler terroirs are better balanced than those coming from warmer sectors.” As I always underscore, the house style is decidedly old school and there’s no point buying these wines without the express intention of aging them over the longer-term.

Where in the World is

Confuron-Cotétidot is based in Vosne-Romanée in the Côte de Nuits with holdings in Nuits-St-Georges, Vougeot, Chambolle-Musigny, Gevrey-Chambertin and Pommard. An epic 2 Ha of ‘Les Suchot’ in Vosne-Romanée, smack bang between Romané-Saint-Vivant and Grands Echézeaux, the historic jewel in the crown.

REDS

2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE $152
2019 NUITS-ST-GEORGES $152
2019 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY $152
2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN $152
2019 POMMARD “Arvelets” $277
2019 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY “Derriere la Grange”  Premier Cru $319
2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN “Lavaut St Jacques” Premier Cru $319
2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Les Suchots” Premier Cru $319
2019 NUITS-ST-GEORGES “Vigne Rondes” Premier Cru $292
2019 ECHEZEAUX Grand Cru $501
2019 CLOS de VOUGEOT Grand Cru $526
2019 CHARMES CHAMBERTIN Grand Cru $526
2019 MAZIS CHAMBERTIN Grand Cru $943

2009 Cellar Release Reds

2009 POMMARD “Arvelets” $423
2009 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY “Derriere la Grange” Premier Cru $526
2009 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Les Suchots” Premier Cru $526
2009 NUITS-ST-GEORGES “Vigne Rondes” Premier Cru $475

RED REVIEWS

Issue 81 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine Confuron-Cotétidot (Vosne-Romanée)

2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE:  (from Murailles du Clos, also known as Porte Feuilles, and Les Jacquines). Ripe aromas of plum, black cherry, violet and sandalwood give way to succulent, round and utterly delicious medium-bodied flavors that possess a suave mouthfeel that contrasts with the serious and youthfully austere finale. A very solid Vosne villages. (89-91)/2027+


2019 NUITS-ST-GEORGES:  (from 80+ year old vines in Bas de Combes). An earthier and markedly ripe nose grudgingly offers up dark berry fruit liqueur scents. The sleek, intense and beautifully well-detailed flavors are supported by a firmer tannic spine on the moderately rustic, muscular and lingering finale. (89-91)/2029+


2019 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY:  (from Les Fremiers, Guérippes, Mal Carrées and Les Condemennes). This is also ripe yet attractively cool with its pretty array of red and dark currant, spice and plenty of floral influence. The seductively textured middle weight flavors are finer with good energy and detail before concluding in a stony, bitter cherry and youthfully austere finale. This is very good though note well it’s not intended for early consumption. (89-92)/2031+


2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN:  (the majority of this comes from Champs-Chenys, along with Creux Brouillard). A ripe but reasonably cool nose offers up notes of plum, earth, mocha and a whiff of the sauvage. The exceptionally rich, concentrated and opulent flavors flash both good power and a subtle minerality on the sappy and slightly warm finale. (88-91)/2029+


2019 POMMARD “Arvelets”:  This too is aromatically cool and restrained with its red and dark cherry-scented nose that is laced with hints of violet, newly turned earth and a whiff of anise. The beautifully textured, even sleek, middle weight flavors are more refined while offering more evident minerality on the youthfully austere and slightly warm finale. This too is clearly constructed to repay extended cellaring. (90-92)/2034+


2019 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY “Derriere la Grange”:  Markedly ripe aromas of spicy and violet-suffused red and dark pinot fruit introduce sleek, mineral-inflected and delicious medium-bodied flavors that are shaped by moderately firm tannins on the long but noticeably warm finale. This isn’t elegant but the length is impressive. (89-92)/2031+


2019 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN “Lavaut St Jacques”:  (from a .30 ha parcel). A broad-ranging nose displays hints of the sauvage, forest floor and herbal tea to the mostly cool dark pinot fruit scents. The denser and much more muscular middle weight plus flavors flash an abundance of minerality on the powerful, focused and well-delineated finish. This youthfully austere effort is also very clearly built-to-age and a wine that’s going to need it. (90-93)/2034+


2019 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Les Suchots”:  (the domaine is the largest holder in Suchots with an incredible 2.16 ha). An exuberantly spicy and manifestly ripe nose of poached plum, exotic tea and floral nuances gives way to suave, round, dense and seductively textured large-scaled flavors that are dusty, mouth coating and powerful though the finish is again noticeably warm. (89-92)/2034+


2019 NUITS-ST-GEORGES “Vigne Rondes”:  Very ripe liqueur-like aromas are comprised by notes of red raspberry, plum, violet and warm earth. The medium weight flavors possess a relatively refined mid-palate mouthfeel though the noticeably warm finish displays an abundance of mocha character. (89-91)/2029+


2019 ECHEZEAUX:  (from a .45 ha parcel in Les Treux where Clos de Vougeot meets Grands Echézeaux). This is aromatically similar to the Suchots though with an even broader range of spice elements. The mouthfeel of the middle weight flavors is a bit sleeker as well with an overt muscularity to the prominently tannic, warm and palate coating finish. This robust and powerful effort is decidedly old school in style. (89-92)/2036+


2019 CLOS de VOUGEOT:  (from vines situated next to those of Faiveley and Prieur near the bottom of the slope on the Vougeot side). Discreet touches of wood and menthol are present on the slightly more deeply pitched and attractively spiced black berry fruit aromas that include iron-infused warm earth notes. The succulent yet overtly powerful big-bodied flavors are blessed with ample dry extract if not the same power on the very firm, concentrated and austere finish where noticeable warmth arises. This is also unapologetically old school in style, and it won’t be for everyone. (89-92)/2039+


2019 CHARMES CHAMBERTIN:  (from a .30 ha parcel in Charmes proper). Moderately ripe aromas of black cherry liqueur, cassis and earth display pretty floral top notes. The rich, attractively textured and intense large-scaled flavors possess equally good power and punch on the impressively lengthy finish. This isn’t an elegant wine though it’s not overtly rustic either and while I like the complexity and persistence, I underscore that this is very structured. (90-93)/2036+


2019 MAZIS CHAMBERTIN:  (from a tiny .08 ha parcel of 40+ year old vines located in Mazis-Haut that normally produce only one barrel). A brooding nose only reluctantly reveals notes of ripe and fresh dark currant, earth and a smoked game nuance. There is outstanding density to the powerful, robust and bold big-bodied flavors that possess seriously good concentration where the sap does a good job of buffering the very firm tannic spine shaping the highly persistent and overtly austere finish. This intensely mineral-driven effort is potentially excellent, but it is again very clearly built-to-age and it’s pointless to buy this without that express intent. (91-94)/2039+


2009 Museum Release

Issue 41 – Allen Meadows’ Burghound – Domaine Confuron-Cotétidot (Vosne-Romanée)


2009 POMMARD “Arvelets”:  A similar, if fresher and more elegant nose introduces detailed and lightly mineral-inflected middle weight flavors that possess both fine precision and vibrancy, all wrapped in a dusty finish of medium complexity that benefits from well-integrated tannins plus solid length. (89-91)/2019+


2009 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY “Derriere la Grange”:  (the first vintage for this wine). An extremely elegant nose of lacy and airy high-toned red berry fruit leads to delicate but focused and minerally medium-bodied flavors that are very Chambolle in character on the mid-palate though the lingering finish is quite firm as there is a touch of stems in evidence. (89-92)/2017+


2009 VOSNE-ROMANEE “Les Suchots”:  (the domaine is the largest holder in Suchots with an incredible 2.16 ha). A highly spiced and very Vosne nose offers up cassis and black raspberry aromas that precede the very seductive, concentrated and mouth coating flavors that are suave, indeed even silky yet culminate in a firm, powerful and balanced finish. (91-93)/2019+


2009 NUITS-ST-GEORGES “Vigne Rondes”:  An expressive nose of spicy and floral red and black raspberry is at once rich yet serious on the palate with good delineation and volume on the textured, rustic, intense and old school-style finish. I quite like the robust muscularity when it comes to the wines of Nuits but it’s not for everyone as there isn’t much finesse or refinement. (90-92)/2021+


RHÔNE VALLEY

Domaine Delas Freres ☝︎ Index

The winery was founded in 1835 by Philippe Delas and Charles Audibert, and passed on to Philippe’s two sons (one of which married Charles’ daughter). They changed the name of the maison to Delas Frères in the early 1920s and established this name as one synonymous with high quality. In 1993 Delas Frères became part of the Champagne Louis Roederer group, which shares a similar family owned history and pursuit of excellence. 2020 saw the completion of a new state of the art winery and house in Tain Hermitage where all of the top appellation wines are vinified and aged, underlying their commitment to producing the highest quality wines.

The Domaine cultivates vineyards on the steep granite slopes of the northern Rhône. Now owning 30 hectares of prime vineyards in the northern Rhône, including 10 hectares on the famed Hermitage hill, the team adapt their growing practices to each plot of vines to let the terroir of the Rhône shine through in the wines. Since 2013 they have been working organically, but are not certified. Additional grapes are supplied through long-term agreements with southern Rhône growers dedicated to providing only top quality grapes.

Crafted by winemakers Jacques Grange and Claire Darnaud, the wines from Delas Frères epitomise finesse and elegance. Recent vintages from the vineyards of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Côtes-du-Rhône and Côtes-du-Ventoux have been lauded in the press for their intensity of flavour and excellent value, and are regarded as some of the most refined in the region.

The Reconstruction

The introduction of oenological equipment tailored to the vinification and ageing requirements of selected wines has also contributed to the revival of Delas.

In the vinification cellars, the old stainless steel vats have been replaced by small 85 hl concrete vats. These containers ensure that the batches of grapes can be separated, terroir by terroir, and enable a more effective temperature control. All of the work is now carried out using a gravity system. As the fruit is emptied into the vats by gravity, the grape berries are not subjected to pumping or any rough handling. The vats are fitted with hatches that enable the punching down of the cap to be carried out by hand in order to air the wine from the top. The vinification process can therefore be likened to a great Chef preparing his dishes on the stove.

The ageing cellars have been completely renovated since 1996. The 2,500 hl of old casks have been replaced by 600 Burgundy barrels from world-famous coopers such as François Frères, Seguin Moreau and Damy. It is essential to have a relationship of trust with the cooper supplying the barrel because, although the wine benefits from the time it spends ageing in barrel, its organoleptic characteristics must not be overpowered by the oak. The barrel should allow the fruit of the terroir to express its unique personality.

On the steeply sloping hillside vineyards, where man must be the “mason” of his own vines, the dry stone retaining walls have been painstakingly rebuilt in order to preserve the countryside heritage.  2015 proudly marks the completion of the reconstruction of these low walls which are so symbolic of the Hermitage hill.

WHITE

2020 HERMITAGE “Domaine des Tourettes” Blanc $176

RED

 2019 CROZES-HERMITAGE “Domaine des Grands Chemins” 750ml $66
2019 SAINT-JOSEPH “Francois de Tournon” $78
2019 HERMITAGE “Domaine des Tourettes” $147
2019 COTE-ROTIE “Seigneur de Maugiron” 750ml $147 Magnum $296

SINGLE VINEYARDS

2019 CROZES-HERMITAGE “Le Clos” (Wooden case) 750ml $98 Magnum $199
2019 SAINT-JOSEPH “Saint-Epine”   (Wooden case) 750ml $123 Magnum $249
2019 HERMITAGE “Les Bessards”   (Wooden case) 750ml $312 Magnum $627
2019 HERMITAGE Ligne de Crête “Les Grandes Vignes”   (Wooden case) 750ml $347 Magnum $695
2019 COTE-ROTIE “La Landonne”   (Wooden case) 750ml $407 Magnum $814
2018 HERMITAGE Ligne de Crête “Les Grandes Vignes”   (Wooden case) 750ml $327 Magnum $656
2017 HERMITAGE Ligne de Crête “Les Grandes Vignes”   (Wooden case) 750ml $327 Magnum $656
2017 HERMITAGE Ligne de Crête “Les Grandes Vignes”   (Wooden case) 750ml $327 Magnum $656
2016 HERMITAGE Ligne de Crête “Les Grandes Vignes”   (Wooden case) 750ml $327 Magnum $656


RED REVIEWS

Vinous – Issue May 20 Josh Raynolds – Delas Frères
The Wine Advocate – May 2021 Week 2 – Delas Frères (WA)

2020 HERMITAGE “Domaine des Tourettes” Blanc:  The star of the Delas whites is the 2019 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes Blanc, based on Marsanne from L’Ermite, Le Sabot (the bottom portion of Les Bessardes) and La Tourette. Barrel fermented and aged in approximately one-third new French oak, it offers scents of crushed stone, pencil shavings, toasted coconut, ripe pear and melon, plus hints of citrus. Full-bodied and rich, it’s creamy in texture and weighty on the palate, yet with great persistence and lingering flavors. Delicious now, I suspect it will close down within the next year or two, yet it should be capable of aging for up to two decades, adding layers of richness and truffled complexity. 2021-2040. 95+


2019 CROZES-HERMITAGE “Domaine des Grands Chemins”:  Energetic cherry, boysenberry and violet aromas are complemented by hints of black pepper and smoky minerals. Succulent and penetrating on the palate, offering lively, appealingly sweet black/blue fruit flavors and a violet pastille nuance that builds in the midpalate. In a forward, fruit-driven style, finishing with sharp delineation, harmonious tannins and solid, floral-driven persistence. (91-93)


2019 SAINT-JOSEPH “Francois de Tournon”:  Powerfully scented aromas of fresh black/blue fruits, potpourri, licorice and smoked meat show excellent clarity and vibrant mineral lift. Concentrated boysenberry, cassis and violet pastille flavors are joined by a salty olive note that sneaks in as the wine opens up. Finishes smooth, focused and very long, with broad, fleshy tannins, a hint of smokiness and lingering florality. (92-94)


2019 CROZES-HERMITAGE “Le Clos”:  A deeply perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black/blue fruits, olive and potpourri, and a mineral element adds lift. Sappy and penetrating on the palate, offering broad-shouldered boysenberry, bitter cherry and candied violet flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Shows sharp focus on the penetrating finish, where dusty, slow-building tannins add gentle grip and focus. (92-94)


2019 SAINT-JOSEPH “Saint-Epine”:  A highly fragrant bouquet evokes ripe, mineral-accented black/blue fruits, Moroccan spices, olive and candied flowers, along with a smoky mineral element that builds as the wine opens up. Juicy, energetic and focused on the palate, offering appealingly sweet boysenberry, cherry preserve and violet pastille flavors that deepen steadily through the midpalate. The floral note resonates on the impressively long finish, which features well-knit tannins and a smoky mineral quality. (93-95)


2019 HERMITAGE “Les Bessards”:  Ripe, spice-accented dark berry liqueur, candied violet, incense and licorice scents, along with hints of olive paste and smoky, exotic spices. Palate-staining boysenberry, cherry liqueur, floral pastille and fruitcake flavors show impressive depth and an undercurrent of smoky minerality. Expands steadily with air and finishes extremely long and minerally, with youthfully chewy tannins and outstanding, floral-driven persistence. (95-97)


2019 HERMITAGE Ligne de Crête “Les Grandes Vignes”:  Powerful, highly perfumed aromas of black/blue fruit liqueur, licorice, olive and potpourri are complemented by an exotic suggestion of incense. Stains the palate with intense boysenberry, cherry, cassis and spicecake flavors that deepen steadily through the midpalate. Shows a suave blend of power and delicacy and betrays no rough edges. Youthfully chewy tannins add shape to an extremely long, mineral-driven finish that delivers outstanding clarity and floral thrust. (96-98)


2019 COTE-ROTIE “La Landonne”:  Expressive blackberry, potpourri, smoky bacon and licorice aromas show excellent clarity and minerally lift. Deeply concentrated, spice-laced dark berry preserve, floral pastille and fruitcake flavors are supported by a spine of juicy acidity that adds back-end cut. Becomes more energetic on the impressively persistent finish, which repeats the dark berry and floral notes and leaves behind a spicy suggestion of cracked pepper. (94-96)


The Wine Advocate – May 2021 Week 2 – Delas Frères

2018 HERMITAGE Ligne de Crête “Les Grandes Vignes”:  While I’ve had multiple looks at previous vintages, this is my first review of the 2018 Hermitage Ligne de Crete Les Grandes Vignes. Inky in hue, it boasts powerful, brooding aromas that include hints of hardwood charcoal, dark berries, licorice, crushed stone and pencil shavings. Full-bodied and almost painfully intense, it’s a huge, mouthfilling wine that seems capable of aging up to three decades. Rich, supple and creamy in texture, yet possessing remarkable length and retronasal nuance, it has to rank up there with some of the Hermitage hill’s classics from other, more renowned producers. It certainly deserves a seat at that table and may be a candidate for a perfect score in the future. 2025-2050  99


2017 HERMITAGE Ligne de Crête “Les Grandes Vignes”:  The 2017 Hermitage Ligne de Crete Les Grandes Vignes is a forceful, muscular brute. Blueberries and blackberries dominate the nose, allowing just hints of the wine’s stony underpinning and oak aging to seep through. Full-bodied and monochromatic, it demands a good 4-5 years in the cellar. In any event, readers will want to put it away to allow some of the copious tannins to resolve. The long, complex finish of mocha, olives and roasted meat suggests good things lie ahead for the patient.  2025-2045  97


Vinous – Issue April 20 Josh Raynolds – Delas Frères

2016 HERMITAGE Ligne de Crête “Les Grandes Vignes”:  Youthful purple. A hugely perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red and blue fruit, floral, exotic spice, licorice, cola and olive scents, along with building mineral and espresso nuances. Stains the palate with alluringly sweet, spice-laced black currant, boysenberry, cherry preserve and fruitcake flavors that show wonderful delineation and mineral lift. The endless, mineral-dominated finish emphatically echoes the blue fruit and floral notes and delivers smooth, steadily building tannins. I also had the chance to re-taste the 2015 version of this wine, which I wrote up last year, and while it’s still, predictably, a fetus, it clearly has enormous potential, with the depth, power and tannic structure to ensure a long life. Claire Darnaud and Jacques Grange say that it shouldn’t be touched for at least another seven or eight years, preferably longer. This one is definitely at the same quality level, if a bit less forbidding in character.  2027-2039  97


Vinous – Issue September 19 Josh Raynolds – Delas Frères

2015 HERMITAGE Ligne de Crête “Les Grandes Vignes”:  Glass-staining ruby. Mineral-accented dark berries, licorice, incense, olive and succulent flowers on the intensely perfumed nose. Impressively concentrated, expansive flavors of blueberry, black raspberry, spicecake, smoked meat and candied violet are complicated by licorice and bitter chocolate notes that sneak in on the back half. Sweet, sappy and sharply delineated on the floral- and dark-berry-driven finish, which shows outstanding clarity and well-knit but substantial tannins that build smoothly and steadily. 2025-2035  95


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