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Exception-Elles

exception ellesDuring the ‘Grands Jours de Bourgogne’ there was a tasting opportunity that really caught my attention – ‘Exception-Elles’ – forty lady winemakers presenting their 2008 vintage in the cuverie of Anne Gros in Vosne-Romanée.

The tasting would start at 3pm but I had a tough schedule so would have to leave at 4:30. I decided to get there 15 minutes early to see if I could ‘steal’ some extra time, but they were already queueing for registration… And why not, the ladies had also brought some older 98, 88, and 78 wines too!

Truth be told, this tasting was a victim of it’s own success; I decided to quickly assimilate the older wines before ‘attacking’ the ladies, my logic was that the older wines would be gone or the table would be too busy in another hour – but already it wasn’t possible to get near the 98s – shame, it would have to be the 88s and 78s then! A melée had developed around the old wines table when I decided to kiss goodbye to the 98s, the trouble was that the cuverie was jam-packed by now. After ‘bagging’ 4 out of 40 of the ladies I gave up, it was becoming so crampt that jockying for position with your elbows had become a useless technique. As I left – actually quite a hard thing to achieve – at least fifty people were still patiently queueing to get in!

Sorry I couldn’t do more…

Domaine Marc Roy

Winemaker: Alexandrine Roy
Domaine: ~4 hectares / 20,000 bottles
21220, Gevrey-Chambertin

2008 Marc Roy, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes
Bottled in August. Dark, fruit-driven aromas, little oak. There’s plenty of dimension and energy. Fine wine this and no overt oak.
2008 Marc Roy, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur
The aromas are deep and dark, mixing earth and dark cherry. In the mouth there’s an additional dimension of flavour versus the Gevrey VV. Lots of interest and a very good finish too.
2008 Marc Roy, Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Alexandrine
Produced since 2005, this is a cuvée that assembles all the best ‘millerande’ bunches. Alexandrine says that whilst she doesn’t have any grand cru parcels, this is her attempt to make one with what she has avaialble. Medium-plus purple colour. There are faint herbs and glossy but understated fruit on the nose. Very supple, silky tannin and an excellent mid-palate explosion of flavour. The flavour lingers very well. Not perhaps a grand cru standard, but definitely better than ‘villages’ standard. Excellent!
Domaine Jacques Prieur

Winemaker: Nadine Gublin
21190, Meursault

2008 Jacques Prieur, Volnay 1er Santenots
Herb aromas mix with dark fruits. You can taste the herbs on the palate too, mixed with dark cherry fruits and lovely acidity. Vibrant and long. Very pretty wine.
2008 Jacques Prieur, Beaune 1er Grèves
Dark, less sweet aromas, perhaps a faint menthol in the background. Ripe, sweet fruit flavours that offer a perfect buffer to the acidity. Certainly some power and intensity here. Quite a big Beaune.
2008 Jacques Prieur, Beaune 1er Champs-Pimonts
The nose is open and welcoming, showing ripe fruit and hints of herbs. There’s plenty of tannin here, but good fat too. Very well balanced wine here.
Domaine Taupenot-Merme

Winemaker: Virginie Taupenot-Daniel
21220, Morey St.Denis

2008 Taupenot-Merme, Auxey-Duresses
Dark, faintly herbal aromas. Edgy black / red fruit with a sweet coating. Balanced, and with a very nice finish.
2008 Taupenot-Merme, Morey St.Denis
Dark, slightly herbal fruit (sounding monotonous?) In the mouth this is full and masculine, there’s a stickiness to the tannin too. Lovely length – this lingers excellently.
2008 Taupenot-Merme, Gevrey-Chambertin
Dark aromas, this time with hints of wood. In the mouth this starts much narrower than the Morey – it remains quite linear, never really competing with the width of that wine, but it’s intense and long.
2008 Taupenot-Merme, Chambolle-Musigny 1er La Combe d’Orveaux
Virginie must ahve mentioned at least 3 times that these vines are next to Musigny ;-) Understated dark fruit with a very pretty herbal dimension. Fine tannin. Narrow, linear, intense character. Balanced and displaying his is a honey of a wine – and did you know it’s very close to Musigny…
2008 Taupenot-Merme, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Pruliers
Medium-plus colour. Again the aromas are dominated by dark fruits. Powerful, ripe fruit flavours with plenty of velvet. Excellent mid-palate dimension before the tannin saturates your tongue – makes the flavour last very long.
2008 Taupenot-Merme, Mazoyères-Chambertin
Hints of oak dovetail with the dark fruit. Super-silky and (sorry I can’t help it…) super-sexy texture. Plenty of structure lies below the surface, but it is mainly buried. Very long, this is super.
Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine

Winemaker: Christine Dubreuil
21420, Pernand-Vergelesses.

2008 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Vergelesses
Nice to fine a wine with a red-fruited nose in this vintage. In the mouth even if it’s not so deep there is good width and a lovely flavour in the mid-palate. Balanced and with a good finish.
2008 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Ille des Vergelesses
Warm red fruit with some herbs. There’s a creamy width to the fruit before you move through plenty of velvet tannin. Beautiful complexity – stunning wine, just wait 6-12 months for the tannin to settle – I will!
2008 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Aloxe-Corton 1er Les Vercots
Bright and precise dark berries on the nose. A little more impact and width on the palate after the Ille des Vergelesses, certainly more power, but not the deft complexity. Very good all the same!
2008 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Corton Bressandes
A good width of mainly dark fruit aromas that are coupled to faint herbs. Even after the Vercots we have a clear extra level of power and mid-palate dimension. The tannin is slightly grainy, though okay. Lots of energy here. Good wine.
The more venerable wines…

It’s clear that few of the ladies presenting their wines could have had a hand in these bottles, but it’s not a selction you get the chance to taste every day, so…

1998 Gabriel Billard, ‘Millianne’ Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Lovely dark aromas of leaves and undergrowth – but clean aromas. Sweet, very good in the mid-palate, still some tannin as a backdrop to the melting flavours – a superb bourgogne!
1988 Gabriel Billard, Pommard
Wide, earthy, leafy aromatics. Sweet but not too sweet fruit, still with plenty of fine, astringent tannin. Lots of earthy flavour here. This is lovely.
1988 Parent, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
Beautiful colour. Very herbal aromas, hints towards TCA. The palate seems a bit hit and miss – I’m not sure…
1998 Charles Audoin, Gevrey-Chambertin
There’s the impression of some reduction amongst the dark aromas. It seems to be there on the palate too, yet there is balance and a very a tasty wine here. Very good.
1988 Doubois et Fils, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Porrets St.Georges
The colour is heading towards amber. Sweet fruit aromas, backed with a little volatile acidity. Energetic in the mouth, but still with quite some tannic astringency – I’d suggest waiting a couple of years ;-)
1988 Anne Gros, Richebourg
Magnum. I’m not sure if Anne had anything to do with this wine, but it wears her label. An aromatic ‘wow’; exciting, fresh, herbal – very complex. Really mouthfilling. Tannic and wide with deep fruits – clearly still a baby!
1988 Taupenot-Merme, Charmes-Chambertin
Sweet aromas that remain fresh despite a hint of mushroom. Silky, plenty of fat and still with a slug of ripe tannin. Good in the mid-palate too – this is very good.
1978 Anne Gros, Clos de Vougeot
Magnum. Wow! Explosive, fresh, vegetal, earthy, a little sweet – absolutely compelling – and that’s just the nose. In the mouth there’s a hint of greenery, the impression still of some dark wood and a superb finish. Bravo!
1978 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Corton-Bressandes
There’s a width of sweet, comforting fruit. In the mouth it is just as compelling as the Clos de Vougeot that preceded it; muscular, tight and tannic with the flavour of gorgeous warm, browned fruits that linger beautifully. Superb.
1978 Duc de Magenta Abbaye de Morgeot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos de la Chapelle (Rouge)
Musky, deep, leafy aromas. In the mouth it’s a beautiful impression; grainy ripe tannin, absolutely mouthfilling, full of flavour and very, very long. This is just so much better than you might expect a Chassagne rouge has any right to be. A wow wine!

One response to “Exception-Elles”

  1. TAUPENOT ROMAIN

    I read with interest your article on the great days of Burgundy.

    Just a clarification on our family. We represent with my sister Virginie the 7th generation. We share the marketing of wines from the domain because we are represented in over 30 countries and I do the winemaking in the area since 2001 after taking over from my father.

    If you want more information, we can send you a presentation of our field.

    Sincerely,

    Romain Taupenot
    Winemaker
    Mob. : +33 610.44.74.78
    DOMAINE TAUPENOT-MERME
    33, route des Grands Crus
    F-21220 Morey Saint Denis
    Tél. : +33 380.34.35.24
    Fax : +33 380.51.83.41

    « We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine. » Eduardo Galeano

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