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Pommard New & Older (…1999)

From the Grands Jours in Burgundy at the end of March, one of my favourite tastings.

In the grand rooms of the Château du Pommard the local growers presented their young wines – as always there wasn’t time for me to get around the whole thing, but I think there’s a decent selection of new wines here. My favourite part, however, was a tasting of Pommards from the 1999 vintage – all blind. We started with a table of villages Pommards, followed by premier crus split to north (of the village) and south. On leaving the room you received a piece of paper with the wines paired to their maker – I won’t leave you guessing, but my notes are as written blind and in the order they were tasted.

Some sights from the Château Pommard:

Pommard – the new wines – mainly 2007 & 2008

Albert Bichot :

2007 Domaine du Pavillon, Pommard Clos des Ursulines
A very nice depth and width of red and black fruit. Supple tannin, quite silky, good fruit.
2007 Albert Bichot, Pommard 1er Clos Micot
The red fruit aromas are more intense. A width of flavour though fruit seems a background component. Plenty of interest on the finish, but today I prefer the Clos des Ursulines.
2007 Domaine du Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
High tones of flowers and herbs with a width of understated red and black fruit. Plenty of structure underpinned with plenty of ripe fruit – that tannin seems ripe too. A good burst of interest in the mid-palate and a long finish. Tasty stuff!

Domaine Gabriel Billard :

2007 Gabriel Billard, Pommard Vaumuriens
Nicely perfumed red fruit. In the mouth there’s a little more structure than fruit. Finishes okay with some astringency – not for drinking young!
2007 Gabriel Billard, Pommard 1er Les Charmots
From 80 year-old vines Deeper with darker red fruit. The tannin is much finer and the fruit is nicely elegant. Subtly long. Very nice wine.
2006 Gabriel Billard, Pommard Vaumuriens
The red fruit aromas are a little more sugared. Fuller than the 2007 Charmots with more tannin – some astringency. The tannin sticks to your gums and really adds to the length.
2006 Gabriel Billard, Pommard 1er Les Charmots
Higher toned aromas with more herbs. The tannin has a real ascendency next to the fruit, but it’s young and there’s super length.

Domaine Billard-Gonnet :

2007 Gabriel Billard, Pommard 1er Chaponnières
Red fruit and green herbs on the nose. Mouth-filling fruit that’s not too sweet but tastes really nice as it emerges from the medium strength, ripe tannins. Almost good.
2007 Billard-Gonnet, Pommard 1er Rugiens
Similar aromas of herbs to the Chaponnières but set against a much more imposing background of fruit. Again, the fruit is nota particularly sweet style but there’s a really good, additional, dimension of flavour – edged with caramel – in the mid-palate. Really long, super!
2007 Billard-Gonnet, Pommard 1er Clos de Verger
One of only two producers of this 1er. The herb aromas are set against slightly riper fruit. Lots of tannin but it’s pretty supple. Lots of flavour intensity here – very good.
2006 Billard-Gonnet, Pommard 1er Chaponnières
Herbs aromas with ripe red fruit. There’s plenty of tannin, but it’s not too overwhelming. The fruit has good flavour and a decent intensity too.

Domaine Louis Boillot :

2008 Louis Boillot, Pommard
The red fruit aromas are accented with licorice. Soft and ripe fruit, soft tannin too. Fresh, but not too fresh. This is a good starter!
2008 Louis Boillot, Pommard 1er Les Fremiers
The 70 year-old vines deliver a nose with a core of dark red fruit. After the villages there’s an extra width of ripe but ‘clingy’ tannin. Lovely fresh red-fruit flavours that only slowly decay in the finish. Very nice!
2008 Louis Boillot, Pommard 1er Les Croix Noirs
From 80 year-old vines sited next to Rugiens. Pretty and precise red fruits, accented with toffee. The first impression is the wave of mouth-coating ripe tannin, the second wave is the burst of beautiful mid-palate fruit. Good length here.
2007 Louis Boillot, Pommard 1er Les Croix Noirs
The medium intensity red fruit aromas are backed by a faintly creamy warmth. After the 2008 this is a little softer in focus but there’s no lack of extract. This is very tasty, and despite the attentions of a raft of ripe tannin, it’s a nice drink.

Domaine Denis Carre :

2008 Denis Carre, Pommard Noizons
Your nose is greeted by a wild, dark fruit impression. Good ripe structure that overall remains understated. Certainly quite pretty and with good length too.
2008 Denis Carre, Pommard 1er Les Charmots
There’s dark oak, perhaps a trace of reduction too but a little patience delivers a more licorice impression. Fills the mouth quite well with very supple tannin. Overall it’s a little soft, but a good wine all the same.

Château Genot-Boulanger :

2008 Genot-Boulanger, Pommard
From 3 villages parcels, 2 to the north and the other from the south-east. Fruity with hints of herbs. Ripe and not too sweet in the mouth – plenty of well-managed tannin and a decent burst of interest as you head into the finish. Almost good.
2008 Genot-Boulanger, Pommard 1er Clos Blanc
From vines bordering Grands Epenots. There’s a nice width of fruit aromas. Mouth-filling – there’s plenty of tannin to bathe in. Good flavour with black reflections before lingering into an understated finish. Almost good also.

Domaine du Comte Armand :

2007 Comte Armand, Pommard 1er
The young vines of the Clos des Epeneaux. Warm, dark red fruit aromas – supple and sweet. There’s plenty of ripe, slightly astringent tannin. Really a mouth-filler with a good finish.
2007 Comte Armand, Pommard 1er Clos des Epeneaux
The nose is finer with precise red berries. Fresher than the young vines cuvée with super mid-palate fruit. This has the impression of being more mineral. Still plenty of tannin here.
2008 Comte Armand, Pommard 1er
Lovely forward red fruit aromas – very nice. Supple, mouth-filling and lots of dimension. Really super.
2008 Comte Armand, Pommard 1er Clos des Epeneaux
Really beautiful fruit aromas that are edged with herbs. Lots of structure but still the fruit bubbles below. Very long – one to keep.

Domaine de Courcel :

2007 de Courcel, Pommard 1er Les Fremiers
The aromas have a slightly roasted aspect to the red fruit. After the wines of Comte Armand, there is less obvious sweetness here. The tannins attack late, but it’s only a short attack. Balanced and almost good.
2007 de Courcel, Pommard 1er Grand Clos des Epenots
A finer red-fruit nose – less roast. Lots and lots of tannin – I semi joke that this is a wine to eat not drink – reminds me of the 2001 which drinks great today. Te last drops in the glass smell absolutely gorgeous.
2008 de Courcel, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
High toned aromas of violets and red fruit – it’s a relatively rare wine that is showing flowers from 2008. Like the Grand Clos there is plenty of tannin here, the texture is like fine sand. The high-toned fruit in the mouth is plenty to balance that tannin. This will be excellent.
2006 de Courcel, Pommard 1er Grand Clos des Epenots
Menthol and herbal notes mix with blue and red fruit. Again lots and lots of structure, but after the previous wines this is rather linear and unyielding – tight!
Pommard – Vintage 1999

The basic result of this tasting is that the wines have a consistent and appealing herby aroma together with their fruit – whether red or black – actually it’s more often red which is a nice change to tasting 2008s where the blackness can become monotonous if you have 40 bottles in front of you.

You may drink these 1999 villages wines as the structure is not too demanding, but be aware that they are still very young. The structure of the premier crus – sometimes just ahead, sometimes just behind the fruit – indicates that you should leave them for a few more (at least 5) years, that said, all bar one of these wines were wide open – I suspected only one to be closed / tight.

The Villages :

1999 Michel Arcelain, Pommard
Deep, apparently oak-inflected aromas – very nice. There’s a lovely width and ripeness of dark red fruit – there’s a joy here. Lovely finish with hints of licorice – a great first wine.
1999 Albert Bichot, Pommard Clos des Ursulines
Magnum. More ripe red fruid, this time with an earthy base. The flavours are more savoury and show a loveyl complexity in the mid-palate. Slowly fading, medium length. Nice.
1999 Château du Pommard, Château du Pommard
Looking at the bottle shape – must be Château Pommard! The nose is a nice blend of sweet, dark red fruit and herbs. Mouth-filling, there’s plenty of volume and still plenty of tannin too. Good intensity here.
1999 Michel Rebourgeon, Pommard
The first blast of aroma is oak, quickly replaced by ripe red berries. The fruit is less obviously sweet than the last wines but panoramic in its width. There is plenty of structure, but the fruit just about keeps it in the background. Very nice finish.
1999 Jean Michelot, Pommard Les Noizons
Penetrating and rather red fruit aromas. The structure is still the boss here yet the slightly roast red fruit flavours coat everything. 5+ years of rest still needed here.

The Premier Crus North of the Village :

1999 Gabriel Billard, Pommard 1er Les Charmots
Warm red fruits on the nose with a little mineral dimension too. After the villages wines there’s a little more impact and concentration. A width of dark fruit balanced by young structure – a baby.
1999 Denis Carre, Pommard 1er Les Charmots
A deep, dark, brooding and instantly impressive nose. The fruit here is cool and wide, just about managing to stay ahead of the structure. Fine depth.
1999 Comte Armand, Pommard 1er Clos des Epeneaux
A deep, young colour in the glass. An extra portion of herbs brings padding to the deep, slightly tight fruit. Fresh, structure is slightly ahead of the fruit, but there’s lovely complexity here and a very sneaky length…
1999 Coste-Caumartin, Pommard 1er Clos des Boucherottes
Warm, comforting red fruit aromas. Fresh fruit across the palate, not too ripe and well balanced to the structure. A nice dimension of dried berry fruit and lovely. lovely length. I like this a lot!
1999 de Courcel, Pommard 1er Grand Clos des Epenots
Complex aromas of meat, herbs and dark fruit. Tons of very fine ultra-velvet tannin which currently bosses the fruit. The complexity of flavour in the mid-palate is compelling – achingly young and highly impressive.
1999 Cyrot-Buthiau, Pommard 1er Les Arvelets
The nose shows the most (so far) greenery to add to the more ubiquitous herbs, fruit is less obvious. Despite the nose there both width and depth to the flavours. The primary fruit definitely plays second fiddle to the structure today, yet there is a surprise burst of interesting flavour just as you begin your trip into the finish.
1999 Jean-Luc Joillot, Pommard 1er Les Charmots
Medium intensity, warm red fruit, Here the fruit is a little tart (less ripe next to the other), the balancing structure seems ripe enough though and I like the burst of flavour as it hits the medium finish.
1999 Vincent Lahaye, Pommard 1er Les Arvelets
Plenty of herb aromas to back the fruits. Warm, tending to roast red fruit flavours that are just ahead of the structure. Lots of mid-palate flavour before the medium finish.
1999 Louis Latour, Pommard 1er Les Epenots
Fresh young fruit on the nose – it’s very pretty and precise. Lots of flavour dimension here. The tannins is less fine than many but the lovely mid-palate fruit slowly lingers. Super, but 10 years needed in the cellar…
1999 Jean-Louis Moissenet-Bonnard, Pommard 1er Les Epenots
Comely, warm red fruit aromas. Almost velvet tannin, you have to wait for the mid-plate for fruit flavour, but then it bursts through before holding very well in the finish. Like the last wine, very primary.
1999 Mussey, Pommard 1er Les Epenots
The aromas are fresh, young and herby before plumbing a ripe red depth. Very fine tannin again – like the last wine – but a bigger mid-palate burst of interest before it slowly fades into the finish.
1999 Fernand et Laurent Pillot, Pommard 1er Clos de Verger
Plenty of dark-toasty oak aromas overly a soft red fruit. Fresher than the nose leads me to expect. Very good if dark oak influenced flavours. Balanced tannin and medium length.
1999 Rebourgeon-Mure, Pommard 1er Les Grands Epenots
I can’t quite put my finger on one component of this unusual nose; there’s plenty of red fruit with a slight mushroom below – it gets prettier and prettier in the glass – I’m almost only sniffing! Lots of very fine tannin abuts interesting ripe fruit flavours with some added dried fruits in there. Not the longest finishing, but the aromas are individual and lovely.
1999 Vaudoisey-Creusefond, Pommard 1er Les Epenots
Deep, dark oak-influenced fruit aromas. Almost silky despite the quantity of tannin. The very dark fruit flavour doesn’t excite me but it’s both concentrated and long.
1999 Christophe Violot-Guillemard, Pommard 1er Les Epenots
To start the fruit aromas are a little diffuse, slowly it tightens to deliver an extra concentration of red berries – okay I’m smitten. Mouth-filling velvet tannin. The fruit is dark and primary.

The Premier Crus South of the Village :

1999 Billard-Gonnet, Pommard 1er Les Chaponnières
Magnum. Wide, fresh, complex yet understated aromas. Fresh, primary fruit. The tannin is just in balance. Modest (understated) in the mid-palate and the finish. – Perhaps a little tight?
1999 Louis Boillot, Pommard 1er Les Fremiers
Magnum. Deep young colour. Wide red fruit aromas. Very young fruit that’s balanced with lots of tannin. There’s a nice burst of complexity before the medium-plus length finish.
1999 François Gaunoux, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
A very, very interesting mix of herbs and complex fruits. Mouth-filling, plenty of (balanced) tannin. Now there’s a small burst of fruit flavour. Good length – I like this a lot.
1999 Aleth Girardin, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
Deep colour. The aromas are concentrated but a little soft-focus. In the mouth there’s warm red fruit, the tannin is not so astringent but overall I’m missing a little ‘punch’. Only ‘okay’ in this context.
1999 Lescure, Pommard 1er Les Bertins
Magnum. Brooding dark fruit is edged with herbs – it seems to ooze self-confidence. In the mouth there’s width and dimension, no fat, plenty of tannin and a fresh dimension of fruit in the mid-palate. Achingly young but real authority here – a bit of an aristocrat!
1999 Lejeune, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
Magnum. Concentrated, intense red fruit, maybe a hint reduced, edged with the ubiquity of the Pommard herbs. Very fine though astringent tannin. Lots of impact and dimension here. Super length and super concentration. If the last was an aristo, this is an entertainer!
1999 Parent, Pommard 1er Les Chaponnières
Magnum. Deep, dark aromas with a suggestion of mushroom – eventually precise, individual berries! Very, very young, but the mid-palate punch is well matched to the structure. Very satisfying from the mid-palate into the finish. Really a long-term wine…
1999 Thierry Voilot-Guillemard, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
Wide aromas of red berries and herbs. Initially silky, eventually velvet textured. Beautiful balance, eventually an extra flavour element comes through. This is very primary and shows very good length. A baby!

One response to “Pommard New & Older (…1999)”

  1. Parent Anne

    Dear Bill ,
    Thank you very much for your visit during les Grands Jours de Bourgogne and your interest in Pommard Wines and Specialy the 1999 tasting. I think it was a great opportunity to taste such a nice range of Pommard Village and 1 er crus and to understand more about the diffents “terroirs” on the north and south. I hope to see you very soon to taste some wines from Domaine Parent . Best regards

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