I decided it’s time to pull out a trio of long-term grand crus this week just to see what’s cooking in the cellar. One with relatively poor reviews, one that courts controversy and one that you hardly ever see. I think I’ll play a game with you again and put the notes up unattributed – I’ll just put the labels to the notes at the end of the week.
1997 Grivot, Richebourg – as a cuvée this has had a much better reputation since 99 – when the price unfortunately went up by about 60% – that was the last one I bought as the price continued to rise. The 97 had a poor write-up by Allen Meadows in his 2002 Richebourg retrospective, but to be fair all the other 97’s tested were also rather poor. I might as well open one now – what’s to lose?
1998 Bouchard Père et Fils, Chambertin – hard to find as BP&F own such a small plot of vines, the production is only about 100 cases. I’m looking forward to opening this as I’ve no reference points for this wine.
1998 de Vogüé, Musigny Vieilles-Vignes – it’s a style thing, but de Vogüé have managed to garner quite some criticism from burgundy buyers – but not from critics like Coates and Meadows who regularly appraise the wines as exceptional. It’s the first time I’ve popped one of these corks, I think it should be interesting!
Wine #1 on opening:
Medium-plus core of garnet red. The nose starts wide, slightly unfocused with deep and brooding fruit and a cedar note that’s reminiscent of many a 2004. The initial texture is quite silky though in the mid-palate there is quite some grainy tannin that despite showing a little bitterness seems to help cement the very long finish. The flavours are mineral rather than fruit driven; quite some creamyness underpinning more cedar on the palate, it’s mouthwatering without being overly fresh.
After 45 minutes:
The nose is now starting to show a little meatyness, and that brooding fruit is now showing glimpses of red, the cedar element is slowly withdrawing. On the palate the bitterness is still there but is less in the ascendant.
After 90 minutes:
The nose is slightly fresher, no cedar, perhaps a little spiced tea. The mid-palate dimension seems even better, though the overall effect is a little blurred – like a soft-focus picture. Summarising, there’s plenty of grand cru dimension, some secondary flavours and a structure that would benefit from another 3-5 years storage – but there’s no wow factor here.