Some wines are impossible to encapsulate in a few words as they keep changing and developing in the glass – this is one such wine.
1999 Prieuré-Roch, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
A medium-plus core of ruby-red that fades to a crystal-clear watery edge. The nose is wine – but not as most people know it! A smoky, stemmy aroma that starts with an undertow – yes it can go deeper! – of dark oak. The oak fades within 15 minutes to leave a smoky impression of crushed/shredded vine leaves – but Autumn vine leaves, not Spring or Summer! Is there some fruit too? Well there is something behind, but you can’t really identify it. Time in the glass and you slowly transition from smoky elements to sweet, soft red strawberry fruit. The first sip gives you very finely grained tannin with a slight twist of astringency – but only slight. Decent freshness, though clearly moderated by all the stems (they increase pH), leading you into the mid-palate which has a nice and growing intensity against a sweet fruit background. The finish is long but very understated. Today this is riper and less tight from many from the vintage, yet it clearly should be left to slumber – it is also particular in style – whilst there is no overt oak flavour the stems initially dominate much more than in DRC, Dujac and l’Arlot, perhaps even more than Bourée. For me it certainly says more about the house style than the vineyard, but that’s today, I think I’ll make a comparison with the Arnoux when they reach 20 years, not long to wait…
Rebuy – Yes