Ha! Someone, probably me, had put these two bottles out of sight in the cellar – perhaps with the aim of prolonging their stay – but that was thwarted! Frankly both are rather tight so that today their delivery of drinking ‘pleasure’ is curtailed, yet both are well put together, have decent concentration and no real faults. If you see them at a good price you should definitely try them – the €50 asked by the domaine is borderline high for today’s quality – but if I was to position some of the ‘producers’, I would put Bichot/Clos Frantin, Potel and also the occasional Remoriquet higher for absolute performance – I don’t know the Lamarche or Hudelot-Noellat versions. The lighter, stemmier Bourée bottling is a very nice one but a completely different style. So watch out for the 06’s and particularly beyond as they will have received the Pascal Marchand / Bernard Zito treatment!
Anyway – I never seem to have an easy ride with these Charles Thomas wines; there was the corked then strangely smelly 2001 (my last 1998 was put down the drain) and here the capsule seemed tightly glued down, though there was no wine discolouration of the cork below. That was just the start, neither waiter’s friend nor Screwpull would dislodge the cork, only the ‘ah-so’ saved the day – and that from a young wine direct from the producer.
2002 Charles Thomas, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Malconsorts
Medium-plus ruby-red colour. The nose had a little bottle-stink, but that was gone in a couple of minutes. There’s a little of that beefy aroma that I disliked on day 1 of the 2001, but it’s better balanced with sweet, spicy red fruit, eventually nice creamy-edged redcurrant for the last drops in the glass. It’s a little tight and acid-forward, though the impression is of a wine that expands into an intense mid-palate. The tannin comes quite late to the scene and has a little rasp – though it’s understated. Tight and young but a bottle that looks like it has a decent future. Worth buying a couple.
Rebuy – Yes
2005 Charles Thomas, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Malconsorts
Medium, medium-plus colour. A nose that remains compact over the three hours the wine lasts; complex, creamy fruit with a nice acidic redcurrant lift. Like a many, many 05’s it’s now acid-forward in stance, though the tannin remains completely submerged. The fruit is completely primary and in the redcurrant, raspberry area rather than cherry or darker fruit. Clean and understatedly long. I already see some transition from the older vintages.
Rebuy – Yes