No, I know that wine is not a competition, but with chance to compare two bones what’s a dog to do?
2007 Lucien Le Moine, Beaune 1er Les Avaux
The nose starts as pure oak but needs only a handful of minutes to start coming together in the glass, leaving a prominent but quite nice spicy dimension to the red fruit that has now come into frame. Here is an excellent depth of fruit flavour and a very nice intensity too. Clearly there is the carpenter’s hand here, but this is a wine that works very well indeed. The final twist of tannin gives a bitter-chocolate tang to the finish. Very tasty.
Rebuy – Yes (only at a ‘normal’ price, there is no value here)
2007 des Croix, Beaune 1er Les Grèves
The nose shows depth, width and complexity – of fruit – a totally different animal to the previous wine, eventually also delivering a floral aroma too. Silken entry, this is round and concentrated, and like the Le Moine also delivers a bitter-chocolate tannin in the finish – the first obvious oak artefact. Very lovely wine – you would be hard pressed to guess the vintage.
Rebuy – Yes
Not unexpectedly versus the ‘hearsay’ there seems more of the cabinet-maker’s art in the wine from Le Moine, but it’s a good wine, the de Croix, however, is a very good wine. It is entirely possible that the Le Moine was bested not because of style, but rather the more completeness of the Grèves terroir versus that of Avaux – the Grèves is certainly the wine I would buy again, even forgetting how much cheaper it is! On day two, both of the wines had tired versus their opening performance – that is 07 for you – the Le Moine now clearly with the more bitter tannins.
I’d be tempted to save the de Croix, the Le Moine I would rather drink now, as I’m not sure its oak will ever completely fade.