Alex Gambal – 2012s


DSC02914Tasted with Alex Gambal in Beaune, 29, Jan 2014.

The whites:

2012 Bourgogne Chardonnay
The nose is both pretty and high-toned. Nice drive and density to the flavours, good overall balance too due to the lovely acidity. Really on form this vintage. I’m a buyer.

2012 Fixin (Blanc)
High-toned aromas with a faint but sweet core of fruit. Full, with good concentration and equally good acidity. The flavours are more masculine after the Bourgogne, with plenty of dry extract in the finish. I’m rarely attracted to this wine in comparison to others in Alex’s range, and 2012 is no different!

2012 Savigny-lès-Beaune
100% Pinot blanc.
Richer aroma. In the mouth there is more freshness than the nose suggests – well-balanced acidity here. There’s a small peak of flavour in the mid-palate and it finishes well on a slightly stony note.

2012 Meursault
Some new parcels contributing to this.
Understated nose with some high tones – just faintly Meursault-ish. I find this full of flavour with a very good balance. Nice wine!

2012 Meursault Clos du Cromin
Nicely fresh aromas but with a more focused impression – very nice. Concentrated and a little rich but beautiful acidity copes perfectly. This is super!

2012 Meursault 1er Les Genevrières
Here the aromas are higher toned and offer more width too, if not quite the depth of the Cromin. This is a nicely fresh and mineral Genevrières. It’s not as obviously concentrated as the Cromin but it is clearly the more complex of the two.

2012 St.Aubin 1er Murgers des Dents du Chien
The nose delivers fine, wide and high-toned aromas that are edged with some citrus. Rich, textured and concentrated but with the acidity to match. The volume was reduced by 40% in this vintage, hence, the concentration.

2012 Puligny-Montrachet
The fresh, faintly sugared aromas are quite pretty. There’s plenty of material here and good intensity too, however, I prefer the acid balance of the Dents du Chien.

2012 Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères
The aromas here also seem to have texture – lovely. More balance and a silky texture. There’s a growing intensity of quite lovely flavour. Very, very good wine.

2012 Chassagne-Montrachet
Some high tones but overall, a rather modest, shy aroma. Nice minerality and good acidity too – the latter really emphasising the finishing flavour. For all that, just a hint anonymous today.

2012 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Maltroie
Fuller aromas with some of the classic green-herb of the village. This is fuller and sweeter than the villages Chassagne and it is very well-balanced – I like the energy here. Fine finishing intensity too – yum!

2012 Corton-Charlemagne
Pretty, high-toned yet relatively understated aromas. The understatement can be seen on the palate too, yet there is still plenty of minerality and power. Very impressive persistence in the finish.

2012 Bâtard-Montrachet
The nose has more depth, a hint of toasted bread and another note of gunflint reduction. The breadth of flavour is much wider than the Charlemagne and quite silkily textured too. The finishing flavour seems to grow and grow before slowly decaying. Versus the Charlemagne this is more forward and involving today, but tomorrow, who-knows, the Charlemagne seems to have a longer finish…

2011 Savigny-Lès-Beaune (Blanc)
The nose has some high-tones, but is essentially rather modest. Full in the mouth with plenty of flavour. The supporting acidity, like the nose, is rather modest, yet there is a good mouth-watering finish. Good length too.

2011 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos St.Jean (Blanc)
The nose has some sweetness and just a little gunflint – fine aromatic complexity here. After the Savigny, there is more precision, finer acidity and quite some minerality too. Great mid-palate concentration and lovely length. There are certainly some sweet barrel references here, but it’s simply a delicious wine. Yum!

The reds:

2012 Bourgogne Pinot Noir – Les Deux Papis
The nose is just a hint savoury but has a vivid depth too. There’s a lot of flavour here, some tannin in the middle then a good finishing flavour. This wine needs a little time to settle, but there’s good material in the glass.

2012 Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Grands Picotins
This is a blend of domaine and purchased fruit.
Smooth red fruit aromas. Plenty of power and concentration here – good flavour too. This is a really tasty wine.

2012 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru
A blend of small parcels.
The colour is paler, but as usual it has little bearing on the wine; very lovely aromas with a faint reductive undertone. This is a big wine – tons of flavour – but there is also complexity. Bravo! Real personality in the glass.

2012 Chorey-lès-Beaune
From domaine grapes, cultivated ‘Bio’.
More aromatic depth but less width than the Savigny 1er – fresh with a little blood/iron. There is plenty of sweetness, but it is very well cut by the acidity. No simple, happy Chorey, this. A bright, persistent and interesting wine.

2012 Beaune 1er Les Grèves
The aromas are not so wide, but they are very fine and deep. There’s a little grab at your sleeve from the tannin and some real flavour intensity. Good Grèves, even in the brilliant context of that vineyard in 2012.

2012 Vosne-Romanée Vieilles-Vignes
Very pretty aroma of dark-red fruit and spice. Width, density of fruit flavour and intensity too – all beautifully balanced. Very pretty wine.

2012 Chambolle-Musigny
The nose is wide, deep too but with just a trace of reduction. This is very pretty and friendly in the mouth and slowly turns more mineral. Before the minerality kicked-in I was thinking this a little facile, but no. Intensity and interesting finish too.

2012 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Aux Echanges
Here is a very, very pretty Chambolle nose of fruit and flowers – pretty as a picture, in fact! There’s a little more sweetness and depth versus the villages Chambolle and a higher-toned red-fruit profile. Lovely finishing flavour too, aided by mouth-watering acidity.

2012 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
A wine that I buy most years, almost all whole cluster in this vintage.
The nose has a grainy, herby, mineral note with good sweet depth. Fuller, rounder, more intense and more concentrated. A good base of tannin and fine lingering flavours. I find this more masculine than most years, but very good all the same.

2012 Gevrey-Chambertin
The nose is wide, if not so deep – but there’s a very nice floral component too. Good sweetness of fruit and lots of complexity and freshness. Pretty-much everything you could hope for in a villages wine. Just lovely.

2012 Charmes-Chambertin
The nose has modest but perfectly pitched aromas of silky dark-red fruit. Full, concentrated and with rather modest acidity – yet it seems enough. The flavour really opens out from the mid-palate onwards. A wine that seems to be hiding some of its wares today, but clearly has the requisite density, and, I would say, potential.

2011 Beaune 1er Les Grèves
The nose has high tones and a baseline of good fruit with a very faint P. A hint of astringency but lovely, wide, cool fruit. Finishes with modest intensity, but there’s little modest about the length.

2011 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Echanges
The nose is not so wide but has a good depth and complexity – it seems almost silky and has a sweet gooseberry side to it (just like the de Vogüé 2010s!). Sweet, very fine tannin. This is simply delicious. Bravo!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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