AF Gros – 2012s


DSC03006Tasted in Beaune with Anne-Françoise Parent-Gros and Mathias Parent, plus their assistant Béatrice, 18 Feb. 2014.

Mathias Parent on 2012: 50% yield reduction in the Côte de Beaune, 20-30% reduction (depending on the appellation) in the Côte de Nuits.

The wines:
Although headquartered in Pommard, the cuverie is in Beaune – and a rare cuverie it is in Beaune that brings domaine grapes of Richebourg, Echézeaux and Clos de Vougeot down from the Côte de Nuits to make wine.

The grapes are completely destemmed here and fermented in a mix of stainless-steel, concrete and wood. Cuvaison lasts about 18-20 days, including 3-4 cool days before the fermentation begins. In recent vintages there have only been 2-3 pigeages and then the wine is left to itself – no further extraction. Interestingly the team here consider wood tannin to be a little more supple than tannins from pips and stems so prefer to use quite high levels of new oak: 40% for villages, 60-65% for 1er Crus and 100% for Grand Crus, all high toast. The wines are assembled after 12 months in their 12°C cellar, before being returned to older barrels, so as to minimise the oak-toast effect. The second assemblage happens in Feb/March before bottling. These wines will be bottled in accordance with the phase of the moon.

There is a family resemblance in these wines, undoubtedly down to the oak regime employed, but not withstanding, the quality is excellent!

2012 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
From vines sited just below the village of Pommard.
The nose is airy and quite fine with a floral perfume. Round, a little fat and very fine I think. Penetrating fruit here; excellent!

2012 Vosne-Romanée Clos de la Fontaine
Also rather perfumed, the aromas slowly concentrate in the glass, all the while adding depth. In the mouth this starts very silky – there’s only some tannin texture if you chew. A growing complexity of dark flavour with a hint of cream. There’s plenty of barrel anecdotes here but this is brilliantly tasty!

2012 Savigny-Lès-Beaune 1er Clos des Guettes
Wide aromas, less floral, a little darker fruit. Lithe and muscular, good intensity and no obvious oak. It’s a depth of dark flavour that subtly grows another dimension in the finish. I like!

2012 Pommard 1er Les Pezerolles
The nose shows fresh, high tones that become finer as the wine warms in the glass. Good width of concentrated flavour that showcases dark fruit. The tannin is indeed very supple and relatively modest.

2012 Echézeaux
Part of a fermage contract since the domaine was formed in 1988, the vines sited in Champs Traversins.
The nose remains stubbornly shy but seems fine. The palate is modestly padded with tannin, and from the core grows an insinuating intensity of flavour that just gets wider and wider – I love the shape of this wine.

2012 Clos de Vougeot*
The nose is round and very deep. There’s really excellent energy here, with a growing intensity of flavour that stays wide-open, right into the finish. This is certainly very primary now, but clearly excellent!

2012 Richebourg
Deep-red, penetrating aroma of fruit, that really builds until it overflows the glass. Wide, textured and certainly layered. There’s a more mineral aspect in the mid-palate. Long and wide in the finish. A worthy wearer of the label…

*For various reasons of ownership, this wine was labelled as François Parent up to and including the 2010 vintage. In 2011 it received the new label of Mathias Parent. You can see the change below:


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