Tasted with François Labet in Vougeot, 20 Feb. 2014
François Labet on 2012:“I find the Grands Vins superb!”
François Labet on prices:“Our prices ex-domaine have been stable for 2009-2011, but for 2012 we will have to increase between 5-12%. The ‘Hommage Jean Morin’ cuvée of the Clos de Vougeot, will be a special case though…”
For the 2012s, I find a strong family resemblance across the whole range – both domaines. It is clearly an artifact of the oak regime; like Roty, but less toast, or a little like AF Gros. Whatever, this is only obvious when all the wines are presented together; it will fade, and the quality is simply brilliant. For brevity I’ve only chosen a few ‘don’t miss’ wines, all beg a little time for maturing, but everything here could be on your shopping list. The ‘Hommage à Jean Morin’ cuvée of Clos de Vougeot wasn’t shown because it isn’t yet assembled, but François notes “I didn’t bottle it in 2011 because it was hardly different to the VV cuvée, but in 2012, it is really back on form!”
Not yet bottled as all the wines get two winters of elevage – plan to bottle at the end of March.
Medium-plus colour. This smells rather gorgeous and smooth. Round with very good concentration for the label; ripe fruit and a growth of both complexity and intensity in the mid-palate. This wine is made with 100% whole clusters, but there are no obvious artifacts, save a fine energy and a slowly growing floral note. Simply superb Bourgogne.
2012 Pierre Labet, Beaune Clos du Dessus de Marconnets
Medium-plus colour. Here there is a gorgeous, really gorgeous dark-cherry fruit note plus some mineral references. Full in the mouth with some salty, savoury aspects. Great intensity and a hint of licorice. Dark flavours in the long finish…. Beaune Villages – Wow!
2012 Pierre Labet, Beaune 1er Cru Choucherias
Aromatically this is very similar to the villages wine, differentiated by a wider, more lithe aspect. On the palate it’s actually a little shy. More structure and more mineral flavour plus a hint of oak tannin towards the finish. The nose slowly opens – gorgeous again!
A blend of grapes from La Justice, Crais and Jousie.
Here is a depth of dark fruit aroma – the same finesse of aroma as the other wines. This fills the mouth with dark flavours of spice, and minerals flow through the length of the wine. Concentrated and super-fine.
2012 Château de La Tour, Clos de Vougeot
This starts a little shy, but the nose has a super depth of dense but approachable fruit. Round, lithe and muscular – rather silky yet a little tight. Still highly impressive with its growing intensity and concentration. There’s a super peak of flavour in the mid-palate and a faint but clear extra dimension of flavour in the finish. The finish has modest intensity but doesn’t lack for length. Fine.
2012 Château de La Tour, Clos de Vougeot Vieilles-Vignes
These vines were 102 years-old for this vintage.
This starts a little shy, yet seems to have depth and presence right from the start. The tannin has a little more grip, but that’s probably just a little oak texture showing – it’s very silky underneath. Just a very long, dark finishing note. This wines says less than the ‘classic cuvée’ today but has the more confident delivery.
A brilliant set of wines in the context of 2012 – all the concentration you could wish for, but delivered with fine freshness.
From vines around Beaune and Chorey.
Medium lemon-yellow colour. A deep and concentrated nose but fresh and interesting too – it makes me want to take a sip. There’s a faint spritz, but lovely growing acidity too. A nice peak of mid-palate flavour and good length that even shows a little dry extract. Another brilliant Bourgogne.
2012 Pierre Labet, Beaune Clos du Dessus de Marconnets (Blanc)
The nose is wide, fresh and almost textured – it reminds me of Charlemagne – honestly! Width, fine balance and enough ripeness to keep me very happy here. The flavour profile in the finish is bright and wide – and again with very good extract. I like this very much – bravo!
Lost about 60% of the crop in the hail.
Aromatically there’s more width and concentration here. On the palate there’s a little CO2 brightness, but gorgeous citrus acidity too. Intense with a super mid-palate. A brilliant wine of freshness and focus.
2012 Pierre Labet, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Vergelesses (Blanc)
Here there is more depth and aromatic density – high-tones too – super. Seems more mineral and cool than the Meursault, but no-less intense. Mouth-watering flavours are simply delicious. Yum!