The team here released their 2006’s in November and found sales a little slow. By January there was a big push and 80% of their stock was already reserved before that month was out. In terms of winemaking in the 2006 vintage, they saw their whites as offering the biggest challenge, and that was only down to the choice of the picking date – 4 days could see the difference between ‘not quite ready’ to ‘overdone’!
An oddball that was served blind: A diffuse but appealing nose that only needed a little more concentration. Medium bodied, some pleasing acidity though the finish is just a little savoury but could do with lingering a little more. In fact the flavour in the finish is the only red flag here – why so? Well this is actually a blanc de noirs (hence the vin de table) made from Bourgogne rated vines near Volnay. A straight and clear bottle and snazzy label complete the outfit, but there was only one barrel made.
2006 Alex Gambal, Bourgogne Chardonnay
Bottled in August. More concentrated on the nose, mainly showing some melon character. This medium bodied wine shows nice acidity and a good burst of concentration in the mid-palate. Only about 10% new oak, but you still get some of the flavour in the finish. Well made Bourgogne.
Whilst this is a barrel selection, they usually fin that year-in, year-out it is wine from exactly the same producers that is chosen. There’s a little more oak (20%) and a high proportion of the grapes are sourced from the Hautes Côtes. The nose is not so deep as its sister cuvée but it’s wider and more interesting. More citrus bite, more dimension and an improvement in the finish too – this is quite a big step-up.
2006 Alex Gambal, Fixin Blanc
The team continue to offer this rare bottling. A forward nose that mixes melon and pineapple. Good, quite forward acidity with a similar density to Bourgogne Prestige but there is more dimension and a slightly longer finish. 30-40% new oak was here and I think it needs to integrate a little more, but the base material is nice and fresh.
14.7° natural – and you wouldn’t guess if I didn’t tell you! A deep, dense nose with a tight core of fruit at the centre. This is concentrated and savoury with plenty of mid-palate dimension. The finish gently lingers and there’s no impression fo ‘heat’.
2006 Alex Gambal, Chassagne-Montrachet
Also 14° natural. The nose is bright and forward with a faintly estery background. Ripe, nice texture but backed by very good acidity that helps to keep the finish lingering. 25-30% new oak and a good buy.
Bright and fresh – again with estery hints, eventually showing some caramel too. Nicely presented in the mouth, again with very good acidity. This time there’s a savoury length.
2006 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Murgers Dents de Chien
One third of new oak used here. There’s a little more of a savoury edge to the nose on this. A hint of sweetness and some fat texture play against the acidity. Then there’s a nice burst of interest on the mid-palate and a lingering finish. Considering this has been in bottle on 3 or 4 days, this is rather good.
A quite different pose here – hints of butterscotch play with with sweet fruits on the nose. A ripe, slightly fat texture with good acidity and length.
2006 Alex Gambal, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Maltroie
Versus the Clos St.Jean, this has higher-toned, rather less focused aromatics. In the mouth it’s though its very interesting, much more mineral with good acidity an a savoury length. This is quite racy but certainly not overdone. Very good.
Much more depth and width on the nose versus the Maltroie. Ripe fruit and again verygood acidity – the texture is good, as is the expansion on the palate – a very nice wine this one.
2006 Alex Gambal, Corton-Charlemagne
All from Pernand fruit. The nose is a wide vista edged with faint caramel. The palate is mineral and well textured yet still manages to saturate the palate with concentrated fruit. The length appears merely good, but the wine overall is far better than that.
There is some Pommard fruit but this is mainly from Volnay. Medium colour with lovely dried red fruit on the nose – cranberry and redcurrant. Pleasing and nicely expanding in the mouth. Nice clean and fresh with a good finish. Highly recommended bourgogne.
2006 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny
Bottled in August. Red fruits dominate a wide and quite fine nose. There is sweetness, slightly forward acidity and a good and very persistent flavour that’s finally bounded by a faint edge of tannin. A nice wine that shows none of its 25% new oak.
Very red aromatics with maybe a hint reduction at the base. There is a good mix of bright flavours blended with well managed tannin. Very nice wine.
2006 Alex Gambal, Vosne-Romanée
The nose is a little tight, but it’s wide and shows the spice. More depth and dimension versus the Savigny. It’s not stunningly long, but it’s very tasty and ‘correct’.
The nose is a little tight, but there are soft red fruit aromas. In the mouth this is nicely complex and less tannic than other Santenots I’ve tasted. The finish is nicely long. This a well-crafted wine.
Only one barrel so effectively 100% new oak. The nose is less dense than the Charmes, but is wider and more complex. Likewise the palate also seems less dense, but there is saturation of your tongue and the flavours maybe have the edge. It’s a tough call between these wines – you may have to buy both!
2006 Alex Gambal, Clos de Vougeot
50% new oak. A wide nose of red berries, though not so deep as the Chambolle Charmes. This is a mouth-filler! Plenty of tannic structure but equally full of complexity and dimension. Nicely fresh, this is a worthy Clos Vougeot.