During the ‘Grands Jours de Bourgogne’ there was a tasting opportunity that really caught my attention – ‘Exception-Elles’ – forty lady winemakers presenting their 2008 vintage in the cuverie of Anne Gros in Vosne-Romanée.
The tasting would start at 3pm but I had a tough schedule so would have to leave at 4:30. I decided to get there 15 minutes early to see if I could ‘steal’ some extra time, but they were already queueing for registration… And why not, the ladies had also brought some older 98, 88, and 78 wines too!
Truth be told, this tasting was a victim of it’s own success; I decided to quickly assimilate the older wines before ‘attacking’ the ladies, my logic was that the older wines would be gone or the table would be too busy in another hour – but already it wasn’t possible to get near the 98s – shame, it would have to be the 88s and 78s then! A melée had developed around the old wines table when I decided to kiss goodbye to the 98s, the trouble was that the cuverie was jam-packed by now. After ‘bagging’ 4 out of 40 of the ladies I gave up, it was becoming so crampt that jockying for position with your elbows had become a useless technique. As I left – actually quite a hard thing to achieve – at least fifty people were still patiently queueing to get in!
Sorry I couldn’t do more…
Domaine Marc Roy
Winemaker: Alexandrine Roy
Domaine: ~4 hectares / 20,000 bottles
Bottled in August. Dark, fruit-driven aromas, little oak. There’s plenty of dimension and energy. Fine wine this and no overt oak.
The aromas are deep and dark, mixing earth and dark cherry. In the mouth there’s an additional dimension of flavour versus the Gevrey VV. Lots of interest and a very good finish too.
Produced since 2005, this is a cuvée that assembles all the best ‘millerande’ bunches. Alexandrine says that whilst she doesn’t have any grand cru parcels, this is her attempt to make one with what she has avaialble. Medium-plus purple colour. There are faint herbs and glossy but understated fruit on the nose. Very supple, silky tannin and an excellent mid-palate explosion of flavour. The flavour lingers very well. Not perhaps a grand cru standard, but definitely better than ‘villages’ standard. Excellent!
Domaine Jacques Prieur
Winemaker: Nadine Gublin
Herb aromas mix with dark fruits. You can taste the herbs on the palate too, mixed with dark cherry fruits and lovely acidity. Vibrant and long. Very pretty wine.
Dark, less sweet aromas, perhaps a faint menthol in the background. Ripe, sweet fruit flavours that offer a perfect buffer to the acidity. Certainly some power and intensity here. Quite a big Beaune.
The nose is open and welcoming, showing ripe fruit and hints of herbs. There’s plenty of tannin here, but good fat too. Very well balanced wine here.
Winemaker: Virginie Taupenot-Daniel
21220, Morey St.Denis
Dark, faintly herbal aromas. Edgy black / red fruit with a sweet coating. Balanced, and with a very nice finish.
Dark, slightly herbal fruit (sounding monotonous?) In the mouth this is full and masculine, there’s a stickiness to the tannin too. Lovely length – this lingers excellently.
Dark aromas, this time with hints of wood. In the mouth this starts much narrower than the Morey – it remains quite linear, never really competing with the width of that wine, but it’s intense and long.
Virginie must ahve mentioned at least 3 times that these vines are next to Musigny 😉 Understated dark fruit with a very pretty herbal dimension. Fine tannin. Narrow, linear, intense character. Balanced and displaying his is a honey of a wine – and did you know it’s very close to Musigny…
Medium-plus colour. Again the aromas are dominated by dark fruits. Powerful, ripe fruit flavours with plenty of velvet. Excellent mid-palate dimension before the tannin saturates your tongue – makes the flavour last very long.
Hints of oak dovetail with the dark fruit. Super-silky and (sorry I can’t help it…) super-sexy texture. Plenty of structure lies below the surface, but it is mainly buried. Very long, this is super.
Winemaker: Christine Dubreuil
Nice to fine a wine with a red-fruited nose in this vintage. In the mouth even if it’s not so deep there is good width and a lovely flavour in the mid-palate. Balanced and with a good finish.
Warm red fruit with some herbs. There’s a creamy width to the fruit before you move through plenty of velvet tannin. Beautiful complexity – stunning wine, just wait 6-12 months for the tannin to settle – I will!
Bright and precise dark berries on the nose. A little more impact and width on the palate after the Ille des Vergelesses, certainly more power, but not the deft complexity. Very good all the same!
A good width of mainly dark fruit aromas that are coupled to faint herbs. Even after the Vercots we have a clear extra level of power and mid-palate dimension. The tannin is slightly grainy, though okay. Lots of energy here. Good wine.
The more venerable wines…
It’s clear that few of the ladies presenting their wines could have had a hand in these bottles, but it’s not a selction you get the chance to taste every day, so…
Lovely dark aromas of leaves and undergrowth – but clean aromas. Sweet, very good in the mid-palate, still some tannin as a backdrop to the melting flavours – a superb bourgogne!
Wide, earthy, leafy aromatics. Sweet but not too sweet fruit, still with plenty of fine, astringent tannin. Lots of earthy flavour here. This is lovely.
Beautiful colour. Very herbal aromas, hints towards TCA. The palate seems a bit hit and miss – I’m not sure…
There’s the impression of some reduction amongst the dark aromas. It seems to be there on the palate too, yet there is balance and a very a tasty wine here. Very good.
The colour is heading towards amber. Sweet fruit aromas, backed with a little volatile acidity. Energetic in the mouth, but still with quite some tannic astringency – I’d suggest waiting a couple of years 😉
Magnum. I’m not sure if Anne had anything to do with this wine, but it wears her label. An aromatic ‘wow’; exciting, fresh, herbal – very complex. Really mouthfilling. Tannic and wide with deep fruits – clearly still a baby!
Sweet aromas that remain fresh despite a hint of mushroom. Silky, plenty of fat and still with a slug of ripe tannin. Good in the mid-palate too – this is very good.
Magnum. Wow! Explosive, fresh, vegetal, earthy, a little sweet – absolutely compelling – and that’s just the nose. In the mouth there’s a hint of greenery, the impression still of some dark wood and a superb finish. Bravo!
There’s a width of sweet, comforting fruit. In the mouth it is just as compelling as the Clos de Vougeot that preceded it; muscular, tight and tannic with the flavour of gorgeous warm, browned fruits that linger beautifully. Superb.
Musky, deep, leafy aromas. In the mouth it’s a beautiful impression; grainy ripe tannin, absolutely mouthfilling, full of flavour and very, very long. This is just so much better than you might expect a Chassagne rouge has any right to be. A wow wine!