From the Grands Jours in Burgundy at the end of March, one of my favourite tastings.
In the grand rooms of the Château du Pommard the local growers presented their young wines – as always there wasn’t time for me to get around the whole thing, but I think there’s a decent selection of new wines here. My favourite part, however, was a tasting of Pommards from the 1999 vintage – all blind. We started with a table of villages Pommards, followed by premier crus split to north (of the village) and south. On leaving the room you received a piece of paper with the wines paired to their maker – I won’t leave you guessing, but my notes are as written blind and in the order they were tasted.
Some sights from the Château Pommard:
Pommard – the new wines – mainly 2007 & 2008
Albert Bichot :
A very nice depth and width of red and black fruit. Supple tannin, quite silky, good fruit.
The red fruit aromas are more intense. A width of flavour though fruit seems a background component. Plenty of interest on the finish, but today I prefer the Clos des Ursulines.
High tones of flowers and herbs with a width of understated red and black fruit. Plenty of structure underpinned with plenty of ripe fruit – that tannin seems ripe too. A good burst of interest in the mid-palate and a long finish. Tasty stuff!
Domaine Gabriel Billard :
Nicely perfumed red fruit. In the mouth there’s a little more structure than fruit. Finishes okay with some astringency – not for drinking young!
From 80 year-old vines Deeper with darker red fruit. The tannin is much finer and the fruit is nicely elegant. Subtly long. Very nice wine.
The red fruit aromas are a little more sugared. Fuller than the 2007 Charmots with more tannin – some astringency. The tannin sticks to your gums and really adds to the length.
Higher toned aromas with more herbs. The tannin has a real ascendency next to the fruit, but it’s young and there’s super length.
Domaine Billard-Gonnet :
Red fruit and green herbs on the nose. Mouth-filling fruit that’s not too sweet but tastes really nice as it emerges from the medium strength, ripe tannins. Almost good.
Similar aromas of herbs to the Chaponnières but set against a much more imposing background of fruit. Again, the fruit is nota particularly sweet style but there’s a really good, additional, dimension of flavour – edged with caramel – in the mid-palate. Really long, super!
One of only two producers of this 1er. The herb aromas are set against slightly riper fruit. Lots of tannin but it’s pretty supple. Lots of flavour intensity here – very good.
Herbs aromas with ripe red fruit. There’s plenty of tannin, but it’s not too overwhelming. The fruit has good flavour and a decent intensity too.
Domaine Louis Boillot :
The red fruit aromas are accented with licorice. Soft and ripe fruit, soft tannin too. Fresh, but not too fresh. This is a good starter!
The 70 year-old vines deliver a nose with a core of dark red fruit. After the villages there’s an extra width of ripe but ‘clingy’ tannin. Lovely fresh red-fruit flavours that only slowly decay in the finish. Very nice!
From 80 year-old vines sited next to Rugiens. Pretty and precise red fruits, accented with toffee. The first impression is the wave of mouth-coating ripe tannin, the second wave is the burst of beautiful mid-palate fruit. Good length here.
The medium intensity red fruit aromas are backed by a faintly creamy warmth. After the 2008 this is a little softer in focus but there’s no lack of extract. This is very tasty, and despite the attentions of a raft of ripe tannin, it’s a nice drink.
Domaine Denis Carre :
Your nose is greeted by a wild, dark fruit impression. Good ripe structure that overall remains understated. Certainly quite pretty and with good length too.
There’s dark oak, perhaps a trace of reduction too but a little patience delivers a more licorice impression. Fills the mouth quite well with very supple tannin. Overall it’s a little soft, but a good wine all the same.
Château Genot-Boulanger :
From 3 villages parcels, 2 to the north and the other from the south-east. Fruity with hints of herbs. Ripe and not too sweet in the mouth – plenty of well-managed tannin and a decent burst of interest as you head into the finish. Almost good.
From vines bordering Grands Epenots. There’s a nice width of fruit aromas. Mouth-filling – there’s plenty of tannin to bathe in. Good flavour with black reflections before lingering into an understated finish. Almost good also.
Domaine du Comte Armand :
The young vines of the Clos des Epeneaux. Warm, dark red fruit aromas – supple and sweet. There’s plenty of ripe, slightly astringent tannin. Really a mouth-filler with a good finish.
The nose is finer with precise red berries. Fresher than the young vines cuvée with super mid-palate fruit. This has the impression of being more mineral. Still plenty of tannin here.
Lovely forward red fruit aromas – very nice. Supple, mouth-filling and lots of dimension. Really super.
Really beautiful fruit aromas that are edged with herbs. Lots of structure but still the fruit bubbles below. Very long – one to keep.
Domaine de Courcel :
The aromas have a slightly roasted aspect to the red fruit. After the wines of Comte Armand, there is less obvious sweetness here. The tannins attack late, but it’s only a short attack. Balanced and almost good.
A finer red-fruit nose – less roast. Lots and lots of tannin – I semi joke that this is a wine to eat not drink – reminds me of the 2001 which drinks great today. Te last drops in the glass smell absolutely gorgeous.
High toned aromas of violets and red fruit – it’s a relatively rare wine that is showing flowers from 2008. Like the Grand Clos there is plenty of tannin here, the texture is like fine sand. The high-toned fruit in the mouth is plenty to balance that tannin. This will be excellent.
Menthol and herbal notes mix with blue and red fruit. Again lots and lots of structure, but after the previous wines this is rather linear and unyielding – tight!
Pommard – Vintage 1999
The basic result of this tasting is that the wines have a consistent and appealing herby aroma together with their fruit – whether red or black – actually it’s more often red which is a nice change to tasting 2008s where the blackness can become monotonous if you have 40 bottles in front of you.
You may drink these 1999 villages wines as the structure is not too demanding, but be aware that they are still very young. The structure of the premier crus – sometimes just ahead, sometimes just behind the fruit – indicates that you should leave them for a few more (at least 5) years, that said, all bar one of these wines were wide open – I suspected only one to be closed / tight.
The Villages :
Deep, apparently oak-inflected aromas – very nice. There’s a lovely width and ripeness of dark red fruit – there’s a joy here. Lovely finish with hints of licorice – a great first wine.
Magnum. More ripe red fruid, this time with an earthy base. The flavours are more savoury and show a loveyl complexity in the mid-palate. Slowly fading, medium length. Nice.
Looking at the bottle shape – must be Château Pommard! The nose is a nice blend of sweet, dark red fruit and herbs. Mouth-filling, there’s plenty of volume and still plenty of tannin too. Good intensity here.
The first blast of aroma is oak, quickly replaced by ripe red berries. The fruit is less obviously sweet than the last wines but panoramic in its width. There is plenty of structure, but the fruit just about keeps it in the background. Very nice finish.
Penetrating and rather red fruit aromas. The structure is still the boss here yet the slightly roast red fruit flavours coat everything. 5+ years of rest still needed here.
The Premier Crus North of the Village :
Warm red fruits on the nose with a little mineral dimension too. After the villages wines there’s a little more impact and concentration. A width of dark fruit balanced by young structure – a baby.
A deep, dark, brooding and instantly impressive nose. The fruit here is cool and wide, just about managing to stay ahead of the structure. Fine depth.
A deep, young colour in the glass. An extra portion of herbs brings padding to the deep, slightly tight fruit. Fresh, structure is slightly ahead of the fruit, but there’s lovely complexity here and a very sneaky length…
Warm, comforting red fruit aromas. Fresh fruit across the palate, not too ripe and well balanced to the structure. A nice dimension of dried berry fruit and lovely. lovely length. I like this a lot!
Complex aromas of meat, herbs and dark fruit. Tons of very fine ultra-velvet tannin which currently bosses the fruit. The complexity of flavour in the mid-palate is compelling – achingly young and highly impressive.
The nose shows the most (so far) greenery to add to the more ubiquitous herbs, fruit is less obvious. Despite the nose there both width and depth to the flavours. The primary fruit definitely plays second fiddle to the structure today, yet there is a surprise burst of interesting flavour just as you begin your trip into the finish.
Medium intensity, warm red fruit, Here the fruit is a little tart (less ripe next to the other), the balancing structure seems ripe enough though and I like the burst of flavour as it hits the medium finish.
Plenty of herb aromas to back the fruits. Warm, tending to roast red fruit flavours that are just ahead of the structure. Lots of mid-palate flavour before the medium finish.
Fresh young fruit on the nose – it’s very pretty and precise. Lots of flavour dimension here. The tannins is less fine than many but the lovely mid-palate fruit slowly lingers. Super, but 10 years needed in the cellar…
Comely, warm red fruit aromas. Almost velvet tannin, you have to wait for the mid-plate for fruit flavour, but then it bursts through before holding very well in the finish. Like the last wine, very primary.
The aromas are fresh, young and herby before plumbing a ripe red depth. Very fine tannin again – like the last wine – but a bigger mid-palate burst of interest before it slowly fades into the finish.
Plenty of dark-toasty oak aromas overly a soft red fruit. Fresher than the nose leads me to expect. Very good if dark oak influenced flavours. Balanced tannin and medium length.
I can’t quite put my finger on one component of this unusual nose; there’s plenty of red fruit with a slight mushroom below – it gets prettier and prettier in the glass – I’m almost only sniffing! Lots of very fine tannin abuts interesting ripe fruit flavours with some added dried fruits in there. Not the longest finishing, but the aromas are individual and lovely.
Deep, dark oak-influenced fruit aromas. Almost silky despite the quantity of tannin. The very dark fruit flavour doesn’t excite me but it’s both concentrated and long.
To start the fruit aromas are a little diffuse, slowly it tightens to deliver an extra concentration of red berries – okay I’m smitten. Mouth-filling velvet tannin. The fruit is dark and primary.
The Premier Crus South of the Village :
Magnum. Wide, fresh, complex yet understated aromas. Fresh, primary fruit. The tannin is just in balance. Modest (understated) in the mid-palate and the finish. – Perhaps a little tight?
Magnum. Deep young colour. Wide red fruit aromas. Very young fruit that’s balanced with lots of tannin. There’s a nice burst of complexity before the medium-plus length finish.
A very, very interesting mix of herbs and complex fruits. Mouth-filling, plenty of (balanced) tannin. Now there’s a small burst of fruit flavour. Good length – I like this a lot.
Deep colour. The aromas are concentrated but a little soft-focus. In the mouth there’s warm red fruit, the tannin is not so astringent but overall I’m missing a little ‘punch’. Only ‘okay’ in this context.
Magnum. Brooding dark fruit is edged with herbs – it seems to ooze self-confidence. In the mouth there’s width and dimension, no fat, plenty of tannin and a fresh dimension of fruit in the mid-palate. Achingly young but real authority here – a bit of an aristocrat!
Magnum. Concentrated, intense red fruit, maybe a hint reduced, edged with the ubiquity of the Pommard herbs. Very fine though astringent tannin. Lots of impact and dimension here. Super length and super concentration. If the last was an aristo, this is an entertainer!
Magnum. Deep, dark aromas with a suggestion of mushroom – eventually precise, individual berries! Very, very young, but the mid-palate punch is well matched to the structure. Very satisfying from the mid-palate into the finish. Really a long-term wine…