Lying on the table of the guest house at Domaine Anne Gros is a copy of Clive Coates’ “The Wines and Domaines of France” dedicated by the author with: “To Dear Anne, who makes the best Richebourg!”; who could possibly argue with that?
Instead of dealing with the geneology and history of the Domaine, the focus will be on the wines and wine-maker – but if you need some help, try here.
The Domaine is currently run by Anne Gros with the help of two full-time employees. It currently consists of 5.72ha of which just over a quarter are Grand Crus; there are no premier cru wines. The Domaine is set to expand with the 2007 vintage, more details follow.
Anne Gros is not yet forty and has been vinifying the Domaine’s wines since 1985. She is intense, serious, and has a dry sense of humour; I’m sure a number of her jokes passed me by, as my French was too inept to keep up.
The Fine Art of Labeling
I think a sense of the lady can be infered from the recent back-label on bottles intended for the French market.
Beside a logo that I take to mean that the wine is not to be consumed by fat pony-tailed advertising executives and Hollywood producers, and below the legally-required material (sulphites and alcohol) things get more interesting:
- Contains 13% alcohol
- conatins 87% water, organic compounds and anti-oxidants
- contains 19.6% Tax (!!)
- contains 100% wine from AOC grapes
- contains 100% of our history and culture
- contains 100% of our work
- contains 100% of our passion
- Does not contain synthetic aromas or oak chips.
Finally: “We are proud of our Great wines of Burgundy”.
I first became aware of the Domaine when my merchant suggested I might like to buy three bottles of the Bourgogne Rouge 1999 as part of a mixed case. Whilst the St Aubin and Côte-Chalonais were initially of comparable quality, after two years this apparently humble Bourgogne Rouge outshone the more expensive bottles. Despite the location of the four parcels on the Vosne-Romanée/Nuits-St-Georges border, this wine always reminds me of a mini Chambolle-Musigny, indeed it puts many Chambolle-Musigny from other producers to shame.
I would still argue that the Bourgogne Rouge is the right place to start with this Domaine: buy six bottles of the 2005 (at £10/€15/$20) to get a feel for the taste and aging profile of the Domaine’s wines, before committing to any more expensive purchases. You can do this with many Domaines, but sometimes the lower wines are not representative of the Domaine’s better wines. Not here. All of the red wines are richly fruity when young, and although some have expressed concern about over-oaking, this is not a feature of the mature wines that I’ve tasted.
Usually these wines sell out quickly: after all, the Domaine is extremely small. However, crafty consumers may find that older vintages of the Clos-de-Vougeot are still available. I presume that this is because of it being one of the larger climats of the Domaine, and perhaps a reluctance on the part of consumers to take the Appelation seriously. This Clos-de-Vougeot is made from the highest part of the Clos, next to Grands-Echézeaux. They don’t come much finer than this.
There are two big pieces of news about the Domaine. Firstly, begining with the 2007 vintage there will be an Echézeaux. This is made from vines in the 0.76ha plot “Loachausses” of Echézeaux which was leased out for thirty years by Anne’s father François to cousin Bernard (of Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur).
If anyone can tell me about the bottle in my collection (left), please get in contact (dlester at cs.man.ac.uk).
Secondly, on the assumption that Burgundy Report readers are well-rounded chaps and chapesses, and are not monomaniacally focused only on Burgundy, Anne and her husband have bought a Domaine in Minervois. The first vintage will be in 2008, and Anne tells me that she has a great deal of work to do to make the Domaine as she would wish it. Is this “Projet du Sud” to allow the next generation to get practical experience? Is it a retirement project? Only time will tell.
The Wines from Vintage 2006
(Cask Samples tasted 2nd June 2007)