The monopoles of Premeaux-Prissey are discussed in a little detail here, so on this page I will largely leave you with my general impressions – plus the notes of-course.
Our format for this tasting was quite simple: Three tables of wine (later augmented with a 4th for whites); 2009s, 2008s and 1999s – or mainly 1999s, because not all the owners go back so far. I chose to buck the trend and make mini flights of each wine – which means I walked further, but I think it was easier to appreciate each vineyard/producer in its/their own rights.
L’Arlot, and Patrice Rion really delivered quality wines – which I expected – as did the Hospices de Nuits, which was less expected. Mugnier’s reds actually didn’t show all that well at this tasting (unlike his whites!) which surprised me given how good my recent experiences of the 06 and 07 Clos de Maréchale were – but you may be the judge from the notes. Despite this in-out display from Mugnier’s wines, it was only Perdrix and Prieuré Roch that really left me disappointed. I’m sure that ‘natural wine’ fundamentalists would be quite happy with the Prieuré Roch wines, but these three Clos des Corvées fell way short of my expectations for wines with such high prices. Those of Perdrix simply left me perplexed – because the style of the wines was all over the place – and sometimes not that brilliant in whatever that year’s genre seemed to be; but they can make a great wine as their 2008 8 Ouvrées amply demonstrates…
The whites of not just Nuits St.Georges, but even the Côte de Nuits as a whole, can offer a lovely baseline of acidity, but the fruit often remains bulky – like a Sumo who can somehow do ballet – I often think ‘good try – but I’m not going to buy any’. The white of Mugnier (Clos de la Maréchale), despite relatively young vines, comes very close to being a wine I would buy – and it has time on its side. The Clos de l’Arlot emphatically is a wine I would buy – it has the minerality that tells you the correct grapes are planted there – and it is rare for this in the Côte de Nuits: I personally list only the Clos Blanc de Vougeot, Morey Monts Luisants and the Clos de l’Arlot as my (very) ‘short-list’ of Côte de Nuits whites that I would buy.
- Les Rouges
- Arlot, Nuits 1er Clos l’Arlot – the most elegant, and fine wine of the tasting – the only wine which I would consistently describe as ‘pretty’.
- Arlot, Nuits 1er Clos des Fôrets – there is something of the Clos l’Arlot here – mainly the whole cluster and floral aromatics – but this is wine with a little more power and certainly more tannic structure. It is the archetype of the southern premier crus of Nuits.
- M&P Rion, Nuits 1er Clos St.Marc – here the tannic structure is very-much like that of the Clos des Fôrets, but what distinguishes this wine is a haunting aromatic of precise fruits .
- Prieuré Roch, Nuits 1er Clos des Corvées – when you consider the lengths the domaine goes to select only the best fruit from the oldest vines, and the price they later charge for the bottles, I have some expectations. I can forgive that none of the wines (direct from the producer) were clear and bright, I can even forgive the occasional whiff of vigneron’s pants (okay, almost forgive that one!), but the wines (08 excepted, maybe) left me with no sense of their place, just the winemaking choices…
- Mugnier, Nuits 1er Clos de la Maréchale – These were wines that were simply hard to draw conclusions from. The 2009 was full and supple enough, but its dense fruit was a little unyielding. The 2008 was more lithe and linear but very different to the 09. Of-course Frédéric didn’t produce from this vineyard in 1999, so he offered a 2004 – of-course it had the pyrazines, so wasn’t really a learning experience. Recent 2006 and 2007 experiences at home have been excellent and confirm the banishment of those (largely) Faiveley tannins.
- Perdrix, Nuits 1er Aux Perdrix – what is one to make of this? The 2009 is clumsily oaked so tells nothing of its place, the 2008 just seems clumsy. The 2002 seems a decent wine but stands apart from 08 and 09, so where is Aux Perdrix here? The 2008 ‘8 Ouvrées’ is a very good wine indeed, just lacking some context.
- Hospice de Nuits, Nuits 1er Les Didiers – I think this was the VV version though none of the bottles wore a cuvée name. What the wines did wear was a depth of rich, dark Nuits St.Georges fruit and plenty of structure to back it up – but they also had a consistent character. This is a wine you would want to drink with roast partridge in front of a large open fire – seemingly that’s not the right demographic these days (if you sell wine), but I hope we don’t lose it completely!
- Arlot, Nuits 1er Clos l’Arlot Blanc – this is a wine that seems to need a little time to take up its oak, but with each passing year in the cellar, the minerality seems to grow and grow – excellent stuff.
- M&P Rion, Nuits 1er Terres Blanches – This is an archetype of the Nuits 1er dancing Sumo. The acidity and flavour are quite lovely (but that is 2010…) yet the shape of the fruit is large and round.
- Mugnier, Nuits 1er Clos de la Maréchale Blanc – The two vintages shown were insufficient to form a view of this wine, but it seems something of a slim-line Sumo.
Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos l’Arlot
The nose is wide, if not so deep, very faintly savoury and showing a dark cherry-skin note. This gives a round impression in the mouth, with plenty of density and a growing concentration and intensity – then a real hit of faintly bitter extract in the finish. Slowly fading on a cherry-stone note. Despite a hint of initial aggressiveness from the tannin, this wine really impresses.
This nose is just a little shy – not unlike the 2009, showing a similar width that is augmented by higher tones and faint spice – bass notes slowly begin to develop too. This, despite a baseline of medium-grained tannin, shows more elegance and perhaps more reserve too. The finish starts out with a modest intensity, but keeps going very long on its red cherry…
This nose shows a faint amount of development – just a hint of sous-bois – but mainly this is a very red and round aromatic, framed with rose-petal from the whole clusters. This stem characteristic slowly builds in the glass. In the mouth this has a rather luxurious padding but coupled to fine balance. The tannin is now on a relatively low level but still asserts itself in the finish. Very fine!
Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos des Fôrets
Very pretty red notes jump from the glass, supported by a denser aspect with some herbs. The shape is very round but with lots of fine tannin – slowly, slowly the flavour starts to leach from your gums and the gaps in your teeth – real fun but chalk and cheese versus the Clos l’Arlot.
Comforting, warm red fruits against a still rather vague stem impression. The shape is round like the 09, but this time the fruit is ascendant versus the tannin – this fruit flavour narrowing into the finish while being augmented by a mineral dimension as it focuses on the finish.
Here is a depth of beautiful red fruit which is surrounded by a blend of herbs and elements of the whole cluster fermentation. Lovely satin texture dovetails with a width of red fruit flavour that slowly decays. No shame to drink this now!
Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos St.Marc
Wow! What a beautiful mix of floral and bright red notes – this smells amazing. In the mouth this reminds me of the Clos des Fôrets where a round ascendency of tannin surrounds today’s fruit. Finely balanced – this will be super!
This vies with the 2009 for the beauty of its aromas, indeed there are a few more bass notes, though the top notes are a little less forward – captivating, still. In the mouth, this also reminds me of the 09 from its shape and structure. The fruit has a cool personality and is not quite dominated, but is a little in awe of the structure today, the tannin also showing a hint of astringency. The flavours linger on a stony note – this will make a beautiful bottle – super!
Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos des Corvées
Not as bright as the other cuvées. Here is a more savoury nose – particularly so after the brace of Clos St.Marcs – not quite foxy, but hinting. A whole cluster element grows in the glass – this is a heavy perfume indeed, though not ‘heady’. The sweet fruit is wide and mouth-filling. It has good concentration, understated acidity and ripe grainy tannin. The flavours reflect the nose – more whole cluster than Nuits St.Georges. Particular in style, and probably not on my ‘must buy’ list.
Also not perfectly bright, but this wine seems cleaner than the 09. The stems are clearly showcased ‘front of house’ and again it is a heavy perfume. Round and full, the fruit flavour is rose-petal influenced and tries to assert itself over the tannin – largely failing today – but to no concern, this faintly astringent tannin will fade. Maybe 20 years are needed – I hope the wine is stable enough.
Like all these wines, no prizes will be awarded for absolute clarity. This really is an Anthony Hanson of a wine – vignerons pants – I think twice about tasting it! Round, comfortable, still with some astringency to the tannin, but the very nice flavours are just heading those tannins. Probably at least 10 more years are needed for the fruit to show real ascendency. Interesting wine, but I wouldn’t want to pack my cellar with it.
Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos de la Maréchale
This is a deep and darkly fruited wine – it’s really hard to penetrate the density of aroma but I have the ‘impression’ of both red and black fruit. Comforting texture, growing concentration and intensity reflect the nose – behind this curtain is a quantity of very fine, ripe tannin. The finish is wide but of a mineral vernacular versus the dense fruit of the rest of the wine.
After the 09, this surprises with a much higher toned aromatic – more strawberry red than raspberry. This wine doesn’t offer the plush upholstery of the 2009 – and you can more easily pick out the high-toned fruits. Again, there’s a decent quantity of tannin – but it’s ripe enough. Not as distinctive as the 09 (or, indeed the 06/07) – at least this glass, today…
Maybe I’m not so sensitive today, but I’d only give this 2/10 for the level of pyrazines. There are also some pretty red berry aromas too – not an unattractive nose. In the mouth the high-toned fruit seems to taste more of pyrazine than it smells, but I find this quite drinkable, supported by a decently ripe grain of tannin.
Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Perdrix
An interesting fumé and biscuity nose – clearly more barrel than fruit – there is a warmth of something red below these notes, but on too low a level to discern. This fills the mouth well, but here is the explanation of the nose – toffee-inflected, toasty oak flavours that dominate the fruit flavours too. The fruit you can find seems a little roasted and red – but anyway beyond definition. Otherwise this has decent concentration and a very good balance from ripe supporting tannin that is in keeping with the other wines here. Tannin aside, much of the wine is obscured by the wood.
Unlike the 2009 (or the oak vapourises in 12 months) the nose majors on a broad-brush red fruit element and a few higher tones. In the mouth this is clearly fruit-led, showing little obvious oak emphasis. Like the nose, I find the flavours a little broad brush and indistinct. A wine that lacks focus.
A depth of dark-red shaded fruit with just a suggestion of leafy development. Soft flavours have intensity but versus many this seems a little coarse – some roast red fruit flavours, but not a wine to search out.
The nose has some depth and a little twist of coffee too. In the mouth there is extra sweetness and richness – a lovely acidity too, that leaches flavour through your teeth. The tannin is very ripe, indeed more sticky than grainy. This is very, very good.
Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Didiers
Deep dark fruit – some dark oak and faint spice too – plenty of barrel influence included I think but it remains quite imposing. Good texture – like a thick leather. Deep and dark fruited with very good balance supported by plenty of ripe tannin. Very good length. Clearly more about the tonnellier’s art at this age, but a very tasty beverage.
Here the wood has faded, showing redder fruit and a high-toned, almost floral element. Broad ripe fruit, impeccably balanced, here in the mid-palate there are still some shadows of dark oak. This is a very lovely wine today, underpinned with a ripe tannic grain. Very nice.
What an impressive depth of colour! The nose is a complex blend of leather and leaves, still with a dark cherry core. Swirling releases higher tones including some floral elements and perhaps a little ash too. Virile, hairy-armed structure (a bit rustic!), dark-shaded and full of character!
Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos l’Arlot Blanc
A rather interesting nose that seems a blend of oak toast and green herbs – much nicer than it sounds. Silky, plenty of oak notes, round but not bulky – a twist more of acidity wouldn’t go amiss, but that is often the vintage. This needs another year to chew on its oak.
The oak is fully absorbed here – just clean, high-toned notes. Wide and quite silky – actually rather mineral with a little salty tang. The acidity is quite decent though the wine still lacks pin-point focus. For a Nuits blanc, this is excellent though.
Medium yellow colour. The nose wide with suggestions of struck match and warm bread. This is a wine of minerality, and of appreciable tannin even. Long, very interesting flavour profile that is the polar opposite of young fruit – a beauty!
Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos de la Maréchale Blanc
High-toned, pretty aromas with an interesting blend of herbs in the mid-range. In the mouth we have very good balance though this acidity could do with more integration. This is not as obviously ‘large’ in the middle as the Terres Blanches (for example) but the shape is consistent.
A wide, seemingly silky nose that shows ripe lemon and lime skins. Ripe fruit on your tongue and a straighter profile than the 2009 (less round). There is a lovely welling of acidity. The finish is not super-long, but I find this wine very tasty indeed.
Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Terres Blanches Blanc
Okay, wrong vintage and not a monopole, but why not while we are here(?) 😉
High tones on the nose. In the mouth this is comforting and round – but also intense and balanced. There is an innate (Nuits-style) bulk to this wine that remains in full view, despite wonderful acidity and very, very tasty flavours. Yum!