Last year there were 83 wines presented as the Syndicat de Gevrey-Chambertin made a fanfare with their first syndicate tasting in Beaune – unfortunately for them, few people followed-up on their initial place reservations – the tasters were few and far between.
This year the syndicate persevered for their 2011 vintage and we were once again in the Hotel de Poste in Beaune, and once-more during the weekend of the Hospices de Beaune sale. Perhaps ‘once bitten’ there were fewer vignerons presenting their wines – 59 wines in total – and lunch was a more modest buffet. Incredibly even fewer people arrived to taste the wines. Will the syndicate come again? I won’t blame them if they don’t!
Such a shame.
As far as the notes are concerned, I was was simply amazed how many, to my level of perception, were showing a pyrazine note so early in their elevage. I’m convinced that the 2004s didn’t show it to this extent so early in their elevage, this could be a terrible thing, or it could be something ‘a bit different’ and be gone in 12 months – when you will all be able to point me out and say ‘what a plonker’. Note: It is entirely possible, however, that I have become ‘trained’ to spot this aroma just as you learn to spot TCA, and that I was ‘untrained’ at this stage in the 2004’s development.
Whatever. Using a P1 -> P10 (out of 10) scale for pyrazine perception, you will see which wines were already affected. Note, I probably couldn’t put a P9 -> P10 wine in my mouth, whereas I’d happily imbibe a P1 -> P2 wine.
P3. Good width and intensity – actually super balance and length – no obvious oak either. ‘Otherwise’ super.
P5, some floral elements too. The a little P flavour too but also a lovely penetrating fruit. Well balanced. ‘Otherwise’ super.
P2. Chewy, with a lovely balance. There is some extra depth and tannin here after the Duroché. ‘Otherwise’ super.
No pyrazines, just a little dark depth aided and abetted by a hint of reduction. Round and full, this has a fine tannin and a fruit flavour which grows and grows. Very good!
P1. There is a faint aroma of stems which grows and grows in the glass. The flavour also betrays whole clusters but in a lovely way. Just a little harsher structure than the Billard.
P2 with a mix of soft red fruits too. Fills the mouth nicely – good width and density, and not a bit soft.
Quite deeply coloured. Slightly lactic with bright cherry fruit. Lots of structure but also great balance – I like this – very good fruit in the mid-palate. Very good wine.
Plenty of oak notes abut the fruit but coupled with nice high-toned notes too. Clean, lovely acidity with nice intensity and flavour. Lovely!
A little reduction in the depths and some toasted bread too. There’s also reduction on the palate and when coupled to CO2 makes this a wine that’s very hard to place. Seems okay though.
Deep and reductive, wide and padded. Good flavours – I think this will be very nice.
P1 plus high tones. Sweet fruit, nice width and balance. Quite good.
Toasty depth. The high-toned fruit is buffered by plenty of medium-grained tannin. Serious and good.
P2 with lots of high-toned fruits. Real intensity and very good acidity – the slightly astringent tannin slowly creeps up on you. ‘Otherwise’ super.
High-toned, slightly estery fruit. Round, with plenty of structure. Intensity of fruit flavour wells-up in the mid-palate with a nice flavour in the finish. Competent/quite good.
P1? Faint bread and high tones. More width and structure than the previous wine. Well balanced, very good.
A deep nose with ripe fruit at the core. Mouth-filling concentration with perhaps a faint coffee note within the flavours. This is very, very good!
The nose is deep again and perhaps finer than the ‘Justice’. An excellent balance of flavour, texture and structure. The acidity seems quite understated – just a lovely wine.
P1? High-toned and quite pretty aromas. The flavours offer a similar high-toned profile as the nose. The core fruit flavour only bursts through in the mid-palate. Very good wine, but behind both the Justice and Clos Prieur I think.
P2 yet high toned and pretty. Full, padded, interesting wine. Lots of depth of flavour. ‘Otherwise’ excellent!
P7. Sweet fruit, plenty of structure and flavour concentration. Shame as I really liked the 2010 and think the base wine good here too.
P1? With a little toast. Fine width and a lovely, lovely mid-palate flavour. Good structure and excellent length. Super!
Deep aromas with a little coffee. Mouth-filling, seriously concentrated and showing an impressively dense flavour. Not the longest, but certainly the loudest…
P2 with a very pretty selection of high-toned red fruits. This seems a little soft today (most things would after the Serafin!), but it’s round and very pretty with some flavour complexity – including a little P. ‘Otherwise’ very good.
Deep, dark aromas – but with lovely top notes – okay, you’ve got me! Textured, padded, lots of concentrated flavour – this is excellent!
The Premier Crus
P2 but very, very pretty aromas that include roses and raspberries – I assume some stem content here – this grows and grows, so plenty of whole clusters I expect as there is also the flavour. Not as concentrated as some villages wines but lovely complexity here. Very, very pretty wine.
P1 but with lots of high-toned interest. Plenty of concentrated flavour and decent understated structure. Very good length too. Very good wine.
P2 but very, very pretty aromas that include roses and raspberries – I assume some stem content here – this grows and grows, Very deep colour. High-tones, quite interesting with a faint coffee note (I just had one – maybe auto-suggestion, or a dirty top lip!). Plenty of sweet fruit here – the structure is largely in the background. Lovely flavours, super wine!
P2+ eventually augments a little barrel aroma, though the nose starts quite shy. Confidently fills the mouth – unexpected after the nose – very fine detail in the lovely flavours with a hint of P in there too. ‘Otherwise’ very good.
High-toned and quite complex – though no fruit! A very lovely core of fruit flavour – there’s plenty of structure but in the background. The flavour holds well in the finish. Super.
Flighty, pretty, high-toned notes with a sweet core – I am fully engaged even if there’s a hint of bubble-gum! In the mouth this is full and round – more about a concentrated ball of flavour than discrete complexity, but it’s really lovely.
A round and ripe but largely unformed nose. There seems to be grand cru concentration here. No complexity today but rather like the previous wine about impressive density.
P1 dovetails with high-toned notes. There an impression of understated intensity, nice flavour and structure that remains in the background, including the acidity – lovely. A wine of complexity yet understatement too.
P2 – neither are the rest of the aromas particularly enticing. Similar flavour profile – a kind of mustiness. Nice weight, texture and concentration but I assume this is a ‘suspect’ sample.
The nose is remarkable similar to this makers Combe aux Moines. Lots of high-toned flavours and growing intensity. The flavours slowly decay – this is both pretty and rather interesting.
Fine density to the nose with twists of almond and cream added to the fruit. Silky, concentrated and with growing intensity – indeed super intensity though there are plenty of barrel notes augmenting the fruit today. Flavours that slowly decay – very fine!
P5 – I really can’t get anything else. Wow – despite the nose there is a beautiful width of flavour and yet another dimension in the mid-palate. Good finish. ‘Otherwise’ super!
High tones plus dark fruit – detailed and precise. Some minerality, slowly growing intensity of flavour. Understated structure but good acidity. I like P1. High toned and yet with dark-shaded fruit – very pretty. Very concentrated and nicely padded – this is almost fruit preserve – a beautiful wine to curl up with – very yum!
A deep and dark nose – quite nice! Sweet fruit, relatively understated structure and a narrow, direct line of fruit through the core and into the finish. Very, very good.
P1 – eventually. Before that the high tones mixed with a little muddy oak. Lovely texture, some padding and great concentration too. The intensity of just about everything just grows and grows. ‘Otherwise’ excellent.
Not particularly deep aromas but the panorama is lovely. Round, with slowly growing intensity – the tannin grows in tandem but is ripe. A wine that grows in the glass and grows on me.
Very engaging high-toned nose, even though it is a hint shy. Round and full with an excellent base of structure. The length holds very well. Very, very good.
P3. Lots of grainy tannin but interesting flavour and concentration too. The P comes through the flavour too though.
A deep and largely impressive nose. Big, concentrated flavours – no shrinking violet this. Yet you have the impression that grows even more in the mid-palate. Excellent, and with the potential to shame many a grand cru.
The Grand Crus
P4. Good flavour concentration, lovely intensity too but P is spoiling it for me.
P1 (or after-burn from the last wine!). Lovely concentration and very fine flavour too. This isn’t the longest, but it’s very, very nice.
Deep with faint oak at the bottom – high-toned fruits at the top. Super concentration with flavour coming from all directions – this is super. Very slowly decaying flavour – the structure always discrete but supporting – Excellent!
There’s a mix of must and oak on the nose – probably not a great sample. Concentrated with a little softness, but the flavour continues to grow. In the end this is still some way behind the Charlopin, but it’s very good.
High toned with a little coffee. Nice clean, concentrated flavours – this is very nice indeed – just a little mineral aspect here – a rarity in this vintage.
P5. Despite that, there is both distinction and direction in the mouth.
Flowers and red fruit – very pretty. Supple with understated tannin and mouth-watering flavour. If the nose doesn’t show obvious artifacts of stems, the flavours do. This is fine and one of those rare mineral 2011s too.
Powdery red fruit but rather concentrated aromatics. Narrow-ish entry but this grows and grows – again some minerality (like the Tremblay Chapelle) but here is a more overt structure. Lovely.
The nose is not particularly wide but has good depth. Less sweet than the Chapelles but amply concentrated – the intensity is also excellent. Some astringency to the tannin, but this is Mazis – no problem!
P5 dominates but there is a nice palate of high-toned notes besides. Nice texture, just a little padding – super intensity. P excepted, this would be a lovely wine.
P5. Lots of tannin, some astringency attached. Concentrated and intense – but P flavour too.
P2 and some estery element to the fruit, yet the high-toned effect holds interest. Quite a salty impression to fine, concentrated fruit. Ripe tannin. ‘Otherwise’ very good.
A beautiful nose of flowers – yum. An extra level of concentration but there is also complexity and dimension to match. Excellent wine.
The nose is less floral than his Chambertin, but with an added depth. A more ‘structural’ wine than the Chambertin as it begrudgingly offers glimpses of fruit – yet equally concentrated and ripe. Just wait, this will be excellent.
P1 is just another element of a fine nose. Salt-inflected, partly mineral flavours. Really good intensity too. ‘Otherwise’ excellent.