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Château de la Tour / Pierre Labet – 2013

DSC05393Tasted in Vougeot with François Labet (who now has a bus-pass!) 6th November, 2014.

Chateau de La Tour / Domaine Pierre Labet
Rue de la Montagne
21640 Vougeot
Tel: +33 3 80 62 86 13+33 3 80 62 86 13
www.chateaudelatour.com

François on 2013:
“It’s a vintage ‘Bourguignone’ not a ‘French’ vintage. A vintage that has ripened well – this is the 4th time I’ve tasted the assemblies, and I find it a lovely blend of 2008 and 2010. In the current climate I think whole-clusters are very important – less so in 2014 because the hail didn’t just damage grapes, it damaged the stems too.”

The wines…

The 2013 reds are not yet bottled – there has been on racking and the wines are now back in their barrels. The remain some way from bottling and each will be done individually – “The wine will decide.” As I expected, a good selection of wines – but what I didn’t expect was such a bravado performance from the (selection of) Clos de Vougeot, nor that the strong oak component seen in the 2012s is completely hidden – at least today.

2013 Pierre Labet, Bourgogne Rouge
A fresh and round but also concentrated and ripe nose. Full, concentrated enough to be a villages, with very tasty, ripe but not simple fruit. Excellent.

2013 Pierre Labet, Beaune Clos de Dessous de Marconnets
Here is a faint reduction and a little whole cluster. Silky – here is beautiful texture and fine fruit – some power too. The palate quickly narrows into the finish but still a fine glass!

2013 Pierre Labet, Beaune 1er Coucherias
Fresher and finer aromas if a little less impact. More structure but also lovely mouth-widening flavour. Fine finishing though this will certainly benefit from a little cellar time.

2013 Pierre Labet, Gevrey-Chambertin
Super colour. There is depth and impact and also concentration – still, it seems a little tight. Round and mouth-filling, with lots of flavour and decent acidity. I keep seeing the word ‘lots’ as I taste! Very primary but still with a kick in the finish.

2013 Château de la Tour, Clos de Vougeot
Quite low yields due to coulure – only 23 hl/ha. Although not the ‘VV’ cuvée, these vines still average 50 years-old – dead vines being replaced by François’ own masale selection.
Beautiful, half floral, deep fruit – very good! Just a little faint spice on the end of the nose too. Wide, cool fruit across the tongue. Super width of flavour with plenty of structure to underpin. Concentrated wine – super wine!
2013 Château de la Tour, Clos de Vougeot Vieilles-Vignes
Less floral, but with more depth and more spice to the nose. Super in the mouth, with cool, crunchy fruit and beautiful mouth-watering flavour. Plenty of fine-textured tannin, but assured tannin delivery. Super-fine!
2013 Château de la Tour, Clos de Vougeot Homage à Jean Morin
François notes that in some vintages this wine is basically no better than the cuvée Vieilles-Vignes so is not bottled. He nods when I say that there seems a difference in 2013 – this is one of the most memorable wines of my whole 2013 tasting ‘campaign.’
Just a little lift of flowers and frankly brilliant aromatic depth. Brilliant texture too; velvet and sumptuous fruit with superb length of flavour. It may be aromatically different, but the flavour has the quality of a great Musigny. This is probably the best young Clos de Vougeot that I ever tasted…

2013 Pierre Labet, Bourgogne Blanc
Elevage in 350 and 450 litre barrels.
The nose has a little malo impression though is quite fresh. In the mouth there’s forward acidity but the ripe flavour covers it well. The finish lifts the performance of this wine to another level – here it is excellent.

2013 Pierre Labet, Beaune 1er Marconnets Blanc
Ripe but fresh aromas. Gas but I don’t think it particularly adds to what is anyway a fresh wine – slowly intensifying flavour and another very fine and intense finish.

2013 Meursault Les Tillets
Depth of aroma and a real Meursault impression – very inviting. Again a little too much gas today, but this remains a dynamic and intensely flavoured wine. It seems really brilliant.

2013 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Vergelesses
A masale planting, taken from vines from Thénard’s Montrachet – ‘always small grapes ‘d’Orée’ notes François.
A much softer nose though with fine fruit – again it’s very inviting. More mineral, lithe and complex – if less direct. Very tasty indeed!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?