Tasted in Premeaux with Pierre Vincent, 5th November, 2014.
Domaine de la Vougeraie
Rue de l’Église
21700 Nuits St.Georges
Tel: +33 3 80 62 48 25+33 3 80 62 48 25
I arrived (having driven through an overnight rainstorm the following evening) to find Pierre directing pumping operations; “1 months rain in 24 hours” he noted – but fortunately it was only a few inches of water in one of the bottle cellars – none in the barrel cellars. Still, Vougeraie is at the bottom of the hill – if somebody is going to get flooded, it’s likely to be them!
Pierre on 2013:
“The vintage was even later than 2008 and I find it like a mix of 2008 and 2010; there’s acid like 2008 but with more material like 2010. It was difficult because of the hail in the Côte de Beaune; our worst yields were 10 hl/ha around Pernand and Aloxe. Still, even important cuvées such as Corton-Charlemagne yielded only 10 hl/ha. But I find a beautiful balance to what’s been produced in this vintage.”
There are 35 appellations now at Vougeraie – most are still im barrel, awaiting their 4-5 months in tank before bottling. All the whites and most of the reds use oak that comes from the forest of Citeaux – this accounts for about 80% of the barrels
2013 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Terres de Famille
A rare wine that’s already in bottle – since just before the harvest. A blend of Beaune and Vougeot fruit, 100% destemmed and raised in 25% new oak.
Beautiful, warm and elegant fruit. In the mouth it’s round but with bright, ripe fruit – some structure too. Good depth of flavour. Excellent Bourgogne.
2013 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Marconnets
Only 20 hl/ha. 50% whole clusters used here – and as an aside, Pierre notes that “After 15 years of biodynamics, it seems easier and easier as time passes to work with whole clusters.”
The aromas are round and show more depth too – pretty. A little more structure but also more intensity of fruit to counterbalance. Fine and fresh mid-palate flavour and excellent width too. Super!
Super-deep aromas – almost textured. Fine, indeed super, attack – tannins have grab rather than grain. Gorgeous flavour. Simply delicious!
2013 Volnay Ez Blanches
Includes a tiny part of Clos des Chênes too – 1st vintage.
A fine width of aroma, plenty of whole clusters here but it’s still a silky nose. Wow – much more ‘mouth-perfume’ though it’s certainly more ‘strict’ than the Pommard, but lots of extra flavour dimension. Super!
A good width of aroma here, darker-red fruit that seems a little grilled. Again a wonderful width and depth of flavour – and less strict than the Volnay too, also with some high-toned flavours. Super-tasty with a chocolatey tannin in the finish.
2013 Gevrey-Chambertin La Justice
A higher-toned nose with some herb – less inviting. Fresh, growing intensity and a finer fur for the finishing tannin. A cool wine which becomes ever-more impressive as head into the finish.
2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Belair
Aromatically similar to La Justice but with more width, depth and a faint oak spice. Lithe, really super texture and growing intensity. Really super length here. Lovely!
Just a little paler. The nose is a little tighter with some whole cluster and a weight of ripe fruit below. This fills your mouth but without weight. Balanced but really contemplative – here are waves of flavour, slowly washing over the tongue. Beautiful!
2013 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles En Foule
High-density planting, only 50cm apart with a maximum of 3 grape clusters per vine. Three barrels with 100 whole-cluster fermentations – will be bottled only in magnums.
A wide-open nose with whole cluster aromas and roses. Nicely structured and just a little more fine-grained tannin – but then the length takes over. Here the impression is very primary, no waves of complexity like the previous Evocelles – not yet, anyway! Still, this is very good.
Assembled from 5 parcels including a little 1er cru Baudes.
After the last wine, here is more freshness and aromatic clarity – only modestly floral with high-toned fruit notes. This sits perfectly on the tongue – round but fresh with very good mid-palate density. Super-gorgeous in the finish!
2013 Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos de Thorey
This much-travelled, 3 hectare monopole is now in its second vintage chez Vougeraie.
A wide but somehow strict nose, yet there’s good depth and you’d hardly notice the 40% whole clusters. Here is tannin, but fine tannin – actually the fruit is rather fine too – indeed this is a super finish that reminds me more of Vosne than Nuits. Very, very good!
2013 Clos de Vougeot
From 2 parcels, each vinified separately – 70% whole clusters and 60% new oak.
Modest, welcoming, whole-cluster aromatics. Lithe, mineral, intense, muscled and certainly no padding here. There’s a lovely lift of flavour in the mid-palate before slowly descending into the modest structure. A good grand cru wine.
From a patch of (including) 1902 vintage vines – the oldest of the domaine – in Mazoyères. 80% whole-cluster used here.
A wider, more open aromatic that’s seems textured and shows an undertow of dark red fruit. Here is a lovely, multidimensional flavour perspective. This is ridiculously good. So much more expressive and enveloping versus the more muscled Clos de Vougeot (today!).
The nose is fresh, clean and inviting – yet ultimately rather tight – just a little something dark and mineral at the core. Almost a hybrid of the Clos de Vougeot and Charmes: Lithe and powerful with plenty of structure, but with boundless energy yet finesse too. Today this wine is just a little discrete, but it will become quite a wine!
Three barrels, one new, 100% whole-cluster.
A textured and enveloping nose. A wine that almost slips in un-noticed before growing and growing and then growing some more on your tongue. There’s tannin (of-course!) but it’s very fine. I realise it’s only 09h30 but I drank this anyway. A treat – but today the Bonnes-Mares is the more dynamic wine.
2013 Bourgogne Chardonnay Terres de Famille
Basically fruit from the Hautes Côtes de Nuits, raised in 350 litre barrels – the first vintage.
Width and some ripeness on the nose – a little herb too. It starts modestly in the mouth but develops a nice width and energy in the mid-palate. The finsih is the best part.
A little toasty reduction and seemingly nice minerality. Faint gas on the tongue but here is a beautiful wine – taut, long and mineral, fresh and gorgeous. Bravo!
2013 Vougeot 1er Clos Blanc de Vougeot
“By chance, harvested just before the rains arrived on 26th September.””
Fresh and obviously mineral with aromatic intensity and saline suggestions. A liitle too much gas today but a ripe line of fresh fruit flavour establishes itself and maybe a little agrume reduction. This is very complex and will undoubtedly become super wine.
Only 10 hl/ha.
Here is aromatic depth and power with faint herbs and lime-skin. Lithe across the tongue – not the outright power of 2012, but yes, similar intensity and complexity – lovely!
This is the 3rd vintage for this wine, but in 2014 they have much more, coming from the former Henri Clerc estate – not just Bâtard, but village and 1er Cru Puligny plus Chevalier-Montrachet.
More weight of aroma and it’s faintly floral too. Again a little too much CO2, but what super intensity here – also beautifully fresh with ingraining flavour. Drop-dead gorgeous wine – one of the top dozen wines I tasted this vintage!