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Château de la Tour / Pierre Labet – 2014

DSC08326Tasted in Vougeot with François Labet, 21 October, 2015.

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

François on 2014:
“The 2014 hail in June was terrible. Of-course in Beaune but also a little in Chorey too (for us) but it’s a vintage that I like very much with aromas that are both elegant and fruit dominated – maybe its unlucky that the vintage comes between 2013 and 2015, but a good ripe vintage if a little bit of a cépage vintage, but the differences are still there. The yields were close to normal in 2014, there was a little hail in the Clos but mainly in the south, but below the level of insurance!”

François on 2015:
“The consequence of the hail last year was also felt this year, with very low yields. Actually it was an almost ideal vintage, without rot pressure, some oïdium potential too, but that was quickly detected. Still, a low harvest quantity due to the dryness. No sulfur used yet – some of the press wines still haven’t finished their fermentations – the whites are fermenting as normal. There was a week between harvesting the whites and reds here. Hyper seductive and very balanced I think. The only problem for the reds was keeping a picking team flexible enough to wait! We started the 2nd September for whites, the Wednesday after, for the reds. Easy because there weren’t many grapes but of course easy to triage. We worked hard to keep the cuverie cold though!”

François on 2014 pricing:
“I expect prices to be stable; the quality is not better than 2013 so it doesn’t justify an an increase.”

The wines…

Nothing in bottle yet, the wines are either in barrel or assembled. Those in barrel have not been racked, just a little sulfur was added after malos.

2014 Pierre Labet, Bourgogne Rouge Vieilles Vignes
From Chorey
Big with a direct core of fruit – darkly red and faintly spicy. Very good intensity, and then even more in the mid-palate. Long finishing, with the characteristic house wood style (which quickly fades…)

2014 Pierre Labet, Beaune Clos de Dessous de Marconnets
Heavily hailed vines, so mainly destemmed.
A little more higher toned, hinting at flowers. Wow – lovely flavour here, joyous flavour here, still some oak texture. Extra yum!

2014 Pierre Labet, Beaune 1er Coucherias
Deeper colour. A deeper register of dark red fruit, perfectly ripe almost a strawberry conserve aspect. Much silkier wine, layered, with a fine peak of freshness. Hmm – this is excellent!

2014 Pierre Labet, Gevrey-Chambertin
3 different terriors; Jousie, Crais and Justice. No problem with acetics this year because it was too hot and dry – it’s California, Hawaii – everywhere these days.
A similar ripeness of fruit but presented in a wider fashion. Wide, lush but with structure. Lovely wine.

2014 Château de la Tour, Clos de Vougeot
A fresh width over a tighter core. Big in the mouth – all the spaces are filled. Lots of tannin texture, with just a twist of dry cushioning. Supporting all is a friendly fruit and very fine balance. A floral element to the finishing fruit, here with a hint of wood texture. All is in place – yum!

2014 Château de la Tour, Clos de Vougeot Vieilles-Vignes
Also deeply coloured. A similar freshness, perhaps faintly peppered, but the core is even tighter – almost inaccessible. The tannin has a little more cushioning, but here there is a little more mass of flavour below. More amplitude in the finish too. Such a baby.

No Homage à Jean Morin in 2014 – it was vinified as usual, but François felt that the difference between that and the vieilles vignes was too small, so he added it back into the VV.

2013s

2013 Pierre Labet, Bourgogne Rouge Vieilles Vignes
A hint less colour. Round, beautiful, slightly roast fruit. Bottled in March. Direct, lithe, mouth-watering flavour. A lovely line into the finish too. Yum!

2013 Pierre Labet, Beaune Clos de Dessous de Marconnets
Similar colour. A little higher toned with some spice. Wide, high-toned flavours, a little more meagre than the bourgogne, but with an extra dimension of flavour in the mid-palate. Really excellently finishing – a wine that really opens.

2013 Pierre Labet, Beaune 1er Coucherias
Here is a deep and interesting fruit flavour, partly roasting fruit. Lovely silky texture again, wide, fresh fruit and a good lingering flavour – fine Beaune 1er. I’m loving the finishing flavour.

2014 Pierre Labet, Gevrey-Chambertin
The fruit aromatic is similar to the Beaune, but fuller, with a little darker, earthier base. Again lithe, direct, only opening out from the mid-palate onwards, also similar the Beaune villages in shape.

2013 Château de la Tour, Clos de Vougeot
Bigger more open nose, deep fruit below and growing freshness above. More obvious round and fruity. The base of tannin is more slowly rising, but supported by fine dark-red fruit and a hint of mineral. Still open. A very yum!

2013 Château de la Tour, Clos de Vougeot Vieilles-Vignes
Wide, silky impression to the nose – this is tight, but the small nuances have perfect clarity. Hmm – very lovely, flowing over the palate, cushioned by a small plush coating to the tannin. This base of tannin is the first impression in the finish, slowly melting to offer the fruit. A sleeping beauty.

2013 Château de la Tour, Clos de Vougeot Hommage à Jean Morin
Really extra complex, with a modest spice above and a complex fruit below. Impossibly silky texture, liquid gorgeousness. Exquisite wine, very much still a wine that looks over the wall at Musigny. Versus 12 months ago it’s more structural in the finish now, but you can still easily taste it 2 minutes later! A giant. There are violets, but more cassis and blueberry and maybe even a suggestion from time to time of strawberry. Great wine.
Les blancs…

Also for the whites, nothing is in bottle. They will pass the winter in tank and be bottle next year.

2014 Pierre Labet, Bourgogne Blanc
A big, open, slightly pineapple aromatic. An undertow of CO2, but as you bypass that, there’s a hint of mineral followed by a riper fruit above. Good acidity and energy here. It finishes fresh and faintly salty.

2014 Pierre Labet, Beaune 1er Marconnets Blanc
Big, open, round, but with just enough freshness to say ‘taste me.’ Again there’s gas, but here is wine that’s wide and fresh, indeed beautifully fresh, almost a hint of white fruit – pear. Lovely if modestly long finishing. Tasty wine.

2014 Meursault Les Tillets
A picture perfect high slope Meursault nose of freshness but still that spicy Meursault-ness. Gas again, but clearly here is a wine of energy, and a base of more mineral aspects, really the flavour of Meursault too – bravo. Excellent.

2014 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Vergelesses
A masale planting, taken from vines from Thénard’s Montrachet.
Less width but a height and depth of ripe fruit, a growing top of more herbal notes. Lithe, much fresher, mineral with green and yellow fruit, a growing silkiness too as the gas fades. Lingering, mouth-watering very nice. But today I’d take the Tillets!

2013s

2013 Pierre Labet, Bourgogne Blanc
This is interesting; there’s width and fine bass notes with a hint more savoury elements above – but they fade and it becomes a little more like a creamy barrel reference. Gets nicer and nicer in the glass. A wide panorama of flavours, good texture and a fine flavour – something of an executive bourgogne here – I like this very much. A mouth-watering slightly citrus finish.

2013 Pierre Labet, Beaune 1er Marconnets Blanc
Rounder, riper but also a hint tighter nose. Yet more lithe and fresh in the mouth, just a hint of reduction with fresh pear flavour in the finishing flavours. More complex than the bourgogne, yum!

2013 Meursault Les Tillets
Perfect Meursault nose of gingerbread and freshness – I’m hooked. I have the impression of a little gas, still, but this has lithe muscle and minerals. After the mid-palate there is a salinity in the finish. Complex and fine.

2013 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Vergelesses
A masale planting, taken from vines from Thénard’s Montrachet.
A deeper and riper nose if less effusive than the Tillets but is balanced with a good freshness. Big in the mouth but a wine that makes me smile with a round freshness but no cushioning. There’s energy and a very pretty fruit, a blend of ripe lime and lemon. Lovely…

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