Comte Armand – 2017


Tasted in Pommard with Paul Zinetti, 13 November 2018.

Comte Armand – Domaine des Epeneaux  
7 Rue de la Mairie
21630 Pommard
Tel: +33 3 80 24 70 50

Paul Zinetti on 2018:
Very happy, lots of work but we are very content with what we harvested. I think it’s a lovely vintage. We started harvesting 03 September – the same as in 2017 – it wasn’t any calmer than in 2017 as there was still some volume! The aromatic profiles are very different though, sugars were slow to ferment but there are high alcohol potentials, so… But here there’s no pressure to rush things. All the wines are in barrel, finally, but only last week!​

Paul Zinetti on 2017:
2017 was a little more work in the vines. The aromatic profile is much more typical Burgundy at this stage versus the 2018s. The wines are very open and have lovely balance, I find them very attractive and it’s my biggest vintage in volume. Actually made a little more here in 2018 the yields are not so high – in the 40s for the Volnays – 30 hl/ha in the Clos.

The wines…

A lovely selection of wines – a couple touching on very great for their labels – fingers crossed for the ‘Clos Blend’

Nothing is bottled yet but all the wines have been in tank for 7-10 days now, with some small addition of sulfur at that time. No whole-clusters in 2017 – ‘There might not have been room in the tanks with them!‘ There will be no filtering, maybe a small fining to round some tannins. I only did a couple of days of pigeage after just a little remontage to keep the cap wet.

2017 Auxey-Duresses
From l’Argillas – a single parcel.
Good colour, wide and red fruited. Good shape, plenty of volume, a small rasp of tannin. Fine intensity here, the line of flavour lasting very long in the finish – excellent villages…

2017 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru
Assembly of Bretrins (two-thirds) with a chalky soil and Bas des Duresses where there’s more clay and soil depth. But still light soils. Grapes vinified together. ‘This a wine that I found immeasurably better after the racking…’
Plenty of colour. Ooh that’s a great nose – cushioned round – of deep red velour. Bigger, even more volume and a touch of tannin too – this is certainly more structural than the nose suggests. Have some patience here but there’s fine dimensions of dark-fruited flavour here – layers of fresh finishing flavour too – a wine with a certain tension…

2017 Volnay
A blend of Grand Champ and Famines
A pretty and quite deep red fruit but very guarded after the fine and open Auxey 1er. Lots of volume – fresh, open, complex, a little spiced – the only wine with a little whole cluster. The wine relaxes a little over the palate and starts to deliver some extra depth and texture – there’s more here than first meets the eye. Lovely…

2017 Volnay 1er Fremiets
from two parcels – one of young vines of 30 years, the other 90.
A bigger nose with lots of depth – reminiscent of the Auxey 1er. A cooler width and straight away more overt concentration to the wine. A mouthful of wine, spiced, not simple, easy fruit – proper wine – excellent!​

Clos des Epeneaux – 1
Young vines – 35 yo – today there are two wines assembled but not yet a single wine. Racked 10 days ago.
A deep nose fruit, dark fruit, almost a meaty suggestion. Lots of volume, plenty of tannin but very fine grained and with very little astringency. Long with a mouth-waterng note that works through the structure. Super…​

Clos des Epeneaux – 2
Old vines – 55% of the total
Hmm – not as deep a nose but a finer and more impressive width of aroma. Hmm – a depth not to fall into, but rather to sink into – fine, almost a powdery grain to the tannin. Lovely the volume and complexity here – great! Not the energy of the last but certainly much more visible complexity today.

Clos des Epeneaux – the blend
I’m happy to say that here is the the bast part of both wines aromatically – none of the meatiness. Fresher, but still with great depth of flavour and a little less grain to the tannin. Lovely texture. It’s a compromise for sure – the second cuvée benefits from the freshness and the first from a little extra complexity. Not a powerful finish but still a very long finish.

Something with a little age:

2015 Clos des Epeneaux
Hmm, already a modest development here but quite a vibrant impression to the nose. More time in the glass and it tightens a little. Big, but fresh – lots of volume, faintly grained, perhaps some floral complexity. A big but rewardingly fresh wine.

2014 Clos des Epeneaux
Hmm a floral freshness but quite some density of aroma too. More line, more drive, complex, really a great and growing complexity, but unlike the 2015 and despite very fine grain, the tannin deters further exploration – here you should be patient. Lots to be happily patient for though!

And what happens to ‘spare’ wine after the best blend is made? – “It’s hoped that there won’t be any, but if so, probably a generic Pommard 1er Cru label will be found for this small volume…

Finally, a little white:

2017 Bourgogne Aligoté
Vines in Pommard but young – 10. Also buy some grapes from vines in Meursault more like 90 years old – there’s more of the former. All pressed together. 600 litre barrel and tank elevage. One or two batonages and that’s it. Still in tank right now. Probably to bottle before Christmas.
A big nose, spicily complex and with a good freshness. Hmm big shape, big depth too – the merest suggestion of a reduction behind that. But a big open and complex wine that delivers what it should – deliciousness!

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