Comte Armand – 2018


Paul Zinetti, 2019Tasted in Pommard with Paul Zinetti, 13 November 2019.

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

Paul Zinetti on 2019:
Super. Good quality, some roast grapes in the heat and dryness, flowering was capricious, oh and not forgetting the frost, mainly in the bottom of Volnay and some of the Bourgogne. We lost 20-30% volume but following a good volume in 2018 so no worries. I didn’t find the vibrating table useful this year, the dried stuff stayed on the stem and lost too many small berries – so I soon stopped that!

Paul Zinetti on 2018:
A blessed vintage – generous of course but also generous in ripeness. It’s still classic I think with fineness and freshness. Low pH, I’m very happy with the balance – even if some were 14°. nothing is bottled at this stage, in bulk or barrels for all. 03-11 September harvesting

The wines…

Always terribly difficult to assess the Clos des Epeneaux from its constituents and even the proposed blend – though the magic of blending is clearly visible. The rest of the range are excellent; dark coloured, sweet wines, but with freshness, zip, and sometimes greatness.

2018 Auxey-Duresses
From l’Argillas – a single parcel, still on lees, all destemmed there was no pLace for the extra volume!
Ooh, that’s a beautiful fruit, fresh but round, sweet and inviting. Round in the mouth too, decent energy, nicely open, complex, partly saline and mineral. Very long, not my favourite mid-palate flavour, almost a little caramel, But long…

2018 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru
Assembly of Bretrins (two-thirds) with chalky soil and Bas des Duresses where there’s more clay and soil depth. But still light soils. Grapes vinified together. Racked last week.
A more focused line of aroma here. Wider, more complex, mobile, very floral – like the nose. Here the finish is really delicious and long. That’s lovely…

2018 Volnay
A blend of Grand Champ and Famines, Also racked last week, now in tank. ‘Some areas here produced a lot!’
Really quite a tight nose after the racking, unlike the last. Bright fresh, I love the drive and shape of this – slowly widening and adding more in the middle and finish where there’s structure this needs more elevage but promises much!

2018 Volnay 1er Fremiets
from two parcels – one of young vines of 30 years, the other 90.
Ooh, thats a fine, fresh, complex hyper-inviting nose. Structural but complex and exciting, bravo wine without a doubt!

And first a look at the constituent parts of the Clos des Epeneaux – harvested at 13.6° to 14°:

Clos des Epeneaux – 1
Young vines, harvest started 5 sept, 32 hl/ha
Modest but wide and fine nose. Hmm, sweetness and really only a modest structure. Tasty wine.

Clos des Epeneaux – 2
Bottom of clos more soil, more clay, it was a small harvest here, as in many previous vintages, so may replace these vines next year.
Another modest aroma – quite tight. More depth on the middle here, lovely width too. Really top in the middle and finish here – super.

Clos des Epeneaux – 3
The top of the Clos vines here
Again a tight nose. But here a touch extra oak but beautiful texture and width. Great floral finish.

Clos des Epeneaux – 4
Oldest vines, mainly older than 80
Like all, the nose is a little compact, in this case perhaps faintly reductive too. Ooh – energy, lovely width, less depth of texture but even finer tannin.

Clos des Epeneaux – 5
The press wine
Hmm, the wine with the most presence on nose. There’s the structure of course, but really no more than many Pommards, and a lightness of fruit that’s interesting – “Yes I include some of the press because it adds to the spine of the wine.

Clos des Epeneaux – the probable blend, but minus the press wine
Still a modest nose. But wow that’s impressive wine – multi-dimensional wine. The magic of blending! Layered finishing, really not a massive (visible) structure. Long, good enough acidity, this isn’t a wine that is too 2018, your mouth gently waters. This should be Excellent wine, maybe even better…

Something with a little age:

2016 Clos des Epeneaux
Ooh, now that’s a nicely open nose – complex, already suggesting even more complexity. Lovely acidity, driving along, growing in mid-palate intensity, long and mouth-watering, this is excellent – I particularly love the nose today.

2017 Clos des Epeneaux
Was bottled at the end of April
A tighter nose again. Fresh, lovely line, complex. Hmm, this palate and the nose of the last would be complete wine. This is the best of these today, 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. Bottled also in April.
Thats nice, faintly metallic but in a good way – it’s inviting. Wide, steely, mineral but relaxing generously over the palate – delicious finishing…

2018 Bourgogne Aligoté
In tank, nothing else done.
Tighter, a deeper and faintly reductive nose. Freshness – really a nice energy here- seemingly more mineral. This is great – bravo!

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