2012 Savigny-Dominode & Beaune-Grèves – blind…


Tasted in Beaune with several winemakers, 4th December 2014.

Okay, I was a bad boy – but no change there! The title of my tasting was 2012 Beaune Grèves, but as you will note, my first 5 wines were not Grèves, but I did show the bottles after we tasted those first 5 😉

Why Savigny 1er La Dominode?

DSC05583The 1er Cru Les Jarrons sits in the mid-slope that faces Pernand-Vegelesses, with 1er Cru Hautes Jarrons above (to the trees) and 1er Cru Narbantons below. But the majority (say 80%) of mid-slope Jarrons, from its southern border with 1er Cru Bas-Marconnets can also take the climat name of Dominode. Dominode (possibly) from the latin Dominus, implying a vineyard of the lord – though more likely the Lord of Savigny than a Lord in heaven.

I rate Dominode very highly, the bottlings are almost always from ‘old-vines’ and have fine makers. I found a new one for this tasting – Domaine Serrigny, two sisters working 7 hectares together in Savigny – the vines are 70 years old, worked ‘raisonée’ and the wine sees no new oak, rather 1-5 year-old barrels – as you will see it tasted very well. As far as I know, there are only 5 Dominodes bottled.

As highly as I rate Dominode, in my mind it is a reference without non-Savigny context, so I thought I should try a worthy semi-local alternative to try and position the wines. I chose Beaune Grèves.

The tasting…
2012 Savigny-DominodeScore
Bruno Clair13
2012 Beaune-GrèvesScore
des Croix17
Bouchard Père15
Jacques Prieur15
JC Boisset11

I was frankly stunned by the difference between the two climats. I really had the impression that we were comparing 1er Crus with Grand Crus – from the very first Grèves, virtually until the last, such was the ‘extra’ quality of the Beaunes. Admittedly the first wine was the one that I ended up giving my highest mark to, but really – everyone around the table seemed to be amazed by the big step up in concentration, texture and complexity.

Grèves, it seems, really is the grand cru of Beaune!

Listed in order tasted, with my score in brackets. You will note three wines with 2* – these were my favourite 3 and I did a taste-off afterwards, choosing what turned out to be the Remoissenet – mainly for its mid-palate and finishing complexity.

Scoring was my usual:

  • 0 points – Faulty or you simply don’t like it
  • 1 point – Tasty – happy to drink it
  • 2 points – Very tasty – you would consider buying it
  • 3 points – Best wine of the night

The winemakers who thought they were only tasting Grèves were shown the Dominode bottles when this flight was done. Then followed 2 flights of 5 Grèves.

The wines…

I reproduce only my notes. We had 6 winemakers from 8 tasters in total, 4 of whom had a Grèves ‘in the race.’

2012 Pavelot, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
A deep nose that’s still a little tight and herby. Large-scaled in the mouth with some salinity and plenty of concentration and growing intensity and eventually growing aroma too. (1)
2012 Bruno Clair, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
A more open nose and a little deeper too – some salt on the nose here. There seems a little toast in the flavour – oak or reduction – but lots of depth and dimension to the flavours. It seems quite an oaky length, but very long. (1)
2012 Chanson, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
A higher-toned aromatic, more herbs, some fruit and slowly growing floral element. Quite large-scaled again, very concentrated. Fine, growing intensity. This is such a baby, but really super young wine. (2)
2012 Serrigny, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
A deep, fruit and impressive nose. Cooler fruit on the palate with lots and lots of flavour dimension and intensity. Some oak(?) Super growth of flavour and tannin – plenty of tannin. (1)
2012 Louis Jadot, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
A wider more open nose – lovely depth of red fruit and a little herb. Cool fruit again – less obviously ripe but full-concentrated and full-attack. Very, very big and impressive wine – but not for today, to wait for… (2)
2012 Remoissenet, Beaune 1er Grèves
Deep aromas with a little reductive toastiness. Big and quite silky – reductive flavour too but this is showing much more richness and complexity than any of the previous wines. Great finishing complexity too. (2*)
2012 Chanson, Beaune 1er Grèves
Some reduction but the nose is round and deep and slowly grows some higher floral tones. Big wine, full of flavour and structure – but lovely lingering flavour – super. (2)
2012 Bouchard Père, Beaune 1er Grèves l’Enfant Jesus
A more modest, red-fruited nose. Again large-scaled, with lots of flavour – lots of tannin too but almost no grain. Really super mid-palate flavour. I like this very much, but it seems not the longest of finishes… (1)
2012 Alex Gambal, Beaune 1er Grèves
A deep but seemingly rather closed nose. Quite large in the mouth – lots of concentrated flavour and borderline ripe fruit. Lots of grippy tannin but really long finishing too. (1)
2012 Tollot-Beaut, Beaune 1er Grèves
Deep fruit – a very pretty nose. Cool fruit, super-silky texture and super-long. This is really excellent! (2*)
2012 Jaffelin, Beaune 1er Sur les Grèves – Clos Sainte Anne
Deep, fruity and very pretty nose with high-tones too. Very silky, concentrated and balanced – I’m not sure about the length, but this is both powerful and elegant in one package. (2)
2012 Gagey (Louis Jadot), Beaune 1er Grèves
Deep, fruity and ripe nose – slightly darker fruit. Sweet fruit with lots of intensity and concentration – ripe fruit in the mid-palate even if the structure seems less-obviously ripe towards the finish. Again, a really excellent wine. (2)
2012 Jacques Prieur, Beaune 1er Grèves
Really deep colour. The nose is rather discreet and a little herby. Big in the mouth, just an accent of reduction and lots and lots of concentration. There’s a little more tannin – eventually a lot – but super tasty! (2)
2012 des Croix, Beaune 1er Grèves
Big, round aromatic perhaps with a little whole cluster – super-floral. Big in the mouth again, with really super flavour and flavour dimension. Lots of tannin too but just a super wine. (2*)
2012 Jean-Claude Boisset, Beaune 1er Grèves
This nose seems to get deeper and deeper. Another big wine in the mouth – more tannic and textured – but it’s a ripe grain. Good wine – almost a buy! (1)

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

There are 6 responses to “2012 Savigny-Dominode & Beaune-Grèves – blind…”

  1. WillersC30th January 2015 at 8:25 pmPermalinkReply

    Wow, very interesting tasting. I wonder what the results would be like in 10 years time?

    • billn30th January 2015 at 8:37 pmPermalinkReply

      That would indeed be interesting Will. I’ll probably buy just as much Dominode as before – it just means that I will have to buy even more Grèves! I’m already starting to put together a few wine names to try and make a similar positioning. Hmm, Ile des Vergelesses vs Epenots or Longerois vs hmm, I’ll have to think about that!

      Such an enlightening tasting.

  2. billn30th January 2015 at 8:46 pmPermalinkReply

    PS I should have noted in the text: All wines were provided free by their producers, except the Pavelot and Serrigny – both of which I bought ex cellar. They might also have been provided free if I’d explained – but I didn’t bother!

  3. optombenno31st January 2015 at 7:35 amPermalinkReply

    Sous Fretille vs Isle de Vergellesses wd be fun. A sort of steep slope low slope idea. They do almost face Beaune too, er, from the right position! 🙂

  4. Bernie and Michele1st February 2015 at 12:56 amPermalinkReply

    Hi Bill,
    Great comparative tasting! Beaune Greves is a favourite of ours. Tasted a 1987 Parigot Greves in 2014 with Regis- glorious and with plenty of life. Especially in good years the wine approaches Grand cru quality. Keep up the good work!

  5. Tom Blach18th February 2015 at 6:02 pmPermalinkReply

    Greves is indeed a very grand vineyard. I have sometimes wondered if the superb Drouhin version is the very best.

    • billn19th February 2015 at 12:23 pmPermalinkReply

      Well I found the 08 from Drouhin easily the best Beaune 1er I tasted from that vintage, Tom. Véronique didn’t want to part with a bottle for this tasting, and equally I didn’t want to open my (single) magnum either – shame – it’s time David Croix had a little more competition…

  6. ChrisL22nd November 2015 at 3:32 pmPermalinkReply

    Sorry to see Lafarge not included here. His Beaune Greves can be fantastic! Though it often takes years and years to sort itself out.

    • billn22nd November 2015 at 3:36 pmPermalinkReply

      There was no Lafarge Grèves in 2012 😉
      I did ask – they had such low yields that they blended their Grèves grapes with their Aigrots to make a ‘Beaune 1er cru’

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