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Vintage information 1991:

Overlooked after the 'major' vintages of 1989 & 1990, but much cheaper due to the global economy, mainly driven by the Gulf War. The yields were quite low, mainly due to frost so you will find few wines today; I've met few whites from the vintage, but the reds have always been enjoyable - relatively early maturing but tasty and interesting. The wines were hard to taste on release but just kept getting better & better.

1991 Jaboulet Vercherre, EchézeauxJan. 2011
Medium colour – no obvious age. The nose is understated, a hint of coal mineral and faint baked red fruit – initially it is rather tight, after 2 hours there’s a bit more width – it’s not too bad. Balanced – decent acidity, faint tannin but really my first impression is that it’s an okay, perhaps not quite average villages at its apogee. Time brings? Well, nothing much actually! It’s innocuous, certainly nothing to hate, but doesn’t beg a second glass and it’s a very long way from a Grand Cru experience too – it’s more like ‘optimistically cropped’ Vosne-Romanée that was probably best drunk 18 years ago – fortunately it’s semi-drinkable (I only ditched half the bottle!)…
1991 Jaboulet Vercherre, EchézeauxJan. 2011
Medium colour – no obvious age. The nose is understated, a hint of coal-type mineral and faint baked red fruit – initially it is rather tight, after 2 hours there0′s a bit more width – it’s not too bad. Balanced – decent acidity, faint tannin but really my first impression is that it’s an okay, perhaps good villages at its apogee. Time brings? Well, nothing much actually! It’s innocuous, certainly nothing to hate, but it’s a very long way from a Grand Cru experience too – more like ‘optimistically cropped’ Vosne-Romanée – fortunately it’s quite drinkable.
1991 Bourée Pierre Fils, Vosne-Romanée Les MalconsortsApr. 2009
The cork is black were it meets the air, and stained red all the way through – perhaps 2cm of ullage – but the wine is fine. Medium-pale though it’s a relatively young colour. The nose is soft and faintly spicy with hints of strawberry and stems but it’s also rather clean and interesting, occasionally it’s beguiling. In the mouth it’s soft and supple with a little kick in the mid-palate and perfect acidity. The almost-gone tannin is but a transparent screen. Very long, but it’s on a very subtle level – and despite the evident complexity, that’s the problem – everything about this wine is on too subtle a level, it’s like it’s diluted. Yields? Beautiful if you have the patience and lack of distractions but, if I may say, too ephemeral! For all that, every last drop was drunk in about 2 hours, I just wish I’d savoured it a little more, rather than thought ‘if only…’
1991 Savour Club, Chapelle-ChambertinDec. 2008
Differing from the label, the cork is actually printed with Chapelles-Chambertin – perhaps that means it comes from both parts – Chapelle and Gémeux – or maybe not! The colour is medium, medium-plus ruby red with just a little amber showing at the edge. The nose is a wonderfully soft, truffly, eventually mocha affair – swirling will bring out some soil and leaf notes. In the mouth it has sweetness, some fat and soft texture from still present, relatively fine tannin. There’s a nice extra edge of intensity in the mid-palate and ‘just right’ acidity to whisk you into a good, long finish – should it have a bit more grand cru density? – perhaps, but there is quite enough grand cru ‘flavour authority’. Still just a bit of tannic bitterness too. This might be well over 15 years old, and whilst it’s still a lovely drink now, it frankly needs another 3-5 years for full maturity. What a shame there were only 8 bottles of this in the ‘lot’…
1991 Rousseau Armand, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.JacquesApr. 2008
A lovely, bright medium ruby-red colour. Undergrowth and maturing red fruits are the main aromas to start, but slowly the undergrowth fades to reveal a lovely redcurrant note. Nice texture – very smooth. I find just a tough of harshness to the acidity that’s mirrored in the finish, but this slowly improves if never completely fades. There is a nicely understated length here and I would say this is pretty much ready to go. Very nice, but far from the quality of the Chambertin and Bèze at this address in 1991, in terms of a rebuy, I would expect prices to be too high for the reward – but you never know
1991 Maume, Mazis-ChambertinApr. 2008
Medium-plus colour. The nose is wide, mineral and earth inflected with a fainter undertow of fruit. Flavour-packed and exciting, super Mazis character and energy – the most impressive wine in this respect – so it’s a shame it’s not a little longer, though the fine acidity leaves your mouth watering for more.
1991 Bonneau du Martray, Corton-CharlemagneDec. 2006
Medium golden. Hints of oxidation – though mild – concentrated, nice texture, more oxidatative notes but acceptable, good acidity and heavily corked…
1991 Thomas-Moillard, Romanée Saint-VivantAug. 2006
Given the primary showing of the 1999 I though it would be good to compare it to this more mature bottle – wrong. Same colour, same nose, same flavours, same apparent level of maturity. Hmm – I think it will be a long wait for those 1999’s! Actually the nose is a little more fruit driven and the texture is silkier – but not such a difference for 8 more years in the cellar.
1991 Tollot-Beaut, Savigny-lès-Beaune Champs ChevreyAug. 2006
Medium ruby-red – looks lovely in the glass – quite young looking. The nose starts slightly feral followed by a deep chocolate note, then a savoury stage before a baked raspberry tart core remains constant. Nice fat, round in aspect it’s well balanced with lovely acidity and real complexity. Still some tannin, the finish slowly fades. Lots of interest here – do yourself a favour and don’t always drink these young!
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