Red Burgfest 2008: An update on Clos Vougeot and Gevrey Chambertin

Red Burgfest 2008: An update on Clos Vougeot and Gevrey Chambertin

Wednesday 30th November 2011
by Hew Blair

Clos Vougeot

Two full flights of Clos Vougeot were tasted, 17 wines in total. What we saw was a little inconsistent with many falling short of their Grand Cru status. The easy winner on the day was the stellar Anne Gros example - masculine, broad shouldered packed with blueberry and bramble, real Grand Cru depth of fruit, densely textured with outstanding length and complexity . Other good Clos Vougeots were also from members of the Gros family, Micheal and Bernard and negocient Jadot.

Gevrey Chambertin: To cover the Premieres and Grand Crus of Gevrey ten flights were tasted. In no other village is the interpretation of the same terroirs so diverse. The modernist black coloured, high extract styles were still represented but with fewer extreme examples than in previous years. On the other hand, whole bunch ( with stalks ) fermentation is becoming widespread, throwing in another dimension for the tasting team to take into account.

The lower lying 1er Crus were covered in two flights. They as a group were not as exiting as those from further up the slopes but did include some outstandingly good wines. Amongst them were Corbeaux, Denis Bachelet; fresh, elegant yet with explosive sweet fruit tannins. Cherbaudes, Louis Boillot; refined, beautifully defined dark berry fruits yet powerful long finish. Clos du Fonteny, Bruno Clair; sweet spice and herbs, exquisitely poised with big structure and a great future ahead.

Two flights from the higher 1er crus showed off the qualities of the vintage to a consistently higher degree. The Clos St. Jacques' of Rousseau and Clair have sensual qualities yet density of fruit and supreme complex tannins. The Cazetier, Faiveley; restrained, elegant and all on pleasure and the Arnaud Mortet, Champeaux; bursting with blackberry and sloe. It packs quite a punch.

The next flight included Charmes, Mazoyeres, Chapelle, Griotte, Mazis and Ruchottes. Non of them hit the heights of the previous flight of the ariere Cote (Cazetiers + Clos St Jacques) with the best just falling short. Unsuprisingly the Charmes of Rousseau and Denis Bachelet were outstandingly good, taut, mineral with great purity and length of flavour. Also noteworthy was the Ruchottes of Christophe Roumier; silky textured with exquisite 'petit fruits 'that evolved beautifully on the palate.

The Latricieres flight was impressive, the ripeness of the vintage combining admirably with the mineral edgy style of the appellation. Drouhin Laroze has made a wonderfully seductive example, sweet fruits , mineral complexity - pure pleasure. Another fine wine from Faiveley endorsed the revival of this Domaine, dark berry fruits and fine tannins ensuring elegance.

A flight of 6 Clos de Beze and 8 Chambertin followed. The overall quality was brilliant, many receiving 92+ scores from me. The complexity of ripe fruits , intensity of flavours and exquisit fine firm tannins, when combined, make for superb Grand Crus. If anything the flight of Beze had the edge, showing rich textures and sweeter plush fruits compared with the more structured drier Chambertins. The most striking example being the fabulous Beze of Rousseau which received my top mark overshadowing the more tannic solid Chambertin. Indeed the Beze flight included excellent examples from Perot Minot, Bruno Clair, Faiveley, and Drouhin Laroze.