2013 Auxey Duresses 1er Cru Comte Armand

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Average critic rating : 84.0 points



The 2013 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru had finished its malolactic, a blend of "Les Duresses" and "Breterins" raised in 20% new oak, has a rather "mulchy," slightly dusty bouquet that does not quite possess the clarity of the village cru. The palate is medium-bodied with pointed, quite angular tannin, that give this a little hardness at the moment and then it cuts away rather abruptly. The saline aftertaste is pleasant, but is just seems out of sorts at the moment, and clearly surpassed by the village cru. This was a perplexing showing. ||Changing of the guard at Domaine Comte Lafon, as Benjamin Leroux passes the reins to Paul Zinetti, who has been the caviste since 2010. So he is not exactly new to the job. Paul was born in Beaune and worked from Bruno Lafon, Dominique’s brother in the south of France for five years before joining Dominique himself down in Mâcon. He told me that he started the harvest at Comte Armand on September 25 and chaptalized just a little, around 0.4 degrees alcohol, the malolactics were tardy and not finishing until the end of summer. Of course, being in Pommard they suffered a severe depletion in crop, some 70% in 2013. So, for the Clos des Epeneaux they had one cuvée to work with instead of the usual four to blend. That equates to 18 barrels for 5.5-hectares instead of the usual 70 (and there will be just 22 barrels in 2014.) One small change is that the 2013 Clos des Epeneaux will be in bottles and magnums instead of only the latter as in the 2012. The wines had not been racked when I tasted them from barrel at the domaine, so this made them a little harder to taste, notwithstanding that one had not even finished its malolactic! I was particularly impressed by the two villages crus: Volnay and Aloxe-Corton this year and, as a I opined to Paul, I actually preferred the Aloxe-Corton Village to the Premier Cru in 2013. These come highly recommended. The Pommard Clos des Epeneaux has breeding and class, perhaps a more forward, early-drinking take on the monopole, but it should offer 10-15 years if pleasure. Lastly, there is a tiny amount of Bourgogne Aligoté that is one of the best that I tasted. eRobertParker.com.December, 2014

Currently, the Domaine des Epeneaux - so called after the nearby Clos - covers 7.5 hectares. There is great respect for the vineyard and emphasis on allowing the terroir to express itself. Pre-fermentation maceration takes place over 5 to 8 days at a temperature of 13-14°C. Spontaneous fermentation takes place across 5 to 10 days. Finally post fermentation maceration takes place over about 3 to 15 days. Wines spend 18 to 24 months in barrel, from no new wood for the villages wines to 80% for Vieilles Vignes" in Clos des Epeneaux. Le Pommard 1er cru Clos des Epeneaux is made exclusively from vines older than 25 years. The second wine, bottled under the appellation "Pommard Village" is from younger vines, the amount varies on the vintage, with between 10 and 20% of Clos des Epeneaux ensuring the high quality.

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