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Average critic rating : 90.0 points
The Lafarge 2006 Beaune Les Aigrots displays both prominent fruit pit and chalk as well as mysteriously ore-like mineral characteristics that – when allied with tartness of sour cherry and blackberry fruit – make for a bracing but rather austere performance. This is firm and bright – almost implosively concentrated – with a finish that leaves you invigorated but almost stunned by the wine's sense of scouring power. "There wasn't one rotten berry here," insists Michel Lafarge, "the fruit was magnificent." What lifts this above the level of the also austere 2005 is its refinement of tannin. It is the sort of wine that a couple of my Alsace vigneron friends would call "Protestant," and should be fascinating to follow for at least the next 6-8 years – provided, of course, that its linear, severe style is appealing to you. ||Frederic and Michel Lafarge are consistently adept in challenging vintages, and succeeded admirably in 2006, harvesting from September 20 until the end of that month. To hear them tell (as well as to taste the results) their fruit was largely healthy, and sorting was principally to remove under-ripe berries and clusters. Not surprisingly, they chalk this up to vine management. "Biodynamic treatments permit the vine to overcome the stress of weather extremes," such as characterized 2006, asserts Frederic Lafarge. Michel Lafarge points out that the same – to his mind ideal – 12.5-13+% potential alcohol was reached over the same period in premier cru and non-cru sites alike, a phenomenon due in part, he believes, to his estate's high average age of vine.||A Becky Wasserman Selection, Le Serbet (various importers), fax 011-33-3-80-24-29-70 Wine Advocate.December, 2009
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