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Average critic rating : 92.25 points



Reduction. There is terrific intensity to the beautifully delineated and overtly mineral-driven broad-shouldered flavors that possess markedly better complexity and mid-palate concentration that buffers the very firm tannic spine on the impeccably well-balanced and hugely long finish that also displays moderate austerity. This is a most impressive effort though note that it's going to require at least 8 to 10 years of cellar time first. Tasted: Apr 15, 2014. Drink: 2027+



The 2012 Chambertin Grand Cru comes from the older vines in Chambertin and Clos de Beze that winemaker Nadine Gublot may ultimately decide to demote into premier cru depending on how they evolve during elevage. It has a more sophisticated bouquet than the premier cru sample, demonstrating more delineation and focus albeit a similar fruit profile. The palate is medium-bodied with gently gripping tannins, a fine saline note infusing the black, spicy fruit with a pleasant sense of austerity manifesting on the finish, denying that peacock’s tail of a grand cru at the moment. It will be fascinating to see what Nadine decides to do. ||Several years ago, mere weeks after it was announced that I would be working for this very publication, I visited Domaine Jacques Prieur to taste their 2005s unaware that the authorities had erroneously issued a letter declaring that I was the official reviewer rather than Mr. Schildknecht. I guess they were just six years premature. Nevertheless, I have tracked the progress of this domaine owned by the Labruyere family, who also preside over Chateau Rouget in Pomerol and their original estate in Moulin-a-Vent. Edouard Labruyere was out in Asia when I visited on a cold Sunday morning, so it was oenologist Nadine Gublot who guided me through their portfolio that had been curtailed by the inclement weather. “It was not an easy growing season,” Nadine explained in her lovely thick German accent. “The weather was like 2013, not very bad, not very fine, sunny and rainy with a constant pressure of mildew at the beginning of the season and oidium towards the end. We had to work very hard in the vineyard to preserve the healthy conditions. It is a low yielding vintage because June was fresh and overcast so the flowering was very bad for both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. On the positive side, as the weather was ‘comme ci comme ca’ the quantity of berries was small and the berries were spaced out, so it was like Mother Nature equaling everything out. Average yields came in at around 20 hectoliters per hectare; Volnay particularly affected by the bad flowering and hail at the end of June, so they produced only around 10 hectoliters per hectare. All the wines are still in barrels on the lees and not racked. Malo-lactic was very late, some just finishing one month ago (October) for the whites due to the cold weather and also because of cold natural temperatures in the cellar as I never warm it. (Consequently some of the whites are missing from this report.) There was no batonnage, which I stopped in 2008 because the grapes are naturally rich. The wines are a big surprise. At the beginning of the harvest, I never thought we would produce so bright wines, especially for the reds. We did not need any chaptalization. I am surprised by the fruit, texture, balance and freshness. I could never imagine during that summer that we would have produced such beautiful wines.” Reader will be aware that some of the usual cuvees are missing this year. Nadine had to make the difficult decision of blending severely affected vineyards together, especially in Volnay and Chambertin. “As the yield and crop were very low, we have a very small quantity in Champans and Clos des Santenots. Usually we have three premier crus. Volnay Santenots comes from the young vines of Clos des Santenots around 17 years old. We decided to make two Volnays in 2012 after vinifying and maturing them separately: Volnay 1er Cru that will be a blend of Champans and the young vines of Santenots and the Volnay 1er Santenots from Clos des Santenots plus a small part of the old vines in Santenots. In Chambertin we have four different parcels: two parcels of young vines of 17 years old and two parcels that are 50-years old that are vinified, matured and bottled separately. They form the Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru and Chambertin Grand Cru respectively. At the moment, I don’t know whether we will bottle a Chambertin Grand Cru.”, 2013


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