2006 Chambertin Clos de Beze Vieilles Vignes Henri Perrot-Minot

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Average critic rating : 95.0 points



Perrot-Minot says his 2006 Chambertin Clos De Bèze Vieilles Vignes was largely untouched by hail, which hit hardest in that cru's upper-reaches. Cassis, rose petal, licorice, and brown spices migrate from an intense nose to a grippingly-concentrated, thickly-dense palate. This is more opaque than the corresponding Mazoyères and wears its huge extract and tannins on its sleeve, or - less metaphorically speaking - in a long, vibratory, tongue-shaking finish that clings like a sap of Clos de Bèze. This embryonic Pinot is I believe singular among 2006s. I would suggest that one cellar it for 6-8 years and then plan on a subsequent decade of high performance.||Christophe Perrot-Minot - for more on whose fanatic methodology and old vines sites, readers should consult my issue 170 report - says his 2006 crop came in at a mere 25-30 hectoliters per hectare before it hit the sorting tables, where each cluster was destemmed and picked-over by hand before making the final cut. The result was a collection much reduced in volume as well as in number of bottlings (of which I did not, sadly, taste nearly all). Results reflected a conscious diminution of active fermentative extraction (with most of that pumping-over, not punching-down), a tendency Perrot-Minot has followed in recent years even abstracting from the vicissitudes of vintage; and pressing was, he reports, as gentle as mechanically possible. When it comes to new wood, though, Perrot-Minot says he backed off only a little bit from the levels of 2005. All in all, the house style strikes me as better-suited to the inherent structure, clarity, and bridled power of 2005 than to what Perrot-Minot - like most growers - talks about as the "elegance and finesse" - even "airiness" of 2006. I think it entirely fair to say that this collection departs from its vintage, and perhaps the word "transcends" might be more appropriate - at least, with a decade's hindsight! Incidentally, suggested retail prices for these rare wines have taken a significant jump this vintage, although the market reality may be less dramatic. (I have not tried to distinguish in the description of these wines those that are bottled under the "Henri Perrot-Minot" name, since their labels are otherwise indistinguishable and the matter of solely legalistic significance.) Wine Advocate.December, 2009


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