2013 Chambolle Musigny Les Amoureuses Comte de Vogue

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Average critic rating : 93.67 points



This is notably more restrained with its elegant and cool if grudging nose that is composed of a wonderfully spicy mélange of both red and blue pinot fruit, wet stone, tangerine peel and Asian style tea. There is an ultra-refined and strikingly pure palate feel to the intense and stony medium-bodied flavors where the supporting tannins are dense but fine and this sense of refinement continues onto the succulent, silky and hugely long finish. This is positively crystalline in its purity and this is an absolute knockout. Jan 2016, www.burghound.com, Drink: 2025+



The 2013 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru les Amoureuses took a while to “warm up” in the glass, but when it does it reveals gorgeous scents of blackberry, black plum, wild hedgerow and black slate scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, supple tannins stuck through with a keen line of acidity. There is moderate depth here. It does not fan out like the 2012 last year, but remains true and linear with a pinch of black pepper adorning the finish. Regal. ||As Chambolle’s church clock chimed nine, I opened the door to winemaker François Millet’s office. I think he was quietly impressed by my punctuality. Together we trooped down to his cellar to taste through the 2013s and also the bottled 2012s, the latter destined for a future report. Millet’s oratory is always one of the philosophical highlights of my visits. He could do a TED talk on winemaking. “There was a lot of coulure and flowering took a long time,” he began, “The old vines had a lot of millerandage. The summer was good, but September had a sub-tropical climate and with storms and botrytis forthcoming we decided not to wait. So we picked on 5 October and it was in 1987 that we last picked in that month. We finished the harvest on 13 October. I like the freshness and mineralité of the vintage. There is very nice skin ripeness. The color is nothing to do with more extraction; it comes from the ripeness of the skins. The extraction was even more cautious than usual, given the amount of juice. There was some chaptalization to preserve the clarity and purity of the vintage, so that we are around “a good twelve” in terms of alcohol. The malolactic were a little later than usual. I always try to postpone the malo in the spring by transferring the wine upstairs, but the ‘kinetic’ of the malo was slower than usual and it preserved the freshness – so slow and so sure. The fruit is sweet enough to balance the high mineralité of the vintage. You cannot hide anything in this vintage. It is so transparent. It is a vintage that takes you to the limits of what we can manage.” ||As I have mentioned in recent reports, I like the direction this historic and illustrious domaine is going. I see less of the winemaking and more of the terroir articulated in the glass, letting the “dirt” do the talking. But Burgundy is never straightforward and as I commented at the time, the Bonnes-Mares almost resembles the Musigny Vieilles Vignes: less opulent and flamboyant than in other vintage that with that trademark blueberry notes intact. François compared them to a diver entering perfectly cool dark water vertically and without a ripple. Maybe. I would compare them to Southend Pier. It takes a long time to walk down in a perfectly straight line and you are not quite sure what lies at the end of its 1¼-mile stretch. Yet there is no choice. You have to be in for the long haul. There is no turning back halfway down just to spend the rest of the afternoon playing the slot machines. No, you must persevere despite the biting cold of the Thames Estuary and the annoying seagulls squawking overhead.||These 2013s are worthy follow-ups to the stupendous 2012s even if they are cut from a different cloth: not as concentrated and without the same level of ambition. Nevertheless, Millet said that he feared the freshness might fool drinkers into opening them early and I concur: these are wines that deserve several years in bottle. They are linear, precise, occasionally standoffish but they are imbued with fearless authority without the expense of charm.| eRobertParker.com.December, 2014



Brilliant dark red. Slightly reduced aromas of medicinal black cherry, blackberry, cocoa powder and crushed stone. Vibrant and fine-grained, with strong saline minerality contributing to the impression of inner-mouth tension. Finishes very long, with serious but ripe tannins and terrific limestone grip. This very refined wine is built for a slow evolution in bottle. Jan 2015, www.vinous.com, Drink: 2033-2035

Comte de Vogue: The Importance

“Domaine Comte Georges is the source of many legendary libations,” writes Robert Parker, celebrating what has been an immovable landmark in the village of Chambolle-Musigny since the cellar was built in 1450. The same de Vogüé family owns the domaine to this day and have placed it comfortably at the top table of Burgundy’s great estates.


Experienced critics note this domaine’s history of great wines, but also note recent improvements in quality. “While I am duly mindful of the many legendary wines this domaine has produced (see the database for all vintages reviewed dating to 1919), the 2005 could very well join the list of the all-time greats,” writes Allen Meadows. Meanwhile Neal Martin awarded higher scores to the 2012s than any previous vintage from the domaine. Of the 2008’s John Gilman writes that: “the 2008s here may well be more on a par with the 1966s, 1964s and 1962s, as they share with those earlier vintages a striking transparency of soil, haunting perfumes and breathtakingly pure fruit tones.” One thing is certain: the quality at this historic address is better than ever.


Comte de Vogue:  The Insight

Described as “the boss” by winemaker François Millet, the Musigny Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes is the top wine produced from the enormous seven-hectare parcel situated dead in the centre of Burgundy’s largest uninterrupted plot of Grand Cru vineyards. This plot used to be its own distinct Grand Cru vineyard bearing the name Les Petits Musigny, effectively a Monopole of de Vogüé. The same wine is often referred to simply as “Musigny,” since younger vines are not deemed good enough for Grand Cru status and rigorously declassified to Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru, which here plays the role of a second wine.


Very different in style, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru is one of the most cultish vineyards in Burgundy. Roumier, Mugnier and Dujac are de Vogüé’s neighbours here, producing some of the Burgundy’s most sought-after Pinot Noir-based wines. De Vogüé holds a very sizeable 2.7 hectares on reddish soils in the southeast sector of the Grand Cru, with the oldest vines dating back to 1945. The wines have been called “magnificent” by Antonio Galloni and “a reference standard wine of stunning elegance” by Allen Meadows.


Meanwhile, the Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Les Amoureuses is, for Clive Coates, “along with Gevrey-Chambertin's Clos Saint-Jacques, the prime Premier Cru candidate for promotion to Grand Cru.” Neil Martin comments on the 2012: “This is certainly Grand Cru quality and what d'ya know - under blind conditions I gave this exactly the same mark as their Musigny Vieilles Vignes!"


De Vogüé also produces a white wine from Chardonnay plantings in the traditionally red Grand Cru of Musigny. This is the only Côte de Nuits AOC that can produce both red and white Grand Cru wines, and de Vogüé is the only producer with the necessary plantings to make a Musigny Blanc Grand Cru. However, since 1993 all the white wine has been bottled as Bourgogne Blanc, again because the vines are deemed too young to produce a wine of Grand Cru status, though it is still the most expensive Bourgogne Blanc, typically one and a half times the price of Coche-Dury’s.


All of de Vogüé’s wines stand out for their intense and muscular style in their youth, often attracting very long drinking windows from critics.


Comte de Vogue:  The Background

Sources differ on the exact medieval origins of the estate, but the de Vogüé family traces its roots back over a thousand years and is one of France’s oldest noble families, and probably the only one to retain ancestral holdings in Burgundy. Today Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé is owned by Claire de Causans and Marie de Ladoucette, granddaughters of the late Comte Georges de Vogüé (1898-1987), after whom the modern incarnation of the domaine is named.


The wines have been made by François Millet since his arrival in 1986, during this time according to Robert Parker, he has “scarcely spared expenses devoting meticulous attention to virtually every possible detail of viticulture, vinification, and élevage,” often explaining his decisions, such as his obsession with minimum vine age, with anthropomorphic metaphors: “It’s a question of complexity,” he tells Decanter, “the Chambolle Premier Cru is like Musigny in short trousers.” Changes at this old-fashioned estate are slow, but the results speak for themselves.

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