0 immediate, 6 marketplace
Average critic rating : 89.0 points
The 2012 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Macherelles was broody, obdurate and stubbornly closed on the nose when tasted out of barrel, but with encouragement reveals some lime leaf and even peppermint aromas. A tantalizing glimpse of what is to come? The palate is well-balanced with a taut entry and it demonstrates impressive weight, although compared to some of Olivier’s other crus in 2012, I was seeking a little more tension and complexity on the finish. ||Arriving on a sodden, overcast Tuesday afternoon at Domaine Hubert Lamy, I stumbled upon Olivier Lamy shovelling a large pile of grape skins onto a moving conveyor. In stark contrast to the idyllic vistas of sun-kissed vineyards and smiling vignerons, it was a pertinent reminder that great wines are the product of hard labor, often tedious, backbreaking, laborious work. Once he had finished we retired to the red wine barrel cellar, only to find so much carbonic gas from the fermenting 2013s that I found it difficult to breath. There was nothing to do but type my observations for the reds al fresco and under a light drizzle. Despite all this, it was a pleasure to visit a winery that is functioning instead of standing idle, to hear the whisper of fizz-popping fermenting barrels next to me, perhaps waiting for their turn next year. I have been following Hubert Lamy’s wines for around a decade now and in that time, I have grown to appreciate him as one of the leading exponents of Cote de Beaune whites. Who else would labor over increasing the density of some of his vineyards to 20,000 plants per hectare? I asked what he had gleaned from this experiment. Olivier told me that the vines tend to ripen a little quicker than the regular plantings with better natural acidity levels. He is also expanding his holdings, having recently acquired parcels from Vincent Jolin (the cousin of Aubert de Villaine) that include Clos des Gravieres in Santenay. I tasted his 2012s from barrel apropos the reds and from stainless steel vats for the whites. Olivier commenced picking from September 16 with the young vines and September 18 for the “grown-ups,” completing the vendange eight days later. While I would not ascribe superlatives for every single one of his crus, they are (as usual) intermittently brilliant and often intellectual. Though his quartet of reds is commendable, it is his whites that truly excel, from his entry-level Bourgogne Blanc up to his impossibly rare Criots-Batard-Montrachet. As I expected, Olivier’s range of Saint Aubin village and premier crus are particularly strong, certainly representing more affordable alternatives to Puligny-Montrachets from other growers. His “Haut Densite” bottlings have expanded from one to three crus, including the aforementioned Grand Cru for the first time. They are definitely worth seeking out for expressions of Burgundy terroir are high-density plantings of 20,000 per hectare, though they will not be easy to track down, limited as they are to just one barrel each. eRobertParker.com.December, 2013
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