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Average critic rating : 95.0 points
The 2011 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru has a lifted, refined bouquet with touches of cold stone, dried peach and lemon sorbet. The palate is medium-bodied with superb delineation, subtle spice notes and a harmonious, multi-layered finish that seems effortless. This is probably going to out-perform the 2010. Wonderful. ||I have intermittently encountered the wines of Lucien Le Moine over the years and even spent an evening dining with the man behind it, Mounir, on one admittedly inebriated dinner a few years ago. But it was time to visit the winery tucked away down a side-street in Beaune, and taste through an enormous selection of wines with the man himself. Since his first vintage in 1999, he has focused on buying fruit that expresses individual lieux-dits, so that his cellar consists of dozens of micro-Cuvees that take a whole morning to taste through. He is an extremely principled winemaker with strong, some might say controversial beliefs. Even before entering the barrel cellar, he opined that too many white Burgundies are picked too late and that both the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations are completed too rapidly. Mornir likes two summers to complete the elevage and feels that too many vignerons bottle too early. He also used minimal sulphur for his wines, informing me that though his wines often start out deeper in color, they tend to become paler as they mature in bottle. I asked him about his opinion on the two vintages that we tasted together, the 2010 and 2011. “The 2010 and 2011 vintages have a lot of common points: low yields, fresh summer, both starting fruity and perhaps a little uniform,” he explained. “Then a year later, their personalities started coming out. The evolution of both vintages is similar. After a year and half they began to gain depth. When we picked 2010, people were talking about a light vintage, but now that is forgotten because they are so powerful. In 2011 they did the same. The 2010s achieved maturity naturally, but in 2011 we had to chaptalize most of the wines a little. I think it is an old style of Burgundy, how the wines were made before 1995. In 2010 we talk about tannins, but in 2011 we talk about more dry extract. You feel the presence of the wine but they are not dry. The 2010s finish with firm tannins, so in terms of longevity I think they will close down in a couple of years and then need another eight years. But I don’t think this will happen with the 2011. They are more like 2001 and 2007 that show their harmony early. They will be enjoyable over the next 15 years. The purity of the terroir in 2011 is exceptional, whereas in 2010 you have the power.” Apart from my marathon morning journey through Lucien le Moine’s 2011s, we sashayed over to the 2010s to see how a dozen were shaping up in bottle. These were bottled around August 2012 with a little sulphur in June. The bottles were double decanted at 90 minutes before tasting. eRobertParker.com.August, 2013
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