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Average critic rating : 92.0 points
The 2013 Clos Vougeot has a suave and elegant bouquet with raspberry preserve and fresh strawberry, the underlying floral scents becoming more obvious with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, clean and pure on the mouth, leading to a linear and quite strict finish. Give this a couple of years, preferably three or four, and you will have a fine Clos Vougeot on your hands. ||Readers will know that I have given notice about the quality of Albert Bichot’s wines in recent vintages. Both my tastings at their winery and perhaps even more crucially under blind conditions, offered proof that these are wines that can surpass expectations, particularly those that mistakenly assume an inverse relationship between size and quality. Things did not start quite so smoothly. The tasting room stank of paint. Of course, they would not foolishly redecorate on the cusp of the tasting season. In fact, it had been three months prior. Yet still it lingered in similar fashion to Château Ausone that experienced a similar problem. So having relocated to another room where my tasting notes would avoid remarks such as “scents of matt gloss," I set about the wines. They harvested from October 1 in Burgundy and finished on October 11 with the Château Gris. The vinification was modified according to the vintage, and pigeage for some of the cuvees was once per day instead of twice. The cuvaison was very long, nearly three weeks, and continued with a soft pigeage over a long time. ||Perhaps like the wines of Bouchard Père that I had tasted earlier that day, the impact of the growing season for a portfolio that has interests in what seems like every nook and cranny across the region, cannot be avoided. Certainly some of the entry-level wines left much to be desired, but even further up the chain it seems like the fruit was only able to reach a certain level of ripeness. Consequently some of the wines feel rather lean and disjointed, falling short of the 2012 and I suspect some of the 2014s. On a more positive note, there are successful examples from Chambolle les Amoureuses and Grands Echézeaux, but overall these often feel like a stopgap between two vintages. eRobertParker.com.December, 2014
Domaine du Clos Frantin (Albert Bichot): The Importance
Domaine du Clos Frantin is one of several Burgundy estates managed by the Bichot family, who first entered the wine industry as brokers in 1831. Albéric Bichot heads the domaine today, producing wines across the Côte de Nuits.
Robert Parker has applauded the estate for some of its “unbelievable vineyards” and describes the 1985 Vosne Romanée Les Malconsorts as “profound, prodigious, complex, and ethereal - pure magic.” The estate’s wines have “made huge strides in the last few years” according to Burghound. This has lead Neal Martin to conclude that: “Bichot’s more recent releases can offer as much complexity and soul as cultish vignerons up and down the Côte d’Or.” These successes culminated with the estate being named White Winemaker of the Year at the 2011 International Wine Challenge.
Over the last decade Clos Frantin has won several prestigious awards making it one of the most decorated producers in the appellation. At the 2004 International Wine Challenge three of its wines won gold and the estate was named Red Winemaker of the Year. The 2002 Echezeaux Grand Cru was also awarded the International Pinot Noir Trophy by Decanter World Wine Awards that same year.
Domaine du Clos Frantin (Albert Bichot): The Insight
Some of the domaine’s most exceptional wines are produced from the limestone terroirs of Vosne-Romanée. Clos Frantin describes its 1er Cru Les Malconsorts as the “estate jewel” and the Richebourg Grand Cru is one of the more sought after wines in the appellation due to its small production levels. Neal Martin noted the 2011 vintage has a particularly “extravagant and multilayered bouquet” that proves Bichot to be one of Burgundy’s “top-flight producers.”
The entirety of Domaine du Clos Frantin’s estate expands across 13 hectares, including 20 acres of Premier and Grand Cru plots in Vougeot, Nuits Saint Georges, Gevrey Chambertin, Flagey-Echezeaux, and Vosne Romanée.
Domaine du Clos Frantin (Albert Bichot): The Background
The historic property, once owned by the Maréchal de Camp to the Emperor Napoleon, was purchased by Albert Bichot in 1967 from Maison Grivelet; the latter struggling with financial difficulties at the time. In 1996 Albéric Bichot, Albert’s son, became head of the domaine.
The winery follows a Guyot method of pruning; vinification takes place in Nuits Saint Georges in an historic building dating back to the Middle Ages. Humidity levels are meticulously controlled in the domaine’s vaulted cellar to promote ideal ageing conditions. Clos Frantin prides itself in respecting the particularities of the terroirs in each of its vineyards by treating all soils organically.
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