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Average critic rating : 91.0 points
The three-tonneau of 2013 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru is matured entirely in new oak. The fruits soak up the new oak nicely on the nose. It is very pure and defined with dark cherries and boysenberry jam, strawberry confit just behind and a seam of mineralité. The palate is medium-bodied and here the toastiness of the oak does permeate through and abrades some of the terroir expression that might otherwise have been tangible. There is certainly good weight and balance here, but I would leave this several years to fully assimilate. ||I feel that I have been visiting Michel Gros in Vosne since I was a child. He was one of the first growers to show me what a barrel cellar looks like and I’ve been enjoying his wines since the late 1990s. Like every other winemaker in the region, Michel had to battle oïdium and mildew in 2013. “Millerandage and fleuraison made the vintage,” he explained. “It is the smallest vintage since 2003 and there is just 30% of the usual crop of Hautes Côtes de Nuits because of the rapid spread of botrytis.” Michel had racked his wines fifteen days previously, the malolactic having finished between the end of summer and the harvest due to very low pH levels (although there were two parcels yet to completely finish their malo by mid-December). “I harvested from 6 October until the 10 October and from 12 to 15 October for the Hautes Côtes de Nuits. We sorted in the vineyard and then as the cases of fruit are unloaded to stop any contact between botrytis-affected grapes and those unaffected. There were a lot of storms in the second week of harvest.” I asked Michel how he finds the wines at the moment. “The tannins are very ripe. The berries were small and displayed deep colors and I did not concentrate the wines and chaptalized around one degree of alcohol. They remind me of maybe 1993 in style.” That decision not to concentrate the wines was a good one. Whereas Bernard Gros had concentrated the must, and as a consequence I feel denuded them of requisite precision and terroir expression, chaptalization allows the terroir to show through when done properly. This year Michel’s standout wines is his Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Brûlées that showed up his Clos de Vougeot and Clos des Réas. Some of the wines in the Hautes Côtes did feel rather denuded of their usual weight and density although without the effort I suspect they would have been much worse. eRobertParker.com.January, 2015
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