2013 Clos Vougeot Domaine Eugenie



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£2,383.00
£1,191.00
£200.00

Average critic rating : 91.0 points

90-92

90-92

The 2013 Clos Vougeot Grand Cru has a complex nose: black fruit, a touch of shucked oyster shell and a hint of Chinese hoisin. There is certainly impressive delineation here. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit but a little more “gourmand” than the Echezeaux with palpable salinity on the edgy, structured finish. This constitutes a more masculine Clos de Vougeot that will require 4-6 years in bottle. ||On this occasion I met winemaker Michel Mallard at Domaine d’Eugenie (incidentally, his own family’s wines in Ladoix I will also be covering in this report.) A lanky, lively and passionate winemaker, we chatted about the 2013 vintage that was in barrel. “When the season is easy the Pinot Noir is not vibrant,” he began. “But when you work hard in the vineyard you have great wines. The flowering did not go well. Some days were just 10 degrees and we lost around 20% of the crop. If you compare with 2012, that is more concentrated with more structure whereas 2013 has is more on the finesse and elegant side. There is a character of “sappiness” with 2013. We had lots of misfortune like hail – even though in Vosne-Romanée we did not have much. We had some burn that was quite damaging and we had a lot of botrytis because of the wet mornings and warm days. So we sorted in the vineyard and asked the pickers to take out everything they wouldn’t eat, plus we used a vibrating table manned by six persons. It is a late vintage because in Chassagne we started 28 September and 2 October for the reds, finishing on 7 October. That’s the length of time to pick less than five hectares: less than one hectare per day. The vinification was normal: a cold soak for at least at a week - just a skin maceration. The fermentation took four or five days and we chaptalized in order to prolong the process. Our attention was on the structure, constantly tasting and we incorporated around 15% of the vin de presse. All the malolactic fermentation was finished by the end of May and we have already racked the Vosne-Village so we have [a stock of] used barrels for the 2014. The big news this year is that we sold a big block (1.7-hectares) of Vosne-Romanée Les Communes behind Mrs. Engel’s house so that the Village Cru contains only fruit from “Les Vignots” and the bottom part of La Brulées. As a consequence there were 32 barrels in 2012, whereas in 2013 there are only nine. We have ‘polished’ this blend so that there is more harmony in the wine. All the wines have one-third whole-bunch fruit with the exception of the village cru.” ||The 2013s from the domaine form an impressive range of wines. There is clearly a focus upon attention to detail here, something that I have witnessed for many years in Bordeaux at Latour. The 2013s have a purity about them that is very immediate: stylish wines without a hair out of place, even in a challenging vintage such as 2013. Yet I still have a sense that there is something missing. Strange as it sounds, I almost find the wines too pure, that purity at the expense of intangibles such as “charm” and “soul." They are wines that I am impressed by, yet I find them a little…untouchable. That suits Bordeaux more than Burgundy. Bordeaux can be astonishing even when aloof, but with Burgundy it suits it less well. I can only compare it to dating a girl with perfect features, someone out of my league. I also tasted their three white wines made in miniscule quantities. Here, I feel Michel is undervaluing how good these are. He was unsure about their quality. I retorted that they are excellent: full of tension, terroir expression and vibrancy. If you can track down a bottle then you will be impressed. || eRobertParker.com.December, 2014

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