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Average critic rating : 91.0 points
As usual, Raphet's "regular" Clos Vougeot – reflecting the estate's largest cru surface area – was diffuse and not terribly distinguished, whereas a 2006 Clos Vougeot Vieilles Vignes – the sixth successive bottle of fruit from their oldest and best-placed vines – is impressive, if rather austere. (At around 115 cases, this represents the largest volume in which this cuvee has yet been produced.) Singed meat, bitter-sweet black fruits, and chalk are present already in the nose, and follow onto a palate of palpable density and suffused with fine, firm tannins. This finishes with formidable force and grip, yet without any sense of weight. It should be worth following for at least the better part of a decade but deserves to be left alone for the next several years. ||The Raphet wines have always been marked by a wide divergence of quality and a reflection of conditions very much as nature presented them. The results in 2006 are relatively lightweight, with for the most part only bottlings from the characteristically top sites and vines of the domaine really asserting strong personalities (and a presumably hail-tainted and rather 1983-like village Gevrey being less than recommendable). Gerard Raphet says he picked consciously on the early side, and then quickly, boosting the alcohol levels on most wines slightly from their potentials in the low 12s. (For further information about Raphet and his sites, readers are urged to consult my report in issue 171.) Peter Vezan Selection (various importers), Paris; fax 011 33 1 42 55 42 93 Wine Advocate.December, 2009
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