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Average critic rating : 93.0 points
From two parcels in the Bressandes sector, Laurent's 2006 Corton Vieilles Vignes features smoky black tea, graphite, wet stone, beef bouillon, and ripe blackberry, all of which inform a sumptuous palate underlain by abundant, fine-grained tannins, and leading to a long, lip-smacking yet soothing finish in which saline and carnal savor claim equal prominence with almost black fruits that are liqueur-like in their sense of viscosity and spirituous high tones, yet not at all superficially sweet. Like a number of great 2006s from Corton, this is remarkably hard to resist even now, but I feel sure it will not be at its best for half a dozen years and be worth rationing for twice that long. That said, the 2005 rendition of this wine – see issue 171 – was also remarkably accessible for its appellation, except it did not boast the youthful proportionality or refinement of this 2006. ||Dominique Laurent – whose methodology I attempted to clarify in a bit more detail in my report for issue 171 – purchased fewer wines in 2006 (not all of which I tasted) than he had in 2005, particularly at the lower end of the classificatory spectrum and in the Cote de Beaune. On the other hand, there were some correspondingly sweet opportunities, he noted, to expand acquisitions in top-notch crus due to initial hesitation of many negociants to buy heavily into this vintage. Laurent was highly enthusiastic about the quality of the wines he did raise, which in the glass often proved even more infectious than his enthusiasm – and that's saying something! What's more, although these wines – generally produced in 50-250 case quantities – have a reputation for high prices, most of these 2006s – especially in their upper-echelons – strike me as exhibiting excellent price:quality rapport. While absence of chaptalization and absence of sulfur during the elevage remain constant features this year, less of the wine Laurent purchased and raised from 2006 was vinified with stems than in most years. Vieilles Vignes," incidentally, is used like a brand name chez Laurent, referring to all of his better wines, whereas his "Tradition" line – none of which I tasted – consists of cuvees rendered in slightly larger volumes and exclusively for the French market. Since the words "Vieilles Vignes" are prominently displayed on the label, I have included them as part of each wine's description, although one will often see Laurent's same top wines referred to without that designation.||Imported by Martin Scott Wines, Ltd., Lake Success, NY Tel. (516) 327-0808 Wine Advocate.December, 2009
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