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Average critic rating : 89.0 points
Ripe blackberry and an even more prominently sweet and earthy beet root character than exhibited by the corresponding village bottling characterizes Meo-Camuzet’s 2008 Fixin Clos Du Chapitre Frere et Soeur. Hints of horseradish give the palate a tart, borscht-like aspect that won’t be every pinotphile’s cup of soup, but I find it delicious. The brightness here contrasts sharply with the harmonious richness of the 2006 rendition, but each offers its unique and excellent opportunity to experience Fixin that doesn’t conform to the tough, stolid stereotype that one too often finds confirmed by examples even from quite talented vintners. A smoky-sweet machine oil-like note emerges in the nose as this opens to the air, and fruit bit piquancy further underscores its concentration in a sustained finish. This should be interesting to follow for at least the next 6-8 years. ||Jean-Nicolas Meo emphasized the contrast between the low pHs of his 2008s (typical, of course, for this vintage in general) and the high pHs of 2007, which ironically – since the latter were given a higher dosage of sulfur as a precaution against undesirable bacteriological activity – led, he reported, to 2007s that showed a harder side initially than many of the corresponding 2008s. Given the high acids of 2008, says Meo, he preferred to let the fruit hang longer – even despite some shriveling – so that few of the musts were chaptalized and most were 13% or higher in natural alcohol. Typical for this address, the wines display admirable, even unusually strong sweetness of fruit, but in 2008 accompanied by prominent tannins and notes of new wood. Meo compares his 2008s with 2001 and 1996, opining that his wines from those two vintages have for the most part – in contrast with many 1993s – evolved nicely and without exhibiting excessive stiffness or hardness. I caught some 2008s in bottle and others from tank just before bottling, and the several 2007s I tasted alongside showed well, although Meo – in contrast with most growers – thinks his 2008 fruit was superior even in sheer ripeness. (Negociant wines – some from parcels the Meos in fact farm – are noted as “Frere et Soeur.”) Wine Advocate.June, 2010
Meo-Camuzet: The Importance
For John Gilman: “the Méo-Camuzet wines are amongst the most profound in all of Burgundy" and has dubbed the owner Jean-Nicolas Méo “the only real successor to Henri Jayer.” Gilman is not the only critic to be “consistently impressed” at this address, which according to Neal Martin “consistently produces excellent wines.” Antonio Galloni professes to be “overall, a big fan” of the wines in recent vintages. Stephen Brook makes no secret of his love for the Méo-Camuzet property “and its superlative wines”, and the regular Burgundy reviewers drive a fierce demand for these wines by awarding high scores year in, year out.
As a result supply is very short for these wines, despite what Meadows terms a “huge” three-hectare parcel in Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, and several other holdings in Vosne-Romanée described as “enviable” by Neal Martin.
Meo-Camuzet: The Insight
According to Neal Martin, the portfolio is “crowned by Richebourg Grand Cru and Cros Parantoux, the latter essentially grand cru in all but name thanks to the late Henri Jayer, who decided that vines might profit more from the land than a few veg.” Martin however allows himself the luxury to “have a preference for their Cros Parantoux over their Richebourg, the former displaying exceptional delineation, razor-sharp tannins and an unfathomable depth that riveted you to the spot, whereas the latter was broad-shouldered, regal but less opaque.” By contrast, Allen Meadows is an admirer of the Clos de Vougeot, noting that Méo-Camuzet is the second-largest owner here after Château de La Tour but rents out more than half the property, retaining only a top-grade parcel just below the Château.
In terms of Premier Crus, Corton Clos-Rognet Grand Cru is a monopoly of the domaine, admired by Clive Coates, who also notes them as one of the best producers of Chaumes, bottled as Vosne-Romanée Les Chaumes Premier Cru. John Gilman finds the Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Les Feusselottes to be “outstanding.”
Meo-Camuzet: The Background
Jean-Nicolas Méo, “with his clean-cut good looks and penchant for formal clothing” noted by Stephen Brook arrived from Paris in the late 1980’s driven by a desire to bottle the family’s wines. Thereafter, John Gilman recounts how he “assembled at the domaine an outstanding team in the cellars and vineyards over the years,” gaining recogonition both from his neighbours in Vosne-Romanée and from regular visitors such as the critics mentioned above, as well as other experts such as Jasper Morris, who writes that “Jean-Nicolas Méo and Christian Faurois now run the Domaine and together they produce some of the very best wine in the Côte d'Or.”
Jean-Nicolas Méo was also among the most notable Burgundians to become a pioneer in the vineyards in Oregon, establishing the very well-regarded Nicolas-Jay operation in Williamette Valley, partnering with the music producer Jay Boberg.
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