2012 Meursault Charmes Guy Roulot

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Average critic rating : 95.0 points



From vines planted way back in 1942, the 2012 Meursault 1er Cru Charmes has a very harmonious, intense bouquet with citrus lemon, fennel, mint and orange zest that are all beautifully defined. The palate is vibrant and tense on the entry, a shard of orange peel that is really penetrating from start to finish. Extremely focused but quite flamboyant, this has everything you could ask for in a Meursault Charmes. This is simply fabulous even if it now does come with a hefty price tag.||One of the advantages of visiting Burgundy on what feels like a weekly basis is that you can be flexible with timings of tastings. That is precisely what happened at Domaine Guy Roulot, when back in November Jean-Marc politely inquired whether it would be possible to return later in the year once the sluggish malos had been completed. As it turned out, an opportune moment came upon my arrival in Burgundy for Jasper Morris’s week-long tasting of 2011s and indeed, Jasper joined us for the tasting of now bottled 2012s with the winemaker-cum-actor. He first told us about his intriguing new play that “stars” a bottle of wine (a Meursault Luchet if I recall correctly). One actor plays a customer and the other the winemaker so no prizes for guessing which is the one Jean-Marc is playing. We then commenced with the wines. |“Everything was bottled in late March,” Jean-Marc explained. “The quantity was so low it [the harvest] was done in 10 days. We were 60% down in terms of quantity: 25% to 30% for the premier crus, with Luchet and Tessons the most hit. And there is no Monthélie.”|We also touched on the subject of sulfur levels.|“I will try to decrease the level of SO2 in the future. In the past I have used around 25gm/L free sulfur. Now I postpone the sulfur addition to when the juice is dropping, allow the juice to oxidize just a little. Perhaps I can wait for that a little longer.”|On the subject of the 2012 vintage, he opined: “The wines are more concentrated than 2011 but maybe the terroir was more expressive in that year compared to 2012. The hail damage was early but we had to be careful with the press – in the beginning I was worried about a vegetal taste from the hail, but the wines are fine. I found that the 6 months in stainless steel helped the 2012s: they found a sense of purity.”|As one would expect – a set of exemplary wines from Jean-Marc: detailed, tense, terroir-driven and intellectual right down to the Bourgogne Blanc. Prices have risen steeply in recent years, but that is inescapable when you become the hottest ticket in Meursault after Coche-Dury. Sometimes I do find the SO2 a little too conspicuous in the bottles’ youth, although there were not too many problems here.| eRobertParker.com.October, 2014


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