2013 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Chateau Gris Chateau (Albert Bichot) Gris



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£631.00

Average critic rating : 87.0 points

86-88

86-88

The 2013 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Château Gris has an intense, marmalade and spice-tinged bouquet that needs to calm down by the time of bottling. The bouquet is like a guest speaking too loudly at a dinner. The palate is medium-bodied and a little smudged on the entry. The tannins feel quite firm in the mouth with burnt toast and black pepper on the slightly heavy-handed finish. ||Readers will know that I have given notice about the quality of Albert Bichot’s wines in recent vintages. Both my tastings at their winery and perhaps even more crucially under blind conditions, offered proof that these are wines that can surpass expectations, particularly those that mistakenly assume an inverse relationship between size and quality. Things did not start quite so smoothly. The tasting room stank of paint. Of course, they would not foolishly redecorate on the cusp of the tasting season. In fact, it had been three months prior. Yet still it lingered in similar fashion to Château Ausone that experienced a similar problem. So having relocated to another room where my tasting notes would avoid remarks such as “scents of matt gloss," I set about the wines. They harvested from October 1 in Burgundy and finished on October 11 with the Château Gris. The vinification was modified according to the vintage, and pigeage for some of the cuvees was once per day instead of twice. The cuvaison was very long, nearly three weeks, and continued with a soft pigeage over a long time. ||Perhaps like the wines of Bouchard Père that I had tasted earlier that day, the impact of the growing season for a portfolio that has interests in what seems like every nook and cranny across the region, cannot be avoided. Certainly some of the entry-level wines left much to be desired, but even further up the chain it seems like the fruit was only able to reach a certain level of ripeness. Consequently some of the wines feel rather lean and disjointed, falling short of the 2012 and I suspect some of the 2014s. On a more positive note, there are successful examples from Chambolle les Amoureuses and Grands Echézeaux, but overall these often feel like a stopgap between two vintages. eRobertParker.com.December, 2014

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