2013 Pernand Vergelesses Clos Berthet Dubreuil-Fontaine



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Average critic rating : 86.0 points

86

86

The 2013 Pernand-Vergelesses Clos Berthet, which is not a premier cru unlike the white, had been bottled the previous week. The nose has redcurrant and raspberry jam on the nose that is nicely defined, if lacking a little vigour. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, however it just needs more delineation on the finish. Enjoy this over the next four of five years. ||The quiet village of Pernand-Vergelesses was cold and rainy when I visited Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine. Compensation for this inclement weather was being able to taste the 2013s of one of its best producers. Winemaker Christine Gruere told me how 95% of the vines had been hit in the areas where the domaine’s vines are located and as if to rub salt into their wounds, the only vines unaffected was their Bourgogne Aligoté (no disrespect to Aligoté). Like Domaine Tollot-Beaut, you have to approach each wine one by one: some damaged to the point where Christine felt that it was not worth bottling and others completely unscathed. “In some places such as Corton it was fine,” she explained, “and in Aloxe-Corton it was not too bad. There was more damage in Corton-Charlemagne, Pernand Ile de Vergelesses and of course Beaune, Pommard and Volnay.” I asked what she was doing when the hail struck. I mean, how do you react? How can you react? “I was in the office when the hail started and my husband was in the labeling room. We were all looking outside but we could not go out because it was so violent. We were just thinking: what can you do? We didn’t go into the vineyard on that day. When I went home and saw the flowers I thought that I would rather not go and see the vines. It’s always really bad when you go into the vineyard. Psychologically it’s terrible. You think you’ve lost everything but then as time passes it gets better. In the end we lost 40 to 45% of the crop, which we didn’t need. The hail was actually stronger in 2014 but in 2013 it was very long and we thought that it would never stop. We started picking on 1 October until about 9 or 10 October.” Despite the tumultuous growing season there is much to like in 2013: the whites bottled and the reds due for bottling between January and March. Most of the wines have achieved commendable purity and terroir expression, reflective of where they come from. I probably err toward their whites than the red overall, which is unsurprising in 2013. The Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru Clos Berthet was just brimming with Saint Aubin-like tension and mineralité – a steal at the price, while their Corton-Charlemagne is a little gem and likewise cheaper than many of its peers. Like many others, their Pommards generally fared less well and should be drunk in the near term. eRobertParker.com.January, 2015

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