2013 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux Comte Armand

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Average critic rating : 91.0 points



The 2013 Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux has a fragrant bouquet once it loses it inhibitions and wafts from the glass: freshly crushed strawberry, red cherries, granite and just a suggestion of camphor that may or may not be there once in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with a well-balanced, slightly savory entry, plenty of crunchy red berry fruit interlaced with mocha and mushroom scents. It is not the most powerful Clos des Epeneaux, but it is well crafted and feels persistent in the mouth. Drink this over the next 10-15 years. ||Changing of the guard at Domaine Comte Lafon, as Benjamin Leroux passes the reins to Paul Zinetti, who has been the caviste since 2010. So he is not exactly new to the job. Paul was born in Beaune and worked from Bruno Lafon, Dominique’s brother in the south of France for five years before joining Dominique himself down in Mâcon. He told me that he started the harvest at Comte Armand on September 25 and chaptalized just a little, around 0.4 degrees alcohol, the malolactics were tardy and not finishing until the end of summer. Of course, being in Pommard they suffered a severe depletion in crop, some 70% in 2013. So, for the Clos des Epeneaux they had one cuvée to work with instead of the usual four to blend. That equates to 18 barrels for 5.5-hectares instead of the usual 70 (and there will be just 22 barrels in 2014.) One small change is that the 2013 Clos des Epeneaux will be in bottles and magnums instead of only the latter as in the 2012. The wines had not been racked when I tasted them from barrel at the domaine, so this made them a little harder to taste, notwithstanding that one had not even finished its malolactic! I was particularly impressed by the two villages crus: Volnay and Aloxe-Corton this year and, as a I opined to Paul, I actually preferred the Aloxe-Corton Village to the Premier Cru in 2013. These come highly recommended. The Pommard Clos des Epeneaux has breeding and class, perhaps a more forward, early-drinking take on the monopole, but it should offer 10-15 years if pleasure. Lastly, there is a tiny amount of Bourgogne Aligoté that is one of the best that I tasted. eRobertParker.com.December, 2014

Currently, the Domaine des Epeneaux - so called after the nearby Clos - covers 7.5 hectares. There is great respect for the vineyard and emphasis on allowing the terroir to express itself. Pre-fermentation maceration takes place over 5 to 8 days at a temperature of 13-14°C. Spontaneous fermentation takes place across 5 to 10 days. Finally post fermentation maceration takes place over about 3 to 15 days. Wines spend 18 to 24 months in barrel, from no new wood for the villages wines to 80% for Vieilles Vignes" in Clos des Epeneaux. Le Pommard 1er cru Clos des Epeneaux is made exclusively from vines older than 25 years. The second wine, bottled under the appellation "Pommard Village" is from younger vines, the amount varies on the vintage, with between 10 and 20% of Clos des Epeneaux ensuring the high quality.

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