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Average critic rating : 96.0 points
The 2013 Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, which is raised in 50% new oak, has an introspective bouquet at first, but allowing the wine a couple of minutes to open, it reveals intense red cherries, kirsch, strawberry and mineral scents that convey the femininity of the vineyard. The palate is medium-bodied with layers of minerally red fruit, superb acidity and a showstopping peacock’s tail of flavors on the finish: strawberry, raspberry, white pepper, mineral and truffle. Wow. I cannot wait to see how this turns out in bottle. ||Word on the street (and I don’t know exactly what street, but one where wine-lovers gossip) is that Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat is “kicking arse” these days. I believe that’s a technical term for fashioning wines with elegance, poise and that abstract term: “pinoté." Charles van Canneyt, “a bit of a dish” according to several friends of the fairer sex, has steered this domaine in a positive direction. Once their wines were “respectable." Now, recent vintages have warranted a small but perfectly formed flotilla of superlatives. Charles told me that he started the harvest on October 5 and used 20% new oak for the village crus and 30% to 50% for the premier crus. Like many winemakers, he blended the stems into the vat, between 20 to 25%. The malolactics here were late…very late. In fact one or two of the cuvées still had not completed their malo by the time of my visit at the end of November (I suspect that is partly because their capacious cellar always feels a little colder than others.) “Personally I prefer 2013 [to 2012] because you can easily tell the terroir. It has good potential for cellaring because there is good quality of tannin and because of the acidity, which is more present in the 2013. That gives more energy in the wines,” he remarked. I have to say, this represented a very consistent and occasionally inspiring set of 2013s that climaxed with a show-stopping Romanée-Saint-Vivant, so luxurious and pure that I suggested to Charles that he serve the sultrier Richebourg before it. It evoked memories of a divine 1980 that I had popped just the week earlier. This domaine’s 2013s come strongly recommended and here I agree with Charles that they may well surpass the 2012s – a remarkable feat given the growing season. Do not overlook gems such as the three Vosne Premier Crus (Malconsorts, les Beaumonts and les Suchots) while their Vosne-Romanée Village ’13 is one of the best that I tasted during my five weeks of tasting. eRobertParker.com.December, 2014
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