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Average critic rating : 89.0 points
The 2012 Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Les Lavieres comes from three narrow parcels of vine that neighbor those of Domaine Chandon de Braille. The nose is very refined and feminine, with the one-third new oak deftly assimilated. The palate is smooth and harmonious on the entry. This is very fleshy and pure with crisp tannins although it is not a powerful Savigny, rather one that is unashamedly dainty, light on its feet and very pretty. ||This was my second visit to Domaine Tollot-Beaut – ever. The first was circa June 1997, a milestone in my career since it constituted the first winery that I ever visited. As I quipped to Nathalie Tollot on my return some 16 years later, I know a bit more than nothing about wine. Nathalie herself looks about the same age as she did back then, petit with jet-black hair, slightly Mediterranean looking perhaps, probably takes I.D. with her whenever ordering at a bar. She is one of Burgundy’s most personable vignerons, the kind you fancy going out for a beer with after work. Nathalie actually started her tenure back in 1987, five years after Jean-Paul who is married to Anne Gros in Vosne-Romanee and three years prior to Olivier making the trio of current co-proprietors. They farm approximately 23 hectares mainly close to their winery in Chorey-les-Beaune, including several premier crus and three grand crus. Much of their vineyards are planted at a comparatively high density to other growers at around 11,000 vines per hectare, they eschew chemical fertilizers but will spray if absolutely necessary, completely de-stem their crop, skip cold maceration and practice a short cuvaison. I remarked to Nathalie that in Burgundian terms her winery has positively acres of space, to which she replied that she is grateful for the foresight of her ancestors (indeed, Tollot-Beaut was one of the first domaine’s to bottle their own wine back in the 1930s.) After we had tasted through the reds, we returned to the ground floor level to finish with their Corton-Charlemagne. Unfortunately, Nathalie could not find it. “I’m sure it was up here,” she says in similar to fashion to you and I losing our car keys. After five minutes of searching, she gives up and one assumes she later found her Corton-Charlemagne down the back of the sofa. This is a reliable source of quality wines from Chorey-les-Beaune. Occasionally I feel that the level of new oak can be a little too conspicuous. There certainly lend the wines a modern sheen, if not modern to their core. The aromas and flavors at this address might be described as “strident” and some might argue that they lack subtlety. Nathalie feels that the wood just needs time to fully integrate and having tasted mature examples of her wines I can understand her point. The nuance here develops in bottle as those tannins melt away, so do not be afraid to allow them to age. Chorey-les-Beaune and Aloxe-Corton are two appellations that did relatively well in 2012, two that continue to offer great value for money. I would include Tollot-Beaut’s consistent wines within that category. eRobertParker.com.December, 2013
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