2012 Vosne Romanee Cros Parantoux Meo-Camuzet

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Average critic rating : 95.25 points



A restrained, cool and superbly elegant nose features notes of Asian spices, red currant, plum and lavender along with the hallmark mineral nuances, all of which are trimmed in enough wood to notice. There is superb intensity to the refined, delineated and focused medium-bodied flavors that are shaped by dense but exceptionally fine tannins that are impeccably well-integrated on the energetic and explosively long finish that is distinctly saline in character. Like the Brûlées, this is indisputably built to age. Tasted: Jan 15, 2014. Drink: 2029+



My sample of 2012 Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru Cros Parantoux came from the three new barrels produced by the domaine this year. The nose is quite closed at first but opens with vigorous swirling over the next two minutes, offering scents of baked cherries, bergamot, minerals and wild strawberry that are all beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with a firm backbone, layers of mineral-rich black fruit, superb tension and laser-like precision towards the finish. This is an impressive, convincing Cros-Parantoux, one of the best that I have tasted at the domaine. ||Domaine Meo-Camuzet boasts one of the most enviable portfolios in Vosne-Romanee, crowned by Richebourg Grand Cru and Cros Parantoux, the latter essentially grand cru in all but name thanks to the late Henri Jayer, who decided that vines might profit more from the land than a few veg. I have been following the wines for over a decade and visiting Jean-Nicolas Meo’s cellar just down the road from Bernard Gros. Together we tasted through both his negociant and domaine bottlings, partly from pre-prepared samples and others directly from barrel. He told me he had been surprised at the changes in pH post-malo-lactic fermentation, possibly due to a precipitation of potassium that had made the wines feel rounder. Certainly some of the cuvees did have a certain “sumptuousness” about them, but for the most part that tannins were present and correct, lending backbone to offset the occasionally intense fruit. Readers should note that I took a video of Jean-Nicolas discussing the vintage in his cellars, so please access this for further insight. eRobertParker.com.December, 2013

Meo-Camuzet: The Importance

For John Gilman: “the Méo-Camuzet wines are amongst the most profound in all of Burgundy" and has dubbed the owner Jean-Nicolas Méo “the only real successor to Henri Jayer.” Gilman is not the only critic to be “consistently impressed” at this address, which according to Neal Martin “consistently produces excellent wines.” Antonio Galloni professes to be “overall, a big fan” of the wines in recent vintages. Stephen Brook makes no secret of his love for the Méo-Camuzet property “and its superlative wines”, and the regular Burgundy reviewers drive a fierce demand for these wines by awarding high scores year in, year out.


As a result supply is very short for these wines, despite what Meadows terms a “huge” three-hectare parcel in Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, and several other holdings in Vosne-Romanée described as “enviable” by Neal Martin.


Meo-Camuzet: The Insight

According to Neal Martin, the portfolio is “crowned by Richebourg Grand Cru and Cros Parantoux, the latter essentially grand cru in all but name thanks to the late Henri Jayer, who decided that vines might profit more from the land than a few veg.” Martin however allows himself the luxury to “have a preference for their Cros Parantoux over their Richebourg, the former displaying exceptional delineation, razor-sharp tannins and an unfathomable depth that riveted you to the spot, whereas the latter was broad-shouldered, regal but less opaque.” By contrast, Allen Meadows is an admirer of the Clos de Vougeot, noting that Méo-Camuzet is the second-largest owner here after Château de La Tour but rents out more than half the property, retaining only a top-grade parcel just below the Château.


In terms of Premier Crus, Corton Clos-Rognet Grand Cru is a monopoly of the domaine, admired by Clive Coates, who also notes them as one of the best producers of Chaumes, bottled as Vosne-Romanée Les Chaumes Premier Cru. John Gilman finds the Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Les Feusselottes to be “outstanding.”


Meo-Camuzet: The Background

Jean-Nicolas Méo, “with his clean-cut good looks and penchant for formal clothing” noted by Stephen Brook arrived from Paris in the late 1980’s driven by a desire to bottle the family’s wines. Thereafter, John Gilman recounts how he “assembled at the domaine an outstanding team in the cellars and vineyards over the years,” gaining recogonition both from his neighbours in Vosne-Romanée and from regular visitors such as the critics mentioned above, as well as other experts such as Jasper Morris, who writes that “Jean-Nicolas Méo and Christian Faurois now run the Domaine and together they produce some of the very best wine in the Côte d'Or.”


Jean-Nicolas Méo was also among the most notable Burgundians to become a pioneer in the vineyards in Oregon, establishing the very well-regarded Nicolas-Jay operation in Williamette Valley, partnering with the music producer Jay Boberg.

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