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Average critic rating : 88.0 points
The 2013 Vosne-Romanée Chaumes has a bright raspberry and fresh strawberry bouquet that handles the oak better than the Premier Cru. The palate is medium-bodied with juicy ripe tannins and good density, but the finish feels just a little labored and here the oak is obfuscating the terroir. ||You know, I love Bernard Gros with his swagger, his big bushy moustache and his zest for life. I love the fact that I taste in an underground cavern that looks like mixture of Studio 54 and Santa's grotto. I’ve known him long before I ever entertained the notion of writing about wine and I am fairly sure that I visited him on my inaugural Burgundy trip back in 1997. The thing is, Bernard seems to love his concentrating machine. When I asked whether he had had to chaptalize his 2013s, he is the only producer in the Côte de Nuits he responded with a firm and unequivocal “Non." Pause. “Apart from the Hautes Côtes…I used the concentrating machine for the others.” And to be honest, the drawbacks of using a concentrator vis-à-vis chaptalization is illuminated in this vintage. Whereas judicious chaptalization can enhance wines without impeding terroir expression, using a concentrator upon a sensitive variety like Pinot Noir is like putting a nun on steroids. You just get an odd-looking muscular nun. Bernard commenced picking very late, on October 13 to be exact with the Vosne-Romanée, the Hautes Côtes picked one week later. It was Bernard’s latest harvest since 1980, and the average yield was around 60% of normal production. He told me that the natural alcohol levels were coming in at a not too shabby 12.0 to 12.2 degrees and then used a concentrator to boost them up to 13.5 degrees. The result is a set of wines that are thickset and dense, but blunt and missing finesse and personality. Blind, I doubt I would be able to identify their respective origins. I appreciate what Bernard is doing with what is an enviable portfolio, but the technique of using a concentrator means that the wines pay a hefty price. As if to ram the point home, Michel Gros who also occasionally uses a concentrator, elected not to do so in 2013, and the wines are better as a result of that. There are vintages when I believe that concentrating the must might be beneficial, when you have more substance, more matière to work with. However, nature did not bestow that in 2013. And to compound the problem there is a proclivity to use a lot of new oak at this address. Even the Vosne-Romanée Village is matured in 100% new oak and the concentrator tends to accentuate the wood component so that it "subjugates" the wine. There is the option of seeing how the wines mature in the cellar, ergo I have advised leaving them for several years to see what happens. The rub is that Bernard has a clutch of outstanding holdings and he is a skilled and very personable winemaker, I feel that one who does not require such a piece of technology. eRobertParker.com.January, 2015
The Gros name is one of Burgundy’s most confusing: a copy of the Gros family tree is helpful to understand the domaines: Gros Frere et Soeur, Michel Gros, Anne Gros and Anne-Francoise Gros. All are descended from Alphonse Gros, who moved to Vosne-Romanee in the early 19th century.
Bernard Gros is blessed with some of the finest holdings in Vosne-Romanee. The jewel is his 00.69 hectares of Richebourg and he also has one of the finest plots in the Clos Vougeot - “en Musigni” – situated just above the Ch. de Clos Vougeot and just below Musigny itself. This is one of the few plots on the Clos where one can taste some real terroir, some real character to the soil.
Bernard is a pragmatic winemaker – he trained as an engineer before taking the helm at this impressive domaine – and his aim is “un vin de plaisir”: wines of pleasure. Much of the domaine was replanted in the 1980s and his vines are hitting a sweet spot in terms of their maturity. Bernard uses plenty of new oak, which gives the wines a glossy edge and makes them some of the most accessible wines of the appellation.
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