Thursday 28th October saw our annual Clos Vougeot tastings. Wine journalists gathered at Lower Thames Street to take part in one of the highlights of our calendar: 33 wines from 32 domains, one vineyard and one vintage, all tasted blind.
We are rather proud of our Clos Vougeot tasting at FINE+RARE. While blind tastings are hardly uncommon, the chance to sample a horizontal of this scale from a single Burgundy grand cru is a rare one and only made possible by our extensive reach and industry relationships. Our Clos Vouget tasting always piques interest and this year was no different, with prominent wine critics such as Jancis Robinson, Neal Martin and Jane Anson all taking part.
33 x Clos Vougeot 2013s about to be tasted blind @fineandrare. Should be interesting. pic.twitter.com/HOI6TDvFbD
— Neal Martin (@nealmartin) October 29, 2015
While tastings such as these are often open only to those in the trade, our spacious new office meant this year we were able to involve some of our private clients, giving them the chance to taste through a sizeable chunk of Clos Vougeot’s 2013 vintage.
Burgundy**’s most complex vineyard?**
Clos Vougeot is nothing if not complicated. The most diverse vineyard in Burgundy, it has a layout akin to an intricately stacked Tetris board, with 55ha divided haphazardly between 80+ producers. This patchwork covers a slope of varying conditions: from chalky and gravelly soils in the North West corner bordering fellow Grand Crus Musigny and Grand Echezeaux, to limestone and clay in the middle ground and an alluvial soil at the very bottom, no two plots are the same.
The result is something that makes a tasting like this so worthwhile: unbelievable variety. With so many different producers, low production levels across the board and a range of prices, it’s a potential minefield and so sampling in this manner is hugely valuable.
The Tasting Results
One of the main points to come from the tasting was one that we’ve known for a long time: taste is a highly personal thing. Even so, there were a couple that drew a consensus.
In the morning we welcomed various wine critics for the official blind tasting, and feedback was positive, with the Dom Tortochot and Olivier Bernstein among the stand-outs.
After the success of the critics tasting, the evening saw the bottles unmasked as we welcomed a group of private clients to taste the wine at leisure, accompanied by cured meats and cheese and cast their votes. While this tasting was not blind, it still threw up some interesting results with many impressed by the sheer variation of styles.
We asked our guests to anonymously pick a Top 3 and while there were some outliers, the majority of responses showed correlation – proof, if more were needed, of our clients’ exceptional palates.
At the end of the evening we formally handed out price lists, which sparked even more debate and re-tasting. Our clients shared the critics’ praise for the Olivier Bernstein and also rated the Anne Gros and Domaine Ponsot as strikingly good.
The entire tasting list, in alphabetical order:
Bouchard Pere & Fils
Chateau de la Tour
Chateau de la Tour VV
Clos Frantin (Albert Bichot)
Forey; Domaine Pere et Fils
Grivot; Domaine Jean
Gros; Frere et Soeur
Rion; Domaine Daniel
Santenay; Chateau de
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