Our tasting featured eleven wines from the sole grand cru vineyard of Vougeot and the largest single vineyard in the Côte d'Or: the walled vineyard called "Clos de Vougeot". Its vineyards cover 155 acres, with eighty-plus proprietors collectively owning over 100 separate plots. There are six different soil types with a clayey limestone base with gravel in the higher vineyard and humus in the lower vineyard. I was looking for symmetry within the wines but the Clos Vougeots showed much variation last night. Universally, the wines showed red and blue fruit, dried flowers, and minerals with a few wines exhibiting meaty nuances.
The 2000 Burgundy red wine vintage received tepid reviews. Our organizer shared his logic in choosing this vintage:
1. A recent vintage is easier to source
2. A recent vintage would allow us to judge current winemaking styles
3. Of recent vintages 2005 is going to be too expensive and by some reports may be shut down, many people complain of a green streak in some 2004s, 2003s are unrepresentative, many 2002s are shut down, 2001 are possible but I keep expecting them to shut down, 2000s while only a medium quality vintage are generally drinking well now with some even starting to show some secondary development, 1999s are way too young, 1998s are another possibility thought I thought they might be a little harder to come by being an 2 years older and that they have more upside, 1997s are not a vintage I care to spend an evening drinking, 1996s and 1995 are nowhere near ready.
From the Kobrand website I found the following comment: Jadot winemaker Jacques Lardière characterizes the 2000 vintage as “soft, pretty, accessible.” He actually increased the percentage of new oak in 2000, though he described this approach as risky. “We use more new oak on a so-so vintage than a rich one. But it’s to connect the wine’s phenols, to keep the wine alive, rather than to add something. We also needed to do longer macerations, typically 26 to 28 days but sometimes longer, and the result was that we got sweeter tannins.” Lardière uses mostly Nevers oak; he finds Allier too strong and believes that this type of oak works better in vintages in which the macerations are short. He told me he did little saignée because Jadot had already eliminated so much less-than perfect fruit on its table de trie. In his book "The Great Domaines of Burgundy," Remington Norman writes about the Clos Vougeots: the quality can range from "thin, acidic and dreadful to superb, with the majority being lumpen and tannic without the promise of ever blossoming. Invariably expensive, they often score highly on the price/disappointment scale."
The dinner started at 7:30pm and each bottle was splash decanted at 5:30pm and served blind. I used Speigelau stemware.
My favorite wines were as follows:
- Fourrier, "Petite Vougeot" 1er Cru
- JJ Confuron
- Rene Engel
- Meo Camuzet
- Anne Gros
I am usually ultra sensitive to cork taint and was surprised that the Fourier, my favorite wine and all around winner, when revisited, had completely shut down in the glass with only a discrete essence of cork remaining. Interesting also that this was the only 1er Cru and one of the most widely admired amongst its grand cru cousins. I typically like Potel and was surprised to learn that the unbalanced wine in my glass, with too obvious use of new oak and astringent tannins was a Potel. I found that Leroy had the most evolution as it was meaty and sexy with a textured mouthfeel then changed to prevalant black cherries, licorice, earth, underscored by base elegance. My least favorite wine was the Jadot as there was a hint of VA, overripe, stewy fruit with a green tannin quality to it. As one man commented, "A woman with too much makeup".
Picture of me taken last night by Leo.