Spring, Sun … and a one weeek Burgundy trip ahead – and quite a few interesting articles in the pipeline – what is not to like!
This is an article about a small vertical with four Bruno Clavelier Vosne-Romanée Les Hautes Maizieres – including the vintages 2011 to 2014.
As a side story: I began to develop the Winehog website and write Burgundy articles in the summer of 2011 – so this year and vintage is the first covered by Winehog … as I only did quite few visits tasting of the magnificent 2010 vintage during the summer of 2011 + the Grands Jours de Bourgogne tastings of the 2010 vintage in the spring of 2012.
It was therefore a sort of Winehog walk down memory lane, to have the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 vintages side by side – to see the stylistic differences and to evaluate the quality level of these quite different vintages.
My evaluation and ratings of the different vintages can be found in the red Vintage Chart.
The event – Bruno Clavelier 2014 + a vertical of Les Hautes Maizieres
The Danish importer – Tavs Ritzau had pulled out all the stops and served almost the full Bruno Clavelier 2014 lineup – only the Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru “Les Noirots” was missing.
Furthermore he had arranged the small Les Hautes Maizieres vertical – the topic of this article. A very interesting tasting event – well organized and was held at one of my favorite restaurants in Copenhagen – Palaegade – the perfect spot to have a updated version of the classic Danish lunch. One of the restaurant managers Simon Olesen – one of the most competent Sommeliers in Denmark (in my view) – was in charge of the tasting – a tremendous afternoon. I highly recommend this restaurant if you visit Copenhagen.
A bit about Domaine Bruno Clavelier
Bruno Clavelier is a man of the terroirs – his knowledge about the geology and viticulture is almost unparalleled in Burgundy. Domaine Bruno Clavelier has been certified organic since many years and is also working 100% Biodynamic – but is not certified.
According to the Danish importer most of the Clavelier vineyards have never been treated with pesticides – as this was not used by the preceding generation, so this is truly organic .. for generations .. quite unique.
This also influence the style of the wines … the acidity in the Clavelier wines is quite defined offering a fine focusing backbone to the wines – and a fine tension that align through the whole line-up from Passetougrain to the top cuvées.
The vinification is made with a light hand – only low amount of SO2 is added – oak is moderate and whole cluster grapes is used moderately … but used when appropriate and then around 20%.
The style is transparent and juicy with a fine detailed pure fruit … they offer a lovely tension due to the vibrant acidity and the unmanipulated fruit.
In other words the perfect opportunity to study the different vintages … in this case vintages 2011 to 2014 .. and one of my favorite village terroirs (I know – I do have many favorites) – Les Hautes Maizieres.
Les Hautes Maizieres – almost 1er cru
Les Hautes Maizieres is considered to be one of the top village terroirs – and in the 1861 classification it was classified at the same level as some of the 1er crus like – the top part of Les Petits-Monts and Aux Reignots, Les Chaumes, Cros Parantoux, and the lower part of Les Suchots (located just above Les Hautes Maizieres) – see the map below – the pink areas were considered to be the best plots, whereas the yellow was the second best and the green ones the third level of the classification.
This classification was the foundation for the current classifcation from the 1930s … but as it can be seen parts of “yellow” was classified as Grand Cru whereas Les Hautes Maizieres was classified as village.
I’m not arguing that Les Hautes Maizieres should be a 1er cru .. but it has all the qualities of a lesser 1er cru, in my view, as it offers both the weight and the complexity – see full article about Hautes Maiziéres here.
But to the vertical …
2011 – 2014 Les Hautes Maizieres by Bruno Clavelier
As the tasting of the four village 2014 s from Bruno Clavelier – see the article here – showed the pure and transparent style of this estate is perfect for uncovering differences in terroir – and this is also the case when one wants to explore the difference between vintages.
Starting out with the presumably lightest of the four Vosne-Romanée Les Hautes Maizieres 2011. This is a quite pretty wine – quite forward fruity, good ripeness for the vintage offering some secondary and ever so slight tertiary notes – red and dark berries, dark cherries, strawberries – spiced with peony rose and slight notch of lavender. On the palate lightfooted and lacking some depth and intensity compared to the other three vintages – feels a bit superficial and slightly hollow in the mid-palate compared to the 2012 – Very Good (87 – 88p).
Next up Les Hautes Maizieres 2012 – Very Good this is much more backward than the other three. The bouquet offer rather tightly knit fruit – starting to unfold after some time in the glass displaying detailed berry notes – boysenberries, blueberries red and dark cherries – brought forward by a spicy minerality. On the palate quite a step up in concentration – tremendous acidity for the vintage – offering a gorgeous freshness, tension and energy. This is in my view the best wine in the vertical – as the quite generous fruit is beautifully balanced by the fine acidity and expression of terroir. Fine (90 – 91p).
Then to the wild one the Vosne-Romanée Les Hautes Maizieres 2013. This is a intense a expressive wine – presumably the volaile acidity is slightly higher in this wine – important to note – not problematically so. The result is a very expressive and outgoing wine with a dramatic bouquet offering a multitude of red and dark berries – rhubarb, red currant, raspberries, boysenberries and elderberries. It’s perhaps not the most refined wine in the set – but it’s most certainly lively and outgoing. Quite a contrast to the harmonious 2014. Very Good (88 – 89p)
Lastly the Les Hautes Maiziéres 2014 … is a very harmonius effort. The bouquet is quite open and bursting with generous red and dark fruit – with a nice spicy minerality – slightly perfumed with hints of lavender and peony rose. On the palate plenty of fruit – very juicy offering a lot of verve and energy – will provide delightful drinking (and does indeed drink well already) – but give it 10 years in the cellar to unfold. not quite matching the 2012 in my view .. Very Good+ (89 – 90p).