This year Grand Jours de Bourgogne included a Dégustation Prestige of Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru … as it did two years ago.
It’s a tasting of around 20 wines from the Clos de Vougeot vineyard – this year with the oldest being a 1989 from Domaine Joseph Drouhin and the youngest being a 2008 from Domaine Manuel Olivier.
The tasting therefore cover the last 30 years – hence almost a generation of Burgundy producers, and therefore also covers quite some variation and development in quality.
Lets face it … the wines made today are better than they were in the 2000s and the 1990s – hence one would expect some wines to be somewhat dissapointing – to say it politely.
So lets be be blunt, forwardly honest but polite.
The wines tasted at the Dégustation Prestige
Domaine Manuel Olivier, Clos de Vougeot 2008
Maturing a bit showing hints of sous-bois, nicely balanced with a vivid acidity. Not the ultimate in depth, detail and purity – but well made and drinking well. A nice surprise – Fine (91 – 92p)
Domaine Meo-Camuzet, Clos de Vougeot 2003
Meo-Camuzet did quite well in 2003, and the Clos de Vougeot offer a nice balance between the lush and ripe fruit, and the juicy and quite energetic character of the fruit. A balanced and rather fresh 2003 – offering a lovely drinkability for the vintage – will benefit from some years of further cellaring. Fine+ (92 – 93p)
Domaine Jacques Prieur, Clos de Vougeot 2007
The Jacques Prieur Clos de Vougeot 2007 is quite youthful and still need some time to unfold a maturing complexity. The fruit is juicy and beginning to unfold – fine depth and purity for the vintage, showing fine potential. Need 5 years or more in the cellar to sing … Fine+ (92 – 93p)
Domaine Capitain-Gagnerot, Clos de Vougeot 2006
This showed rather old school and rustic, and with the soy infused 2006 fruit not helping on the transparency. Fruit darkish lacking some energy and transparency. Not 100% clean and pure – and certainly disappointing – could perhaps be the bottle! (Not rated)
Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur, Clos de Vougeot 2006
The Gros Frère et Soeur Clos de Vougeot 2006 is a modern and quite forward wine. The nose offer plenty of fruit – rather darkish and lush with a mineral impression. On the palate medium weight rather lush and juicy – with quite some oak in the finish. A fine effort but given the location of the plot one could perhaps expect more – Fine (92 – 93p)
Domaine Sylvain Loichet, Clos de Vougeot 2005
The 2005 Clos de Vougeot from Loichet is a lovely and intense wine – taking it to true Grand Cru level. The nose is crammed with intense and juicy darkish fruit – youthful, and with a lovely organic feel. On the palate lovely juicy fruit – tightly knit with a impressive intensity. From a good plot … Very Fine (94p)
Domaine R. Dubois & Fils Clos de Vougeot 2005
Sadly not showing at all – dry and with clear oxidation. Disappointing to say the least – hopefully a bad bottle (Not rated)
Domaine Daniel Rion, Clos de Vougeot 2002
Open forward with sous-bois and maturing fruit. On the palate slightly hollow lacking a bit of intensity on the mid-palate. Drinking fine and showing nice complexity – if not true Grand Cru level. Very Good+ (89 – 90p)
Domaine du Clos Frantin, Clos de Vougeot 2005
The Clos du Vougeot from the Bichot flagship brand Domaine du Clos Frantin take things to the Grand Cru level offering both the depth and the detail. The nose is starting to unfold – these 2005s do need their time – relatively darkish fruit – deep earthy minerality. On the palate juicy and quite vibrant fruit – starting to unfold. Weighty and intense with true Grand Cru length – Very Fine (93 – 94p)
Domaine Jean Luc Aegerter, Clos de Vougeot 2005
Sadly not showing at all – drying and with some oxidation. Disappointing to say the least – hopefully a bad bottle (Not rated)
Domaine Michel Gros, Clos de Vougeot 2005
Another 2005 starting to show is the Clos de Vougeot from Domaine Michel Gros. It’s still a bit early but this bottle show a nice potential. The nose is a bit closed – with the dark fruit and the oak being a bit forward. On the palate fine intensity and mouthfeel – fruit silky and juicy – fine depth and nice energy in the finish. Not a giant Clos de Vougeot – but it has it’s moments – Very Fine (93p)
Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils, Clos de Vougeot 2005
Fine forward and rather lush – still rather youthful – but showing signs of maturing. On the palate medium weight, nice intensity without screaming Grand Cru … A respectable 2005 Clos de Vougeot – but I think we expect more today to be honest – and tasting the 2016 version of of this wine just after this tasting also showed that Bouchard have indeed raised the game since the 2005 vintage. Fine+ (92 – 93p)
Domaine Gèrard Raphet, Clos de Vougeot 2004
The Raphet 2004 Clos de Vougeot actually is showing surprisingly well given the vintage. The nose is quite open unfolding maturing complexity – slightly rustic with some green hints – so typical for the vintage. On the palate quite openly knit with a nice energy. Well done for the vintage – Very Good (89-90p)
Domaine Chateau de la Tour, Clos de Vougeot 2003
Rich, ripe and generous with all the qualities of the vintage at display. The nose show fine but ripe fruit – prune and figue, but also nice floral red and dark berry fruit. On the palate very good intensity and depth – clearly on the ripe side – but still with good balance and freshness for the vintage. Rather firmly sturctured and focused – Very Fine (93p)
Domaine Anne Gros, Clos de Vougeot 2003
Another ripe 2003 – on the balance. The nose offer rich and ripe fruit – hints of overripeness like most 2003s – not my vintage – but this is well done by Anne Gros. On the palate rich and rather generous fruit – ripe and without a large scale complexity – Fine (91 – 92p).
Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot, Clos de Vougeot 1996
This is from another time – and 1996 and not many 1996s are showing what one hoped for when they were young. I would not say that the example from Confuron-Contetidot is disappointing – but rather as expected. The nose is still somewhat backward – dark fruits, tar and some sous-bois. On the palate drying a bit – and somewhat austere. Some would say that it needs more time …. I sadly don’t think that it will bring sufficient fruit .. Very Good (88 – 89p)
Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion, Clos de Vougeot 1991
Sadly not showing at all – drying and with strong oxidation. Dissapointing to say the least – hopefully a bad bottle (Not rated)
Domaine Jean Grivot, Clos de Vougeot 1990
A treat to taste the 1990 Clos de Vougeot from Grivot. This is showing very well – maturing yet not fully mature, sous-bois, juicy red berry fruit – hint of orange peel – a deep earthy minerality. On the palate juicy and fresh red fruit – medium weight and length – fine complexity and balance. Still quite tight – and will keep .. Very Fine (93 – 94p).
Domaine Joseph Drouhin, Clos de Vougeot 1989
A lovely mature wine … with a fine complexity and balance. The nose offer mature fruit – red berries, hints of forest floor, truffle and orange peel. On the palate more mature than the 1990 Grivot – starting to be fully mature with the fruit slightly on the return – taken at the optimum time in my view. Not a giant, but a wine of balance and complexity – a lovely mature Clos de Vougeot – Very Fine (93 – 94p)
The level of today and before
A tasting like this reveal a lot of insights …. as it covers 30 years of vintages, and a lot of producers and bottlings from this large vineyard.
It’s no surprise that the variation in quality is large, and also at times disappointingly large – but we knew this.
Today a grand cru like Clos de Vougeot should in my view merit a Very Fine rating in a good year, and ratings below Fine for a Clos de Vougeot in a good year is clearly not acceptable given the prices currently charged for even the lesser Clos de Vougeots.
At the tasting attended – a few wines were doubtful – and certainly disappointing. Some of them could perhaps show much better, whereas others sadly would confirm the level found at this tasting.
Especially older wines do tend to show bottle variation and in my view this should be expected with wines older than 20 years.
In general quality at this tatsing was as expected – the two last wines – the Drouhin 1989 and the Grivot 1990 delightful and a treat as one could have hoped for.
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