The Domaine d’Eugenie wines have improved tremendously over the years – especially during the last five – reaching new levels of refinement and delicacy.
Giving the wines the proper time and respect, some truly lovely and joyful moments can be had with the d’Eugenie wines. Vins d’emotion? Yes, we are getting there!
The premise of tasting top wines
When one does a tasting, it is important to understand the context and premise under which the wines have been made.
Domaine d’Eugenie is what one could call an iconic producer in more than one sense of the term. Firstly, the estate is made up in part of the iconic vineyards of the old Rene Engel estate in Vosne-Romanée. Secondly, d’Eugenie is the creation of Francois Pinault, who since 2006 has built a new domaine based on the former Engel vineyards plus the addition of important white vineyards in the Côte de Beaune.
So the wines here are made with a dual purpose: to create great bottles that will deliver a fine expression of Burgundy character, and to be of high quality regardless where in the world you encounter them.
I rarely talk about this, but iconic estates – including Domaine de la Romanee-Conti – need to take a number of things into consideration to ensure that their wines travel well and produce a great experience wherever in the world the cork is popped.
This sets limits on how low it is possible to go with sulphur and still ensure the ultimate in stability and quality. Remember, some of these wines will keep for 30 years or more.
Furthermore, there is a limit to how wild and “natural” the wines can be and still suit an international palate. Don’t expect wild and crazy wines if you enter the world of these classics – they are seen very rarely.
The wines at Domaine d’Eugenie
Michel Mallard is the winemaker at Domaine d’Eugenie, and has been so since the initial vintage in 2006. He comes from Ladoix-Serrigny, where he also runs his family domaine, which is producing some very fine wines from Corton and the appellations around Ladoix.
I have followed Domaine d’Eugenie since that first vintage, and I have seen a continual, gradual improvement. Since 2015 (or even a couple of years earlier) that improvement has become more marked. D’Eugenie is now challenging some of the top estates in Vosne-Romanée on the quality level.
Michel Mallard is constantly trying to improve quality, and has in recent years worked with sulphur-free vinification, although he still uses some sulphur at bottling, as the d’Eugenie wines are sold all over the world and must be protected during transport.
It’s always difficult to pinpoint specifics, but my feeling is that this change of vinification has given the wines more definition and detail, making the fruit more energetic and giving the palate a more effortless feel – something regularly seen in wines vinified without sulphur.
So with all that as background, to the tasting notes of the fine and charming red 2019s from d’Eugenie. The village wines were bottled in December; the last wines – the Clos Vougeot and the Echezeaux – were bottled just a week before the tasting.
Domaine d’Eugenie Vosne-Romanée 2019
The d’Eugenie village comes from two terroirs – Les Vigneux and Les Communes – which total 2.36 ha. I first tasted this at Vosne-Romanée’s village tasting in March, and again at the domaine late last month. A delightfully lively wine, this has loads of energy and the characteristic 2019 effusion. Only 10% whole clusters were used, with 20% new oak. The ample fruit from this lovely vintage is spiced with scents of violets, peonies, roses, and even a saline note to whet your appetite. Not a vin de soif, but this does provide great drinking already. Bravo!
(Drink From 2029) – Very Good – (89-90p) – Tasted 29/04/2021 –
Domaine d’Eugenie Vosne-Romanée Clos d’Eugenie 2019
The Vosne village Clos d’Eugenie is from a 0.57-ha lieu-dit – and true clos – located just below La Tâche. This is a lovely terroir, with influence from the famous grand cru above, and from the Clos Goilotte below. Altogether a more serious wine, this has 33% new oak and 40% whole-cluster inclusion. It will take some time to unfold for casual drinking, but clearly has greater complexity. Delightfully perfumed notes of roses combine with deep boysenberries and Amarillo cherry notes. It is delicate, but needs a couple of years to shed its youthfulness.
(Drink From 2032) – Fine – (91p) – Tasted 29/04/2021 –
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