Sitting in the office on a sunny day catching up on some articles before the trip goes to Burgundy next week. The spring is here … and the Rhino is barking in the garden – either to greet the new warmer season – or to warn the neighbour – don’t disturb my view!
It’s very rare to have the opportunity to compare four different village terroirs in he same vintage from the same producer. Bruno Clavelier make four different Vosne-Romanée villages – but tasting them all is however rare, as one of the wines – La Montagne – is only produced in very limited quantities.
The Danish importer – Tavs Ritzau – was however – despite the scarcity of La Montagne serving all four villages in the 2014 vintage – along with almost all the other wines from Clavelier – I will get back o those in another article.
Importantly .. the tasting 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.
Bruno Clavelier explaining the geology of Vosne-Romanée – March 2013.
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 terroirs …
The opportunity to taste four Vosne villages from the delightful 2014 vintage. To the tasting notes ->
Four Vosne Villages from Bruno Clavelier
Starting out with the presumably lightest of the four Vosne-Romanée Les Hauts de Beaux Monts 2014 – but also the most expressive and forward when it was poured. The vines were planted in 1988 – so clearly the youngest of the four vineyards. The nose is very open offering juicy red, dark and blue fruit … it’s a bit perfumed and slightly obvious compared to the other three. On the palate quite airy and lightfooted offering a delicate and juicy mid-palate fruit – it’s detailed and refined but is perhaps lacking a bit of depth and length in this tough lineup. Very open now and perhaps showing most on this rainy March day.. Good++ (87 – 88p).
Next up La Combe Brulée 2014 – from vines more than 85 years old. This is not so forward obvious as the Les Hauts de Beaux Monts it offers a deeper, spicy and more mineral driven fruit. The nose is brimming with fruit – deep red and dark fruit notes – blueberries, red currant, raspberries and red cherries with a magnificent stony minerality. On the palate more powerful – more weighty fruit – very transparent and with a very fine mineral intensity. Open to taste now .. but not showing all currently – Very Good (88 – 89p).
The most backward is currently the rare Vosne-Romanée La Montagne 2014. The nose is a bit backward with a slightly dusty mineral note – darker fruit – and more tightly knit than the two first. This is also made from very old vines – more than 85 years – and only one cask made in 2014. Very rare indeed – see the article about this small Vosne monopole. On the palate clearly more backward – more tannins and structure – darker fruit and a larger framed wine. Seems a bit cooler – fine detailed fresh berry notes – slightly smoked note. This is clearly a more serious wine – more density – but will take time to unfold. Very Good (88 – 90p)
Last but not least Les Hautes Maiziéres 2014 … a bigger and more generous wine than the others. In my view Hautes Maiziéres is one of the best village vineyards in Vosne-Romanée, as it compliments the complexity found in La Combe Brulée with more weight and body. The bouquet is quite open and bursting with generous red and dark fruit – more forward and openly knit than La Montagne – 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. In my view a level up from the other three .. Very Good+ (89 – 90p).
Some village thoughts ..
First of all it’s very interesting to experience three very different village wines. Is quite easy to comprehend that Les Hautes Maizieres has another more generous personality as it comes from a terroir with deeper soil located lower on the slope – see article about Hautes Maiziéres here.
But the huge difference between he three others is very fascinating as only a few meters is separating these plots at the top of the slope above Aux Brulée. This is Burgundy in a nutshell …. and with the purity and transparency of the Bruno Clavelier wines – he is truly the man to exemplify and envision the complexity of the region – and the difference between the expression of the different terroirs.
A treat to taste these wines …
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