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Comte Georges de Vogue 1995 & 1998: Amoureuses, Bonnes-Mares & Musigny

February 5, 2016

Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue is usually the first name that comes to mind when one mentions the wines of Chambolle-Musigny. Founded centuries ago in 1450, this estate has the largest holdings in Musigny Grand Cru (7.2 ha) and Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru (2.7 ha). Considering that many consider Musigny to be the finest of red burgundy after Romanee-Conti, this places the estate in the most enviable of pole positions. The vines of Comte Georges de Vogue in Musigny are located mostly over the south-eastern slopes, the ideal prime location, grown over eroded limestone soils overlooking Clos Vougeot further south and Amoureuses to the north-east. Fortunately for us, the estate’s sales director M. Jean-Luc Pepin enjoys coming to Singapore and, for some time now, Alvin Seah of Domaine Wines has been organising an annual dinner at Jade Palace featuring only the top cru of Comte de Vogue with Jean-Luc in attendance, where I was lucky enough to obtain a ticket for this year’s dinner on January 16. The wines were served in 3 flights – Les Amoureuses, Bonnes-Mares and Musigny – each flight pitting 1995 against 1998. While the latter may impress initially with its forward fruit balance and drive, it is the former that possesses consistently finer balance, structure and complexity.

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2008 Michel Arnould et Fils Carte d’Or Grand Cru. Pinot noir and chardonnay in equal proportion. Notes of high-toned citrus with light touches of morning dew and toast, vibrant with fine acidity and definition, persistent at the finish. Very fine.

2008 Michel Arnould et Fils Blanc de Noirs Memoire de Vignes Grand Cru. Highly aromatic with a suggestion of depth from an abundance of lime and pomelo though, on the palate, this wine possesses more breadth than depth with transparent textures. Made from 100% pinot noir. Excellent.

1995 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er. Predominant notes of mint, spice and orange peel on the nose, displaying very good presence and concentration on the palate with overtones of cedar, smooth and feminine through its lack of tannic structure, eventually dominated by an attractive plummy note with trailing red fruits. I’d expected more complexity, but I guess Les Amoureuses at its best will always be a wine of understated elegance and purity.

1998 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er. Noticeably tighter, excellent in concentration of red fruits and dark berries, more cedary and structured though somewhat stern at the finish, characterised by a slight burliness that was absent from the 1995.

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1995 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru. Beautifully evolved, this grand cru that extends seamlessly northwards into Morey-Saint-Denis and Chambertin features ripe dark plums, appropriately cedary on the palate where it is remarkably open and relaxed with a quiet intensity in spite of its massive structure and masculinity, still imbued with superb acidity and freshness. Those seeking absolute purity of fruit would be well-advised to lay the 1995 Bonnes-Mares for several more years. Outstanding.

1998 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru. Forward balance of red fruits, slightly austere initially, tight and spicy at the edges, gradually developing supple tannins that led to a lasting finish though still missing the finesse and elegance of the 1995.

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1995 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Grand Cru. Expectations are almost stratospheric for the pinnacle of Chambolle-Musigny and the 1995 does not disappoint. In spite of its restrained bouquet, this wine is absolutely beautiful on the palate where it is smooth, satiny and opulent, structured with highly supple tannins, displaying great definition, harmony, layering and balance. Don’t expect any knockout punches. This Musigny grand cru is a an elegant beauty that draws you in with her great composure. A complete wine.

1998 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Grand Cru. Equally restrained as well, the 1998 displays more forward characters of red and dark berries amidst a cedary backdrop but clearly lacking in layering and complexity, only opening up after some time with a mild intensity that doesn’t quite evoke a visceral response.

 

 

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