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FICOFI: Domaine Pierre Damoy

May 19, 2017

If you have visited Chambertin, you would surely have come across a little white hut just by the side of the famous Route des Grand Crus that proudly proclaims “CHAMBERTIN CLOS DE BEZE” in bold block letters on its wall with a second line that reads Domaine Pierre Damoy, leaving you in no doubt as to your exact location (no GPS needed here) and on whose land you are standing on. Indeed, this domaine owns the largest plot of Clos de Beze, some 5.4 ha out of 14.7 ha, that has remained undivided within the family ever since M. Pierre Damoy’s great great grandfather founded the estate back in the 1920s. Utilising minimally invasive viticultural methods, Pierre prefers to harvest his grapes at maximum ripeness as far as possible (why not?), evident in the richer darker tones of his wines particularly in generous vintages.

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Ric was there

On this occasion of his visit to Singapore on 18 April 2017 at The Inter-Continental Hotel, Pierre was showcasing the 2014 and 2009 wines of Gevrey-Chambertin, pairing them accordingly. It is evident that these wines share a common trait of good extraction and richness without sacrificing subtlety and typicity, certainly not an easy feat to pull off, thus affirming the excellent craftsmanship of this domaine. Pierre himself is a most unassuming gentleman, friendly yet a tad shy, preferring to let his wines induce the slew of superlatives from members as we went through the tasting. So what actually goes on inside that little hut made famous by all wine publications? Oh nothing, said Pierre. No barrels or winemaking equipment. I thought he mentioned something about vineyard workers using it to answer nature’s call, but I’m sure that was Pierre’s mischievious side talking. The wines are described in the order served.

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2006 Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne. Delicate bouquet of white flowers and yellow fruit precede a lovely expanse of ripe pomelo and green fruits on the palate, matched by attractive chalky minerality and crisp acidity, never too dry, building up to a sweet intensity at its rounded finish. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Pierre Damoy Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Tamisot monopole. A village, but you’d never have guessed it. Displaying a darker tint, this wine was quite reticent, but sprung a great surprise on the palate with its irrepressible quality, stuffed with raspberries, dark fruits and dark roses of excellent concentration and depth, seamlessly supported by gorgeous acidity and understated minerality that exuded lovely intensity though shorn of fat, just a tad stern at the finish. A poor man’s Chambertin, perhaps, but worthy of a place on any table. Superb!

2009 Domaine Pierre Damoy Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Tamisot monopole. Also displaying a darker tint, a longer stint in bottle has opened up this wine, more fleshy and structured with a great concentration of warm ripe fruit, slightly brighter and tighter than its younger counterpart but sharing the same quiet intensity, depth, suppleness, mild ferrous minerality and seamless integration. Equally superb as the 2014 but likely to last the distance better.

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2014 Domaine Pierre Damoy Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru. Essentially closed on the nose, just a hint of dark berries and tangerines whilst reasonably structured and fleshy with good concentration of red and dark berries, matched with crisp acidity, finishing with gentle overtones of enamel. Not the best of Chapelle-Chambertin but drinking well now.

2014 Domaine Pierre Damoy Chambertin Grand Cru. Displaying a darker tint than the Chapelle-Chambertin, this wine has shut down at this stage, closed on the nose although there is no doubting the richness and great intensity of fruit still tightly coiled within. Short and missing in structure now, but may turn out to be something fabulous once it has time to unravel and flesh out. Pierre Damoy owns only a tiny plot of Chambertin Grand Cru, just 0.5 ha, and it is clear that there isn’t much room for him to bring out the full potential that Chambertin can offer.

2014 Domaine Pierre Damoy Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru. Whereas Clos de Beze is generally regarded as being the equal of Chambertin itself, in Pierre Damoy’s case, the former is clearly superior in every aspect, a fact that M. Pierre Damoy himself admits as his large holdings allow him to grasp the full potential of this terroir. First planted in the 1920s, this wine displayed a darker tint of ruby, exuding a rich exuberant bouquet of rose petals and red fruits, surprisingly open at such an early age in spite of the great concentration and depth of fruit, layered with excellent detail, definition and great purity, so very precise in its balance and proportion that its fruit, acidity and subdued tannins are seamlessly merged with great subtlety and sophistication, finishing with quiet intensity and wonderful length. Truly a wine for the ages. Outstanding.

2009 Domaine Pierre Damoy Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru. Notably darker in tone and colour, this wine sports a rich mouthfeel of sweet dark plums and dark berries with a forward balance, open and rounded with good concentration and integration, drinking well now but yet to hit its full stride.

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2009 Domaine Pierre Damoy Chambertin Grand Cru. Dark as well, this is a wine of large proportions, rich with oily textures and a great deal of succulence, underscored by a deep vein of glorious ripe warm fruit, well-extracted but entirely befitting of this well-endowed vintage, displaying good integration of fruit, acidity and fine tannins elegant enough to tease the palate of its full potential though, like the 2014, not quite as structured as one would expect of Chambertin. Showing well, but far from ready.

2009 Domaine Pierre Damoy Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru. Dark as well, the Clos de Beze is consistently better than Chambertin, relatively closed at this point of time with only aromas of sweet dark berries but the stage is set for future greatness as broad swathes of delicious fruit impress with fabulous concentration and great acidity, culminating in a rich velvety intensity that manages to be gentle at the same time. Very well-balanced and proportioned, subtly structured. Will be absolutely glorious.

2005 Ch D’Yquem. FICOFI appears to carry endless stocks of this wine, highly consistent at each tasting. Notes of seared caramel and burnt sugar dominate on the nose, infusing the palate with a rich burnished tone of nectarine, white fruit, apricot and sweet incense, bright with lovely intensity and great acidity. Huge potential.

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