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Ric visits Domaine Anne Gros

November 21, 2018

Mention of the Gros family of Burgundy is likely to elicit admiration for the wines as well as certain confusion as to who’s who in this famous extended family of vignerons. Madame Anne Gros is the daughter of Francois Gros whose father, in turn, was Louis Gros (1893-1951). The latter fathered Francois, Jean and Gustave. Louis ran Domaine Louis Gros, which ceased functioning in 1963 when it was split into three different domaines: Domaine Francois Gros, Domaine Jean Gros and Domaine Gros Frere et Soeur. 20181026_165624.jpgAnne Gros took over from her father in 1988 and subsequently changed the name of Domaine Francois Gros into Domaine Anne Gros in 1995. Based in Vosne-Romanee, Domaine Anne Gros manages 6.5 hectares of vines. The grapes are totally de-stemmed, elevage is limited to 12 months at most, and only up to 30% of new oak is used. When Anne’s daughter Julie took us through a tasting on the afternoon of 26 October 2018, I found the wines, particularly the grand crus, to be structured with excellent weight and concentration, yet elegant with fine acidity and tannins that are gracefully gentle, distinct feminine traits that appear to be instinctively imbued in wines made by women. Anne has also been partnering with Jean-Paul Tollot (of Domaine Tollot-Beaut in Burgundy and father of her three children) to make wines from the Minervois appellation, located within the Languedoc-Rousillon region in the south of France. Made from 35 hectares of largely century-old vines located at Cazalles at altitudes similar to that of Vosne-Romanee, these wines are varying blends of grenache and syrah. Sporting bright orange labels, these wines are big, bold, dense and weighty yet imbued with fine balance, elegance and sophistication. They certainly live up to the Burgundian spirit of Anne and Jean-Paul. Incidentally, Anne also runs a lovely guesthouse called La Colombiere in Vosne-Romanee, which was where we stayed for almost two weeks during this visit. Gazing up at the slopes of La Tache, Aux Malconsorts, Romanee-Conti and La Grande Rue every morning and evening certainly helps you to live longer and better.

2017 Domaine Anne Gros Hautes Cotes-de-Nuits Blanc. Lovely hue. Delicate nose of lime and yellow citrus. Soft, rounded and minerally, displaying fine acidity and layering. Lovely.

2017 Domaine Anne Gros Hautes Cotes-de-Nuits Rouge. Pale. Distant red fruits tinged with lemon and tangerines. Soft and fleshy with good acidity though rather straightforward.

2017 Domaine Anne Gros Bourgogne Rouge. Opague purple. Ripe raspberries on the nose. Medium-bodied. More acidic on the palate with the fruit slightly recessed, tapering to an austere minerally finish. Needs time.

2017 Domaine Anne Gros Chambolle-Musigny. Opague purple. Lovely nose of delicious ripe raspberries and cool currants. Medium-bodied, showing good weight, fine acidity and intensity, finishing well. Uncomplicated.

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Julie, daughter of Anne Gros

2017 Domaine Anne Gros Vosne-Romanee. Dark currants and dark cherries dominate on both the nose and palate. Quite fleshy, carrying good weight, concentration and fine intensity. Well structured and balanced, finshing on a mild ferrous note that imparted some sternness.

2017 Domaine Anne Gros Echezeaux Grand Cru. Lovely bloom of dark roses, dark cherries and deep currants. Well layered with excellent presence and acidity, structured with soft sweet gentle tannins that conferred subtle intensity and graceful elegance, tapering to a gentle finish. Pleasant and delicious, distinctly feminine. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Anne Gros Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Darker in colour and tone, recalling dark cherries and currants. Rather weighty and structured, displaying excellent concentration of dark fruits but its dominant acidity is unsettling, turining more minerally at the finish. Needs time to sort itself out.

2017 Domaine Anne Gros Richebourg Grand Cru. Effusive bouquet, generous tone of ripe red cherries, dark fruits and currants. Highly perfumed. Medium-full, amply structured with firm intensity, layered with a deep minerally streak. Superb.

2016 Domaine Anne Gros Jean-Paul Tollot Minervois Les Fontanilles. Heavy in colour and tone with an intense bouquet of dark fruits and black currants. Rather full and tight, drawing fine tension and acidity across the palate, structured with pliant supple finely-grained tannins, finishing with fine gentle intensity. Very well crafted with great sophistication. Comprises 40% grenache with other equal portions of syrah, carignan and cinsault.

2015 Domaine Anne Gros Jean-Paul Tollot Minervois Les Fontanilles. Dark big and bold, richly layered with opulent dark fruits that imparted a firm mouth-puckering sensation though its tannins are rounded with understated intensity. Actually approachable.

2014 Domaine Anne Gros Jean-Paul Tollot Cotes du Brian La 50/50. Largely syrah with a dash of grenache and carignan. Impenetrably dark, exuding a bold earthy pungency and thyme amidst an ample backdrop of black currants. Rounded and full, but still remarkably elegant with understated gentle intensity in spite of its density. Not jammy at all. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Anne Gros Jean-Paul Tollot Minervois La Ciaude. This wine exudes broad swathes of dark fruit and currants, highly delicious and fullish, rounded with very fine balance and open intensity, structured with sweet dark tannins. An equal blend of syrah, grenache and carignan from very old vines. Excellent.

2010 Domaine Anne Gros Jean-Paul Tollot Minervois La Ciaude. Impenetrable deep dark red, producing a bold hedonistic medicinal glow that delivered a massive palate of ripe dark plums, black fruits and dark chocolate, tightly coiled with huge tension. Not angular but  not at all settled. Needs plenty of time.

2016 Domaine Anne Gros Jean-Paul Tollot Minervois Les Carretals. From very old vines. Impenetrably dark, exuding dense dark fruits and earthy tones with a distinct savoury tone on a full palate. Very expertly crafted with sophisticated fine tannins, side-stepping any hint of heaviness.

2017 Anne Gros La Frivole Muscat de Saint-Jean de Minervois. Deep effusive bouquet of sweet nail varnish, enamel and fresh green apples, very well-controlled in its sweetness. Sufficiently open and rounded with an enticing tone of lychees, almost luscious though not cloying, tapering to a gentle linear finish. Doesn’t betray its 15.5% abv. Lots of fun in a drop. Bottled in 375 ml with screwcap.

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The view when you step out of Anne Gros’ guesthouse

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