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FICOFI: Clos Vougeot Grand Cru

January 19, 2019

Some short notes from a FICOFI tasting on 24 May 2018 at the Four Seasons, Singapore, focusing on the largest and most-maligned of all Burgundy grand cru. Occupied by over eighty producers and stretching all the way downslope right to the D974 highway, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru has often been criticised, not without reason, as second division. In most cases, the wine may seem quite inviting on its own but its shortcomings are clear when lined up against the stalwarts of Chambolle-Musigny and Vosne-Romanee, between which it is sandwiched, commonly lacking in that extra dimension and distinction. Nevertheless, some gems can be found at the correct places within such a large plot and FICOFI, on that evening, had put on some convincing examples that might make you change your mind. Just make sure you choose wisely. As always, it’s the producer that matters most, followed by vintage. Chateau de La Tour in particular, with the largest holdings and which I had the privilege of visiting last fall, makes an exceptionally fine Clos Vougeot Grand Cru in its vieille vignes bottling.

2015 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Darker in tone, marked by dark cherries and dark currants with occasional bright spots, exuding lovely aromas with overtones of light incense and smoke, cleanly delineated with good focus on the palate though without the opulence that one may expect from such a good vintage, structured with some spicy edge.

2014 Domaine Faiveley Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Gentle notes of dark roses and camphor on the nose and palate, opening up with lean clean precision amid gravel and minerally tones that impart a certain sternness.

2013 Domaine Alain Hudelot-Noellat Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru. Feminine rosy tones, quite alluring, matched by a fleshy open palate that yielded subtle subdued intensity of fruit with good detail, showing great refinement but short.

2012 Chateau de La Tour Clos Vougeot Grand Cru VV de plus de 100 ans. Special bottling from vines more than a hundred years old. This wine opens with a deep bouquet of blueberries, violets and dark currants, highly effusive, while the open palate proffers excellent concentration of fruit with superb intensity and seamless detail. Very fleshy, rounded and subtly structured. Highly refined and elegant. Outstanding.

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2009 Domaine Faiveley Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Rich in bright red fruits, gently layered with earthy tones that conjured vibrant intensity on the fleshy, satiny smooth palate. Still highly youthful, appearing seemingly slow to evolve, probably a reflection of that remarkable vintage.

2007 Domaine Prieure-Roch Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. There’s a great deal of earthiness here as one may expect from this estate, though the wine is nicely open at this stage with lovely notes of rose petals and red fruits, suitably delicate on a bed of velvety intensity with plenty of concealed power, its wonderful acidity delivering sharp detail and precision, finishing in a glorious blaze of ripe after notes. Superb.

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The Clos Vougeot vines of Meo Camuzet right in front of the Chateau du Clos Vougeot

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