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FICOFI: Masters of Climats 2019

April 24, 2019

FICOFI’s Masters Of Climats is an annual event featuring the latest releases of Domaines Prieuré Roch, Bouchard Père et Fils and Joseph Drouhin that covers an excellent spread of the Côte d’Or. For this year’s event on 02 April 2019 at the Four Seasons, Singapore, where it was good to catch up again with Luc Bouchard, Jean-Paul Dumond (Drouhin) and Yannick Champ (now the sole proprietor of Prieuré Roch following the recent demise of former co-geriant Henry-Frédéric Roch), the focus was on the wines of 2017 although Prieuré Roch preferred to showcase its 2016s. In a way, that actually offered some useful comparison. Whereas the 2016 reds are stunning in every way, the 2017 reds of Bouchard and Drouhin are only half a step behind, confirming the excellence of the vintage although, truth be told, I’ve always felt that the forte for both these domaines lies with their wonderful whites. Here, not much else needs to be said about their 2017s other than to buy up whatever you can. A very big thank you to Luc, Jean-Paul and Yannick for the friendship and for making the long trip to Singapore to share your wines.


2017 Bouchard Père et Fils Volnay Les Caillerets 1er Ancienne Cuvée. Generous aromas of red fruits and red plums. Well-layered with delicious cool ripe fruit, structured with sweet pliant tannins and excellent acidity. Lovely.

2017 Bouchard Père et Fils Beaune Grevés L’Enfant Jesus 1er. This monopole of Bouchard exudes a gentle rosy fragrance with a slight hint of earthiness. Taut and concentrated with red fruits at this stage though somewhat subdued, displaying subtle acidity on a minerally floor. Excellent potential.


2017 Bouchard Père et Fils Le Corton Grand Cru. Warm earthy tones on the nose with very fine ripeness of dark red fruits on a cool quiet palate. Gently proportioned and balanced. Distinctly introverted.

2017 Bouchard Père et Fils Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru. Notes of camphor and rose petals with traces of smoke on the nose, well-layered with taut concentration of raspberries and ripe wild berries with acidity that is well reined in, slightly stern at the finish.

2017 Bouchard Père et Fils Meursault-Genevières 1er. Generous aromas of grassy elements and raw nutmeg that imparted a certain  racy exuberance. Distinctly more minerally on the palate, carrying a deeper vein of clear citrus that oozed traces of sweet, displaying excellent tone and linearity throughout its length. Quite excellent.

2017 Bouchard Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Great clarity of colour and tone, setting the stage with a quiet refined lift of yellow citrus, dense minerals and nutmeg that led to a palate of great ripeness and sophistication, layered with transparent textures that yielded fine detail though for all its feminine elegance, this wine is a shy debutante, yet to flesh out with further refinement and length. Excellent potential.

2017 Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru. Broad expanse of controlled white floral tone with some delectable creaminess strung with a hint of nutmeg. Quite full but delicate, displaying sublime acidity with lovely proportions. Highly refined, finishing with smooth linearity. Doesn’t call attention to itself. Has the trappings of a great grand cru, just waiting to flesh out.

2017 Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Regal reserved quiet bouquet, displaying a lovely luminosity in the glass as it exudes characters of fresh morning dew with a distilled chalkiness and crème on the palate. Full but transparent, very highly refined with some attractive oiliness within its mid-body, almost velvety with poised elegance. Superbly nuanced. Utterly seamless and integral even at such an early stage. Outstanding.


2017 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc 1er. Enticing bouquet of dense tropical fruits and crème, matched by a rich presence of white fruits with understated chalkiness underscored by lovely acidity. Very correct in its tonal balance, as always with Drouhin’s whites, finishing with great flourish and length. Highly rewarding.

2017 Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er. Lovely luminosity. Effusive in overtones of crème and wild flowers amid a delicate chalkiness, Rather plump with a good deal of oiliness in the mid-body, supported by a strong minerally base with traces of mint white pepper, very well integrated with very subtle acidity, carrying great energy and verve. Excellent.

2017 Joseph Drouhin Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru. This wine opens with quite an abundance of refined crème and vanilla amid subdued chalkiness, excellent in concentration of dense white floral tones that yielded great precision and presence, rounded with great integration and sophistication though its fullness never overwhelms. Very, very correct in its balance and proportion, traversing the palate with great linearity all the way to its lengthy finish. Superb.

2017 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Rouge 1er. Distinct tones of wild berries amid characters of forest floor and earth. Rounded with good acidity, layering and fullness. Seamless enough but lacks distinction, somewhat tannic at the finish.

2017 Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 1er. Dark plums, dark roses and currants on the nose. Full palate of mulberries and raspberries, rounded with a good dose of salinity as well as a hint of smoky earthiness, displaying fine acidity and linearity, finishing well but it lacks real distinction.

20190402_192533.jpg2017 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er. Deep ruby. Quiet nose of dark cherries and dark roses, not yielding much. Fleshy and rounded on the palate with a bit of gassy quality, displaying excellent presence of red fruits and dark currants. Very well-nuanced and layered with superb transparency, carrying good energy but still shy on the whole, finishing on a quiet note.

2016 Domaine Prieuré Roch Vosne-Romanee Le Clos Goillotte 1er. Very seldom encountered from a 0.55 ha plot averaging 50 years. This wine proffers a beautiful detailed bouquet of complex tangerines, red fruits, peaches and red cherries, bright and lively but still taut on the palate, layered with a deep core of mandarins, finishing just a tad short.

2016 Domaine Prieuré Roch Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er. What a fabulous bouquet here, literally leaping out from the glass with a great plummy tone of intense red fruits, highly perfumed and detailed. The palate is most appropriately concentrated with a deep vein of dark fruits, taut with superb tension and acidity on  a smoky minerally floor, superbly structured with pliant supple tannins. Outstanding.

2016 Domaine Prieuré Roch Nuits-Saint-Georges Le Clos des Corvées VV. Beautiful nose, highly enticing, deeply layered with a great lift of ripe red fruits and dark roses. Plush, supple and rounded on the palate, layered with transparent textures that reveal superb detail and inner definition, beautifully structured with sublime acidity amid overtones of tobacco snuff that tapered to an exciting finish. This is, by far, the best ever example of this proud monopole of Prieuré Roch, alongside a memorable 1999 tasted at last year’s Masters of Climats. Less than 9 hectolitres per ha.

2017 Domaine Prieuré Roch Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru. Delicious lift of ripe dark cherries and currants. Open, plump and succulent within pliant tannin structures, imbued with fabulous acidity that complement perfectly the rich core of tangerines and glorious ripe fruit topped with overtones of mocha and dark chocolate, carrying tremendous verve and persistence yet never in any danger of overwhelming the perfect balance. This wine has everything in place but it deserves to be given the necessary length of time in bottle. Outstanding.


2005 Champagne Henriot Cuvée Hemera. This wine opens with a deep yeasty pungency that led to a great expanse of chalky minerals and dense citrus on the palate, very lively with great acidity and vigour, not too dry, finishing with an expanse of ferrous minerals. Excellent.

2015 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc 1er. Clean quiet feel with a well-defined profile marked by ferrous minerals, floral tones and dense chalky minerals. Rather full with good acidity and definition, finishing well.

2015 Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er. Highly reticent on the nose, just a hint of saline minerals with some gentle coolness. The medium-bodied palate, though, has a lovely fullness marked by floral overtones, highly even in tone with good intensity and transparency, underscored by a very gentle chalkiness without too much of creaminess.

2012 Bouchard Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Magnum. Closed on the nose, but the palate is awash with a rich complex mouthfeel of white flowers with an abundance of refined subtle chalky minerals. Quite full and beautifully perfumed but not too plump, showing great verve, refinement and detail with overtones of white pepper. Excellent but yet to really settle.

2005 Bouchard Père et Fils Beaune Grevés L’Enfant Jesus 1er. Magnum. This famed monopole of Bouchard exudes a hallowed glow of hot stones and dark ripe cherries with some early complexity. Very slim in profile, imbued with great definition and fine intensity of fruit that conferred delicious dark tones. Significantly darker and bigger than expected for L’Enfant. Excellent.


Yannick looking cool at Duxton Hill, Singapore

2009 Domaine Prieuré Roch Nuits-Saint-Georges Le Clos des Corvées 1er. Dull opaque red with a lovely effusive lift of dark currants, dark cherries and complex minerality on the nose and palate. Rather full and spicy at the sides without the usual earthiness of this commune, distinctly masculine in its bold massive structure yet never overwhelming. Superb.

2007 Domaine Prieuré Roch Nuits-Saint-Georges Le Clos des Corvées 1er. Less open than the preceding 2009, showing a dull dusty red marked by dark red plums with some salinity from its broad generous expanse tinged with some earthiness, structured with great acidity. Very fine.

2010 Château d’Yquem. Dense bouquet of lead petroleum with a rich  cloak of nectarine, sweet incense, apricot and tropical fruit, concentrated with fabulous depth and sublime acidity. Still primal but will be outstanding in time to come.


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