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2016 Benoit Ente Puligny-Mont Nexe Flore, 2012 Domaine Bertagna Clos Saint-Denis, 2008 Domaine Ponsot Clos Saint-Denis, 2002 Domaine Dujac Clos Saint-Denis… 1996 Roche de Bellene Clos de la Roche, 1996 & 2011 A Rousseau Clos de la Roche, 2007 & 2001 Ponsot Clos de la Roche

April 23, 2021

The usual suspects, with a couple of guests, gathered again at Imperial Treasure Great World on 13 April 2021 to explore the virtues of the largest and smallest Grand Cru appellations of Morey-Saint-Denis: Clos de la Roche (13.41 ha) and Clos Saint-Denis (5.99 ha), respectively. Situated northmost, the former is reputed to show more structure and masculine intensity compared with the latter just a stone’s throw away southwards, supposedly more feminine and elegant. However, our blinded line-up that evening proved otherwise. It all boils down to the producer: Ponsot is truly faithful to terroir, Rousseau likewise but packing more power within the proverbial velvet glove while Dujac is simply Dujac, totally in a class of its own. Many thanks as always, fellas, for your generosity and friendship.

Champagne Jacques Selosse Brut Rosé NV, courtesy of Vic. Deep golden lustre. Grapefruit and lemon peel on the nose, leading to a lovely open fullness layered with orangey tones amid a very refined body of soft bubbles tinged with medicinal powder. Finished with good persistence and élan, glowing with rounded intensity and increasing complexity over time.

2017 Domaine Bachelet-Monnot Puligny-Montrachet, courtesy of LF. Pale. White fruits and clear citrus dominate with a delicate teasing quality on the nose and palate, layered with subtle minerally depth. Developed a lovely glowing presence with fine definition and understated intensity.

20210413_192241.jpg2016 Benoit Ente Puligny-Montrachet Nexe Flore, courtesy of Kieron. A true one-off rarity here, for a tank of Puligny village was mistakenly mixed with the estate’s Truffiére 1er in a proportion of 57%-43%, resulting in a wine that cannot be classified higher than village though it clearly is higher in quality than that, hence nexe flore (meaning next floor). Quite resolutely shut, though the medium-full palate displays a creamy opulence with a tinge of green fruit, slightly reductive. Opened up with greater clarity, developing a glacial quality that shone with fine transparency and finesse.

2014 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseigneres, courtesy of LF. This outstanding village opens with the classic Ramonet signature of cool clean icing and white tones with a bit of chalky shine. Set slightly backwards at first, eventually fleshing out with lovely sophistication, casting the palate in glorious shades of white with great precision.

1997 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Rouge, courtesy of Sir Bob. Deeper darker core with a vermillion rim, exuding aromas of wild roses and dark cherries with a medium-full supple presence. Just a tad forward but very well-integrated with seamless acidity, gently layered with fruit that is still quite fresh and vibrant with a minty trace. At its peak.

1996 Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Bob. Early evolved crimson, proffering gentle red fruits and raspberries that exude a dash of sweetness on a slightly dusty floor. Highly supple with tannins that are subtly intense, seamlessly matched with understated acidity. So feminine that we all thought it to be a Clos Saint-Denis. Beautiful.

2008 Domaine Ponsot Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru Cuvée Tres Vieilles Vignes, courtesy of Sir Bob. Some evolution is evident, producing a rather unusual warm bouquet that reminded me of curry powder (!?) though the palate is very beautifully nuanced with dominant red fruits and cherries that confer a bright open suppleness, very gently layered with understated depth and intensity. Very lovely.

2011 Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic. Beautiful clear ruby. Fullish tone of bright red cherries that exert youthful rasping intensity. Highly aromatic. Superbly integrated with sleek acidity, flaunting a controlled suave exuberance that only Rousseau can pull off so very well. Outstanding.

2012 Domaine Bertagna Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru. Deep dark ruby, exuding a beautifully layered bouquet of complex red fruits. Surprisingly bold and forward for a Clos Saint-Denis, perhaps a little too exuberant in its deep darkish velvety intensity within a youthful sweet tannin structure. Distinctly masculine. Not ready.

2007 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes, courtesy of Kieron. Some evolution in colour, proffering an attractive bouquet of savoury sweet meat. Rather high-toned in its open delicate intensity of rose petals and red fruits, oozing with sweetish undertones. Highly elegant.

1996 Maison Roche de Bellene Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, courtesy of Hiok. Opaque evolved tone, though the bouquet is superb with its exuberant lift of mature red fruits and currants that extended well onto the open palate with supple intensity, yielding fine inner detail. Very well crafted. At its best.

2001 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, courtesy of KG. Similarly evolved and opaque. Thoroughly outstanding in its elegant complexity on both the nose and open palate, coming across with a slight rusticity, subtly structured with glorious red fruits that still retain youthful character. Outstanding.

2002 Domaine Dujac Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru, courtesy of LF. Supremely open with a most energetic lift of complex red fruits, cherries and tangerines at peak maturity. Seamlessly whole, stoking the medium-full palate with rasping intensity. Beautifully structured and balanced. Very classy. Superb!

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