2007 1er Cru Clos des Épeneaux Domaine Comte Armand

Grapes Pinot Noir
Colour Red
Origin France, Burgundy
District Côte d'Or
Sub-district Côte de Beaune
Village Pommard
Classification 1er Cru
ABV 13%
Vineyard Clos des Épeneaux

Benjamin explains how they intend to change the cuvées here, dividing them by the geology of the Clos rather than by vine age as before. The cuvée of upper part, from fifty-year-old vines, is firm, juicy, tense and linear, with floral aromatics and energetic power. Although it is long and nervy, it lacks a bit of bottom. The cuvée from the bottom part comprises 30 and 70 year-old vines. Immediately sweeter and riper, with sucrosity and roundness. Although expansive it seems less aromatically 'of its vintage' than the upper part, even Barolo-like in its hints of dark-cherry and bitter thick-skinned fruit. Together the two lots make a wine which is less huge than usual, but with an uncommon combination of depth and energy. Tasted after bottling, smooth and suave, more concentrated than the vintage in general (because the early hail in the Clos had reduced the yield to a tiny 23hl/ha). Really good, silky fine tannins, very expressive and lots of energy.

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...a blend approximating to the final assemblage. This was enticingly layered and profound with notes of graphite, black fruit and a spicy perfume. Grippy but succulent tannin open onto a lively, mineral, yet ripe, mid palate. Structured and serious, but with great pace and a very juicy core of refined fruit. Very fine. From 2014/15.

Drink 2014-22 Nervy and exciting – spicy – on the nose. Lots of extract and depth, though very embryonic. Still extremely youthful. Very powerful (for 2007) fruit that - almost - masks the tannin (unlike in the lesser appellations from this producer). Round and friendly though without the intensity of the 2005.

Superb, complete Pommard with a pliant texture but plenty of structure for a positive evolution in bottle. This nuanced and beautifully balanced wine is 12.8% alcohol, a full degree lower than the 2005.
91 - 94/100

This is perhaps a bit more elegant than usual, it’s certainly more elegant than either the 2005 or the 2006 versions and reminds me a bit of the 2001 aromatically. An expressive nose of red berry fruit, earth and a hint of spice merges into cool, precise and vibrant medium full-bodied flavors that are supported by firm but ripe tannins on the linear, long and palate coating finish. This is really a lovely ’07 with good muscle and solid mid-palate concentration. 2015+
91 - 93/100

Pommard is an appellation known for making robust, some might say rustic-style red wines in the Côte de Beaune. But this wine is far from the stereotype. Its glorious, luscious elegance and rounded depth of flavor is atypical but loyal to the vintage, which was gloriously fruity. Made by the Comte Armand, the secret is the vineyard Clos des Epeneaux, a small, 5.23-hectare site that produces wines of real grace.


The Comte Armand is a lawyer living in Paris, but very supportive of the régisseurs who have looked after this domaine for the twenty-four years or so that L&S have been buying here. The 1980 vintage, made by one of the many Rossignols of Volnay who was in charge at the time, was a great introduction to the possibilities of the great Clos des Epeneaux vineyard. Then came the era of Pascal Marchand, a young Quebecois who came to do a harvest with Domaine Bruno Clair and just never left. He began a period of radical restructuring and the introduction of organic and then biodynamic farming, while making very dark, dense and long-lived wines. Benjamin Leroux, hugely respected amongst growers who approach things from an organic or biodynamic point of view, then took over, and has refined this approach and changed the way the parcels of vines are divided up for harvesting, paying less attention to just the age of the vines, and more to the underlying soil types. Claude Bourguignon was employed to provide a full geological survey of the Clos as the basis for this. Benjamin is also a master technician if required to be. The wines of the Clos have gained in finesse and precision, while still having the depth and richness expected of a great Pommard. Both Pascal and Benjamin were keen to expand beyond the confines of the Clos, and the Domaine also has vines in Volnay, and, a particular enthusiasm of both Pascal and Benjamin, in Auxey Duresses, where they are convinced of the great potential of some of this village's undervalued and neglected terroirs. Now (2014) the reins are handed to Paul Zinetti, who has worked here with Ben for four years before taking over.

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