POMMARD

1999 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
Vineyard Clos des Épeneaux

Slightly deeper colour. Excellent intensity of red fruits. some forest floor and floral notes and a hint of dark chocolate with some dark fruits notes. Just emerging from its shell on the nose. Very intense and up toned. Immediately silky onto the palate. Very elegant, fine gained tannins. This is very refined. Great depth. It had plenty of energy. A straight palate, very well defined. It has a lovely clarity and purity. Very fresh. Straight and long and it has a pure almost mineral finish. Very long finish. This is still very young. You should decant it, or wait for some years yet. Not at its peak. Another 5 years or more. Rating: 19.5 Sarah Marsh MW, The Burgundy Briefing (Nov 2017)

Currently out of stock in our warehouse.


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FROM MAGNUM.(from yields of <45 hl/ha where the fruit was macerated for almost 5 weeks; the '99 has a higher percentage of 30+ year old vines than usual as the higher yields allowed more of the younger vine fruit to be allocated to the Pommard and Pommard "1er"). A genuinely brilliant nose that is at once extravagant and highly expressive reflects intensely earthy and spicy aromas that remain completely primary before giving way to opulently rich, round and notably sweet medium full-bodied flavors that deliver flat out incredible length on the mocha, velvet and mouth coating finish. Despite the higher than normal yields, this is really quite concentrated, seamless and exquisitely harmonious. In sum, this is a Clos des Epeneaux that should age for years to come, particularly in magnum format. Note that this isn't quite completely ready but it's getting close, especially if given 30 to 60 minutes of aeration first. Tasted twice in this format with consistent notes. Drinking range: 2014 - Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com(Jun 2012)

‘Nous avons extraordinairement aimé... De robe sombre aux arômes d’épices (en particulier le paprika) des grands millésimes, ce vin offre un bouche dense, avec une finale somptueuse, le tout emballé dans un boisé de première classe.’ La Revue du Vin de FranceLa Revue du Vin de France(Sep 2011)

Fine colour. Aristocratic nose. Very splendid Pinot. Full, rich, meaty and very concentrated on the palate. Not too solid. Very lovely fruit and grip. Very long and complex. Full body. Ripe, sensual and opulent. This is very fine. Clive Coates The Vine 194Clive Coates MW(Mar 2005)

Domaine Comte Armand

A domaine totalling nine hectares, of which the most important part is a magnificent five hectare monopole of the Pommard Premier Cru Clos des Epeneaux, which was put together by Nicolas Marey in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (along with the DRC Romanée Saint Vivant 'Marey-Monge'). These vineyards were all sold, except for the Clos (now been enclosed by a wall), which came to Jean-François Armand as a dowry when he married Nicolas' daughter in 1826. The Volnay vineyards were added in 1994, followed by parcels in Auxey Duresses.

The current Comte Armand is a lawyer living in Paris, but very supportive of the régisseurs who have looked after this domaine for the thirty 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 for us 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 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. Under Benjamin the wines of the Clos 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. Paul Zinetti, who had worked with Ben for four years, took over in 2014.

The vineyard is cultivated organically (ECOCERT certified) and biodynamically. The grapes are entirely de-stemmed, but left intact, for a five to eight-day cold maceration before the fermentation, which lasts five to ten days, and then the wine remains in the fermenters for between three and fifteen days, depending on the vintage. In most years, the total time with skin contact will be around four weeks, which is longer than most. The wines will then be aged in barrel for between eighteen and twenty-four months, with new wood limited to 30% for the wine from the old vines of the Clos, down to none at all for the village wines.

Paul has nailed his colours to the mast by saying he wants to make a less tannic wine in the Clos, and one which is more about aromatic length. In this he is continuing the route that Ben was following, but perhaps taking it even further.

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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