2005 1er Cru Rugiens Domaine de Courcel

Grapes Pinot Noir
Colour Red
Origin France, Burgundy
District Côte d'Or
Sub-district Côte de Beaune
Village Pommard
Classification 1er Cru
Vineyard Rugiens

The hard subsoil of the upper part of Rugiens shows in the crunchy backbone of this massively structured wine. Firmly mineral to the point of aggression - it will get there, but not one to taste too early. L&S (Dec 2006)

*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.

In contrast to the reductive funk of several of the prior wines, this sports an elegant, cool and very pure red pinot fruit nose nuanced with that crushed stone/mineral note that some terroirs seem to consistently exude that continues onto the rich, dense and remarkably powerful flavors that display no rusticity at all. The structural elements are clearly ripe and I really like the intensity here. Overall, this is finer than the Epenots but not more complex and between them, it's a qualitative choice though each has its individual expression. 2015+ Rating: 92-94 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com(May 2007)

Good full red. Pungent redcurrant and raspberry aromas sharpened by minerality. Wonderfully concentrated but less open and exotic today than the Epenots, but this, too, is seamless and sweet. There's a firm minerally, spicy character here that reminded me of the young 2006. This fills the mouth every bit as much as the Epenots does but with less weight. Finishes firmly tannic but not hard. These wines, both weighing in at 14.3% alcohol, present two very different styles, but both should give great pleasure over the next two decades. Confuron thinks that they will be accessible at virtually every stage of their development in bottle. Rating: 93(+?) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar(Mar 2007)

CS Mid weight. Slightly fizzy but with lovely rich fruit. Very nice indeed. Race and solidity and an exciting energetic package for the future. 2016-24 Rating: 17.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2007)

Domaine de Courcel

One of the great domaines of Pommard, with a 400 year history in the same family. The domaine produces a small amount of Bourgogne Chardonnay, a completely over-performing Bourgogne Rouge, a village Pommard (Vaumuriens, 1.44 ha), but the biggest part of the domaine consists of four great Premier Cru expressions of the terroir of Pommard, Fremiers (0.79 ha), Croix Noires (0.58 ha), Grand Clos des Epenots (4.89 ha) and Rugiens (1.07 ha). These represent a very different style to the Clos des Épeneaux of Comte Armand, for example. Yves Confuron, the régisseur, describes the difference between the two top wines by saying that the Grand Clos is 'terreux' while the Rugiens is 'aérien'.

The aim is to limit yields to around 25hl/ha, to attain optimum ripeness. The vines are ploughed, and pruned carefully to suit each one, then de-budded in spring and green-harvested in August to keep the fruit load balanced. Following Yves' usual practice the harvest is late and the vatting is long - usually around a month, with a cold maceration leading into a cool fermentation, and a long post-fermentation soak under the protection of the carbon dioxide given off by the fermentation. The wines are developed in barrel over 21 to 23 months, with a third of the barrels being replaced each year. After racking they are bottled without fining or filtration.

The domaine produces wines with astonishing depth and density that still retain the freshness, just like Yves' own wines at Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot. They are classic vins de garde and patience is advised - and will be amply rewarded.

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