2007 1er Cru Grand Clos des 脡penots Domaine de Courcel

Grapes Pinot Noir
Colour Red
Origin France, Burgundy
District C么te d'Or
Sub-district C么te de Beaune
Village Pommard
Classification 1er Cru
ABV 13%
Vineyard Grand Clos des 脡penots

Rich nose, damask rose and deep red fruit, opulent palate, muscular even. Fleshy with fine tannins. Pure and long, just a little tight on the finish at present. L&S (Dec 2008)

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Wood smoke, burley tobacco, and leather on the nose of Courcel's 2007 Pommard Grand Clos des Epenots proceed to accent ripe, lightly-cooked cherry and blackberry on the palate. Like the corresponding 2008, this shows its tannins less flatteringly and more obviously than its stable mates, but there is ample glycerin to help smooth things, with leather and tobacco dominating in a long if only moderately sweetly-fruited finish. I would speculate on cellaring this for 4-6 years, but check it out again periodically for a sense of how the tannins are evolving. Rating: 89 David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate (Feb 2012)

This is also notably ripe and quite densely fruited with a mix of underbrush, warm earth, game and red currant aromas that introduce dense, serious, robust, indeed even burly flavors that are so primary that it鈥檚 clear that this needs more time in barrel before it鈥檚 bottled. Confuron explained that the malo was late with this wine and it shows. 2017+ Rating: 90-92 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (May 2009)

Good bright, dark red. Sexy, deep aromas of cherry, raspberry, spices, iron, mocha and earth. Sweet, dense and very ripe, but with excellent energy to the flavors of redcurrant, spices and tobacco. This really coats the mouth with flavor. Finishes very long and sweet, with tannins reaching the front teeth. Very complete wine with superb potential. The crop here was reduced 30% by hail in June, noted Confuron, with ultimate production just under 20 hectoliters per hectare. Rating: 91-93 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (Mar 2009)

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 脡peneaux of Comte Armand, for example. Yves Confuron, the r茅gisseur, describes the difference between the two top wines by saying that the Grand Clos is 'terreux' while the Rugiens is 'a茅rien'.

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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