2009 1er Cru Rugiens Domaine de Courcel
|Sub-district||Côte de Beaune|
Not as finished or polished as the Grands Epenots, more backward, a bit firmer, more mineral, and a fresher acidity. But its all round, all slick. A huge wine, essence of rock, and yet easy, supple despite the tannic presence. Superb, but not for any time soon. Keep 10 years absolute minimum. L&S (Jan 2011)
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Some bottle age has led to a lush, opulent bouquet with exuberant ripe fruit. It’s full-bodied, sumptuous but compact, and still tannic on the mid-palate. There’s some tension between the ripeness and the tannins, and the long finish, while mouthfilling, is a bit grippy. Organic. Drinking range: 2019 - 2033 Rating: 92 Stephen Brook, Decanter.com (Mar 2019)
(from a 1.07 ha parcel in Rugiens-Hauts). This is also notably ripe with an expressive and very fresh nose of black cherry, floral and stone aromas that complement well the intensely mineral-inflected broad-shouldered and precise flavors. The supporting structure possesses excellent phenolic maturity before culminating in a driving, serious, austere and stunningly long finish. This is simply terrific though note that it will not be an early drinker. 2031+ Rating: 95 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Apr 2012)
This is also notably ripe with an expressive and very fresh nose of black cherry, floral and stone aromas that complement well the intensely mineral-inflected broad-shouldered and precise flavors where the supporting structure possesses excellent phenolic maturity, all wrapped in a driving, serious, austere and stunningly long finish. This is simply terrific though note that it will not be an early drinker. 2026+ Rating: 92-95 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (May 2011)
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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