2010 1er Cru Grand Clos des Épenots Domaine de Courcel
|Sub-district||Côte de Beaune|
|Vineyard||Grand Clos des Épenots|
Spicy, liquorice, bright red and fresh. A firm tonic dryness gives a solid monumental feel; big blocks of stone. Fruit amplifies on finish - long and satisfying. L&S (Nov 2011)
*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.
Medium-deep color. Lovely, modern-styled, food-friendly nose offers notes of black cherry, cinnamon, herbs, green pepper and spice. Rich, powerful, dense and young on the palate. The fruit is sweet and the noticeable tannins are soft. Wine #11 has pronounced acidity, which moves things along at a good clip. It's perfectly balanced, turning dry toward the end of an extra-long finish. Needs time to settle down, but already terrific. Rating: 93+ Howard Kaplan, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (Sep 2014)
The nose is rich and fleshy packed with ripe fruit. There is good depth of fruit on the palate the sweetness of the strawberry and mulberry fill out the mid palate and give a supple richness at the back. 2015-22 Rating: 92 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk (Dec 2013)
(from an enormous 4.8 ha parcel with vines ranging from 50 to 65 years of age). A beautifully layered nose of purple fruit, violets and soil tones leads to exceptionally rich, velvety and sappy medium weight plus flavors that brim with dry extract that does a fine job of buffering the very firm but not hard tannic spine on the dusty and mocha-infused finish. This is a big but reasonably refined and well-balanced Epenots that is built for the long haul. 2025+ Rating: 91-94 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Apr 2012)
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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