2011 1er Cru Domaine Comte Armand
|Sub-district||Côte de Beaune|
The Auxey 'village' is higher and faces more to the west. This 1er Cru is on the lower slopes and faces south and south-east. Unlike the village it had been racked a month before I tasted. Closed after racking but one could still already see more seriousness and just 'class'. Structure and depth. Year after year this is a bargain for those prepared to wait a little. L&S (Mar 2017)
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Lively and transparent with lots of acidity. Sinewy. Dry finish. Energy but not much charm here. 2016-2025 Rating: 16 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com
Rating: 17+ Matthew Jukes
Bright medium red. Darker and more subdued on the nose than the village offering, showing pure aromas of black raspberry, black cherry and licorice. Rich and dense but also juicy and tight, with firm acidity and underlying minerality keeping the wine's lively fruit under wraps today. Finishes serious and long, with chewy but ripe tannins and good lift Rating: 88-91 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(a blend of two 1ers, the older vines Les Bréterins and Bas de Duresses – the vines run from 35 to 75 years of age). This possesses a nose that is compositionally similar to that of the straight Auxey but offers both a bit more aromatic depth and complexity. There is good richness to the lightly mineral-inflected flavors that possess good detail and fine length on the less obviously rustic finish as the tannins are more fine-grained. 2019+ Rating: 88-91 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com
Domaine Comte Armand
The Comte Armand is a lawyer living in Paris, but very supportive of the régisseurs who have looked after this domaine for the twenty-four 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 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 has 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. Benjamin is also a master technician if required to be. The wines of the Clos have 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. Now (2014) the reins are handed to Paul Zinetti, who has worked here with Ben for four years before taking over.
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