2011 1er Cru Fremiers 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
ABV 13%
Vineyard Fremiers

There's a density to this. Taut, mineral, saline. Limestone on the tongue. Lovely but needs time. From 2018. L&S (Jan 2013)

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There are a lot of powerful flavours on the nose rich black fruits lots of black cherry and bramble. The tannins are firm the mid palate tight and although the finish is quite closed there is lots of potential fruit at the back. 2015-22 Rating: 91 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(Dec 2013)

This is also agreeably fresh but even more refined with intense floral notes on the red pinot, plum and moderately earthy aromas. There is a suave and lush mouth feel to the medium weight flavors that possess fine mid-palate concentration as well as plenty of underlying tension to the powerful but balanced and highly persistent finish. Despite the solid size, weight and punch, this is a Pommard of relative finesse. 2023+ Rating: 90-93 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com(Apr 2013)

Rating: 17++ Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com(Jan 2013)

Lively fern-like (green undergrowth) notes on the nose and then a hint of walnut-skin astringency on the finish. A bit short of charm. But it may all come right in the end. 2017-2025 Rating: 16+ Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2013)

Fleshy. Crunchy red fruit, forest--floor aromas and very potent tannins. This will require a long maturation. Lovely flavour range already, though. 2018-2033 Rating: 17 Richard Hemming MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2013)

“A transition between Pommard and Volnay. An aristocratic wine,’ says Yves. Deep red fruit. Pure, straight and elegant. Lovely silky tannins. Very intense. Neatly edged and such energy. This is lovely, sweet and darkly spicy with black pepper on the finish. There is a tension. Really delightful Pommard. From 2016 Rating: 18 Sarah Marsh MW, The Burgundy Briefing(Nov 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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