2014 1er Cru Fremiers Domaine de Courcel
|Côte de Beaune
A more elegant if no more expressive nose grudgingly offers up notes of plum, cassis, spice, earth and once again plenty of floral elements and in particular violets. The sleek, intense and well-delineated flavors possess both excellent volume and mid-palate concentration, all wrapped in an impressively rich, powerful and moderately austere finale that displays outstanding persistence. Once again, this will require ample patience. 2026+ Rating: 90-93 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Apr 2016)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.
Rating: 92 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Jan 2016)
Intense and concentrated but the oak seems a little dominant. Severe tannins on the end – very rare in 2014! Too oaky? Drinking range: 2020 - 2027 Rating: 16 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Jan 2016)
(malo finished; the production here was a microscopic six hectoliters per hectare, according to winemaker Yves Confuron): Good deep red. Musky, slightly rustic aromas of black raspberry, leather and meat; a bit reduced today. Then richer and sweeter than the Croix Noires, and fat with fruit. Nicely concentrated wine with an attractive balance of sweet and saline elements. The dusty tannins reach the teeth but do not come across as harsh or dry. Rating: 89-91 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (Jan 2016)
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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