2014 1er Cru Rugiens 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 13.5%
Vineyard Rugiens

Healthy dark red. Very pure, complex aromas of redcurrant, tobacco, smoke, earth, roast coffee and chocolate. Suaver and more pliant in the mid-palate than the Grand Clos des Epenots, and showing a more pleasing early balance. The serious but fully ripe, fine-grained tannins arrive late, allowing the wine's red fruit and soil flavors to expand and linger. This intensely flavored wine transcends its appellation. Drinking range: 2021 - 2032 Rating: 93 Stephen Tanzer, www.vinousmedia.com (Mar 2017)

*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.

(from a 1.07 ha parcel in Rugiens-Hauts). Once again the nose is intensely floral where hints of spice and warm earth add considerable refinement to the ultra-pure red and dark berry fruit aromas. There is both a lovely mouth feel and detail to the focused and overtly powerful middle weight flavors that culminate in a firm and moderately austere finish that displays an almost pungent minerality. This very serious effort is decidedly old school in style and note well that it’s going to require a very long time before it completely resolves its considerable tannic spine. 2031+ Rating: 91-93 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Apr 2016)

Now this is very successful on the nose. Lots of exciting fruit and ambition with the fruit standing up to the weight of extraction. Pretty tannic and even bitter on the end though. Very little made. Drinking range: 2020 - 2032 Rating: 16+ Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Jan 2016)

The de Courcel vines are in the higher part of Rugiens, which often makes more chiselled wines. The 100% whole bunches, a constant feature of Yves Confuron’s winemaking, are very marked here, adding a sappy note to the dense tannins, but give this muscular wine time to develop in bottle, because it ages brilliantly. 2022-30 Drinking range: 2022 - 2030 Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (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.

Available In Bond:
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