|Côte de Nuits
On the nose this is less expressive, less shouty than the Nuits just tasted. A subtle attractive fruit is quite shy for now. The feel is really good though, nicely weighted and an immense drive of minerality. Then some dark-tinged raspberry notes. Black raspberries is what comes to mind. Small Hawthorne berries and a blue flowery petal. Really very pretty by the finish. Pumped up with fun. Quite a journey - I really look forward to watching this evolve over time. L&S (Oct 2017)
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The 2016 Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er Cru has an open-knit bouquet with red berry fruit, briary and hints of tomato vine. Nicely defined if just missing the verve of some of its peers. It evolves an unwanted, malodorous Bovril scent with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with chewy tannin. I find this over-extracted and missing definition and freshness on the toffee-tinged and sadly oxidised finish. Disappointing. Tasted blind at the 2016 Burgfest tasting. Rating: 81 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Oct 2019)
Full ruby-red. Knockout nose combines tangy black raspberry, black cherry and licorice aromas lifted by high notes of flowers and blood orange. A dense, sappy, compellingly smooth wine with grand cru texture and class. Incredibly silky, broad flavors of dark fruits, violet, coffee and cocoa powder convey a weightless quality. Confuron's large parcel of vines (2.13 hectares) lies very close to Domaine Leroy's Romanée-Saint-Vivant. Finishes with utterly refined, late-arriving tannins and extraordinary building length that leaves the taste buds vibrating. Confuron compared this wine to the legendary '47 and '49 vintages. Rating: 94-97 Stephen Tanzer, www.vinousmedia.com (Feb 2018)
(the domaine is the largest holder in Suchots with an incredible 2.16 ha). Moderate wood sets off an intensely floral and highly-spiced nose that exhibits aromas of dark cherry, cassis, plum and sandalwood. The blatantly powerful, concentrated and once again very serious large-scaled flavors possess volume on the gorgeously long, balanced and focused finish that is both austere and very clearly built-to-age. In a word, excellent. Drinking range: 2031 - Rating: 92-94 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Jan 2018)
Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot
Vignerons since the seventeenth century, the Confuron family has always selected and propagated vines to ensure that their plant material produces the highest quality, and they even have a clone of Pinot named after them - 'Pinot Confuron'.
The domaine has several Grands Cru vineyards as well as two hectares of the great Vosne Romanée Premier Cru 'Les Suchots'. There are around 12 hectares in all. The vines have never seen chemical weedkillers, and are ploughed and managed organically.
The Confurons have always used whole-bunch fermentation, picking very late, which really is a necessity if the stems are to be properly ripe and not give green flavours to the wine. A bit like the Thévenets with their whites in the Mâconnais, they pick so much later that they can seem to have different vintages to everyone else. Yves thinks that 2007 was their great vintage of the first decade of this millennium, and he'd probably be the only grower in the Côte de Nuits who would say that. Yves also makes the wines at Domaine de Courcelin Pommard, in the same way.
Yves, opinionated and laconical as ever, dismisses those who make pale wines by 'infusion' and says that failing to get the whole bunches properly ripe - and using all the bunch - is failing to get everything the terroir can offer. The wines he makes are dark, richly concentrated, and often hard to taste in their development, but experience shows that they age brilliantly. Defending his decision to pick late, he once said 'you miss the differentiation between vintages' if you don't - making 'cut-and-paste' wines which are the same every year... if you pay for a seat at the opera, you don't want to hear a variety singer'.
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