2017 1er Cru Grand Clos des Épenots Domaine de Courcel


Scented and with a growing gentle, plum flesh perfume on the nose. Then you feel the very fine-lined texture, great detail. There is a darkness here, a deep brood to the fruit - some baked plum, some morello cherry and such gorgeously fine tannins. Real flow and polish, not shiny - but sleek and so persistent the fruit ripeness is bang on. Rich and pure and powerfully driven with perfect balance of underpinning minerality and super fine, powdery tannins. Darkly sexy wine. Drinking range: 2024 - 2031L&S (Nov 2018)

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from an enormous 4.92 ha parcel with vines ranging from 50 to 65 years of age). A complex if not especially fresh nose speaks of red cherry, plum liqueur dark currant, earth and a whisper of old leather. As one would reasonably expect given the domaine’s consistently low yields there is fine volume and concentration to the strikingly rich big-bodied flavors that deliver solid length and depth on the distinctly firm and warm finish. To describe this as an atypical 2017 would be an understatement as it’s ripe to the point of being particular. Drinking range: 2029 - Rating: 90 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Apr 2020)

(from an enormous 4.92 ha parcel with vines ranging from 50 to 65 years of age). A more complex nose speaks of red cherry, plum liqueur dark currant, earth and a whisper of old leather. As one would reasonably expect there is both better volume and concentration to the strikingly rich big-bodied flavors that deliver very fine length and depth on the distinctly firm and overtly tannic finish. To describe this as an atypical 2017 would be an understatement as I can count on one hand the number of wines from this vintage where I have suggested an initial drinking window of 25 years! Drinking range: 2042 - Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Apr 2019)

Dark crimson. Light nose and some freshness. Grainy and appetising – much more so than the Fremeirs and Croix Noires. Lively and satisfying even if there is a little too much oak. Drinking range: 2023 - 2033 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Jan 2019)

The Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Épenots is firm and tannic, as is always the case with these wines out of barrel, and yet it exudes class and breeding. This is a long-lived wine and it will improve incrementally for well into its second decade. Rating: 18- Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Jan 2019)

This is very succulent on the strike. It is a rich and full wine with density and layering. It has plenty of volume and is complex. Full and powerful on the finish. There is finesse here too. Lovely long and vigorous finish. Rating: 19 Sarah Marsh MW, The Burgundy Briefing (Dec 2018)

Derrière une matière dense, puissante et charnue, se cache un pommard bâti pour la garde. Encore dans sa gangue, il nous montre uniquement sa face virile aujourd’hui. Mais le temps fera son œuvre. (Spécial Millésime 2017) Rating: 17-18 La Revue du Vin de France (Jun 2018)

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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