POMMARD

2019 1er Cru Grand Clos des Épenots 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 Grand Clos des Épenots

Rather magnificent. We tried a couple of barrels and one was noticeably drier-textured. Tannins certainly build in the mid-palate. A cool frame and so densely concentrated. Élevage and time required, but it's all here. Drinking range: 2030 - 2045 L&S (Oct 2020)


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(from an enormous 4.92 ha parcel with vines ranging from 50 to 65 years of age). A markedly ripe yet nicely fresh nose reflects liqueur-like aromas of plum, spice and lovely floral nuances that are trimmed in a hint of mocha. The exceptionally rich, opulent and super-suave medium-bodied flavors possess first-rate concentration before culminating in an extremely firm but not really austere finale. Even so, plenty of patience will be necessary as this will age for decades. Drinking range: 2039 - Rating: 91-94 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Apr 2021)

Cask sample. Mid crimson. Darker and more savoury on the nose than the Vaumuriens and Fremiers, darker-fruited but lifted by sweetness of oak spice. Just a touch earthy (in a good way). Deep, chewy, compact tannins but not aggressive. Well hidden for the moment, with an attractive bite of freshness on the finish. Drinking range: 2029 - 2040 Rating: 16 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Jan 2021)

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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