Saturday, 14 November 2015

Irish goes into his 50th year

I am a few blogs behind at the moment but this one has jumped the queue so that I can write it up while things are fresh in my mind. The other reason is that it is Irish Pete's actual birthday today and the lunch that follows was to celebrate this a couple of days early. Irish is one of the select few with a nickname on this blog…I can't quite remember from where or when the name started but there we go, Halifax (aka Nobby) started it.

So an email came round 10 days ago, can you make a relaxed lunch at Kitchen W8? I was delighted to be able to say yes. Come the day we were 8 in total and a lovely line up had fallen into place. As an aside it now often seems easier to organise dinner 3-10 days in advance rather than with lots of notice.

The menu that Kitchen W8 put together, of 4 half main courses, was spot on and is listed below (with a few pics at the bottom). I must have been there four or five times now and will be actively looking for chances to go back, I think the food and service are both very well pitched, "relaxed attention to detail" may be. Sadly living North and working just south east of the city it is not as close as I'd like.

Croquettes of Mangalitza Pork with Smoked Yolk, Glazed Salsify and Black Pudding
Thinly Sliced Smoked Eel with Grilled Mackerel, Golden Beetroots and Sweet Mustard
Fillet of Cornish Brill, Delica Pumpkin, Chestnuts, Trompettes, Turnip Tops and Red Wine
Slow Cooked Short Rib of Beef, Parsley Potato, Heritage Carrots, Savoy Cabbage, Horseradish

And so to the wines:

Salon 2002, ok I am biased but Salon is never a bad way to start any meal, the 2002 is a teenager at best but a perfectly mannered and promising one at that. Brisk with great freshness, Chablis-esque possibly but not sharp, very moreish with a dash of saline, lovely and with such a bright future.   

Then as we sat down we had a pair of whites. Meursault 1er Cru Genevieres 2009 from A.Gambal and Chateau de Fonsalette Blanc 1997 from Rayas. The Meursult was exactly what you want of Meursault for drinking now, rich, opulent but with good warm minerality, really good length and a lovely rounded but not flabby texture, a very slight whiff or reduction essentially just a very good wine. The Fonsalette was a lovely contrast, more complex and academic for sure but not to such a degree that it was anything but delicious to drink. A little lanolin and chestnut, dry toffee and a burning butter as well a a long length and no lack of acidity, really rather splendid especially with the food. The wonderful contrast of the three whites already had me thinking this was a good tasting day.
Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Ducs 2002 from d’Angerville was up next as we sort of served the reds in a staggered, one wine at a time, order which worked well. I know Clos des Ducs pretty well, in the main thanks to this exception tasting. The 2002 was showing very well, saline and tight with focussed red fruit and elegant persistence, serious with the drinking window just opening…really lovely, coiled tight. We now shifted both to the Cote de Nuits for the next 3 reds…some big names.

Clos St Denis Grand Cru 2001 from Ponsot was some how less precise, soupier possibly than the d'Angerville but that worked as a nice contrast. The less defined, slightly degraded nose gave way to a good, more generous palate and a certain lush decadence.

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cr Clos St Jacques 2001 from Rousseau had a nose of sweet fruited density with a dash of bovril just adding a savoury side which just shows this wine to be moving into the second phase of a long life. It was very precise, with fruits that are hard to describe, red fruit on a core of something darker possibly, long and just so dam drinkable. Yet another bottle of Rousseau that just makes you wonder how they do what they do.

Romanee Saint Vivant Grand Cru 2001 from DRC followed, it can be dangerous with DRC and Rousseau for a winner to appear and then the sum of the parts is less than the individual loveliness should make it. On this occasion both were singing. This RSV was superb, focussed and red with primary fruits but in no way one dimensional the nose is so packed with life, an exceptional bottle in every way. I think this will age with grace and balance rather than going through the phases that the Rousseau before it, I would be equally excited to own both. The RSV for its guile and finesse with a core underneath (think Philippe Sella), the Rousseau for its grit and savoury decadence whilst still being charming (Richie McCaw).

And so to the Rhone next. Hermitage 1991 from Chave was an absolute masterclass in how this producer belongs at the top of any table of wine estates. Rich yet weightless, a little armpit and grunt with a sweet fruited then saline palate the sombinationof elegance and almost light texture with much flavour was staggering. This was followed by Barbaresco Rabaja 2000 from Giacosa, 2000 being warm it was a better vintage in Barbaresco than Barolo due to the cooling effect of the river. It had a degraded, flattering nose of sweet bruised nebbiolo fruit that made it easy to enjoy and decadent. Just a lovely wine for right now. 

Then after the diversion from Burgundy to Rhone and Piedmont we were back with a cracking pair of 1999's both of which had been decanted:

Richebourg Grand Cru 1999 from Anne Gros was very good, a rich fruited nose of mulled, almost Christmas, fruits, this had a darker more powerful side to it, a wine that shows massive promise. There is a balance about it that makes it appreciably enjoyable now, brooding is too crude a word but probably as close as I can get.

Musigny VV Grand Cru 1999 from de Vogue is a wine I know rather well and is also a wine that, when I last had it, was still firmly in a sulking phase. This was all about coiled minerality, saline, iron and a wonderful rich yet not heavy texture. I, sadly, had to taste rather than drink these last two (its not often work has to get in the way but sometimes), I can well imagine they both came out more and more in glass and strutted their stuff. From a tasting perspective they were just how I wanted them to be...

A splendid luncheon with a really good crowd of wine lovers, lots of good chats…at one point I overheard a good, if not directly relevant to this, quote about Martinis (or Negronis in my case)…"One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough." from James Thurber…too true.

Happy Birthday Irish Pete...
Croquettes of Mangalitza Pork with Smoked Yolk, Glazed Salsify and Black Pudding

Thinly Sliced Smoked Eel with Grilled Mackerel, Golden Beetroots and Sweet Mustard

Fillet of Cornish Brill, Delica Pumpkin, Chestnuts, Trompettes, Turnip Tops and Red Wine

Friday, 6 November 2015

Clos de Tart Day...

Now I've had some fun Grand Cru Burgundy days in my time but this is right up there. We originally planned to have a dinner for Sylvain Pitiot as he retires from his position as head of Clos de Tart (it's been covered in the press a fair bit). Then, we got to thinking let's welcome Jacques Devauges, who is being passed the baton, at the same time, oh and why not a tasting of all the vintages of the "Pitiot era". So after a bit of organising from the team the day arrived...

The tasting:
All bottles were opened and checked at around midday and I tasted between two and three pm. There was no decanting. All the wines had been delivered direct from the Estate in the week leading up to the tasting. The tasters were given the choice of which order to taste in, I went old to young as that follows the "order of Sylvain" which after all was the overriding theme of the day. With each vintage I have included the Domaine's own notes of the vintage conditions in italics and then my note and score.

Winter was mild without any severe frosts or heavy rains. January was totally dry. Little snow in February. March was also dry, and so was April! The vegetative cycle was recorded as totally problem-free. Hot summer with cool showers and start of grey rot stopped by the North wind beginning of September. The grapes were marked by the dry spells and rigorous sorting was required during the harvest.

Degraded sweetness but precise enough, a dash of tangerine, nice wine with just enough fruit to flesh out the feeling that this is a little skinny. In my own biased way i'd love to have seen what 1996 could have been had it been 20 years later in terms of the site and winemaking (applies to too many 1996s). For all this faint praise it is every bit 17 (all scored out of 20) and for drinking now and over the next 5+ years.

Cold winter with rains to replenish the water table. Spring was quite hot, dry with a very healthy North wind. Flowering occurred with good conditions. July was thundery and August hot with thunder rains when needed. The weather for the harvest was very sunny and there was no need to hurry as it was still possible to gain sugar without losing acidity.
Slightly darker fruit than the 1996, lovely, easy, expressive fruit with a shade darker character. Tiny hint of green and a little spice. This faded later in the day a little with air but as a "pop, pour and drink" this is superb. If you own it, enjoy. I would! 17.5 Drink now.

Winter was mild and not very wet with some frosts. May was warm. At the end of July-beginning of August grapes had to be green-harvested without losing any time. The harvest started on 20th September and the crop was very plentiful.

I love 1999 as a vintage - far more than the other good nearer vintage of 2002 - this is both good and a little atypical for me in not being ready. Deeper, darker, more serious, more richness, good acidity and tannin. 17.5-18. Be patient, look again in 2-5 years. 

A particularly mild winter favoured a rapid start of the vegetative cycle from the first days of March. Berry set took place in excellent conditions with very little shatter or millerandage. July was marked by several disruptions but August was sunny and warm with a low rainfall. As a result, the 2000 vintage was one of the earliest harvests of the century.

I've not tended to have the easy joy from 2000 red Burgundies of which others speak (more a 2001 chap me), but this is different. Deep but fresh, lovely, "1997 with knobs on", deliciously good, lovely wine, open and easy but correct enough not to be too easy. Could drink a lot of this. 18-18.5. Drink now…what more are you waiting for?

January, February and March were mild, with rather frequent rains. Lower temperatures in April. May was cool and relatively dry.  After a wet period at the end of August, véraison was not yet finished. However,  the  skins  were  thick,  promising complexity and quality as well as good resistance to grey rot. September was a happy surprise and harvesting started at the end of September.

A dash of highness, very good depth, palate is taut and a little tighter than the 2000. Well defined and long. Impressive definition, serious. 18-18.5 but for classical reasons compared to 2000. Try again in 18 months or so.

After a dry winter, spring was changeable but fine and warm during the flower period. During summer, dry spells alternated with cold spells and very hot weather. For over four months there was an extended dry spell in Burgundy. The heavy rains at the end of August and the beginning of September did not cause grey rot. Harvest took place in mid-September.

Deep, more masculine, quite serious, deep (can't get away from that works here) and fine with a little red fruit pepping through and some black fruits and spice on top. For the future but very promising. 18.5 +, give it 3-5 years.

Exceptionally dry year. Dry weather and sunshine started in February and lasted until the end of September. All records were broken, weather they had to do with the earliness of the vintage cycle, the dry weather, the extreme temperatures or the hours of sunshine. The harvest started on 19th August in Côte-d’Or, but the best rewards went to those who had the wisdom to wait…

Longest note I wrote. Bold, inky, a nod to the Northern Rhone with the sweetness of the Southern Rhone. Spiced and decadently delicious. Bold intense, glycerol texture with hedonism written all over it. Sweet expressive and luscious in the extreme. You'd need to be in the mood but what a wine. If I had some I'd have a bottle every 18 months, could well be fabulous in old age. score is pointless really but 18-18.5 (if I have to) but you could score it 15 in one mood and 19.95 in another. When to drink it? When you feel like it!

Until July, vintage 2004 was a promising one. Flowering has been a bit disturbed with alternance of sunny and hot periods then chilly ones. August was very gloomy; fortunately the sun came back in September with temperatures higher that 28°C some days.  This estival weather combined to hot and dry windy periods allowed to maintain the vines in a good sanitary state. That was how the vintage has been saved.

Well after 2003 and before 2005 is never going to be a good spot to "lurk". This is not a bad 2004. It is a little stalky and slightly thin but correctly proportioned and not over worked (a massive potential error in 2004). It is a little spiky and acidic. 15, Drink.

All conditions conspire to make 2005 an exceptional vintage. Flowering went well with enough millerandage caused by alternative warm and cold spells. Weather conditions were very favourable from the beginning of July until the end of September and even beyond that. Dry and sunny weather, cool nights; harvesting started early at mid-September. Sorting was easily done.

Superb, all the good bits of 2003 but then with a grace and a salinity, rich cherry notes but balance, classical hedonism. I imagine this has just woken up. Refined acidity and good tannins. Loved it. 19-19.5. Now (just) and over the next 25 years+

Cold winter, rainy spring but a flowering in the best conditions : sunny and relatively hot. July was scorching, August rainy and cold but nice weather came back in September. The Clos de Tart is a great ambassador of this vintage with captivating sensuality.

In some other reports of this tasting you may not see the 2006 this is because the second bottle was corked (the only one in the tasting or dinner). Rich, full, mulled fruit, more beef, less refined but very good. I loved this but it is a bit of a Hermitage of a Burgundy, deep, very savoury, masculine. Vin de Garde. 18.25-18.75. Leave for 5 years and try again.

2007 Despite a gloomy summer season, the earliness of the growth cycle combined with a stringent annual work on the vines (de-budding, thinning and green harvest), the return of sunshine and dry weather from August 20th on, all these factors enabled us, after a drastic sorting out, to vat very ripe and healthy grapes.

Slight whiff of tuna? Odd bottle may be? But actually that clears up, like a good 2004 with more flesh. I like this though it is may be a little under powered. Graceful. 17-17.5. Now onwards.

Known as a ‘late’ vintage further to a cold and humid summer, the vine was delayed and we had to wait until September 13th to see the north wind settle down, bringing a bright and dry weather necessary to a full ripeness of the grapes. This stringent work in the vineyard had enabled us to crop perfectly healthy grapes needing very little sorting out in the winery. Moreover,  the  vine  has  naturally  produced  a  lot  of  grapes ‘millerands’ considered as high quality factors for the wines.

I think this could be the underestimated wine of the tasting. Almost green spice, pepper, delicious but clearly spiced. Lifted and with precise red fruit behind the spice. This is fine tuned, no unnecessary fat but with deliciousness, like a long distance runner. White pepper on the finish. One to follow closely I may be being conservative in score. 18-18.25+. Try again in 2-4 years, if flesh gets added this could be quite something. 

Ideal conditions during the whole growing cycle of the vine. In mid-September, the grapes were fully ripened with beautiful balance between sugar, acidity, tannins and aromas, the perfect sanitary conditions of the bunches being thus maintained until harvest time.

With air this comes alive. It is a refined 2009 but has great sweetness. The weight it lovely, you keep expecting saturation and sun fruit but it never quite comes which is a part of its refined attraction. The tannins are there and are moreish. I anticipate this will gain flesh and it could well be really pretty special. Seems to have been made with a light hand…less is more. 18.25-19+. if you own it have a bottle now and then not for 5 years (my view).

Freezing temperature in winter damaged the latent buds, a rather late flowering season with cool periods alternating with rainy or sunny spells, a predominantly damp summer which did not help the vegetation to catch up. “Vine-grower’s vintage” where hard work, foresight, anticipation, rigour, making the right decisions at the right time, in a word: experience, are the key factors to lead to an outstanding vintage.

So airy and lifted, jumps out of the glass, so unlike the 2009. Very fragrant indeed, there is a strictness about it however once in the mouth, as with 2009 when the flesh comes this could be very special.As with a lot of the 2010…not a waste to try even now. Long term wine ultimately though. 19+ one bottle now but basically 5-10+ then try again.

Weather conditions were whimsical and unpredictable. Sunlight was above average during spring and accelerated the whole process: bud burst, flowering and harvesting occurred surprisingly early, in spite of a relatively rainy summer. Nice dry and warm weather conditions only reappeared by the end of August which encouraged us to postpone the picking until grape maturity was complete.

Some pencil shavings and lots of red fruitedly refined freshness, like a feminine Cornas my note says, herbs and spices but all lightly added. Moreish and I would expect a wide drinking window. 17-17.25, Try now but wait 5years+

Winter and spring frost, a difficult flowering, numerous oïdium and mildew attacks, heavy drought on July 23rd and to finish several hail storms during the 15th of August week. Fortunately, the grapes were not affected by botrytis. The grapes that withstood were beautiful: straggly and spaced bunches, small thick-skinned berries (which explains the absence of botrytis attacks), a very sweet juice, a good level of acidity, brittle seeds 
indicating a good phenolic maturity. The direct consequence: the smallest yield since 1969.

A little reduced, taut, dense and tight. Intense deep and serious. Almost better than the 2010 for pure fruit but then it is silly to compare them. This will be fascinating to follow. Smart, actually smart plus. 18.5-19. Try in 2-5 years but I have feeling this is a keeper.

The Clos de Tart grapes were survivors that escaped every possible hazard. They had to face cold, heavy drought, rain, oïdium pressure, late flowering, bunches turning into tendrils, aborted bunches, tiny berries, late colour changing and slow maturing, they only escaped hail and Botrytis pressure. The exceptional terroir quality and also the strenuous work of our vineyard workers, have permitted us to harvest grapes at optimal maturity after a long waiting.

Fresh, fresh, fresh. Red fruit. So feminine and refined next to the Masculine back-rower that the 2012 may prove to be. More ballet than "dark arts". Vivacious would be a good word. Hard to judge as it is only just in bottle. Lovely definition. 17.75- 18. I imagine this will be approachable early but it'd be a mistake not to take it seriously.

Then having "allowed" both Sylvain and Jacques a brief rest we hosted a small "family and friends" dinner,  in the offices.

The way to start is almost always with Delamotte Blanc de Blancs NV from magnum, drinking as well as ever…just lifted freshness.
Rather lovely line up!
The menu for the evening was:

Olive oil poached salmon with bloodymary, cucumber jelly and Dorset crab with sough dough wafers

Wood pigeon and sour cherry terrine, confit pigeon leg, pumpkin and poppy seed mousse, porcini crumble, tarragon puree, candied pistachio

Butter poached guinea fowl breast, herb crusted roasted leg, beetroot puree, mushroom tatin, gratin potato, tarragon and jus

Cheese and Biscuits

With Clos de Tart not making any white wine what were we going to do? Well, here I had one of my rare good ideas...Nuits-St-Georges Blanc Clos de l'Arlot 1er Cru Monopole Domaine de l'Arlot 2011. The decision based on the fact that this was the first vintage that Jacques did at Domaine de l'Arlot before moving to Clos de Tart. The wine showed superbly on the night, opulent richness but never too much. The "Blanc" in Nuits-St-George 1er Cru only accounts for 6 hectares of the communes 150 hectare total. As this showed it tends to be generous wine…I'm tempted to squirrel away a few bottles.
From now we were focussing on the Clos de Tart and that started with two vintages of La Forge de Tart - 2001 & 1999. Whether "Forge" is made or not is a decision based on blind tasting alone. The basic premise is a simple one - the best sort of premise - that is a wine "is" Clos de Tart then that is where it goes. If it is not quite "Clos" but close than there will be a Forge. As a run of recent events and to give the idea there is no Forge in 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009 and there was one in 2011, 2008, 2006, 2001, 1999. I found the 2001 Forge to be generous and quite rich, restrained decadence if you like, really lovely to just drink and enjoy. 1999 was an all together more serious scenario, a shade reductive, still coiled tight, lovely and very promising but quite serious. 
So with the main course we had what you could call the main wines. Clos de Tart 2002 and 1996 which was obviously an exciting proposition. The 2002 was what Sylvain described as a "Power wine"…big and rich but with lovely classical proportions, clearly one to follow, great potential to make wonderful "old bones". The 1996 lives on its acidity a little more than the structure but I feel strongly that it is a 1996 that has "resolved" and mellowed, some haven't, remaining excessively stern. Sylvain said of 1996, which was made months after he joined, that it was a vintage of "healthy grapes, slow maturity and requiring patience". 

To bring a splendid evening to a finale we had a mystery magnum. The home team knew what it was but Sylvain, playful as ever, wanted it to be a competition so each table elected a spokesman and the guessing (sorry considered thoughts) began. I was slightly dreading my table getting it right as I am only just getting over the fact that "my" table was correct in assessing that a blind Romanee Conti was the 1965. My fears came home to roost when they revealed they felt it was 1988.

So the wine? Well it was delicious which sounds hideously vague, there is a degraded decadence to it and I would not say it is more than in second gear, a mature but not old wine. Elements of soy and spice but an overriding impression of rich yet supple drinking. It was both bold and good of Sylvain and Jacques, who both spoke well through the evening, to choose a vintage that pre-dated the Pitiot Years.

It was just one of those dinner that I'll remember for a long time, Sylvain's modesty, Jacques' energy and nervous anticipation about the future…special times ahead I think...

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Clos Vougeot 2013's - thirty three of them blind...

This tasting was a follow on from 38 Clos Vougeot 2011's a year ago - in this instance it is a thank you to Hannah and Bud for the invite to Fine & Rare HQ. This time around it was the 2013's. You could say a slightly similar vintage in so far as it is a good if not stellar vintage and therefore a nice one in which to examine any terroir, especially a Grand Cru. Possibly the Grand Cru people are often most sceptical about…Nearly 51 hectares, 80+ owners and regularly many wines and Cuvees made. The map of Clos Vougeot - especially those in which the owners are shown - are such fascinating documents. Some producers with one larger area many with plots spread "far and wide", there is something new to discover every time one looks. Anyway the wines, all blind, none decanted. My scores are out of 20.

Bertrand Ambroise
Mid colour, lovely bright nose, full but not too darkly fruited, good purity and a very primary palate. Nice, not grand but with decent grip. 17

Olivier Bernstein
Darker colour, quite rich, full nose, more richness, good masculine fruits, darker but not heavy, a little brine, quite bold but correctly so. Grip, a little oak shows but well measured, long, opulent…showey but not OTT. Very good. 18-18.5

Henri Boillot
Mid colour, fresher, lifted nose, very primary, feminine for this site, good. Tiny note of tangerine, drier and to a degree more serious, moreish, like this. 17.5 (+)

Bouchard Pere & Fils
Colour between the first two wines. Slightly melded fruit, purity a little missing. Good but less precise, palate a little more complete. Quite a savoury finish. decent. 16.5-17 (+?) 

Mid colour, more muted berry nose, quite tight, bigger tannins, almost stern, vin de garde? Will it open up? Good fruit there but hidden (stems?). This is hard to judge - very masculine and needs time or "belt n braces". 16-17.5 (?)  

Chateau de la Tour
Just under mid colour, Complex nose, hard to describe, neither feminine Pinot nor muted. Sweeter palate attack, encouraging, then a good grip comes in, palate may be a little compressed. This has a real Clos Vougeot feel, grit and masculinity. Time will tell the complexity. 17-17.5(+)

Chateau de la Tour VV
Slightly deeper than mid colour, A little tight in the fruit, a dash of raisin, intense, denser  note (later picked?). Very nicely complete nose, not showey, the palate has a shade of Cornas like masculinity. This is nicely uncompromising, a little saline. Very good, bold and masculine, very Clos Vougeot. 18-18.5(+?)

Clos Frantin (Albert Bichot)
Mid colour, open and lighter, more decadent nose, "come and get me". Far less serious that the last, flirty. Almost a nod to the Cote de Beaune. Then a bigger structure. I like the wine but it's just not very Clos Vougeot for me. 16.5(+?)   

Jean-Jacques Confuron
Deep core, nice rim, intense dark berry fruit, forest fruits, stems I imagine. Good wine, a little stern on the palate but there is a freshness to the fruit finish. 17.5-18

De Montille (only wine supplied in magnum)
Mid colour, bright, intense nose, berries, red berries. Very primary palate, even a shade simple. Decent but indistinct. 16-16.5

Joseph Drouhin
Elegant colour (I can't remember what made me write that), a shade confected on the nose. Then drier on the plate, fruit is a little OTT but simple at the same time. I noted "not my style". Not the grit or guts of Clos Vougeot for me but I am happy to be proven wrong. 16(+?)

Mid colour, a tiny hint of pencil led/graphite about the nose, nice but tightly wound. The palate is elegant and very 2013. I'd score this more if I wasn't looking for Clos Vougeot. 16.5-17

Domaine Forey Pere et Fils
Mid colour. Stems and pepper. Grey black pepper, deep yet not heavy nose, then a bright palate, a dancer, elegant. Nose is masculine and palate the opposite. Could work out very well. 17-18

Domaine Jean Grivot
Rich but only just above mid colour. Wood and brine, soy even, savoury, masculine nose. Degraded but with enough precision. The palate has a richer texture, may be a little too extracted? A little toffee, forest like. Different and intriguing style, I'm not sure I am a good enough taster for this, intrigued. 17(++--??)

Anne Gros
Also rich but only just above mid colour. A little whiff of anchovy and tuna, capers, reduced a little? Then post air and vigourous swilling this is red and lovely with freshness. Odd as a whole but with a good palate that makes me think it may just need serious time. 16.5-18

Gros Frere et Soeur
Pale colour. Reduced, tar and almost sulphur, then palate has more sweetness but the style remains, stems? Distinct but some how not quite for me. Good finish. 16.5-17 

Michel Gros
Slightly darker than mid colour. Deeper, masculine, darker fruits, more serious, more sinister, again stems here (?). Bold tannins, a little bacon fat, very Clos Vougeot but slightly lack Grand Cru refinement. Vin de Garde? 17-18(+?)

Jean-Michel Guillon 
Bright mid colour. Very glossy, high toned, oaked (new), very modern, showey, OTT. Not obviously Burgundy or even Pinot. Nice wine (16.5-17) and long finish but as a Clos Vougeot Grand Cru it's a 15.

Deeper colour. Nose of almost cucumber water, a little odd but good, Good attack on the palate, almost too restrained. Good red fruit but a little dry. This is good but not very Vougeot to me, very Pinot and a nice wine. 17 (-)

Louis Jadot
One of the darkest colours. Less expressive than the colour suggests. A shade muted, palate  is between the two. Bold but just not showing much. 16.5

Francois Lamarche
Mid colour. Quite expressive, just short of OTT. The palate is a little tight, taut, a little dry but very proper. Feels lie just 5% too much "make up". Good though. 17.5-18 (+)

Louis Latour
Fair colour, nose of "bootlaces" (the sweets). Sweet and delicate but somehow unnatural. The palate is more natural, more classical, almost skinny, decent length but just not very Vougeot at all. 15-16 (?)

Fuller colour, quite bold, rich and big, a little gloss but all there. Big and not afraid to be so. Then a little too much oak shows, a little showey but I think people would like this. Clos Vougeot with polish. If the oak integrates then my score could be conservative. 17-17.5

Quite deep, mid to bold colour. Masculine yet hard to describe nose, some good salinity. Palate is what I expect of Clos Vougeot, big but with balance, quite rich but good. 18-18.5

Deep colour. Grunty slightly cumbersome nose, not uber-pure. The palate is quite glossy with a lightly odd acidity, bold and quite modern, time will tell, I could well imagine this coming together but it needs to. 16-17.5(?)

Muted but then with a layer of perfume, good acidity, then a little sweet fruit gloss, a little edgy on the acidity later and a little awkward, needs to integrate. 16-16.5(+?)

Jacques Prieur
Deeper colour. Pot pouri and genuinely floral notes, palate again has some of the aromatics initially but then has very good grip and lovely structure, lots of depth and richness under the lift. The nose does need to go "into" the wine but if and when it does the structure is true to site. 17-18.25(+?) 

Henri Rebourseau
More saturated, Bold and almost reduced, a little stewed even, hard made, big. Stems? If this all mellows in balance then there could be something interesting. Masculine, may be too much so but then may be not. 16-18

Deepish, one of the best most complete noses of all. No edges, quiet power. Rich palate but not too sweet. Uncompromising as a whole but stop shorts of being hard. Very good. 18.5

Daniel Rion
Lighter, tarmac and a little stinky, goodish palate, all in all a little too much manure and farmyardyness. But then there was a good length and sweetness at the end. Odd, good bottle? 15.5(?)

Laurent Roumier
Mid colour, Grunty and grunt with a dash of reduction but none of this a bad thing, lovely bright palate, good wine, balanced. 17.5

Chateau de Santenay
Clear edge but good middle, colour more graded than most. Airy nose, not heavy or forced, bright palate, more of a 2013 than a Clos Vougoet but nicely done for all that. 17

Reduced nose, markedly has similarity to Coche-Dury whites, odd. Then palate is quite polished but good, this is quite sexy, may be not the grunt and kick of Clos Vougeot but a good wine. 17.5-18

Conclusion: I think my scoring has got a little harsher as I actually remember thinking that this was a better showing in both consistency of quality and the relative gentleness of most wine making. I didn't find many "wow" moments but nor did I find many wines that I would say I felt were not good. A really interesting tasting…where did I put that map again...