Back                                                                                                                                  October 2010        

              Tasting Through some Red Burgundies

Burgundian wine broker Michael Stephens presented some red Burgundies at a recent tasting from Robert Arnoux (now Arnoux-Lachaux), Bruno Clavelier, Humbert Freres, and Christophe Newman. Here are my notes and scores, based on 1 oz samples.


87   2008  Bourgogne  Pinot Fin   $20 (pre-arrival)
Medium raspberry color. Cherry and black currant fruit, rich for the appellation, with wet autumn leaf complexity. Excellent acidity and VG fruit, but thin in the mid-palate. Flavor and finish are more tart and lean than the bouquet. Very solid for the appellation and price.

88   2008   Chambolle-Musigny   $45 (pre-arrival)
Richer and more elegant than the Bourgogne, but otherwise very similar in its overall character (fruit, complexity, etc.). Not as much of a step up as one might hope.

92+  2008  Vosne-Romanee  Chaumes   $75 (pre-arrival)

Deeper and more purple in color than the two above. Excellent acidity and tannins support pure, old vines fruit. A silky, light heavyweight in the mouth with elegant, persistent forestal complexity. The flavor is somewhat tight at present, but should develop beautifully over the next 5-8 years. An outstanding cellar selection.

Bruno Clavelier

89+   2006  Vosne-Romanee  Brulees   $85

Does not possess the fruit concentration or depth of color as the previous Vosne, but this is two years older. It shows a musky, smoky, forestal complexity that is its most impressive characteristic. A well-balanced, solid middleweight. Shows some prominent, integrated cedar in the flavor and could use more length in the finish. Should improve in the next 3-5 years, but will it be enough for the price.

Humbert Freres

88   2007  Gevrey-Chambertin   Poissenot   $60

Very good fruit and complexity, but thin for the appellation, particularly in the mid-palate. Blame it on that '07 vintage.

91   2007  Charmes Chambertin    $90

Deep purple raspberry color. Excellent old vines complexity in the bouquet and finish with cherry Pinot fruit, but could be more concentrated. The flavor is its strongest point being rich and delicious. A solid middleweight that is drinking very well right now. Don't sit on this, drink up in the next few years. Very enjoyable, but pricey.

88+   2008  Gevrey-Chambertin  Vielles Vignes   $40

Deep purple cherry with a rich, smoky bouquet. Shows very good fruit and acidity with integrated spicy oak, but could have a stronger mid-palate. The finish is also a little short. Somewhat closed at present, it should improve in the next few years.

91+   2008  Gevrey-Chambertin   Poissenot   $60

Very deep purple-raspberry color. Rich, smoky, concentrated cherry fruit with autumn leaves. Solid middleweight plus that needs time to open. Not quite as complex as the Vosne above, but still an excellent cellar selection.

Christophe Newman

92   2005  Beaune   Greves    $60 

Deep raspberry with a little brown onion skin around the rim. The bouquet shows rich, ripe Beaune fruit intertwined with complex truffles, wet leaves and cedar. Well put together with excellent tannins, acidity and fruit. The flavor shows a touch of buttery oak integrated into the fruit. The finish lingers nicely, but not quite as expressive as the outstanding bouquet. This is excellent right now with food and should remain this good for a few years at least.

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