CLOS DE LA ROCHE, GRAND CRU – DOMAINE DUJAC & DOMAINE PONSOT 2011

CLOS DE LA ROCHE (CDLR), Grand Cru – a prestigious Grand Cru not only in Morey Saint Denis (MSD), but in whole of Burgundy.

At 16.9ha, It is also THE largest Grand Cru in MSD. However, unlike Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru that is not consistent in quality due to too many sub-par producers, CDLR is blessed with many great producers hence the very high quality bottles are easily found.

TOP TIER PRODUCERS

  • DOMAINE DUJAC
  • DOMAINE HUBERT LIGNIER
  • DOMAINE PONSOT
  • DOMAINE LEROY

NOT TOP BUT WORTH A TRY

  • LOUIS REMY (more refined expression in recent vintages)
  • POUSSE d’OR
  • LUCIEN LE MOINE
  • and so on……

SOIL

CDLR Shares broadly similar soils with its neighbours ClOS SAINT DENIS (CSD), GRAND CRU (I love the subtleness, silkiness, feminine and finesse here), Gevrey Aux Combottes 1er Cru & Mazoyeres Chambertin, Grand Cru. It has relatively rich brown limestone soils admixed with abundant limestone scree material which imparts breadth, flesh and ultimately finesse to the wines. (quote: Remington Norman, Grand Cru)

CHARACTER 

This is a masculine version compared to the feminine Clos Saint Denis. Always with the wildness. The power and structured that reminded me of Chambertin Grand Cru. Under talented hands, the sheer complexity, breadth and depth will easily rivalling any great Burgundy out there.

Dujac & Ponsot Clos de la Roche

Tasting Note

It is always fascinating to be able to serve both Dujac & Ponsot CDLR side by side, a plus for the same vintage. Do note that these two wines were served blind and both owners didn’t know they were from the same vintage, same plot.

They are both very different in style. Dujac using whole cluster and new oak (90-100% for their Grand Crus) while Ponsot practices fully-destemmed with no new oak.

2011 DOMAINE PONSOT CLOS DE LA ROCHE VV, GRAND CRU

My experience with Ponsot has been hit or miss. His wines (top to bottom) are mostly backward, unexpressive even for a more approachable vintage like 2001, therefore I have hardly enjoy his wines despite this is a Tier-1 domaine for many and always highly rated. However, the 2008 CDLR is one of the best I have ever had. Young by Ponsot standard. But man, it was so seductive and full of finesse and lushness, absolutely delicious!

The 2011 today is almost the same as 2008. We were consider lucky when a young Ponsot, especially CDLR is opening for business. What a lovely color, so vibrant n inviting. Candy, cola, cherry, floral. This is transparent with lovely acidity and excellent juiciness n purity on the palate. Great harmony. Great length. Just a tad too fruits forward today and will definitely develops more nuances in the bottle. No green meanie!

2011 DOMAINE DUJAC CLOS DE LA ROCHE, GRAND CRU

If you read my previous post for Dujac, you know this is the Domaine that I’m adored. I have never had a bad Dujac before and to me, if you wanted to experience a good Burgundy, Dujac will get you hooked.

Haha, the telltale Dujac aromatic profile that is so seductive w the ripe fruits and coffee, earth w hint of stem. Excellent transparency, sweetness, umami, silky fine tannin, so juicy and captivating. Very long w touch of spices and coffee that’s lingering. Dujac is my top favorite Domaine and this deliver the expectation. Blinded and got this right, 2011 CDLR. It was splitting hair to choose the winner between Ponsot and Dujac. Both excellent w Dujac offer better complexity but Ponsot will catch up.

These two bottles are why people love about Burgundy. Same vineyard, Same Vintage, different producers with different expression, yet both are GREAT!

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Let’s do it again – DOMAINE DUJAC (info) & IT’s 2014 MOREY SAINT DENIS ROUGE

It is really not difficult to write, to post. However, to do it consistently for years, that’s different….

Having absent for a couple of years, drinking lesser and more thematic specific, I thought it might be a good idea to do it once again. Hopefully I wont give up after this one, LOL.

Domaine Dujac, one of my absolute favourites and to me, a 1st tier Domaine. (DRC & LEROY are, Super 0 – Zero tier XD). I love the style here: true to the terroir with amazing vibrancy and purity. Excellent depth and mid palate sap and at the same time weightless. Whole Bunches and new oak are expertly judged and well-integrated. I’m fortunate to drink many of his wines, from Village – Grand Crus, different vintages. (Will follow-up with all the notes that I have).

Domaine Dujac Signage
Domaine Dujac (photo credited to awcfinewine)

Domaine Dujac has an impressive range of vineyards, all at the prime sites:

37% Grand Crus (wow!) 34% 1er Cru, 28%  Village out of 15.22ha. <- Envious…

Village:

  • Chambolle Musigny
  • Morey Saint Denis Blanc & Rouge

Premier Cru:

  • Chambolle Musigny Les Gruenchers
  • GevreyChambertin Aux Combottes
  • Morey Saint Denis Rouge
  • Morey Saint Denis Monts Luisants (Blanc)
  • Vosne Romanee Les Beaux Monts
  • Vosne Romanee Aux Malconsorts

Grand Cru:

  • Bonnes Mares
  • Chambertin
  • Charmes Chambertin
  • Clos de la Roche
  • Clos Saint Denis
  • Echezeaux
  • Romanee Saint Vivant

2014 Domaine Dujac Morey Saint Denis Rouge

Tasting Note:

2014 DOMAINE DUJAC MOREY SAINT DENIS ROUGE

Glass: Burgundy – Lucaris Tokyo Temptation & Schott-Zwiesel the First

p/s: Glasses made a huge different, will try to test with Zalto / Riedel / Gabriel with the same wine.

Day 1:

On Lucaris: Light perfume from whole bunches and red fruits. Good depth, strength and length on the palate but not much flavours.

On Zwiesel: More complex aromas of meatiness, red and blue fruits, light spice and stem. It has better detail and juicy acidity on the palate. A stream of spring water tailing at the very good finish. Excellent for its level and still very affordable.

Day 2:

On Zwiesel: Perfect stage. This has all the factors that I love about Burgundy: Purity, decent complexity, seductive fruits and juicy acidity. Touch of mocha at the back and loaded with mouth-watering minerality.

Day 3: Still drinking very well but light VA showing.

A super village that punches above its level. No doubt will continue to improve with bottle aged. The 2001 is matured and still full of life.

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2007 Bibi Graetz Testamatta –

2007 Bibi Graetz Testamatta Toscana IGT (Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT)

2007 Bibi Graetz Testamatta Toscana IGT (Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT)

“…one of Tuscany’s true cult wines. Testamatta. It’s a pure Sangiovese that has the race and breed of a grand cru Burgundy.
Think of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti’s La Tache”
James Suckling, April 2010

“I continue to be impressed with the beautiful wines of Bibi Graetz.
These are higly singular, expressive wines
that merit serious consideration”
The Wine Advocate, August 2009.

  • ProdProduction zone: Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT, Fiesole
  • Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
  • Vineyards: older than 35 years
  • Soil: clay and galestro
  • Vinification: Fermentation takes place in open top barriques of 225 liters with 6-8 manual punch-downs per day.
  • Aging: The wine is aged in french barriques for 18 months followed by 6 months in the bottle.
  • Glass: Riedel, Bordeaux

Testamatta is one of the most engaging wines from Italy that I have had so far. Redigaffi, Poggio di Sotto are some of my favorite wines, just to let you have an idea where am I placing the Testamatta. It is certainly the top in my collection list.

I have tasted (blind) the 2006 Testamatta in one of the Sangiovese theme session. I’m immediately attracted and impressed by this wine (needless to say the beautiful label, too) and no doubt wine of the day for many of us. I’ve became a huge fan of Bibi Graetz since then and I can’t resist not to open this 2007 when I saw this in my cellar. Young for sure, but by no mean undrinkable as it is perfectly balance and showing great sense of harmony as well as finesse. Don’t hesitate to pop one if you have a few sitting inside the cellar.

Tasting Note:

  • Alcohol :: 14%
  • Sweet red raspberry, red cherry, rose petal as well as earth and truffle. The acidity core is lively and lifted. Medium – full bodied. I really like the liveliness and focus of this. There is this sweet cherry, caramel, roasted coffee bean, truffle and spices. Fine grained tannin with excellent poised and finesse. Perfectly balance and harmonize. Sweet long finished with truffle, juicy sweet fruits. Hard not to like a gorgeous wine like this. 93. 
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2009 Pontet Canet – The Perfect one?

2009 Château Pontet-Canet (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

2009 Château Pontet-Canet (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

  • Wine: 2009 Pontet Canet
  • Region: France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
  • Viticulture: 100% bio-dynamic farming
  • Grape Varietals: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
  • Glass: Riedel Bordeaux, Sommelier

Tasting Note:

  • Alcohol :: 14%
  • Opened for 60mins, decanted for another 60mins. Highly expressive on the nose and the sweet currant fruits, violet and pencil shaving was stunningly seductive. Deep and focus, with good lift and freshness that perfectly concealed the power underneath. I didn’t really expect the palate will be as expressive. More often than not, when the nose of a young wine shows incredibly well, the palate suggested otherwise. I was right, the palate is holding back, structure up front with fruits buried underneath. The balance of the wine is incredible though, despite of the solid structure, it is well polished and refine. The tannin giving huge grip along with the incredible concentration and power but not aggressive. This is a very good wine and needed a 10-15yrs bottle aging. 93-95+
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1996 Chateau Margaux

1996 Chateau Margaux, (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux)

1996 is a great year in Bordeaux, to be precise, a great year for the left bank. The quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon is superlative. However, this also means the wines are meant for long haul as tannic, backward and muscular are often the case when there is high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend.

Some of the lesser Chateaus (ie, Cru-Bourgeois) are drinking beautifully now and prices remain sensible. However, the bigger name will be able to benefit from much longer aging (>10yrs). Chateau Margaux is definitely one of them.

Chateau Margaux, the 1st growth in Margaux appellation is famous of her sheer elegance and femininity. The final blend of the 1996 Chateau Margaux is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. However, even with such high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, she has no problem to display breathtaking sense of finesse and silky smooth, sweet tannin that prevented her from being harsh nor intrusive in the mouth and brings harmony and elegance.

Tasting Note:

1996 Château Margaux (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux)

  • Alcohol :: 12.5%
    Deep ruby core with garnet hue. Oh my, is this a perfume? The aromas is heavenly, absolutely fantastic and seductive. Highly complex, perfume and intense aromas of cedar, cigar box, tobacco, graphite intermixed perfectly with blackberry, creme de cassis, mint and violet. With more air, pain grille note emerged. Such lushness, freshness on this wonderfully balance and delineated Margaux with haunting inner perfume of floral and sweet dark fruits that filled up the mouth immediately after the first sip. Everything is in place, harmony! Excellent drive, incredible intensity yet so weightless, endless layer of succulent dark fruits, savory meatiness, cigar box, roasted herbs and secondary nuanced of earthiness all integrated into the firm but polished structure, along with the medium level of silkiest tannin for the lush, elegant mouth feel that finished off with superb length that lingering with juicy mineral, sweet dark fruits aftertaste. Long life ahead with great upside potential. Incredible! 95-97
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2009 Domaine Rossignol Trapet Chambertin Grand Cru

The vineyards of Domaine Rossignol Trapet used to be treated with chemical and fertilizers in 70s & 80s which affected the health of the soil then the vines.

In order to restore the health of the vineyards, Nicolas & David Trapethave banned the usage of chemical / fertilizers immediately when they taking over the operation of the Domaine and started with organic and Bio-Dynamic viticulture in mid-90s. Today, their wines are all organic certified.

2009 Domaine Rossignol Trapet Chambertin (France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru)

Wines from this producer are charming, pure and natural, but never showy. There are always this sense of restraint exist in the wines which gives the wine stunning focus with razor sharp precision. Oh, did I mention their wines also possess one of the best QPR in Burgundy (perhaps in everywhere)? Especially the Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru – Clos Prieur, Petit Chapelle, Combottes, Corbeaux and the single vineyard Village – Etelois. Try them and you will know what I’m talking about.

Great Vintage (20009) + Prime vineyard (Chambertin) and Biodynamic viticulture / Dynamic producer = Wine that is full of charm, energy, class and will continues to improve in the bottle for another decade or two effortlessly. My friend told me this wine shows even better after 5days! (double decanted, 1/5 left in the bottle).

Tasting Note:

  • Alcohol :: 13.5%
    Vibrant ruby red. Still pretty tight after double decanted for 2hrs, no surprised. However, the nose was highly seductive and gorgeous nevertheless, I could only imagine how great will this be when its mature. Mineral driven with attractive aromas of sweet raspberry and red cherry, with time, darker berry note appeared. Wild meatiness and sense of coldness for the restraint, underlying spiciness, highly perfume with violet and rose. Dense but weightless, already showed impeccable balance and harmony at this young age. Tons of delicious mid palate sappiness all wrapped in an absolutely firm but well polished acidic backbone. Tannin is massive but almost completely buffer by the concentration of fruits and dry extract that formed the excellent mid palate depth and lend incredible grip and tension to the superb long finished infused with spices and mineral, sweet and juicy. I love this wine. 94-95+
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2009 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos de La Bussière


We don’t make Pinot Noir, we make wines from terroir which expresses itself through Pinot Noir

2009 Domaine Georges Roumier MSD Clos de la Bussiere 1er Cru

Chambolle Musigny probably produces the most seductive, elegant wines in Burgundy and Domaine Georges Roumier is no doubt the most reliable / best producer here. Currently run by the talented, dynamic Christopher Roumier, there is no systematic and predetermined formula here as every growing season / vineyards are different. Christopher manages his vineyard as close to organic as possible and he is looking closely on bio-dynamic viticulture too.

The grapes are harvested by hand with strict selection of fruits to ensure only the best grapes to go into the wines. In order to have the purest expression of the fruits, the usage of new oak barrels is discreet and accordingly to the level of the vineyards:

  •  Village (100% destemmed, 20% new oak barrels)
  • 1er Crus (70% destemmed, 25%-35% new oak barrels)
  • Grand Crus except the most prestigious Musigny (50% destemmed, 35%-45% new oak barrels)
  • Musigny (0% destemmed, 35-45% new oak barrels)

His wines from Chambolle Musigny are highly sought-after and always demand a premium. However, he also produces excellent wine from Morey St-Denis, Clos de la Bussiere 1er Cru, a monopole of the Domaine which often offers a taste of the wines from Domaine Georges Roumier without breaking the bank (compared to the Chambolle Musigny Les Cras 1er Cru & Les Amoureuses 1er Cru).

Clos de la Bussiere is often a firmer wine with more power and also a touch of rustic edge which made the difference to his wines from Chambolle Musigny. However, the warmth from the 2009 vintage lends the wine a lush texture with stunning concentration of sweet fruits which rounded and polished up the rustic edge that usually seen from the less warm vintages. A sensual wine.

Tasting Note:

2009 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos de La Bussière (France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis 1er Cru)

  • Alcohol :: 13%
    Decanted for 2.5hrs. Medium ruby red with purplish hue. This is the best Bussiere I have had to date. Highly aromatic, perhaps a little bit more on the wild side, meatiness, black cherry liquor, blackcurrant, iron, star anise, chalky mineral and hint of stem, very ripe but with good freshness and focus. Full and expansive, while this has very ripe dark fruits, the acidity is ripe and lively which give it a good definition. Creamy, rounded texture accompany by very firm but ripe tannin and structured which resulted in a kinda robust, power character but still retain good sense of finesse that leads to the intensely long finish that is quite spicy. It was so giving in the middle of lunch, but slowly tighten up toward the end of the lunch as the tannin and oak become slightly more obvious but also provide even better grip. Give it another 5-7yrs and will certainly be sensational. Yet another terrific wine from Roumier. 92-93+
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