Writing something, or rather showing someone else what you’ve written, is a bit like taking your clothes off in front of someone. It can be frightening; it can be rewarding. Showing your tasting notes is the same, though in High Definition.
A brief intro for my notes: they are for me, they are an aide-memoire. They are not meant to be prosaic, nor are they meant to form a sales pitch. They’re just my notes. So, to kick off, a selection of the wines from burgundy estate Domaine d’Eugenie, tasted in St James’s Street in the company of director Frederic Engerer, a man who impresses me more that most.
D’Eugenie is the old Engel estate, bought by Francois Pinault in 2006. Monsieur Pinault also owns what I believe to be the finest estate in Bordeaux – Ch. Latour – and Frederic Engerer runs both properties. This is worthy of a small article just on its own, and maybe that article will follow, but, briefly, these are fantastic vineyards run by a hugely dedicated, capable and passionate team. They are just getting to know the vineyards, the vines, etc, and as they progress these wines are going to get better. This is something, as the wines are already very impressive. I believe that this is an estate to watch.
Light and pure, very “07” nose. Delicate. A little hot in the mouth but the wine maybe a little warm. Easy. Nice. Drinkable. Simple but not without class.
2007 Vosne-Romanee 1er cru, Les Brulees
Immediately a step up. There is some density here. Smoky bacon, the hallmark of the vineyard (Brulees – burnt) as opposed to overuse of oak. Very good indeed.
Tight. Not giving much away. Very serious though too tightly packed to see into it right now.
2007 Grands Echezeaux
Much, much more open and lovely peppery nose (which I confused for whole stem fermentation). And quite, quite lovely. Laid back, silky, and very, very classy. Excellent.
2007 Clos Vougeot (Eugenie’s plot of C de V is an absolute peach)
In terms of class & openness this is somewhere between the two previous wines. More weight, more stuffing. Length. Serious. Very, very good is not as seductive as the Grands Echezeaux today.
More here than the 07. More fruit, more structure. Angular though in a rather correct way. Good.
2008 Vosne-Romanee, Les Brulees
Toned down on the oak. Still that smoky, meaty edge. Tightly knit, and will reward time. All here though. The 07 more approachable today but this the more serious of the two.
A step up. The “cleanest” of his vineyards in 2008. And this very serious in the mouth. Lots of structure but the fruit is up to it. Remarkably “geometrically” correct in terms of its structure. Really quite excellent and will reward time.
2008 Grands Echezeaux
Again seems a bit more open. Lovely noses. Half of the fruit destemmed, half whole bunch, macerated “like lasagna” in layers. Very, very good and hiding its game a little at this stage. But the birdcage (think Maserati) structure of the Echezeaux wins the day.
2008 Clos Vougeot
Lots here but it’s hiding. A lovely balance of fruit and structure. Very complete. Excellent. This or the Echezeaux for me.
We then had a couple of glasses of 2002 Guy Larmandier to freshen the palate, then drank the wines with dinner. They all opened up, stretched their legs, and started to show even better. The 2008 Echezeaux and 2008 Clos Vougeot were the wines of the evening.
So. Clothes off. I hope (as I have heard) that ladies tend to go for the slightly portly look and the small todger.