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…