Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Domaine Jean-Jacques CONFURON -- 2013s and some 2012s

Domaine Jean-Jacques CONFURON (Prémeaux-Prissey)
2013s from Barrel, Some 2012s from Bottle
Over the years, Alain Meunier has gradually been refining the style of the wines, reducing the amount of oak and extraction, all to the better in my opinion.

Alain said that harvesting began early in October, and because of the unenven flowering, he had to deal with three generations of grapes. As a result quite a bit of triage was necessary. Fortunately, though, the small grapes and thick skins provided resistance to rot. As almost all producers noted, Alain said that sugars were not high, but the phenolic maturity was there. Overall, he chaptalized 1 to 1.5º alcohol, depending on the cuvée. Overall, yields were low – 25 hl/ha (vs. 39 hl/ha for 2012). Malolactic fermentations were relatively late, with the last ones finishing in July. For the premiers and grands crus, about 25% of whole clusters were included  in the wines; for the other wines, the grapes were entirely destemmed.
Alain thinks the wines resemble those of 2008 and 1991, not bad vintages to have as comparisons.

These wines were tasted on October 27.

2013 Bourgogne  “cuvée Jeunesse”
This wine finished is malolactic in May. The vines are 35 years-old, and the wine is raised 20% in new wood. The wine is quite dark in its fruit, but tender with some mustard spice and plenty of finesse. (85-88)

2013 Côte de Nuits-Villages   La Montagne
This wine is from 7 year-old vines and it is raised one-third in new wood. It is quite mineral and dark in its fruit with more breadth than the Bourgogne. It shows finesse, especially for a Côte de Nuits-Villages, and has round tannins. (85-88)

2013 Côte de Nuits-Villages   Les Vignottes
This vineyard is directly across the route nationale from the Clos de la Maréchale. Vines here are 40 years old, and one-third new oak was used here, too. There was some botrytis, so yields here were just 16 hl/ha. The wine is more ample and concentrated than the Montagne, with roundness and finesse, dark fruits, and minerality. (87-90)

2013 Chambolle-Musigny
This wine comes from three separate parcels: 0.21 ha in Derrière le Four (just south of the village) from 42 year-old vines; 0.31 ha in Les Pats de Chats (just east of/below Derrière le Four and across from the cemetery) from 50 year-old vines; and 0.63 ha in Les Condemènes (southern portion of Chambolle, just below the Charmes vineyard) from 50 year-old vines. The wine shows finesse, depth, and plenty of substance. It is a touch bitter for the moment, but that should age out. (88-91)

2013 Nuits-Saint-Georges    Les Fleurières
The Fleurières vineyard is just below the Pruliers vineyard in Nuits-Saint-Georges. Vines here average about 35 years of age. This was one wine where yields were fairly generous in 2013: 39 hl/ha. About 30% new wood on this wine. Some acidity and mustard spice are evident here, along with good depth, dark fruit, and the finesse of the vintage. (88-92)

2013 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
This wine comes from 0.12 ha of vines in Châtelots that are about 60 years old and 0.23 ha of vines in Feusselottes that are about 40 years old. About 60% new oak on this wine. Some wood and some tannins are evident, but there is excellent material underneath that will come through with time. (88-92)

2013 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru – Les Beaux Monts
This wine comes from 0.30 ha planted in 1945. In contrast to most of the other wines, this one went through malolactic fermentation early. The nose shows violets that I find typical of Beaux Monts. The mouth is light and intense with dark fruit with good length, and tannins lurking behind. This wine is easy to approach today. (90-94)

2013 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru – Aux Boudots
This wine comes from 0.30 ha planted in 1950. The wine was fairly closed on the day I tasted, but showed dark fruit with some of the Vosne-like spice of Boudots (Boudots is located on the Vosne-Nuits border, just south of the Malconsorts vineyard in Vosne-Romanée). It is a promising wine, and usually one of my favorites here. (90-94)

2013 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru – Les Chaboeufs
Usually when I visit this cellar, the Chaboeufs appears earlier in the tasting, but as an experiment, Alain Meunier put this wine entirely in new wood. The Chaboeufs vineyard has an excellent situation, with Perrières and Poulettes to the north, Vaucrains to the south, and Cailles down slope to the east (the rarely-seen Vallerots is upslope to the west). The vines here date to 1957. Chabouefs can give a hard wine when young, and the new oak seems to have done its part to soften the wine relative to other vintages and what one expects of its position in Nuits. The wine is pretty with dark fruits and no astringent tannins show. (90-94)

2013 Clos-Vougeot
This wine is from 0.50 ha of vines planted in 1962. The vines are very well-situated, in the upper part of the vineyard, a little south of the château. Along with the Beaux Monts and the village Chambolle, it was one of the first in the cellar to go through malolactic fermentation. It was also among the highest in natural alcohol at 12.5º. Seventy-five percent new oak for the 2013. As with many Clos-Vougeots in this vintage, this wine shows finesse from what can often be a rather rustic vineyard. The wine has depth, density, length, and tannins. (90-94)

2013 Romanée-Saint-Vivant
From 0.50 ha of vines planted in 1929(!). Seventy-five percent new wood on this wine.  In contrast to the Clos-Vougeot and the Beaux Monts, this was one of the slowest wines in the cellar to go through malolactic fermentation. The wine is dense with finesse, length, and the sensuality and spice of Romanée-Saint-Vivant. It is the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. (93-96)

2012 Nuits-Saint-Georges    Les Fleurières
This wine is smooth and airy with very dark fruit. It is a pleasure to drink now, even though some tannin is in the background, and it shows more finesse than one would expect of Nuits. 90/A

2012 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru –  Les Chaboeufs
This wine was reduced in the nose and mouth when opened, but it is silky and dark with some tannins. It is at least very good, and had I had a longer time with it, I might have evaluated it even more highly. 90/B+

2012 Romanée-Saint-Vivant
This wine shows a beautiful truffle nose, followed by sensuality in the mouth with a smooth texture, violets, and spice. It is classic Romanée-Saint-Vivant. 95/A