Domaine Sylvain Cathiard (Vosne-Romanée) -- 2014s Tasted from Cask

Under Sylvain Cathiard, this estate already achieved a cult reputation, but since son Sébastien has took over a few years ago, the wines have improved still more. He reported that harvesting took place from 17 to 20 September. There was no hail over the summer. The grapes were healthy, not requiring much sorting, and most of what was done took place in the vineyards to combat the Asian fruit fly. As soon as there was any acetic odor indicating that there had been a fruit fly attack, all the grapes on the vine were cut off.

In the vineyard, 2014 was the first year that Sébastien worked all the vineyards organically (certification will take some years, though). He had begun with the Raignots in 2011 and 2012, but 2013 was not a good year for organic, so he waited until 2014 to begin the full changeover.

In the cellar, all grapes were destemmed. Macerations lasted 23-27 days, yielding good colors because of the thick skins. New wood has decreased from the time of Sébastien’s father, when it was all new and toasted at medium and medium-plus. Now it is only one year-old barrels for the Bourgogne, 50% new for the village age wines; the Raignots is 60% new, and the other premiers crus and the Romanée-Saint-Vivant are 67% new, with the level of toasting reduced to medium and medium-minus. The wines taste significantly less of oak. Malolactic fermentations were late, with the first only beginning in April 2015, and the first finishing in May; when I visited at the end of October 2014, there was still one barrel where malo hadn’t finished. All wines were chaptalized some. Bottling will not take place before spring 2016.

2014 Bourgogne   pinot noir
This is an extremely good Bourgogne, worth investigating should you come across it. The wine features spicy red currant fruit, very good density, and good length. (88-91)

2014 Vosne-Romanée
This outstanding wine comes from five different parcels in four different lieux-dits. The wine is deep with dark fruit and minerality in the nose. The mouth is medium-weight with dark fruit, minerality, freshness, and density. (90-93)

2014 Nuits-Saint-Georges
From vines more than 75 years-old in the Aux Athées lieu-dit at the beginning of the Vosne slope of Nuits, this wine is dense and more concentrated and tannic than the Vosne. It has dark plum fruit of excellent length and a little rusticity, which is no surprise from Nuits. (90-93)

2014 Chambolle-Musigny    clos de l’orme
As with the two other village wines, one has an excellent presentation of the village in question. Much of this wine is from old vines that suffered quite a bit from poor set; the remainder is from vines planted in 1992. The wine combines Chambolle finesse with good concentration and freshness. (90-93)

2014 Nuits-Saint-Georges    1er Cru    Aux Thorey
The nose of the Thorey has dark fruit aromas. The mouth shows more finesse than the village Nuits with dark berry fruit that is mineral and slightly spicy. This may well develop into a super premier cru. (91-95)

2014 Nuits-Saint-Geroges    1er Cru    Aux Murgers
The Murgers shows finesse of the Vosne slope with concentration, depth, and density. The fruit is dark, but less mineral than for the Thorey. Plenty of firmness here.  (91-95)

2014 Vosne-Romanée    1er Cru    Aux Raignots
From a vineyard replanted in 1997, this wine shows excellent density to its dark fruit, finesse, and a touch of coffee. It is a bit lighter in weight than the foregoing wines. (90-93)

2014 Vosne-Romanée    1er Cru    En Orveaux
This wine is denser than usual for En Orveaux, but the finesse of the vineyard is clearly here. The wine is long with a little toast showing and the texture is smooth. The vines here were planted about 1950.  (91-94)

2014 Vosne-Romanée    1er Cru    Les Suchots
The quality of this wine is outstanding, beginning with the spicy, truffly nose typical of Suchots. The mouth is pure and elegant with great finesse, but also some power, and dark, truffly flavors. (92-96)

2014 Vosne-Romanée    1er Cru    Aux Malconsorts
The malolactic fermentations finished just two weeks prior to my tasting (actually, there was one barrel that still was fermenting), yet that did not stop the superb quality of this wine from showing through. The nose is deep with dark fruit and stones. The mouth is pure with finesse and roundness plus underlying structure. The dark and red fruits are deep and long. (93-96)

2014 Romanée-Saint-Vivant

Finally, the Romanée-Saint-Vivant, which is magnificent in this vintage. The nose is spiced and perfumed. The mouth is elegant, dense, and spicy with red fruits and fantastic finesse. There’s real flesh in this wine and it is truly complete. (94-98)