Youthful, pale ruby-garnet colour, scented red fruits, elegant with a touch oak. Still very young, with marked tannins (for Pinot and this vintage) on the palate and succulent, sweet fruit. Good acidity, very fine, good ageing potential.
Food Match: Lamb
2009 Faiveley, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )
Mid garnet, pale rim. Still quite closed. Red cherry and some Asian spices on the nose. Quite a powerrfu, dense wines with plenty of tannin and oak. Ripe and silky, very well rounded with good ageing potential. Textured and plush, this underlines recent improvements at this Nuits St Georges-based négociant house.
2009 Georges Mugneret-Gibourg, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )
If you can get past the outrageously heavy bottle (and I had trouble lifting it off the table), this is a superb wine. Bright, youthful, ruby red in colour. Lovely bramble and wild strawberry fruit on the nose. Plush and sweet with good acidity for balance. So Pinot? Silky, scented, beguiling, gentle with impressive delicacy for the vintage.
2009 Louis Jadot, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )
Pale ruby/pink with a hint of garnet. This is a rather light wine (delicacy is no bad thing in 2009), but it’s showing far too much oak for the weight of fruit. Chewy and firm, the wine lacks finesse. The barrels have swallowed the fruit.
2009 Domaine Denis Mortet, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )
There’s no denying the quaility or ambition of the wines from this revitalised domaine. This is a very powerful Pinot, closer to a top Gevrey than a Clos de Vougeot. There’s a lot of oak on the wine at the moment, but this is a wine that is built for bottle age. The underlying fruit is excellent, just waiting to strut its stuff in five years or more.
2009 Château de la Tour, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )
Intense mid rubyintense colour. Ripe, aromatic, heady (almost hedonistic?) nose, showing some forest floor and fresh leather notes. Big, ripe and bold, this is something of a statement wine. It’s arguably a little simple, reflecting the vintage as much as the terroir. The wine is ripe, with plenty of extraction and a slightly hot, dry finish.
2009 Henri Rebourseau, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )
Bright pale garnet-ruby. Closed with some reduction and very little fruit on the nose. Hint of rhubarb on the palate, tannic with high acid. Rather scrawny, with almost Italianate levels of acidity and very little flesh or sweet fruit. More like a 2008 than a 2009.
2009 Domaine de l'Espigouette for Harvey Nichols, Plan de Dieu, Côtes du Rhône Villages( £12.50, 14.5, Harvey Nichols )
A really first class Rhône blend specially blended for Harvey Nichols by Domaine de l’Espigouette. It’s a spicy, full-throated number from a warm vintage, based on Grenache but with 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre for support and complexity. It’s still youthful (though very drinkable) with dense black fruits, lovely balance and the sort of perfume that really reminds you of the south of France. Heady stuff.
2010 Espelt Terres Negres, Empordà( E13, 14%, El Celler Petit )
Espelt is the second biggest winery in Empordà after Perellada. This Carignan-dominated blend from old vines in Rabós is marked by volatility, but it works in a wild, herby Medieterranean sort of way. Medium bodied and fresh, with sweet red fruits, some liquorice, slightly baked fruit and a lifted finish.
2007 Castillo Perelada Finca La Garriga, Empordà( E19, 15%, El Celler Petit )
Sweet, oaky, concentrated Samsó that still demonstrates the variety’s characteristic freshness and wildness. The oak is a little too obvious (some might call it seductive), but this is a big, dense, stylish, modern wine with notes of sweet Mediterranean herbs and Angostura bitters. Needs food. The volatility might be too high for some.
2007 Roig Parals Camí de Cormes, Empordà( E20, 15%, El Celler Petit )
If you want to taste really old vine Samsó (and we’re talking 120 years here), try this. Dense, complex, minerally and wild with freshness to balance the concentration and high alcohol. This comes from the plain, but tastes like a mountain wine, with sweet red fruits, a touch of volatility and appealing minerality.
2008 Vinyes d'Olivardots 2.08, Empordà( E35, 15%, El Celler Petit )
Sandy soils, low production, 100-year-old vines: essence of Samsó. Wow! Super dense, very complex, savoury, spicy, lovely fruit sweetness, fine tannins, subtle oak and a finish that lingers on the palate. Wild, Mediterranean herbs, some wood smoke, fresh acidity, liquorice and red and black fruits. A superb wine.