Martin Weiner Burgundy Extravaganza (La Tache, Richebourg, Bonnes Mares, Clos de la Roche)

Chez Weiner, Westwood, California
Tasted Friday, February 13, 2009 by Richard Jennings with 1,672 views

Introduction

This was the beginning of my "DRC Weekend" in Los Angeles, which I thought was a very appropriate way to spend the Valentine's Day weekend for a Burgundy lover like me. My fellow Burgundy lover Martin always gathers an impressive sampling of wines for his tastings. This evening was no exception, since we had the chance to compare Richebourgs from four top producers, including DRC; Clos de la Roche from three different producers; Bonnes Mares from four producers, including a three-vintage vertical of Vogüé; and a total of six bottles of DRC. While I expected a lot from the Richebourgs and La Taches, the surprise wines of the night for me at this tasting were both Bonnes Mares: the '78 Groffier version and the exquisite '02 Comte de Vogüé. I had tried the '78 Groffier Bonnes Mares before and enjoyed it, but this was really an exceptional bottle, in very good shape, delivering all the elegance, complexity and subtlety one could hope for from a mature Grand Cru Burg.
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Flight 1 - 1st Flight (3 Notes)

The '02 Liger-Belair Richebourg was easily the WOTF, even though it needs at least a few more years of bottle age.
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  • 1998 Louis Jadot Clos de la Roche 88 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru

    Bricking garnet red color with pale meniscus; mature mushroom, chlorine and tart red fruit nose with a slight amount of TCA at first that fully bloomed after 20 minutes in the glass; tart mature red fruit, with light tobacco, rosehips and sous bois, with good acidity and grip; medium finish

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  • 1997 Louis Jadot Bonnes Mares 90 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru

    Darker bricking medium red color with clear meniscus; tart chery nose with light beef jus; tasty, tart red fruit, rosehips and mineral palate with grip, firm tannins; medium finish 90+ pts.

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  • 2002 Thibault Liger-Belair Richebourg 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru

    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; intriguing berry, earthy and herb nose with a touch of spice box; detailed, rounded tart cherry, tart raspberry, berry and sous bois palate with depth and integrated oak; medium finish (needs 3-5 more years)

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Flight 2 - Clos de la Roche Flight (3 Notes)

The special barrel selection Dominique Laurent was clearly superior to our two Girardin samples, and showing quite well, even at this early stage.
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Flight 3 - Bonnes Mares Flight (3 Notes)

The Dujac was a little disappointing for me in this flight, but is probably representative of the '96 vintage and how it is developing. The '99 Jadot is showing very well now; the '03 Le Moine is still a baby, but should be quite good in a few years.
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  • 2003 Lucien Le Moine Bonnes Mares 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru

    Slightly bricking medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; deep tart cherry and raspberry nose; ripe cherry and roses palate with white chocolate edges, tight yet; medium-plus finish

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  • 1999 Louis Jadot Bonnes Mares 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru

    Light medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; savory, roasted lam and violets nose; rounded, tart cherry with spice, rosehips, strawberry and mineral palate; medium finish

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  • 1996 Domaine Dujac Bonnes Mares 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru

    Slightly cloudy, bricking light raspberry red color with clear meniscus; appealing tart strawberry, sous bois and earthy nose; focused tart cherry with lime acidity, a touch of chlorine and good grip; medium-plus finish 92+ pts.

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Flight 4 - Vogüé Bonnes Mares Flight (3 Notes)

Wonderful Bonnes Mares, from one of my favorite producers. All were good, but the very youthful '02 is particularly outstanding, and will only get greater with time.
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Flight 5 - Richebourg Flight (2 Notes)

The '03 Grivot was definitely too young and is going through an awkward childhood at this point. The Meo-Camuzet had a peculiar nose and palate, and may well have been faulty in some way. I would love to try another bottle.
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  • 2003 Domaine Jean Grivot Richebourg 90 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru

    Magenta cherry red color; tight spicy red fruit, dried cherry and rosehips nose; tight, tart cherry and red fruit palate with firm, sweet tannins, a little chunky, needs 5-7 years; medium-plus finish 90+ pts.

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  • 2001 Domaine Méo-Camuzet Richebourg 91 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru

    Slightly cloudy, bricking light medium red color; earthy, funky, chlorine nose; tart pink grapefruit, blood orange palate; medium-plus finish 91+ pts.

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Flight 6 - DRC Richebourg Flight (3 Notes)

These were all good wines, but I've had better DRC Richebourg from other vintages. The '76 is quite mature, and not getting any better. The '95 and '00 both need five or more years before they are showing their full potential.
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  • 1976 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru

    Light medium orange color with ruby lights and clear meniscus; appealing mature spice box, leather and tobacco nose; tasty, mature, mushroom, spice box and lamb jus palate; medium-plus finish

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  • 2000 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru

    Cloudy, bricking light medium raspberry red color with clear meniscus; intriguing tart red fruit and tobacco nose; tart red fruit, tobacco and mineral palate with depth, needs 5 plus years; medium-plus finish

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  • 1995 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru

    Slightly cloudy, bricking light medium red color with clear meniscus; tart red fruit and mushroom nose; sappy, dense tart red fruit, mineral, and tobacco palate; medium-plus finish 92+ pts. (needs 5-7 more years)

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Flight 7 - blind Pinot interlude (1 Note)

We weren't told for sure if this was Pinot, or where it was from. So I guessed Sea Smoke or a neighbor of Sea Smoke on this one, and it did turn out to be an SLH Pinot, one that Martin thought had shown the best at an SLH tradetasting the prior week.

  • 2006 Tudor Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 92 Points

    USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands

    Light medium cherry red color with clarity and clear meniscus; ripe cherry and caramel nose with a green note; tasty ripe cherry and caramel palate with grip; medium-plus finish (poured blind at a Burg tasting--I guessed Sea Smoke or one of their neighbors)

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Flight 8 - Flight 8 (3 Notes)

The Girardin Corton, an outlier Grand Cru for this tasting, thrown in as a blind wine for a little comparison, was, not surprisingly, greatly outclassed by the Leroy and Groffier in this flight. As mentioned above, the '78 Groffier BM was my WOTN.
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  • 1998 Domaine Leroy Clos de la Roche 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru

    Bricking medium cherry red color with clear meniscus; tart raspberry and tobacco nose; tasty tart red fruit, roses, tobacco and mineral palate with depth; medium-plus finish 93+ pts.

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  • 1978 Domaine Robert Groffier Bonnes Mares 96 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru

    Medium orange color with ruby lights and light floating sediment, clear meniscus; sexy, spice box and tobacco nose; lovely, mature, elegant, smoky, mineral, spicy orange, spice box, tobacco palate with sweet, resolved tannins; long finish

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  • 2005 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Corton 89 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru

    Medium cherry red color; light spicy cherry nose; light medium bodied, tart cherry palate iwth sweet tannins; medium finish

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Flight 9 - DRC Finale (3 Notes)

We ended with a comparison of DRC Richebourg and La Tache from the same, challenging, vintage, and an even older La Tache. The latter, the '67, was definitely on the decline, and faded quickly in the glass. The two '83s were very much on par with each other, although this particular bottle of Richebourg was showing somewhat greater complexity than our bottle of La Tache.
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  • 1983 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru

    Bricking light medium orange color with yellow lights and clear meniscus, light floating sediment; earthy tobacco leaf and spice box nose; concentrated, mature, spice box, spicy orange, mushroom palate with high acidity; medium-plus finish 92+ pts.

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  • 1983 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Tâche Grand Cru

    Light medium brown color with ruby lights and clear meniscus; rich spice box, cigar and mushroom nose; tart cigar box, mushroom and dried cherry palate; medium finish 92+ pts.

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  • 1967 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche 87 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Tâche Grand Cru

    Medium brown color with clear meniscus; mature, prune cake nose; overly mature tart prune and smoke palate, with concentration; medium-plus finish (fades quickly in the glass)

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Closing

Michael, Martin and Robert
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