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Who Likes This Wine(24)

  1. Mark van Delft

    Mark van Delft

    1,114 Tasting Notes

  2. Rogershkg

    Rogershkg

    662 Tasting Notes

  3. rikipedia

    rikipedia

    4,668 Tasting Notes

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Community Tasting Notes (72) Avg Score: 92.5 points

  • Ageing well and good to drink. Very good but at this price point I prefer Cali pinots.

    Light color with bricking around the rim. Medium intensity nose of ripe strawberry and cherry, rose and a little leather.

    Fresh but not bitty acidity and very soft but full tannins. Medium plus body and a silky mouthfeel. Quite a long finish. Red berries, white pepper, roses and some leather.

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  • Superb Pinot Noir, on the fuller side of the red Burg spectrum: mature cherry, leather, strawberry, tobacco, forest floor, black fruit, medium body, elegant long finish. Q-event

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  • Good Burgundy. Clour was red and reasonably dense, the nose was fruit, the taste was soft easy and not austere and medium length. Went well with roast pigeon

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  • Pretty massive but unfortunately enough TCA to significantly detract.

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  • Yes, fellow Trackers of the Cellar, I hear your plaintive cries and the torment of your souls. 'Why?', 'Why? Oh why?' you cry out, rending your garments and plucking the small hairs of your noses. 'Why does not one review make reference to the Byzantine Emperor, Nikephoros Phokas?' How I share your pain. But be placid now, rest easy, be as the lamb of God, for I am here and bring His message, via Nikephoros' greatest supporter, his help-meet I might say, Liutprand of Cremona.

    This Comte d'Armand vintage is, of course, a special one. Like Nikephoros, it comes into crisis and struggles mightily. Its efforts are crowned with success, yet some lingering (admittedly small) doubts remain.

    Unlike Nikephoros, it is unlikely that you, gentle drinker, will be murdered in your sleep with the connivance of your wife. Unless it be that you hold stocks of this wine and decline to share them amply with my good self, doubling in the role of the honourable John Tzimiskes.

    Like the thundering cataphracts of Nikephoros reconquering Cilicia and routing the locals, or raiding deep into the Saracen held lands around Nisibis (in the course of which he earned the rather charming sobriquet 'White death of the Saracens'), this monopole is of an unusual scale. Not only it is a premier cru in its own right, it is situate in an area replete with wonderful vineyards.

    As we all know, Pommard means wines with a pleasing combination of aromatic lift married to considerable heft and power. Sometimes, however, the power puts one more in mind of the Clibinarii (camp ovens) description of cataphracts - a little rustic, rough hewn and the tannins tending to mean and even ugly. Here, however, we have the heavy cavalry as they should be - proud, powerful but also skillful and even graceful.

    Nikephoros was one of the great warrior-monk Byzantine emperors. After the early death of his wife he swore an oath of chastity, which must have been interesting when he married the wife of his predecessor as Emperor. Her late husband had allegedly died as a result of his debauched, over sexed lifestyle and his wife was seen as sharing many of his libidinous tendencies. Did she poison Romanos II because he was a bit useless, as alleged? Who knows?

    Liutprand described Nikephoros in the following flattering terms after his incredibly successful visit to the court in the 960's:

    "a monstrosity of a man, a pygmy, fat-headed and like a mole as to the smallness of his eyes; disgusting with his short, broad, thick, and half hoary beard; disgraced by a neck an inch long; very bristly through the length and thickness of his hair"

    This description, doubtless incredibly accurate, bears little resemblance to descriptions by others at the time, nor does it resemble pictures of the Emperor, but if JJ Norwich accepts the views of a fellow European who are we to argue? Other depictions are of an aesthetic looking man, not notably ugly. Which does this wine resemble?

    Across two days decanted this wine shows little change. It is deep of hue, showing few signs of age. The nose is aromatic - macerated strawberries, cinnamon, some yoghurt like aspects, a little spice. Very heady. The palate is powerful, long and intense, with tannic grip in balance, although I think we do see the presence of a fair amount of well-handled oak. much like the heavy armour of the cataphracts. The fruit is there to handle it. I have to say that this is almost classical Burgundy. It hews closer to the pictorial evidence of Nikephoros than it does to Liutprand's description.

    Like Nikephoros, you may have to engage in considerable economies at home to support the effort of making war/seizing stock of this. In seeking it out I urge you to be as ruthless, as relentless and as willing to overcome initial set-backs as Nikephoros Phokas. Like him, earn a title like 'White Death of the Hoarders of Comte d'Armand'. I also encourage you to be suspicious of Papists, but go one step further than Nikephoros and loathe all religion with a truly Catholic breadth.

    'Nikephoros' as we all know translates roughly as 'Bringer of Victory' or 'Herald of Victory'. Our man earned the name. Yet his murder was not unpopular, although his replacement by another military man, his nephew, has a certain irony. Tzimiskes was also deeply religious in his way of life, not just at Sunday service.

    Nikephoros handled the expansionist plans of the Germans in Italy roughly, he reconquered strategically important territory like Crete, Cyrus and the Cilician gates and he achieved great success against the dread Saracens.

    So, why a nagging doubt about him? Well, as with this wine, one wonders whether the driving force behind the power is sustainable and whether there is incipient over-reach. Here it is, for me, a slight question about the oak. This is not a wine where you must wade through the oak to find a quivering, delicate and dying piece of fruit. But the oak is not a small part of the picture. I tend to the view the wine will continue to grow and continue to soak it up but...

    With Nikephoros, it was really about the capacity of the realm to fund the endless wars and the willingness and capacity of its people to endure the hardships of endless war. Within a century the successes were swept away, by the Normans in Italy and Sicily and by the Seljuk Turks at Manzikert. Well before then, the armies had become dependent on mercenaries to a degree unheard of and the rulers and people had become the kind of lame, dope-smoking, slacking little suckers so familiar today.

    Drink this wine and channel your inner Nikephoros, or Tzimiskes. Like the wine and the emperors, feel the power and live the life, but do watch the wife.

    7 people found this helpful, do you? Yes - No / Comments (4)

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Jasper Morris Inside Burgundy

The World of Fine Wine

Burghound

Vinous

  • By Antonio Galloni
    The 2009 Red Burgundies from Bottle (Apr 2012), (See more on Vinous...)

    (Comte Armand Pommard Clos Des Epeneaux 1er Cru Red) Login and sign up and see review text.

Burghound

Vinous

  • By Antonio Galloni
    The 2009 Red Burgundies (May 2011), (See more on Vinous...)

    (Denis Bachelet Pommard Clos Des Epeneaux – 1er Cru Red) Login and sign up and see review text.

JancisRobinson.com

Vinous

  • By Stephen Tanzer
    January/February 2011, IWC Issue #154, (See more on Vinous...)

    (Domaine des Epeneaux/Comte Armand Pommard Clos des Epeneaux) Login and sign up and see review text.

NOTE: Some content is property of Jasper Morris Inside Burgundy and The World of Fine Wine and Burghound and Vinous and JancisRobinson.com.

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