Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2009, Jacques Prieur
Burgundy experts know full well that the lower half of the Clos de Vougeot is really premier cru quality and the upper half is grand cru quality. This distinction is reflected in the prices charged by producers with vines in the different parts. The Domaine Jacques Prieur owns 1.28 hectares of the 50 hectare Clos. In common with the other reds at the domaine, this was 100% destemmed, left on the skins for 19 days in a temperature-controlled oak vat and like the other grands crus aged 100% in new oak barrels -- for 22 months. Due to the high clay content in the soil, the domaine plants specially-selected grasses between the rows of vines which suck up a lot of the excess moisture in the top soil. This helps the vine roots grow downwards as opposed to growing horizontally like a weed. The initial nose was mute, earthy, very slow to open up. Evolved to ripe berry fruit but without potency. Finished after 10 minutes on aromas of blue meadow flowers. Really impressive richness on the palate, blackberry, earthy, a massive cathedral-like structure so typical of young wines from the Clos de Vougeot. Interesting rhythms going on which have yet to fully express themselves -- imagine The Rolling Stones strumming a few chords before deciding which song to play. This Clos de Vougeot has all the elements to be a stunning wine in 6 to 8 years time, and scores 23-27/30. Time will tell what complexity it offers.