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Vougeot tasting a clos conundrum

The Clos de Vougeot is “a vineyard that sums up everything that’s difficult, good and interesting about Burgundy,” according to Fine + Rare director, Joss Fowler.

Clos de Vougeot comprises 50.59 hectares surrounded by stone walls built 5 centuries ago.

Fowler made the comment during the wine merchant’s blind tasting of 38 wines from the 2011 vintage earlier this month at Fine + Rare’s office in London.

The wines came from 37 producers making wine from the 50 hectare walled Vougeot vineyard in the Côte des Nuits.

“It’s the most fascinating vineyard,” he said, before asking, “Is it too big, and should it all be grand cru?”

“By doing a tasting like this we can maybe answer some of those questions, as well as who is good, and who isn’t, or who do you like, and who you don’t.”

He then said, “It is the conundrum that is Burgundy summed up in one vineyard.”

Fowler recorded that the clos contains around 80 growers and estimated that “somewhere between 65 and 70 make a wine” from the walled vineyard. He also noted the “very different” nature of the 38 wines in the tasting, despite the fact they were “all harvested within a stone’s throw of each other”.

This was the third year Fine + Rare has organised a blind tasting of wines from the Clos Vougeot, having done a similar event with the 2008 and 2009 vintage.

Noting the rising demand for Burgundy among fine wine buyers generally, Fowler recorded the increasing difficulty of sourcing wines for such a tasting.

“It is a sign of a changing market… a few years ago it was much easier to get samples for this,” he said of the Vougeot tasting.

Considering the sales of Burgundy through Fine + Rare, he said that it was “getting stronger and stronger” and currently “between 20% and 25% of our business by value this year – so up a couple of points”.

Continuing he said, “Bordeaux has permanently fallen away and is being replaced by other things, not necessarily all Burgundy, but Burgundy 2012 was a success in terms of the demand for it, and our ability to source it.”

Following the tasting, Fine + Rare picked out the following three wines as “favourites”:

Domaine Arnoux Lachaux Grand Cru 2011 Clos de Vougeot – £691 (6x75cl) IB
Domaine Vougeraie Grand Cru 2011 Clos de Vougeot – £353 (6x75cl) IB
Maison Remoissenet Grand Cru 2011 Clos de Vougeot – £587 (6x75cl) IB

Meanwhile, Jancis Robinson MW, who tasted through the range of wines, rated the following three wines the highest, giving each one 18.5 out of 20.

Domaine Tortochot, Grand Cru 2011 Clos de Vougeot – £370 (6×75) IB
Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat, Grand Cru 2011 Clos de Vougeot – £508 (6×75) IB
Domaine François Lamarche, Grand Cru 2011 Clos de Vougeot – £430 (6×75) IB

Click here to read more about Clos de Vougeot on the Burgundy Wines’ website.


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